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Main Discussion Zone => Science => Topic started by: curiousgirl on September 17, 2011, 03:23:15 PM

Title: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 17, 2011, 03:23:15 PM
Not sure if this has been covered in the forum before, but an evolutionary psychologist in London conducted a very interesting study:

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-26/health/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence_1_sexual-behaviors-liberalism-exclusivity?_s=PM:HEALTH (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-26/health/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence_1_sexual-behaviors-liberalism-exclusivity?_s=PM:HEALTH)

Quote
Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs.

However, here comes the tricky part of the article (my bolding):

Quote
The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be.

IMO, it's like they automatically assume atheists will stereotype theists or vice versa after reading this. However, their study does suggest that atheists are smarter. What do you guys make of this?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: One Above All on September 17, 2011, 03:28:21 PM
It makes sense. (Most) atheists analyze evidence and conclude that there are no gods and liberals understand that people should have the right to state what happens to their own bodies
Also, how is 6-11 points "not stunning"? I always thought that any difference in IQ above 5 points was significant
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 17, 2011, 03:29:41 PM
Yes, I agree about the points. 11 points can take you from average to mildly gifted.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nick on September 17, 2011, 04:39:26 PM
Rational thought will do that for you.

Lets see who is smarter...(A) a magic man in the sky made man out of dirt and woman out of a rib and got mad because a talking snake made the woman eat an apple. or (B) life evolved in the universe and evolution took off with conditions for it here on Earth.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 07:19:26 AM
Rational thought will do that for you.

I don't think a lot of intelligence is required to conclude there isn't a God.

To the contrary, some really intelligent people I know, have very elaborate mental exercises to get up their belief. I've met some downright geniuses with insane beliefs.

I'm not a big believer in IQs. That is to say, i suspect its a simplistic measure of intelligence quite easily bised by background. Intelligence probably involves many aspects

I'm also very suspicious about studies like this. Designing them properly is not trivial.

Many atheists I've observed don't appear more rational than theists. they still react on gut triggers to a number of things, just like theists do.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 09:34:21 AM
I don't think a lot of intelligence is required to conclude there isn't a God.

Got that right.

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To the contrary, some really intelligent people I know, have very elaborate mental exercises to get up their belief. I've met some downright geniuses with insane beliefs.

Note the words insane and elaborate in your statement. That does not entail rational. Also, you are speaking in vagueries.

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I'm not a big believer in IQs. That is to say, i suspect its a simplistic measure of intelligence quite easily bised by background. Intelligence probably involves many aspects

While I agree that intelligence does involve many aspects (see Gardner's Multiple Intelligences),  I will address the background issue through the study below by showing that measuring information processing ability is a fair way to measure overall intelligence.

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I'm also very suspicious about studies like this. Designing them properly is not trivial.

Agreed. The US Army has even looked into this through scientific research:


http://www.hqda.army.mil/ari/pdf/TR_1225.pdf

From their Technical Report (my bolding): "The significance of the research is that it provides further evidence to
evaluate a theory that defines intelligence as information processing ability (Fagan, 1992, 2000).
Current research on a theory of intelligence as information processing finds racial differences in
IQ to be due to cultural factors. A test of information processing is the first valid, culture-fair test
of intelligence.
"

So it depends on what is measured as "intelligence" in an IQ test in order for the test to be valid. I wouldn't write off an IQ test as quickly as you did.

Quote
Many atheists I've observed don't appear more rational than theists. they still react on gut triggers to a number of things, just like theists do.

OK, it is possible for both groups of people to be reactive. However, when it comes to arguments, theists (especially on this forum) usually have theirs picked apart because they are trying to support an argument for the existence of an imaginary being (aka God). Or do you think that is rational, Ricky?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 19, 2011, 09:46:44 AM
You guys do realize that the 6-point difference was from an average of 97 for religious people to an average of 103 for atheistic people, right?  Please also note that the 11-point difference was from an average of 95 for the very conservative, to an average of 106 for the very liberal.

Neither of those are what I would consider "very stunning".  Anywhere in the IQ range of 90 to 109 falls squarely in the 'average' range, which covers 50% of all humans.  Furthermore, IQ is best described as a measure of "academic intelligence".  It is not a good measure of overall intelligence, nor is it something that should be taken at face value based on one study.  Furthermore, if I'm understanding the study correctly, the IQ tests were done when they were in school, whereas the judgments about atheist/religious and conservative/liberal were done when they were adults.  In other words, there's no way to really tell where they stood philosophically when they were in school, or what their IQ results might have been when they were adults.  And there's no way to tell how they might have changed over that six or seven year period of time.

Also, I'd caution against the idea that this has anything to do with rational or irrational thought.  IQ is not a good descriptor for anything except a person's ability to do well on an intelligence test.  A person with an extremely high IQ can still do poorly in real life; a person with a low-average IQ can excel in real life through hard work and discipline.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 10:10:01 AM
Jaime, this is not the only study that concludes that atheists have slightly higher IQs than theists (my bolding):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence)

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In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of white American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief. His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence demonstrated that on average, Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions. [4] "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor.[5]
 
The relationship between countries' belief in a god and average Intelligence Quotient, measured by Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg.[6]Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. [6] The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints. Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.

Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all... higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.”

Commenting on the study in The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God." [7]

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Samuelxcs on September 19, 2011, 10:51:58 AM
It should be obvious that atheists have higher IQ's, theists are imbeciles that want to worship a made up God, maybe they have good reasons...but then again...
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on September 19, 2011, 01:44:17 PM
To the OP, when a non-biased study is done; which this could be -- not stating it isn't --  but, as I was saying, when a non-biased study is done when both sides of the coin is represented by both sides of the coin, then I may tend to agree with such things.  'Til then...

