Author Topic: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs  (Read 4484 times)

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Offline plethora

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #116 on: September 26, 2011, 10:21:32 AM »
^^^ Well said, Gray.


I insist that a person's IQ is irrelevant to their belief in a god or lack thereof.

If a person claims a god exists or makes any supernatural religious claims, we atheists can address those claims by demanding evidence and pointing to the science that refutes them.

Why on earth should I bring up my IQ or theirs? The truth doesn't care about our IQ's. The truth is the truth regardless. A person's IQ is irrelevant when it comes to statements of truth and addressing baseless claims.
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #117 on: September 26, 2011, 10:31:58 AM »

Looking back to the 18th century, we could say that most everyone in Europe and the colonies was Christian. Were we all more stupid then?


Quite possibly (although I prefer the term less intelligent to stupid). The Flynn Effect seems to suggest so:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect

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The Flynn effect is the name given to a substantial and long-sustained increase in intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world.

This is explained by:

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Attempted explanations have included improved nutrition, a trend toward smaller families, better education, greater environmental complexity, and heterosis (the occurrence of genetically superior offspring from mixing the genes of its parents).[18] Another proposition is the gradual spread of test-taking skills.[9] The Flynn effect has been too rapid for genetic selection to be the cause.[19]

Perhaps the increase of IQs in many nations (as well as the causes for the increase, above) has something to do with the increase in atheism globally, but I am not sure.


Regrettably, I can find nothing to indicate that intelligence and belief in deities are related… except… perhaps… If intelligence creates curiosity, and if successful solutions are found by the intelligent, then strong religious belief is unlikely to persist in the intelligent as curiosity gets the better of them, but this does not preclude weak religious belief.

If you are suggesting that curiosity and successful solutions lead to figuring out reality (atheism), then I would agree that strong religious belief is unlikely to persist in intelligent people unless they are stubborn. As for weak religious belief, I would think that is easier to forsake than strong religious belief, unless people are stubborn.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #118 on: September 26, 2011, 11:45:46 AM »
The question has been asked a couple of times to the effect of "what's the point?". I don't recall if an answer has been provided. You keep insisting that the slightly elevated level of intelligence is significant but I have to wonder, to what end? Assuming that the information is accurate and that one's predilection towards theism is indicative of a slightly slower information processing ability, then what? What do you suppose should do with this information?
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #119 on: September 26, 2011, 02:03:27 PM »
The question has been asked a couple of times to the effect of "what's the point?". I don't recall if an answer has been provided. You keep insisting that the slightly elevated level of intelligence is significant but I have to wonder, to what end? Assuming that the information is accurate and that one's predilection towards theism is indicative of a slightly slower information processing ability, then what? What do you suppose should do with this information?

As I said earlier, the point is that we need every shred of evidence and every logical argument possible to be able to show theists, because atheists are a hated and dismissed group (here in the US and some other countries).
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #120 on: September 26, 2011, 02:22:27 PM »
The question has been asked a couple of times to the effect of "what's the point?". I don't recall if an answer has been provided. You keep insisting that the slightly elevated level of intelligence is significant but I have to wonder, to what end? Assuming that the information is accurate and that one's predilection towards theism is indicative of a slightly slower information processing ability, then what? What do you suppose should do with this information?

As I said earlier, the point is that we need every shred of evidence and every logical argument possible to be able to show theists, because atheists are a hated and dismissed group (here in the US and some other countries).

The issue then comes down to this question: Do you want to win people over to the most logical way of thinking or is your end goal to be able say "Ahha, you're dumb, and we're right?" If it's the first, then remember that bees like honey, and insulting people is generally not an effective means of changing them. In my opinion the best way to get people to not "hate and dismiss" atheists is to stand up and represent yourself a decent human being who happens to be an atheist. Unfortunately, there is an idea in the religious world that atheists are not nice and decent folks. Stand up and prove those that believe this way are wrong and eventually if enough likeminded people do this, then the preconception will change and then reasonable dialogue as opposed to the us verses them name rancor could come to the forefront.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #121 on: September 26, 2011, 02:30:12 PM »
As I said earlier, the point is that we need every shred of evidence and every logical argument possible to be able to show theists, because atheists are a hated and dismissed group (here in the US and some other countries).

But it's been pointed out several times that ones intelligence does not guarantee truth. It seems like a logical fallacy to me if you are trying to say that "because, on average, atheists are more intelligent than theists then there is no god." So it does no good to show theists that atheists are slightly smarter on average.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #122 on: September 26, 2011, 02:40:10 PM »
As I said earlier, the point is that we need every shred of evidence and every logical argument possible to be able to show theists, because atheists are a hated and dismissed group (here in the US and some other countries).

But it's been pointed out several times that ones intelligence does not guarantee truth. It seems like a logical fallacy to me if you are trying to say that "because, on average, atheists are more intelligent than theists then there is no god." So it does no good to show theists that atheists are slightly smarter on average.

I am not saying God does not exist because atheists are more intelligent. I am saying the non-existence of God is a reality that atheists recognize, and if they are slightly more intelligent, it is easier to recognize that reality.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #123 on: September 26, 2011, 03:12:47 PM »
Jaime, let me preface my reply by pointing out that for some of the places you quoted me above, I think you accidentally posted that hypagoga said my words.
My best guess is that I accidentally didn't copy the quote link and evidently reused one I'd written about an hour earlier.