-Nam
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on September 19, 2011, 01:47:43 PM
I saw a movie last night, it was a western called Desperate Mission (1969) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066987/) that, one of the characters states [paraphrasing], "...the poor usually turn to their faith [religion] because that's all they have to look forward to in their life...".  Or something like that.

I found that to be profound, especially coming from a tv movie from the 1960's.

-Nam
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 19, 2011, 04:31:34 PM
What is intelligence really a function of? Is it one's capacity or is it related to what one's capacity is filled with and used for, in other words, doesn't the knowledge and experiences one has access to go a long way in determining how much "intelligence" one has?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 04:35:39 PM
TOT, read my earlier post with the link to the military research. The fair way to measure intelligence, no matter what one's background is, is to define it as information processing ability.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 19, 2011, 04:56:08 PM
TOT, read my earlier post with the link to the military research. The fair way to measure intelligence, no matter what one's background is, is to define it as information processing ability.

Interesting read, but what I don't get is how information processing ability can be objectively verified or how can this processing ability differ from individual to individual where no illness (innately limiting factor) is present.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 05:01:46 PM
is to define it as information processing ability.

Notice that i didn't say "intelligence can't be measured" but I suspect that measuring in a single number sounds artificial. I also suspect measuring people's religious beliefs leaves a considerable room for doubt as well. In addition, there are likely to be other factors involved that are culturally and regionally dependent.


The brain is a complex organ and I suspect that there are different aspects of said ability and some people don't have all the attributes.

Consider measuring somebody's atheletic ability. How many attributes are involved:
Flexibility
Strength
Endurance
Speed
Reaction time

Intelligence could involve: (off the top of my head)
- short term memory speed
- long term memory speed
- accuracy of memory visual, auditory
- ability to process numbers
- ability to process words (spoken/written)
- ability to solve problems in new ways (note this is hard to measure because the "new" could depend on your background and/or interests)
- knowledge depth
...

An IQ test will be influence by all of the above but it hides a lot of factors.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 05:08:36 PM
An excerpt from the army study:

Quote
Practically, measuring new learning of initially unknown terms allows for a wealth of items for the creation of alternate forms of
culture-fair tests of new learning.

In other words, the subjects were taught new information that none of them previously knew, then were tested on if they had processed that info correctly.
TOT and Ricky, what other objective ways (backed by evidence) would you support to measure intelligence? I have already provided the most culturally fair, objective way supported by scientific research that I can find. Yet you still criticize it.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Historicity on September 19, 2011, 05:20:21 PM
Quote
The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be.

"I can safely say, my IQ is better than 3 standard deviations above average," said one of the geek candidates on Ashton Kutcher's Beauty and the Geek.

From reading the comments above I'm the only one who gets his joke.

Which is?  He was simply stating the definition of an IQ of 130.

100 IQ is not a quantity of something you have.  You do not have an IQ.  IQ is where you are in the population that was tested.  100 IQ is not only average it is the designation of average.

There are 5 correct definitions of "average".  That makes it a colloquial term unacceptably murky in statistics.  In the above text I meant the arithmetic mean.  Since intelligence is normally distributed[1] the median and the mean will be the same.

Having tabulated a population[2] we can calculate the standard deviation[3].

The same decision to call the mean IQ 100 included a decision to call the standard deviation 10.

A concrete fact to understand this is that 68% of the population have IQs from 90 to 110 because in a normal distribution[4] the standard deviations next to the mean take in 34%.

The researcher's research sounds to me like a waste.   People who go to college have been filtered for higher IQ.  They wouldn't have been admitted.  In college they get, for instance, the details of geology and the vast number of known things about it for which creation has no explanation.  They will learn the claims of other religions.  It is well known that makes some percentage of college students into atheists. 

We have had a number of fanatical believers who have dedicated fine intelligence into detailed apologetics.  You can be warped and intelligent. 

[wiki]Standard_deviation[/wiki]
[wiki]Normal_distribution[/wiki]

(I had a couple semesters of statistics in college.  Can't say I'm good at it but I know what I know.)

 1. A tech term in statistics which doesn't mean the same as colloquial usage.
 2. Tech term in statistics -- it means the data set, not necessarily people.
 3. I know someone with a master's degree who heard me refer to the "standard deviation of a normal population" and thought I was talking about homosexuality.
 4. Synonyms: Gaussian distribution, Mexican hat distribution, Bean distribution, etc.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 05:57:14 PM
The researcher's research sounds to me like a waste.   People who go to college have been filtered for higher IQ.  They wouldn't have been admitted.  In college they get, for instance, the details of geology and the vast number of known things about it for which creation has no explanation.  They will learn the claims of other religions.  It is well known that makes some percentage of college students into atheists. 

Students can learn that information in high school history and science classes. Evolution, geology, the history of religion and basic philosophy are all things that are taught in high school, and they are all things that would plant a seed that might lead one to question their faith if they are intelligent enough.

Also, read my last post. Do you have any evidence that there is a better, more objective way to measure intelligence? I provided the military study to address this problem, as I posted earlier.

Quote
We have had a number of fanatical believers who have dedicated fine intelligence into detailed apologetics.  You can be warped and intelligent.

OK. Let me ask, do you think that intelligence has anything to do with figuring out that God isn't real? Also, do you think that the fanatical believers' detailed apologetics were rational?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 05:59:11 PM
To the OP, when a non-biased study is done; which this could be -- not stating it isn't --  but, as I was saying, when a non-biased study is done when both sides of the coin is represented by both sides of the coin, then I may tend to agree with such things.  'Til then...

-Nam

Provide me with your version of a non-biased study if you disagree with this one.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 06:46:26 PM
TOT and Ricky, what other objective ways (backed by evidence) would you support to measure intelligence?

I suspect and I reserve the right to be totally wrong in this, that seeing "intelligence" as a single attribute isn't a valid way to look at intelligence. This is my intuition speaking; i.e., its a hunch

Processing speed sounds like something with some measure of validity but is that what's always important? Is a person's processing speed high for all tasks?  If a person has poor memory but a very high processing speed, is that person objectively intelligent? Or vice versa?

What about a person with a slow processing speed but a sharper ability perceive certain kinds of patterns? Can such people possibly exist? Or does pattern recognition come out of processing speed?

Yes, being culturally unbiased might suggest that the attrubute being measured is objective. The question is, whether or not said attribute alone is what intelligence should mean.

If I grant your definition of intelligence, I'm still shocked/surprised if the hypothesis that high processing speeds increases the likelihood of a person being an atheist is true. It may still be true. At the end fo the day, what is required to disbelieve in God? We don't see him. We see tons of misery in the world. I think, morons should be just as capable of coming to the non-existence conclusion as geniuses.

Again, i was speaking for intuition when I suggested that I suspect the validity of this study. It isn't a matter of this study per se but any study. There are a lot of experimental design errrors that can be made here. The study is something that is inherently difficult to execute properly.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 06:53:10 PM
Students can learn that information in high school history and science classes. Evolution, geology, the history of religion and basic philosophy are all things that are taught in high school, and they are all things that would plant a seed that might lead one to question their faith if they are intelligent enough.


Depends on what the foundation of their faith is and what they believe. A while ago, a study by skeptic magazine showed the co-relation between general science knowledge (measured by knowledge of facts) and supernatural beliefs didn't make a difference. Their pool was undergraduate students at a major college.

You don't need to look deep into science to doubt God. Some people use their intelligence to construct elaborate ways that religion is true.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 06:57:38 PM
At the end fo the day, what is required to disbelieve in God? We don't see him. We see tons of misery in the world. I think, morons should be just as capable of coming to the non-existence conclusion as geniuses.

If only it were so...

Quote
Again, i was speaking for intuition when I suggested that I suspect the validity of this study. It isn't a matter of this study per se but any study. There are a lot of experimental design errrors that can be made here. The study is something that is inherently difficult to execute properly.

Difficult does not entail invalid. It's fine to have an intuition, and to use it, but how does that disprove the study?

Quote
You don't need to look deep into science to doubt God. Some people use their intelligence to construct elaborate ways that religion is true.

Does that mean that their elaborately constructed "arguments" are rational or supported by science? Not necessarily.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 07:45:53 PM
If only it were so...

It is so. Stupid atheists most definitely exist. Why does anybody believe in God in the first place? Some people don't even believe that we went to the moon.

Look at the 911 conspirators.

Quote
Does that mean that their elaborately constructed "arguments" are rational or supported by science? Not necessarily.

Well, in the case of the two people I had in mind, they had expert knowledge in some difficult fields (electrical engineering) and mathematics. I don't think they were experts in biology.  ;)   Michael Behe is probably a genius and so is William Demsky.

The details of modern science are extremely complex. My phsyicist grandfather made the claim that he knew nothing about physics. He meant it. The field is so vast.

At the end of the day, we are all taking a huge number of results on faith.

Unanswered questions exist. You can take some favorite theist proofs such as Kalam. The argument has holes but it isn't totally brain dead. Some intelligent people take this as a sign post to God and proceed ahead based on fiath and personal experience.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 08:43:24 PM
It is so. Stupid atheists most definitely exist. Why does anybody believe in God in the first place? Some people don't even believe that we went to the moon.

Look at the 911 conspirators.

I understand that stupid atheists exist. I simply disagreed that " morons should be just as capable of coming to the non-existence conclusion as geniuses." Obviously, they have different levels of intelligence, hence we differentiate by calling them "morons" and "geniuses". Stupid atheists may not have necessarily thought through the nonexistence of God in a logical manner. Unfortunately, not every atheist is rational.

At the end of the day, we are all taking a huge number of results on faith.

I can't agree with this statement. Especially the "we are all" part. I prefer to have some sort of evidence or logical reason rather than relying on faith to believe something.

Quote
Unanswered questions exist. You can take some favorite theist proofs such as Kalam. The argument has holes but it isn't totally brain dead. Some intelligent people take this as a sign post to God and proceed ahead based on fiath and personal experience.

If the argument has holes, it is invalid. Therefore, if they "take this as a sign post to God and proceed ahead based on faith and personal experience," then they are being irrational.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 19, 2011, 10:14:19 PM
One distinction in the discussion is that theists are making empty claims to which they have no facts or evidence to support.  They are asserting their belief in something imaginary, an idea created by ancient humans and carried forward through time.  They are not thinking at all, they are making shit up, or simply believing shit they were told. 

The atheist, regardless of IQ, or knowledge in any specific area of expertise, is saying, "pics or it didn't happen."  To which the theists have continued their unfortunate stance of faith and scripture and ancient dogma...yadda yadda yadda, mumble mumble razzle fratz. 

It's a bullshit story told throughout history, that most modern humans know is pure crap, but are too afraid to consider, or talk about, or accept from the humans who are not afraid to do so - the atheists.

We rock, they don't.  And we all know it, and it probably pisses them off to no end, knowing that we have always had the upper hand.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 19, 2011, 10:22:39 PM
We rock, they don't.  And we all know it, and it probably pisses them off to no end, knowing that we have always had the upper hand.

And we have slightly higher IQs.  ;)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 19, 2011, 10:33:18 PM
We rock, they don't.  And we all know it, and it probably pisses them off to no end, knowing that we have always had the upper hand.

And we have slightly higher IQs.  ;)

Yes, we do.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 19, 2011, 11:25:22 PM
Stupid atheists may not have necessarily thought through the nonexistence of God in a logical manner.