For the sake of the intelligence increasing or decreasing argument, allow me to introduce another theory that relates to this: The Cattell-Horn theory. With regard to increases or decreases in intelligence during adulthood, it depends on whether we are talking about fluid intelligence or crystallized intelligence:

<snip>

So if you were to say crystallized intelligence can increase based on accumulating knowledge and experiences, I would agree. However, crystalized intelligence is based on knowledge and learning from experiences, not reasoning abstractly and solving problems like fluid intelligence (which declines after young adulthood). In other words, I find it possible that a theist could increase their crystallized intelligence (knowledge, experiences) while decreasing their fluid intelligence, and therefore slowly losing part (if not most by the time they are very old) of the precious ability to figure out through reason that God does not exist. Because this decrease happens to atheists as well, I think those with even a slight edge in fluid intelligence over others (which sounds like info processing somewhat) will have a better chance at figuring out through abstract reasoning that God does not exist.
You already said you didn't have the actual data in question, and that means that any conclusions you might come to are essentially speculative.  Looking up theories that might, if read in a certain way, support said speculation isn't going to prove your point for you.  In fact, it has the real possibility of making people start to wonder if you might have some reason for pressing that particular point despite the lack of real evidence to support it.  Not only that, but you are in essence looking for idea after idea after idea to support your thesis, and when those ideas are rebutted, you essentially let them sit and go find another idea to support your thesis instead.  In other words, you're spending so much time trying to prove what you're saying that you aren't really thinking about what other people are saying.

As far as fluid intelligence vs crystallized intelligence goes, do you realize that you can't prove which, if either, might be measured by an IQ test?  IQ tests might very well measure both kinds, assuming that they're really different enough to test separately in something like this.  For that matter, do you know what particular results on an IQ test might measure the particular kind of information processing that you're referring to?  IQ tests cover enough areas that you can't just point to the overall score and say "this is how well someone processes information and thus is the chance that they will figure out that God does not exist" or whatever.

It depends on which type of intelligence is being developed, because one can develop throughout a lifetime, another cannot. Also, with regard to the averages, why would they be inaccurate for describing overall intelligence?
Okay, take 180, 100, 100, 100, then average them.  It's an average of 120.  Yet, that average is not particularly representative of the actual values; it's significantly higher than the majority of them, but drastically lower than the value which pulled all the rest up.  So it's inaccurate in both directions.  You don't have the IQ test data, so you can't verify how the individual elements of the total score turned out.

Then theists seem to deal with real-life situations regarding reality improperly, since they choose to worship imaginary gods. Would that mean that they fail the “real world” test?
No more than an atheist succeeds in it.  Real-life tests aren't about ideology or IQ, they're about how a person deals with things as they happen.  A theist, with a belief in God that can't be verified objectively, may actually do quite well in real life.  Or a genius, ~150 IQ, might have to work for six years or more in food service jobs to figure out that it's worth going back and trying again on that college education they slacked off before.

How would you interpret the data from any of the info I provided? I am curious to know.
I can't possibly interpret data I don't have.  What you provided were informed opinions.  The actual data that those opinions were formed from wasn't invluded.
 
I keep asking why the 6 point difference between atheists and theists is there to begin with, even if you interpret it as useless.
I'm stating that it's useless because neither of us has sufficient information to be able to make it useful.  You keep saying that atheists have been shown to have slightly higher average IQs...but so what?  I mean, unless you can show that this slightly higher average IQ makes a real difference in a person's life, then the question of why it's there is essentially academic and doesn't matter for any practical purposes.

I have looked at the data and the quotes from the researchers, and they do seem to agree. What is wrong with a summary?
A summary is one of those things that doesn't really do much of anything.  I mean, it's just a short description of the results.  Unless you are actually working with the actual data (and none of your links have provided anything more than conclusions, which is not the data), it's very easy to jump to some wrong conclusion about it.

I have provided data otherwise, and you have brought up that the way I present it is unpalatable, or that I am making the presentation harder than it has to be. I am wondering what sort of data you are looking for from me. If I provide more, you could accuse the researcher of being biased. My point is, what would convince you that a researcher is unbiased and that a study is acceptable?
You have provided conclusions, and are treating them as data.  That's the biggest problem at all.  The second biggest problem is that you're running under the assumption that this small IQ difference actually matters in any real sense, that because atheists have a few extra IQ points on average according to a number of studies, it proves that they are more likely to have reasoned out the 'correct' conclusion that God doesn't exist.  The problem with that is that it's purely an assumption, based on an average of several hundred average IQ scores.  What you missed is that there are theists who have higher IQs than the atheist average, and atheists who have lower IQs than the theist average.  That's what an average means.

----

Greybeard:  Good explanation of what I've been trying to illustrate about statistics.

----

plethora:  I agree, at least on general principles.  Intelligence is no guarantee of getting something correct, because preconceived notions get in the way.  And critical thinking isn't really a factor of IQ, it's a factor of training and experience.

----

I am not saying God does not exist because atheists are more intelligent. I am saying the non-existence of God is a reality that atheists recognize, and if they are slightly more intelligent, it is easier to recognize that reality.
Listen to this for a moment:  "The reality is that God exists, and intelligent people will be more able to recognize that reality."  That is a paraphrase of a fairly common argument made by a certain category of religious people.  So the question is, if it is wrong for a theist to make that argument, how does it somehow become right for an atheist to make what amounts to the same argument?
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #124 on: September 26, 2011, 03:36:13 PM »
Jaime, I did provide a link to the second study (with data) earlier. Other than that, you are right. My argument has become so complicated that it does not work. I am now willing to drop the argument. It was fun debating you guys on this subject!  :)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline plethora

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #125 on: September 27, 2011, 03:05:22 AM »
t'was a pleasure ... and you made a very good effort at defending your proposition.  8)
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #126 on: September 27, 2011, 08:59:38 AM »
^^^Thank you!  :)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #127 on: September 27, 2011, 11:39:56 AM »
I didn't spend a lot of time looking at the army study, so I'll grant that my statements about lack of data weren't really appropriate.

It wasn't a bad public debate.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #128 on: September 27, 2011, 12:07:47 PM »
Quote from: curiousgirl
Reply #101 on: September 23, 2011, 02:00:30 PM

Then how can we have a discussion about the findings of the study if you refuse to read it?

I explain in my comment as to why I "refuse" to read it, and even on that note as to why further.

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Are you seriously going to dismiss something you didn't even look into to begin with?

I'm not dismissing it, I just don't feel I have to read it to know what it says based on what I stated in my previous comment.

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If so, do you have a valid reason for doing so?

Already answered this.

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Nam, I have to point out that you were discussing education and social class, which is not what I am discussing at all. I am not defining intelligence as how educated someone is. Please go back and read my posts.

But one has to take such a thing in account, and that's where you fail, in such regard.

-Nam

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #129 on: September 27, 2011, 12:11:53 PM »
Quote from: oversee Reply #109 on: September 24, 2011, 02:27:17 AM
I have known plenty of people with degrees that aren't very smart. The example that everyone uses is that Einstein flunked the 3rd grade.
I know someone who had to repeat the 8th grade because he flunked out, and he is one of the smartest people I know.

The main problem I find with IQ tests is that most of what is in an IQ test deals with maths.  And, I've had similar discussions with other people on this website and elsewhere that they feel that is where definitive intelligence lies.  I personally disagree with such an assessment.

Because if that was true than my IQ is below 70 and I'm retarded.

to the point you made above the quoted; that is a problem.  I think the educational system spends too much time jamming information that some children do not need, and not enough of what they do need -- especially by skill type/set.

-Nam

Offline oversee

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2011, 02:27:17 AM »
Quote from: oversee Reply #109 on: September 24, 2011, 02:27:17 AM
I have known plenty of people with degrees that aren't very smart. The example that everyone uses is that Einstein flunked the 3rd grade.
I know someone who had to repeat the 8th grade because he flunked out, and he is one of the smartest people I know.

The main problem I find with IQ tests is that most of what is in an IQ test deals with maths.  And, I've had similar discussions with other people on this website and elsewhere that they feel that is where definitive intelligence lies.  I personally disagree with such an assessment.

Because if that was true than my IQ is below 70 and I'm retarded.

to the point you made above the quoted; that is a problem.  I think the educational system spends too much time jamming information that some children do not need, and not enough of what they do need -- especially by skill type/set.

-Nam
Actually I was just talking to someone today about the math requirements of colleges in the US. I know a lot of people had trouble making it through college because of the math. A few years ago, my daughter had to complete calculus as part of general education requirements, but my younger daughter who is in university now, doesn't have to. The big question is why did they remove the calculus requirement? If they did it because people were having trouble passing it, then the degree my younger daughter will earn should be considered less valuable than my older daughter's.
I haven't looked at any IQ tests recently, but I would be surprised if there was a huge math section. Like I said before, IQ should not measure knowledge but the ability to reason. The relationship to math would be that understanding math requires using logic. I don't believe that understanding math is crucial to intelligence but the ability to use logic is crucial. The ability to use both deductive and inductive reasoning is an example of intelligence.
I know people who can't spell well no matter how many times they are corrected. Some people might think that this might be a problem with memorization, but I believe it has a lot to do with recognizing patterns. Pattern recognition is another indicator of intelligence, in my opinion.
Another measure of intelligence is the ability to create a new idea. I know some people who were great at studying and graduated with honors, but they never had an original idea in their life. Creativity is an intelligence factor that I believe is ignored by intelligence tests. For some people, writing is much more difficult than doing math problems. The ability to compose and structure an essay requires creativity.
I don't value memorization ability as much as other skills, but it is also part of intelligence. The average person can remember 7 things at once (this was in some study I read). What good is knowledge if you lack the ability to retain it? You would never be able to build upon that knowledge.
There are probably other components to intelligence that I neglected.
The person I know who flunked the eighth grade did so because he didn't do the work. He has excellent math skills. He won a county wide writing contest in the same year that he failed English.
The purpose of most educational systems is to provide a well-rounded education. I think it would be counterproductive to require children to only learn those subjects in which they excel. An argument could be made that we don't need to teach literature, for example, because it won't help a person succeed in life. I think it would be sad if children weren't exposed to the great works of previous generations.
The curriculum in schools has changed since I was a child. There is so much more that is considered important today, such as technology, that some things I learned as a child are no longer taught. I am dismayed at the small vocabularies my children have. I told my daughter who is in college that I saw a gondola in Venice, and she said "What is a gondola?." Spelling, grammar and vocabulary are subjects that aren't considered important anymore. Watch a movie from the 40's and compare the vocabulary used with movies made today. I find this interesting because there were fewer educated people in the 40's but the movie makers felt no need to dumb down their scripts and the audiences apparently were able to understand.
As far as you personally having trouble with math, it is probably due to the method used to teach you. In a math class you are taught one concept, and then the next concept is built upon the first. If you don't understand the first by the time the teacher has moved onto the second, obviously you will fail. I think rather than cut math out of the curriculum for people who have trouble with it, the educational system needs to find new ways to teach it so it is understandable.
I don't believe the educational system should have the power to determine at some point who will follow an academic path and go to college, and who will follow a different path and be taught a trade. That is why I believe that all children should be taught all subjects until they are mature enough to determine what they want to do with their lives.