Precisely. I never said the same quality of thought was involved in both cases. Personality may be another factor in believing in God in the first place. If you never believe in God, no intellectual feat is required to disbelieve in God.  The best argument for the non-existence of God is Russel's tea pot. It is not a very complex argument.  It can be understood by somebody with the brain of pea, if that person is unbiased on the topic.

Quote
Unfortunately, not every atheist is rational.

More precisely, people are not necessarily rational about every aspect of their lives. Most people have biases. The book the political brain may partially discuss why some people are religious or not. It discusses the psychology of bias and of belonging, in the context of politics.

(*clips out my own statement*)
Quote
I can't agree with this statement. Especially the "we are all" part. I prefer to have some sort of evidence or logical reason rather than relying on faith to believe something.

If you don't agree, you probably don't quite understand what I was trying to say. The body of knowledge of our science is too vast for any human to completely verify on his or her own. In theory, it all can be verified and is reproducible but in practice, we have to rely on the results of others without ever checking them.

For example, I believe evolution is true. I can cite some of the basic pieces of evidence involved but I've not seen said evidence gathered first hand and I don't have the background or knowledge to obtain it. At the end of the day, I have a faith in the integrity of the scientific establishment.

Now, I have a science degree and I've conducted a small number of experiments myself. My grandfather was a nuclear phsyicist and I've talked to quite a few scientists in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 20, 2011, 08:29:23 AM
The OP says that atheists score better on the IQ exam than theists do. Okay, that's nice.

Does the IQ exam cover every aspect of a person's intelligence and accurately represent it on a scale? NO.

Is it the most objective and overall best way to measure certain types of intelligence or facets of intelligence that a person may posses? YES.

Can a person who scored an IQ of 100 be more 'intelligent' than one who scored '130'?
In certain ways, YES. They can be more skilled in specific tasks, more experienced in certain situations or simply make overall better life choices. After all, Stephen Hawking is married to an abusive woman and I am not.

Einstein would probably have scored a lot higher than I would on an IQ exam. However, his language skills sucked ass. His native language was German and he spoke English slowly and with the thickest German accent you can think of.

I actually have a high ability for learning languages. I speak/read/write English, Spanish and Italian at a native level. I can also carry on conversations in Portuguese and French and read them pretty well. I also play several instruments, particularly the guitar. When it comes to language skills or shredding on the guitar, I kick Einstein's ass.

So what the hell is intelligence anyway? Processing speed? Memory? Abilities?

... and why do people insist on labeling a person as intelligent or stupid. We are all intelligent and stupid at the same time. It depends what aspect of our lives and abilities we're looking at specifically.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 20, 2011, 09:06:45 AM
I agree with Plethora here.  IQ tests are seductive; it's pleasant to think of oneself as being more intelligent (or much more intelligent) than other people, especially if they are people who we don't think highly of.  And getting that opinion 'confirmed' by an IQ test just makes it that much more certain.  But the simple fact is that an IQ test is not all that useful in any practical sense, and in some respects it actually does more harm than good.

I know someone who tested almost 20 IQ points lower than his siblings when he was a kid.  Yet now, he's the most successful of them because he didn't accept the results of that test and applied himself in ways the others didn't.  And when he was tested later, surprise surprise, his IQ was as high as any of them; he apparently just didn't deal well with the original test.

What I'm trying to say is, don't read too much into a six-point or less IQ difference.  Perhaps atheistic people do have a slightly higher IQ score than religious people, but so what?  What matters is what a person does with their life, not whether they happen to score a little better on an intelligence test that's as limited as the IQ test is.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: naemhni on September 20, 2011, 09:21:14 AM
But the simple fact is that an IQ test is not all that useful in any practical sense, and in some respects it actually does more harm than good.

That's true, especially if you tend to be insecure.

I looked into Mensa a while back, found out that I qualified, and joined.  I enjoy my membership and get a lot out of it, but sometimes, insecurity would get the best of me, and I would find myself looking up other high-IQ societies that have higher IQ cutoffs than Mensa does.  "Hmm, my SAT scores got me into Mensa, but they're not good enough for Triple Nine.  I bet I could do well enough on the LSAT to get into Triple Nine, though.  I wonder where I could take the test?  Is there some way I could qualify for Mega or Prometheus?"

That doesn't happen nearly as often anymore, since I've grown quite a bit in this area and have better perspective on things that are and aren't important.  The tendency does come back every once in a while, but it's easily ignored.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 20, 2011, 09:31:10 AM
*Sigh*

I keep getting all these replies criticizing IQ tests. Again, can anyone else provide a more culture-fair and objective way to test for intelligence than the army study I provided? If you don't believe IQ tests are that useful, do you at least agree that intelligence is?

Also, Ricky, if you do not believe that much intelligence is required to disbelieve in God, what about the people who came to that conclusion simply by using their intelligence to be rational? I think that personality may be a factor for atheism, yes, but to firmly grasp the reasons why God isn't real, rather than simply relying on one argument, such as Russell's tea pot, one must critically analyze information (such as the contradictory verses in the Bible, evolution vs creationism, etc). Otherwise, when unbiased theists ask for valid reasons for your atheism, if you can't provide an intelligent answer, they may not take you seriously. Who would you take more seriously? A person who became an atheist based on personality, or someone who really thought through why they should be an atheist?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 20, 2011, 10:40:04 AM
*Sigh*

I keep getting all these replies criticizing IQ tests. Again, can anyone else provide a more culture-fair and objective way to test for intelligence than the army study I provided? If you don't believe IQ tests are that useful, do you at least agree that intelligence is?

The army study you provided tested for the likelihood of a student's success in a particular scenario with a particular set of goals. It's probably the best test available for measuring those skills that are relevant to those goals.

There are other tests, like those undertaken by potential astronauts, that specifically measure a person's ability to withstand high pressure situations and working during long periods of isolation, among other things. Another set of skills for another set of scenarios and goals.

The point is, there is no single all-encompassing test that can measure every aspect of a person's "intelligence"... not even close.

Furthermore, since each set of tests applies to specific scenarios and goals, all test are therefore biased as to whatever each one defines as "success".
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 20, 2011, 11:53:49 AM
*nod*  There's also the fact that intelligence tests in general tend to measure capacity in what the test is looking for.  Don't get me wrong; capacity is useful to know.  But there's other factors which matter as well which are not specifically related to intelligence, and I don't think any intelligence test can really measure those.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 20, 2011, 12:11:26 PM

The point is, there is no single all-encompassing test that can measure every aspect of a person's "intelligence"... not even close.

Which is why I agree with the previous study that intelligence should be defined as information processing for IQ tests. How would it be practical to try to measure all aspects of intelligence?

Quote
Furthermore, since each set of tests applies to specific scenarios and goals, all test are therefore biased as to whatever each one defines as "success".

I would say that information processing is crucial to any type of intelligence (whether linguistic, musical,etc) because the better you process info, the better you learn. Whether we are talking about an astronaut or a musician, better information processing skills allow one to adapt to the environment better through learning, no matter what the individual's goals are.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Add Homonym on September 21, 2011, 02:58:03 AM
Not sure if this has been covered in the forum before, but an evolutionary psychologist in London conducted a very interesting study:

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-26/health/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence_1_sexual-behaviors-liberalism-exclusivity?_s=PM:HEALTH (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-26/health/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence_1_sexual-behaviors-liberalism-exclusivity?_s=PM:HEALTH)


The smarter you are, the more likely you are to feel in control of your life and have excess wealth for education. Education does not favour religion, because you are more likely to bump into people who look down on religion for cohesive documented reasons. The braveness by which you reject religion is part determined by your social status, and ability to cunningly defend your aberrant position by using sophisticated arguments, which may or may not be fallacious. Lower status individuals may find Christianity appealing, because it teaches against the rich, and speaks of an afterlife for stupid people: And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.




Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 21, 2011, 04:17:30 AM

The point is, there is no single all-encompassing test that can measure every aspect of a person's "intelligence"... not even close.

Which is why I agree with the previous study that intelligence should be defined as information processing for IQ tests.

I see what you're saying ... but I don't agree with defining 'intelligence' as 'information processing' even if it's specifically in the context of an IQ test. Why not just call it an 'information processing intelligence test'?

"Intelligence" on it's own is a much broader term. It isn't limited to the subject's information processing capacity.

Quote
How would it be practical to try to measure all aspects of intelligence?

It isn't practical and I never said it was. I am saying there is currently no way to measure all aspects of a person's intelligence and boil it down to a number on a scale.

The IQ test is very good at doing what it is designed to do. Unfortunately, people use it as an overall intelligence score and that can be very misleading.

Quote
I would say that information processing is crucial to any type of intelligence (whether linguistic, musical,etc) because the better you process info, the better you learn. Whether we are talking about an astronaut or a musician, better information processing skills allow one to adapt to the environment better through learning, no matter what the individual's goals are.

Yeah but information processing skills in a single individual vary greatly depending on the task at hand.

I may have a good ear for music and good coordination when it comes to playing my instruments ... but I can't dance for shit. Believe me, I've tried. I've taken lessons. I'm stiff as a board and just cannot coordinate properly.

I mean, I can play drums with a double-bass kick pedal for fuck's sake... you would think I could handle dancing!  Boggles my mind.... :o

Am I not using the same information processing capacities? Both require rhythm, keeping time and coordination... go figure.

So I'm an "intelligent musician" and a "stupid dancer". I'd like to see an IQ test explain that one to me.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 21, 2011, 04:50:28 AM
I keep getting all these replies criticizing IQ tests. Again, can anyone else provide a more culture-fair and objective way to test for intelligence than the army study I provided? If you don't believe IQ tests are that useful, do you at least agree that intelligence is?

CuriousGirl. That army attribute sounds useful and measurable. Its an aspect of what most people think of as intelligence.  ;) There exist tasks that people with this attribute perform better at; e.g., performing calculations.

Jason Lisle, the guy who uses the stupid strawman argument that logic comes from God, likely has a high army intelligence. I'm going to bet, his processing speed is very high. I'm not sure he's a better "thinker".  ;) There is a guy from my high school, Ian Juby, who has a high IQ and likely a good processing ability. He has a mensa group on intelligent design  :o

I'm suggesting a possibility, that other aspects may exist which may not be caused by this one. The flaw, if there is a flaw would be encapsulating intelligence into a single attribute.

Do I agree intelligence is useful? Well, what you mean is, do I think identfying people of high intelligence is useful? Potentially yes but I think it would be far more useful to identify the different aspects and identify which ones apply to which sorts of tasks. Again, compare intelligence to athletic ability

Some people are all round good athletes but there do exist people who are good sprinters and poor long distance runners.

Is an IQ test is useful. There are likely tasks that people with good IQs are better at than other people. If I wanted to pick a good candidate for a quiz show, I'd certainly grab somebody with a good IQ. They are probably better at Crosswords and other tasks The british army used them for cracking codes.

Quote
I think that personality may be a factor for atheism, yes, but to firmly grasp the reasons why God isn't real, rather than simply relying on one argument, such as Russell's tea pot, one must critically analyze information (such as the contradictory verses in the Bible, evolution vs creationism, etc).