Offline Nam

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2011, 09:39:54 AM »
Quote from: oversee Reply #130 on: Today at 02:27:17 AM
Actually I was just talking to someone today about the math requirements of colleges in the US. I know a lot of people had trouble making it through college because of the math. A few years ago, my daughter had to complete calculus as part of general education requirements, but my younger daughter who is in university now, doesn't have to. The big question is why did they remove the calculus requirement? If they did it because people were having trouble passing it, then the degree my younger daughter will earn should be considered less valuable than my older daughter's.

Wouldn't that depend on the particular field of what the "degree" is in?  I mean, if, say it was a degree in English; is calculus really something needed for such a degree?  However, if it is something that deals with math, to such a scale, then, I would agree: it would be a "lesser degree" but if it isn't really applicable to the degree -- then why would it be less?

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I haven't looked at any IQ tests recently, but I would be surprised if there was a huge math section. Like I said before, IQ should not measure knowledge but the ability to reason. The relationship to math would be that understanding math requires using logic. I don't believe that understanding math is crucial to intelligence but the ability to use logic is crucial. The ability to use both deductive and inductive reasoning is an example of intelligence.

I have taken quite a few in my life, some I was forced to take while in school 'cause some things I would do would show I had a high intelligence yet in many years in school, I flunked everything[1].

Mainly every single one with the exception of a few[2] mainly dealt with math, or some form of math. 

This is what I want you to do.  Go to google or yahoo or whatever search engine you use, and type in "IQ test" (in quotes) and take the various tests provided and you come back here and tell me how many of them dealt less in math than more.

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I think it would be counterproductive to require children to only learn those subjects in which they excel.

I agree and disagree with this statement.  I agree that children at a learning age (from birth to say 12 to 14) should be taught the basics of everything but when they come to a certain age, where they're going to have to survive in a world that usually pushes them down rather than helps them up (not everyone who is able to go to college can afford to go, and not everyone who does go to college should actually be attending) should find the subjects and skills that they excell at, and focus mainly on those things so when they go out into the "real world", they won't be lost as much.

When I was a child, all I wanted to do was to be in the U.S. Navy.  From when I was 7 or 8 all the way up to the car accident that wrecked my chances of ever being in any armed forces[3].  My preparation in life was to only do that but when that car accident happened; after that, I had nothing to fall on.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but if the educational system I went through cared at all for the learning process of the students[4] then perhaps I would have learned I had other skills that I could have learned.  Many children, and current (and past) adults have gone through similar tribulations.

I find the educational system for children in the U.S. to be just a babysitter.

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An argument could be made that we don't need to teach literature, for example, because it won't help a person succeed in life. I think it would be sad if children weren't exposed to the great works of previous generations.

Teaching literature is fine however most people who teach it do not teach the mechanics of it, or even, for that matter, the value.  But literature isn't or shouldn't be (in my opinion) a requirement.  It should be an elective.  English should be a requirement (or whatever language is used where ever one learns a particular subject in that particular society), but literature shouldn't.  Just as I feel P.E.[5] shouldn't be a requirement.

Math (to a point[6]
History (to a point)
Science (to a point)
English (or whatever language in one's particular country/society)

That's it. 

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As far as you personally having trouble with math, it is probably due to the method used to teach you.

Everyone always assumes such -- they are all wrong.  I know my difficulty with math.  I have the ability to memorize large sequences of numbers.  Most recently I memorized 26 numbers in less than 2 seconds[7]. Sometimes all I have to do is look at them, not read them, and I automatically know them by heart.  But my ability to memorize numbers has nothing to do with calculating numbers or figuring out complex answers to maths.  They are separate but many people are under the delusion that they aren't; and that's the problem that teachers and/or math tudors (or what not) had with me.  They stopped blaming the disability of me being able to do the problem, and starting blaming me, entirely.  I was being lazy.  I just didn't care.  I wasn't paying enough attention to them.  I wasn't listening.  It was all my fault.

Then I found this guy, regular guy, who helped me out a few years ago.  And, he found that I'm not bad at math it's just my brain calculates the problems at a slower rate than the average person.  So, he gave me series of tests.  First he gave me basic maths at a normal pace; which I graded high on.  Then he gave me harder maths at a normal pace; which I graded low on.  Then he broke down each section of the varying problems, gave them to me separately, and then told me to take all the time I needed, and then timed me.  It took me 2 and half hours to complete 10 questions, and I only got one incorrect.  He told me that I'm not "bad at math", I'm just "slow at math".  But since certain tests one takes (such as IQ tests or various tests for school etc.,) deals at a certain time-limit, I'm doom to fail them all.  Therefore, I'm bad at math in the eyes of society.

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That is why I believe that all children should be taught all subjects until they are mature enough to determine what they want to do with their lives.

Maturity based on age is a myth. A fallacy.

-Nam

-Nam
 1. purposely -- which is how they caught on
 2.  and I am actually referring to 1-3 of them
 3. I know, I tried -- also, the accident was my fault so I only have myself to blame
 4. in which most of them did not
 5. Physical Education which in many places teaches nothing
 6. why do I need to know trigonometry to obtain a high school diploma or equivelant?
 7. the amount it took to read all the numbers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #132 on: September 29, 2011, 02:59:57 AM »
Wouldn't that depend on the particular field of what the "degree" is in?  I mean, if, say it was a degree in English; is calculus really something needed for such a degree?  However, if it is something that deals with math, to such a scale, then, I would agree: it would be a "lesser degree" but if it isn't really applicable to the degree -- then why would it be less?


This is what I want you to do.  Go to google or yahoo or whatever search engine you use, and type in "IQ test" (in quotes) and take the various tests provided and you come back here and tell me how many of them dealt less in math than more.

I agree and disagree with this statement.  I agree that children at a learning age (from birth to say 12 to 14) should be taught the basics of everything but when they come to a certain age, where they're going to have to survive in a world that usually pushes them down rather than helps them up (not everyone who is able to go to college can afford to go, and not everyone who does go to college should actually be attending) should find the subjects and skills that they excell at, and focus mainly on those things so when they go out into the "real world", they won't be lost as much.

When I was a child, all I wanted to do was to be in the U.S. Navy.  From when I was 7 or 8 all the way up to the car accident that wrecked my chances of ever being in any armed forces[1].  My preparation in life was to only do that but when that car accident happened; after that, I had nothing to fall on.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but if the educational system I went through cared at all for the learning process of the students[2] then perhaps I would have learned I had other skills that I could have learned.  Many children, and current (and past) adults have gone through similar tribulations.

I find the educational system for children in the U.S. to be just a babysitter.


Teaching literature is fine however most people who teach it do not teach the mechanics of it, or even, for that matter, the value.  But literature isn't or shouldn't be (in my opinion) a requirement.  It should be an elective.  English should be a requirement (or whatever language is used where ever one learns a particular subject in that particular society), but literature shouldn't.  Just as I feel P.E.[3] shouldn't be a requirement.

Math (to a point[4]
History (to a point)
Science (to a point)
English (or whatever language in one's particular country/society)

That's it. 


Then I found this guy, regular guy, who helped me out a few years ago.  And, he found that I'm not bad at math it's just my brain calculates the problems at a slower rate than the average person.  So, he gave me series of tests.  First he gave me basic maths at a normal pace; which I graded high on.  Then he gave me harder maths at a normal pace; which I graded low on.  Then he broke down each section of the varying problems, gave them to me separately, and then told me to take all the time I needed, and then timed me.  It took me 2 and half hours to complete 10 questions, and I only got one incorrect.  He told me that I'm not "bad at math", I'm just "slow at math".  But since certain tests one takes (such as IQ tests or various tests for school etc.,) deals at a certain time-limit, I'm doom to fail them all.  Therefore, I'm bad at math in the eyes of society.

Maturity based on age is a myth. A fallacy.

-Nam

-Nam
 1. I know, I tried -- also, the accident was my fault so I only have myself to blame
 2. in which most of them did not
 3. Physical Education which in many places teaches nothing
 4. why do I need to know trigonometry to obtain a high school diploma or equivelant?