Actually, curiousgirl, the other arguments are all rat holes. None of them lead anywhere really.  ;)

For example, evolution vs creationism. That is a rathole; e.g., the catholic church acknowledges that the earth is old and that evolution happened. Very few people have the background to know all the science involved in proving evolution and old earth in any detail. Its more a matter of talking points and believing that the published results of the scientific establsihment have some validity.

Contradictory verses in the bible? People have means of resolving those contradictions. A whole range of interpretations exists. Deists exist who believe in a non-biblical God who walked away



see patterns aka sign posts to the supernatural but dont acknowledge the bible. Every new interpretation becomes a wind mill.

On the otherhand, get back to Russel's point. (I concede Russel may have had a high processing ability; I'm unsure. Von Newmann did.) Why does one believe in God?

Quote
Otherwise, when unbiased theists ask for valid reasons for your atheism, if you can't provide an intelligent answer, they may not take you seriously. Who would you take more seriously? A person who became an atheist based on personality, or someone who really thought through why they should be an atheist?

Processing speed isn't the best attribute for coming up with convincing arguments there.

Given that the best arguments are really the simplest ones; i.e., shifting the burden of proof back and demanding one to "show me", ....
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Samuelxcs on September 21, 2011, 05:28:13 AM
Maybe a group of athiests and a group of thiests should get together and do an IQ test to see which group has a higher IQ. Then it and the results should be made public so they stop annoying everyone with their pathetic made up beliefs and stuff.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 21, 2011, 09:49:55 AM
curiousgirl:

Yeah but information processing skills in a single individual vary greatly depending on the task at hand.
Another case in point; I'm good at spotting errors in writing, but I am not particularly good at spotting errors in math.  Both of those are a kind of information processing, and they operate under reasonably similar principles.  Yet ability in one doesn't really translate to the other.  So how would we rate my overall ability to error-check?  Based on my ability when it comes to writing, or based on my ability when it comes to math?  Or should we average the two and take the mean value?

Whether it's the IQ test, or the military's standards, or whatever, we can't just point to a slight increase or decrease in IQ and treat it like it's especially meaningful.

Maybe a group of athiests and a group of thiests should get together and do an IQ test to see which group has a higher IQ. Then it and the results should be made public so they stop annoying everyone with their pathetic made up beliefs and stuff.
I highly doubt that religious beliefs can be debunked with an IQ test.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 10:13:12 AM
My whole point is that if atheists with higher IQs have better information processing skills, perhaps they analyze information from their environment to conclude the non-existence of God by using this ability. If theists do indeed have lower IQs, it would affect their entire information processing ability, and they may try to invent answers or accept a group answer (God) to unanswered questions (where humans came from, for example) because they do not process information by themselves (scientific explanations) as intelligently. Granted, there are those who are willfully ignorant and simply won't accept scientific evidence even if they are intelligent. My argument, however, pertains to atheists coming to the conclusion that God is non-existent because atheists are generally more intelligent than theists. When a group of people that understands something through logic and science (atheists) tries to convince a group of people that thinks they understand something when they are truly wrong (theists), I would argue that the members of the atheist group that are trying to educate the theist group are inherently more intelligent because they figured out the non-existence of God more quickly and easily than the theists. Let me give an example: Copernicus tried to educate the 16th century public about heliocentrism through his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium because they believed in geocentrism. I would argue that Copernicus was probably more intelligent than those he was trying to educate, which allowed him to be a brilliant astronomer to begin with.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 21, 2011, 12:29:19 PM
My whole point is that if atheists with higher IQs have better information processing skills, perhaps they analyze information from their environment to conclude the non-existence of God by using this ability. If theists do indeed have lower IQs, it would affect their entire information processing ability, and they may try to invent answers or accept a group answer (God) to unanswered questions (where humans came from, for example) because they do not process information by themselves (scientific explanations) as intelligently. Granted, there are those who are willfully ignorant and simply won't accept scientific evidence even if they are intelligent. My argument, however, pertains to atheists coming to the conclusion that God is non-existent because atheists are generally more intelligent than theists. When a group of people that understands something through logic and science (atheists) tries to convince a group of people that thinks they understand something when they are truly wrong (theists), I would argue that the members of the atheist group that are trying to educate the theist group are inherently more intelligent because they figured out the non-existence of God more quickly and easily than the theists. Let me give an example: Copernicus tried to educate the 16th century public about heliocentrism through his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium because they believed in geocentrism. I would argue that Copernicus was probably more intelligent than those he was trying to educate, which allowed him to be a brilliant astronomer to begin with.

Sounds like you're going out on a limb CG. This synopsis sounds in some ways simular to the predestination idea that some christian groups promote as it seems to fail at taking into consideration realistic possibility that an individual could switch from one group to the other.

Relating intelligence to what one believes can be a slippery slope as there as so many other factors that would need to be accounted for from culture, to access to information, to what the individual interests of the sampled person was, to a myriad other other things.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 21, 2011, 12:33:33 PM
Relating intelligence to what one believes can be a slippery slope

Can you demonstrate a logical and 'intelligent' argument for a god claim.. ever?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 01:05:01 PM
TOT, I realize that there are other factors for the beliefs of theists, not just their intelligence. I even mentioned one (my bolding):

Quote
Granted, there are those who are willfully ignorant and simply won't accept scientific evidence even if they are intelligent.

I was arguing that there could still be a correlation between intelligence and beliefs. Notice how I was speaking about groups, because there are exceptions to the rule for individuals.

Can you demonstrate a logical and 'intelligent' argument for a god claim.. ever?

I'm with Omen on this one. Atheists can at least provide logical arguments, which I interpret as a sign of their intelligence. I was raised going to church and apologetics seminars, and I have yet to hear a single logical argument from theists.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 21, 2011, 01:13:26 PM
Relating intelligence to what one believes can be a slippery slope

Can you demonstrate a logical and 'intelligent' argument for a god claim.. ever?

Ever get the feeling someone's following you? I digress.........

Omen, just to make sure I don't get involved in something pointless with you, please tell me that and how your line of questioning is tied in to intelligence and theism?

Now, to respond. Assuming beliefs are initially formed after logical analysis is a flawed assumption. Most people that believe in you name the deity, do so because they have been brought up and conditioned to do so. Because of this, they tend to accept what is said without questioning the logic for it. There belief in the deity is in effect equivalent to their belief that their real name is whatever mom and dad said it was and such beliefs very rarely can be related to one's intelligence. So again, relating intelligence to what one believes can be a slippery slope because other factors need to be taken into consideration.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 21, 2011, 01:20:28 PM
Omen, just to make sure I don't get involved in something pointless with you, please tell me that and how your line of questioning is tied in to intelligence and theism?

We can conclusively claim that theistic belief excludes rational reasons to believe beyond presupposed notions of belief, fallacies, or psychological dependencies.  While all of these are not exclusively the lack of intelligence, it is certain that intelligence is moot when it comes to belief.  The only other possibility is that an argument for a god belief exists that is actually 'intelligent' ( or reasonable, rational, logical, and derived from evidence ), but yet unknown.

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Now, to respond.

Now to make up pointless red herrings.

Quote
Assuming beliefs are initially formed after logical analysis is a flawed assumption.

Red Herring: Irrelevant, an intelligent reason to believe was requested, nothing was assumed or stated about what conditions lead to belief.  It does not have to be assumed to just ask a very simple question.

You absolutely did not answer my question whatsoever.

Lets try again:

Can you demonstrate a logical and 'intelligent' argument for a god claim.. ever?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 01:21:12 PM
Now, to respond. Assuming beliefs are initially formed after logical analysis is a flawed assumption. Most people that believe in you name the deity, do so because they have been brought up and conditioned to do so. Because of this, they tend to accept what is said without questioning the logic for it. There belief in the deity is in effect equivalent to their belief that their real name is whatever mom and dad said it was and such beliefs very rarely can be related to one's intelligence. So again, relating intelligence to what one believes can be a slippery slope because other factors need to be taken into consideration.

There is the ability to question what you have been spoon-fed by mom and dad, which begins in adolescence. My argument is that higher intelligence is part of what leads atheists to claim that God does not exist. Especially since they were intelligent enough to challenge what they were spoon-fed as kids. Those who do not eventually challenge these beliefs would not be quite as intelligent, IMHO.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 21, 2011, 01:34:18 PM
Quote
I'm with Omen on this one. Atheists can at least provide logical arguments, which I interpret as a sign of their intelligence. I was raised going to church and apologetics seminars, and I have yet to hear a single logical argument from theists.

Sometimes they can. It would depend on why they are not theists though. Some atheists are so because they have never been bothered with religion and are unaware of what it entails. And many, if not most theists are theists because of traditions and culture than because of reasoning.

Like you, I was raised going to apologetic seminars. I believed that the likes of Ferrell Jenkins and Don Patten and others that could be termed creationists made some very logical arguments for belief in God. I believed that way because I accepted the data they presented as being true. It sounded intelligent and they made it make sense, so I and many others believed we were in the know and could put forth an intelligent argument for the existence of our specific God. I do not believe that the are correct any longer however. The reason is because I have since been presented with information that I hadn't been presented with before that has made me question that which I once accepted on a whim. I'm no more intelligent, just more informed.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 21, 2011, 01:40:52 PM
I'm no more intelligent, just more informed.

Then it should be no problem in answering the question:

Can you demonstrate a logical and 'intelligent' argument for a god claim.. ever?

Unless of course, you're reasoning for belief is still no more relevant then what you believed before or what those 'creationists' believe.  If the reasons you claim to believe are still not supported by reason, logic, and evidence - then how can you claim that the 'creationist' were wrong?

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 01:50:05 PM
I'm no more intelligent, just more informed.

However, you were intelligent enough to process the new information correctly, which is why you don't believe the old info anymore. That was my whole point, which is why I said this earlier:

Quote
  Those who do not eventually challenge these beliefs would not be quite as intelligent, IMHO.

If you had been given that new information and had not questioned the apologetics you were presented with (that is, if willfulness was not a factor), then I would have said you were less intelligent.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 21, 2011, 05:54:52 PM
Quote
I'm with Omen on this one. Atheists can at least provide logical arguments, which I interpret as a sign of their intelligence. I was raised going to church and apologetics seminars, and I have yet to hear a single logical argument from theists.

None of the arguments on either side is tight. Atheism "wins" by burden of proof, aka russel's teapot.

In essence theists come up with sign posts to the divine and atheists are unsatisfied with any of these
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 21, 2011, 06:04:47 PM
CuriousGirl:
1) Do you think faster processing speed implies better thinking? (Think DeBono)
2) Do you think people with faster processing speed are less vulnerable to bias?

 :angel:
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 21, 2011, 06:12:11 PM
Quote
I'm with Omen on this one. Atheists can at least provide logical arguments, which I interpret as a sign of their intelligence. I was raised going to church and apologetics seminars, and I have yet to hear a single logical argument from theists.

None of the arguments on either side is tight. Atheism "wins" by burden of proof, aka russel's teapot.

You are wrong, there are not only 'two sides' and that makes you sound like fox news.  Many logical arguments against a god claim are inescapably air tight, leaving only the possibility to redefine the god claim and move the goal post rather than a proper rebuttal.  In comparison, NO theistic arguments are air tight.  No need to appeal to a middle ground that doesn't exist.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 21, 2011, 06:29:14 PM
Omen nailed it.  Sorry RM, but atheism does not require anything to be airtight.  You should know this by now, you've been around long enough!  ;D

God won't heal amputees because God is imaginary.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 21, 2011, 06:34:39 PM
Omen nailed it.  Sorry RM, but atheism does not require anything to be airtight.  You should know this by now, you've been around long enough!  ;D

God won't heal amputees because God is imaginary.