First, since my daughter doesn't have to take calculus and her sister did, that means that her sister had to work harder to get her degree, so if I were an employer I would take that into account. Neither of them majored in anything that required math. Traditional colleges in the US all have a general education requirement because colleges have historically been about education rather than job preparation. Recently a few technical schools have started offering Bachelor's degrees. In these technical schools, there is no general education requirement, so people who have trouble in certain subjects, can get a degree without having to take those classes. However, since they avoided taking those classes, their degrees are less valuable than the degrees from real colleges and universities. Some employers may only care about the skills the employee has that apply directly to the job, but the implication will always be there that the person with the university education is smarter than the technical school graduate. There has always been a hierarchy of the value of degrees - the more prestigious the school that issued the degree the more valuable of the degree. I think this is only right because the reason that those schools are prestigious is because the education they provide is more challenging and more comprehensive (their graduates have greater knowledge). You can look at the graduates of those universities and see Nobel prize winners, presidents, and others who were tops in their field.
Any IQ tests you are liable to find on the internet are not scientific tests. My oldest daughter had an IQ test at age 7. It was administered one on one. It was very time-consuming and expensive to administer so the school only tested the children who were identified by their teachers as being exceptional. Let me reiterate - when I studied IQ testing in college, I learned that any IQ test taken after age 16 is inaccurate, because after that age, you are measuring knowledge rather than the ability to learn.
I don't believe that a child at age 12 or 14 is mature enough to determine which path in life they want to take. During puberty, many children become so involved in exploring relationships with the opposite sex that school is their lowest priority. The American educational system already allows for children who plan on attending college to take college preparatory classes and for the children who aren't planning on attending college to take vocational classes. Our local high school even allows teenagers to get jobs and get school credit for working. When I was in school, the phone company offered a class to train students to become telephone operators with guaranteed jobs after graduation. Schools offer classes in auto mechanics and similar subjects to help teenagers to develop some skills before they graduate.
Prior to a few years ago, the highest math level required was pre-Algebra. They recently changed it to Algebra. Some children ended up taking Algebra every year because they could never pass it. The education czars upped the math requirement because they thought that algebra was a useful for everyone, not just those who were planning on going to college. I use algebra all the time for reducing recipes, calculating medicine doses, determining earnings, figuring out my taxes, etc. As far as I know, the school system in California has never required trigonometry.
Due to your car accident, you have an understanding of why you shouldn't limit anyone's educational choices at too young of an age. I know of someone who wanted to go into the Coast Guard after graduation. Three months before graduation, he participated in a prank that involved graffiti, which is now a felony here. As a felon, the Coast Guard was no longer an option for him.
Your blanket statement "I find the educational system for children in the U.S. to be just a babysitter" takes generalization to the extreme. If the educational system in the U.S. does nothing more than babysit, how do you explain the high scores that my daughter and others scored on college admissions tests? How would the colleges be able to determine who was qualified to attend college if the schools just babysat rather than teach? How do explain that nearly everyone in this country who were part of the educational system between the ages of 7 and 40 can read, write and do simple arithmetic? How familiar are you with the American educational system? With your use of the word "maths" I would assume you are British.
I had three children who all went through the public school system. Some teachers were fantastic; a few were terrible. I am eternally grateful to the fantastic ones, especially my son's kindergarten and first grade teachers. My son had some problems and without the dedicated efforts of those two teachers, he would have had a much harder time learning to read and learning to socialize with his classmates. Years later, he had a teacher who worked with him after school every day to make sure he would pass her class. These teachers didn't have to be so dedicated. Nearly every teacher I know uses his or her own money to buy things for their classrooms that the school district budget doesn't include. For two years, the public school system provided my exceptional child with an enriched classroom environment designed to provide a challenging and stimulating educational experience for extremely intelligent children.
As far as a child who has the problems with math you did, in the US there is a thing called an Individual Education Program(IEP). Parents, teachers, school psychologists and any other experts that are needed determine if a child needs a special accommodation. This can be anything from excusing a child with asthma from having to run during P.E., allowing children to have unlimited time to complete tests that are timed for other students, making sure a child with vision problems has large print materials, providing speech therapy for children with delayed speech problems, occupational therapy for children who have trouble gripping a pencil, providing a sign-language translator for a deaf child, adjustment of the curriculum for a dyslexic child, etc. Once a child receives an IEP, it becomes reevaluated every year. If necessary, the IEP will continue to apply even in college. I know of one person who was allowed unlimited time to take the SAT because she suffered from anxiety during timed tests.
I think you may have contradicted yourself when you suggested that after age 12 or 14 a child should find the subjects at which they excel and focus on those, and then stated that "Maturity based on age is a fallacy." I agree that age does not equal maturity, which is why I think that such a monumental decision as what am I going to do the rest of my life shouldn't be made by a pre-teen.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 03:05:01 AM by oversee »

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #133 on: September 29, 2011, 11:26:32 AM »
What is intelligence anyway? Is it one's ability to retain and apply info, or does it have more to do with a person's ability to "get it?" I would argue that it is a combo of both and that it is not completely innate. A great deal of our intelligence comes from the info that is available and presented to us. Those with more access are then likely to be more intelligent as we do not operate on equal playing fields.
An additional point about intellignece that I feel often gets overlooked is one's ability to get others to "get it." Being able to teach, motivate, and move others to action is a real power that not everyone has and though these abilities can be taught to an extent, it seems that these qualities are present in certain individuals from birth or an early age.

Offline Nam

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #134 on: September 30, 2011, 09:41:50 AM »
Quote from: oversee Reply #132 on: Yesterday at 02:59:57 AM
First, since my daughter doesn't have to take calculus and her sister did, that means that her sister had to work harder to get her degree, so if I were an employer I would take that into account.

How would this "employer" even have knowledge of such a thing?

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...degrees are less valuable than the degrees from real colleges and universities.

Are you implying that Technical schools are fake?

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However, since they avoided taking those classes, their degrees are less valuable than the degrees from real colleges and universities. Some employers may only care about the skills the employee has that apply directly to the job, but the implication will always be there that the person with the university education is smarter than the technical school graduate.

I could name two Technical schools off the top of my head that would make that statement incorrect: M.I.T.[1] and Georgia Tech[2] -- the former school is highly prestigious yet is still a "technical" school when you get down to it.

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I think this is only right because the reason that those schools are prestigious is because the education they provide is more challenging and more comprehensive (their graduates have greater knowledge). You can look at the graduates of those universities and see Nobel prize winners, presidents, and others who were tops in their field.

Bullshit.  I can get the same educational value as the students there at my local library or on the internet and it won't cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition.  It's like saying Nike is a better shoe than a generic brand because it costs so much money.  Ridiculous.

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If the educational system in the U.S. does nothing more than babysit, how do you explain the high scores that my daughter and others scored on college admissions tests?

When I was in 11th grade we had[3] to apply to colleges, even though some of us, or many of us based on where I went to high school at (an urban area) were never even going to go to college based on the fact that most of us could not afford to pay for such a thing (or our parents).  I applied to 4 colleges.  I got into 2 of them.  By the time I was a Senior in high school my GPA was 1.5.  I ceased doing my work at some point in 10th grade and by 11th I did absolutely nothing.  However, I took a test in high school, and the 2 schools that accepted me based their decision on that test, and not my grades in school.  Now, stating this doesn't discount your quoted statement above but the educational system had nothing at all to do with my acceptance into those two colleges[4] -- so, what was the point of all those years in school?  The educational system I went through taught me nothing; I was passed from one grade to the next even though I continuously got D's and F's in most of my classes ('til high school where I figured out a system by getting an A or a B in the first semester and flunking the second semester I could still pass the year with a C or a D), so I obviously didn't learn anything from them.  So, why were they there but to babysit me, and really the other students that went to the same school(s) as I did?  Much of what they taught us were outdated, or even at times wrong; especially in History class, and by the time the educational system got better in my state it was too late for all the rest of us who was left by the wayside.  And, even those who did well in school, and went to college most likely fell by the wayside there since they weren't really updated on current events and histories etc., such a system is frequent in poorer states[5] and states that feel education should only be reserved for certain people -- and people like me, the poor, aren't that kind.

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How do explain that nearly everyone in this country who were part of the educational system between the ages of 7 and 40 can read, write and do simple arithmetic? How familiar are you with the American educational system? With your use of the word "maths" I would assume you are British.

Reading and writing and doing simple arithmetic doesn't mean shit in a country that states that "education" is for everyone and yet only those who can get scholarships, and are rich seem to get the best of it while the rest of us seem to starve.  Which is why I'm self-taught in the things I know; 'cause the educational system I went through was shit.  I know the american educational system quite well since that's where I got my "education". Just because I use "maths" (infrequently) doesn't make me British.  What if I wrote "colour" would still assume such?

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As far as a child who has the problems with math you did, in the US there is a thing called an Individual Education Program(IEP). Parents, teachers, school psychologists and any other experts that are needed determine if a child needs a special accommodation.

Yes, where I grew up that class room was called Special Ed[6] and Itermedial, the latter being for the "troubled" kids.  Please, nonsense.  I guess "we" just grew up in two different United States of America's.

-Nam
 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 2. Georgia Institute of Technology
 3. they literally made us do it
 4. University of Florida, and Miami University -- the latter I had no intention of wanting to go to but the former I did
 5. I do not live in a poor state
 6. education

Offline oversee

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When I was talking about Technical Schools, I was referring to trade schools like ITT and Heald, which teach job skills. There is a joke about ITT. One guy says, "I got into ITT." The other guy says,"What did you have to do, open the door?" There are no admission requirements for these schools. All you have to do is pay and you're in. Obviously MIT is one of the top educational institutions in the world (actually it is ranked #5 out of American universities, just behind the California Institute of Technology). You have to take general education classes at MIT and you need top grades and high scores on admissions tests to get admitted. Just because the word Technology is in the name doesn't mean it is the same as trade schools. I am pretty sure you knew what I meant and are just nit-picking now. And yes, I am stating, not just implying, that trade schools are not real colleges.

You might get the same educational value from libraries and the internet, but you would have to be highly motivated. There are many subjects in which you could not improve without having feedback. If you wrote your first essay on your own and never received any feedback, how would you know which of your skills needed improvement? I guess you could consider that discussing things on a forum like this is teaching you debate skills, but I doubt it would prepare you well for an oral debate. There are always a few people who are able to pass the bar without attending law school but that is very rare. I don't know of anyplace in America where you can get a job as a doctor without a medical degree. I don't know of anyone who would want to go to a doctor who didn't have a medical degree. There are plenty of jobs that you can't get no matter how qualified you think you are unless you have the degree. This is the real world. I didn't create the system. I just know that I have to play by the rules if I want to succeed in certain ways. The statistics show that people with college degrees earn more than high school graduates, and those with graduate degrees earn more than those with bachelor's degrees. You can argue all you want about how your self-education is just as valuable, but there aren't many employers who are going to take your word for it, or give you elaborate tests to see if you really are well-educated, when they can just hire the applicant who has the degree.

No offense to you but it is very easy to be accepted to colleges in Florida. You would not have been accepted at any California state college or university (which is why a California degree is worth more than a Florida degree). The California admission requirements include the applicants' GPA besides their scores on the SAT, which I assume is not the test you took when you applied for college since you have to pay for it and it is administered by an independent company outside of school hours.