I would add that there does not exist or yet I have not had one presented to me, where an apologetic argument for a religious belief is false and a god couldn't exist anyway.  I mean two things from this:

1. Apologetic arguments are rarely philosophical or intellectual arguments for a god existing and are instead targeted rhetoric towards an audience of people who believe already.
2. There is no position as an atheist that we need accept that means a god doesn't exist and yet every philosophical argument we make about the nature of existence can be true anyway.

The reason this is so is because 'god' is such a meaningless and nebulous label for whimsical nonsense.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 21, 2011, 06:37:50 PM
Omen nailed it.  Sorry RM, but atheism does not require anything to be airtight.  You should know this by now, you've been around long enough!  ;D

God won't heal amputees because God is imaginary.

I would add that there does not exist or yet I have not had one presented to me, where an apologetic argument for a religious belief is false and a god couldn't exist anyway.  I mean two things from this:

1. Apologetic arguments are rarely philosophical or intellectual arguments for a god existing and are instead targeted rhetoric towards an audience of people who believe already.
2. There is no position as an atheist that we need accept that means a god doesn't exist and yet every philosophical argument we make about the nature of existence can be true anyway.

The reason this is so is because 'god' is such a meaningless and nebulous label for whimsical nonsense.

I usually take a harder line on this, but I don't really need to do that - it always gets me in trouble with fellow atheists!

I like my sig, that I stole from a forum member!
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 06:38:15 PM
None of the arguments on either side is tight. Atheism "wins" by burden of proof, aka russel's teapot.

Actually atheism "wins" because it is realistic. None of the theistic arguments are logically valid so far.

Quote
In essence theists come up with sign posts to the divine and atheists are unsatisfied with any of these

What sign posts are you vaguely referring to? Does this have anything to do with logic?

CuriousGirl:
1) Do you think faster processing speed implies better thinking? (Think DeBono)
2) Do you think people with faster processing speed are less vulnerable to bias?

 :angel:

Ricky, it's not only about the speed of information processing. It is the overall ability to process information in a way that you understand reality better that is truly important. Speed is significant, but I think you are missing my point. I keep repeating myself. Of course bias is a factor for theism, which is why I typed this earlier (my bolding):

Quote
If you had been given that new information and had not questioned the apologetics you were presented with (that is, if willfulness was not a factor), then I would have said you were less intelligent.

Also:
Quote
I was arguing that there could still be a correlation between intelligence and beliefs. Notice how I was speaking about groups, because there are exceptions to the rule for individuals.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 21, 2011, 07:34:27 PM
I'll have to think about how to reply. Too many cans of worms opened. I missed your bold by the way, which post?

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 21, 2011, 07:36:47 PM
... and why do people insist on labeling a person as intelligent or stupid. We are all intelligent and stupid at the same time. It depends what aspect of our lives and abilities we're looking at specifically.

Your question helps highlight the first thing that popped into my head when I read the OP. What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists? But more than that, the study reminded me of craniometry repackaged.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 21, 2011, 07:47:10 PM
Maybe a group of athiests and a group of thiests should get together and do an IQ test to see which group has a higher IQ. Then it and the results should be made public so they stop annoying everyone with their pathetic made up beliefs and stuff.

Fair enough, but just to make it interesting lets be sure that all the theists are selected from Harvard Divinity School and all the atheists are selected from the streets of Vietnam.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 21, 2011, 08:34:29 PM
... and why do people insist on labeling a person as intelligent or stupid. We are all intelligent and stupid at the same time. It depends what aspect of our lives and abilities we're looking at specifically.

Your question helps highlight the first thing that popped into my head when I read the OP. What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists? But more than that, the study reminded me of craniometry repackaged.

Yeah, so we should give these theists full and due credit for their "intelligence" about the world we live in, and the god that created and runs it?  No thanks, they are lacking in intelligence if they cannot make the leap from mythology to reality.  If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.  If the IQ test is flawed, then we can throw it out and come up with a measure that isn't flawed, or is less flawed.

Somewhere along the way, the theist is trapped in his personal beliefs, and no matter how much brain power they have, they leave it all at the door to defend their delusion, so maybe they are skewing the results?  LOL

This is an interesting topic, but we are all over the map on agreeing what intelligence means, so it's hard to discuss.  Maybe the IQ test is a bad representation, but it is a measure of something useful, so again, all other things being equal, the atheists will still come out with a higher score, most likely.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 08:46:00 PM
Yeah, so we should give these theists full and due credit for their "intelligence" about the world we live in, and the god that created and runs it?  No thanks, they are lacking in intelligence if they cannot make the leap from mythology to reality.  If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.  If the IQ test is flawed, then we can throw it out and come up with a measure that isn't flawed, or is less flawed.

Jetson, this is absolutely what I have been trying to say. Thank you for saying it better!  :)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 08:50:42 PM

I'll have to think about how to reply. Too many cans of worms opened. I missed your bold by the way, which post?


Ricky, this is the phrase that I made bold:

Quote
If you had been given that new information and had not questioned the apologetics you were presented with (that is, if willfulness was not a factor), then I would have said you were less intelligent.

I'm confused as to why you missed that, since it was in my last post. ?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 21, 2011, 08:53:50 PM
If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.
Well that's fair enough...but how many tests like this have been conducted?
Quote
Somewhere along the way, the theist is trapped in his personal beliefs,
To a certain extent so is the atheist. Atheism requires nothing more than the lack of belief in religion. It does not require that a person be well educated or even a scientist to not believe in religion. Everybody has their own personal beliefs. So what