Obviously you are very bitter about your educational experiences. When my son had trouble in school, I had to be very pushy to make sure he got the help he needed.  Not all parents do this. We got help from the school district before he turned 4. In your case, even though the school system failed you, you were also responsible for making an effort. If you weren't willing to try to learn, then it is not entirely the school's fault. You are only looking it from your point of view. From my point of view, the troublemakers and the kids who didn't try disrupted my ability to learn.

The school system that my children went through was much more responsive to children's needs than the system I went through. They implemented a lot of programs that made the teachers responsible if the children didn't learn the curriculum. They added the High School Exit Exam. If you can't pass it, you don't get a diploma. I am only familiar with schools in California. I am aware that the education in some states is sub-par. Even in those states, there are high achievers who are motivated to get the best education that they can. You have a tendency to generalize based on your own experiences rather than on facts.

I went to school in a poor area. I didn't get the best education, but I was motivated. I got straight A's. I got accepted to UCLA. When I got there, I realized that all those rich kids from Southern California had learned things in high school that I hadn't and I was expected to know these things. I had to work harder to catch up. I was offered an excellent job before I graduated college. I was offered this job because I had good grades and I was attending a prestigious school. I would not have had the career I had if I had gone to a lower ranked school.

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is not just for special education. My son had one, for speech therapy and other issues. He was in normal classes. As I explained before, one person got one for having anxiety during timed tests.

My daughters didn't get scholarships and we aren't rich. However, we felt it was important for them to go to college so they could have the best chance at success. That is why we struggle to pay what we can and the rest is paid for by student loans. My son didn't go to college, but he did  get a career that didn't require a degree - he started his own business.

Yes, if you wrote "colour", I would assume you were British. In America, we spell it "color." It is a reasonable assumption.

Offline rickymooston

Devil's advocate that I am, I found this study interesting. It was pointed out to me by a Christian.

Apparently, autistics are more proner to atheism compared to the normal population because of their being less "connected" to other humans.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/09/atheism-as-mental-deviance/
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline oversee

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Devil's advocate that I am, I found this study interesting. It was pointed out to me by a Christian.

Apparently, autistics are more proner to atheism compared to the normal population because of their being less "connected" to other humans.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/09/atheism-as-mental-deviance/
I think the fact that autistic people are more likely to be atheists could also be related to their tendency to take things literally. They have more trouble than the average person in understanding concepts that can't be proved.
It is interesting that you mentioned feeling connected to other people because I think the desire to join a church is often more related to belonging to a social group than to the belief in a deity. I have known many people who had no strong religious convictions join a church so they could meet people.

Offline curiousgirl

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Devil's advocate that I am, I found this study interesting. It was pointed out to me by a Christian.

Apparently, autistics are more proner to atheism compared to the normal population because of their being less "connected" to other humans.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/09/atheism-as-mental-deviance/

I feel the need to point out this excerpt from Ricky's article:

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I doubt this is going to surprise too many people. Additionally, we need to be careful about generalizing here. I think it seems likely that a huge proportion of high functioning autistics are atheists, but, that doesn’t mean that a huge proportion of atheists are high functioning autistics (though a larger proportion than the general population).

My bolding above. So, while it may be true that "autistics are more proner [sic] to atheism compared to the normal population," most atheists are going to be part of "the normal population," as opposed to being autistic.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline jaimehlers

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I think that if atheists are mostly autistic, there must be an awful lot of undiagnosed autistic people out there.[1]
 1. This footnote is for those who can't read sarcasm over the Internet.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline rickymooston

EDIT. missed your footnote.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 12:48:02 AM by rickymooston »
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Apparently, autistics are more proner to atheism compared to the normal population

P(atheism | autism) > P(atheism | not autistic). <--- Mathematical translation of what I said above.

Here is what I didn't say P(autistic | atheism) > 50%.

So, while it may be true that "autistics are more proner [sic] to atheism compared to the normal population," most atheists are going to be part of "the normal population," as opposed to being autistic.

And of course, Ricky, bastard that he is, was rather careful not to imply otherwise. Notice the wording that I chose above.  ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_probability <-- In case you were not exposed to the formal mathematical concept before.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Ultra

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Somehow I'm not surprised.

Realism is depressing for those who can't handle it.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Let me see if I got this straight.

Since atheist's "in general" are smarter than theists...and since most autistic's are atheists, then if you don't own a weed eater you are gay?

Or another way to put it...My IQ is 107 and I am not autistic so I must be a theist. Since I am a white male living in the southern states of America I must be Christian, most likely Baptist. Since I dropped out of high school I must be a drug addict. Since I am a drug addict I must not be married. Since I am a single, white man addicted to drugs I must be jobless. Since I am jobless I must be homeless. Since I am a drop out, drug addicted homeless man I must occasionally sell my body for money. Since I am a single, white, drug addicted male prostitute who doesn't own a home I must not own a weed eater. But on the plus side, even tho I suck dick for crack I know that when I die I wont spend eternity burning with a bunch of autistic atheists!

I think I got this logic thing licked.
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@jayb...LOL.  :laugh: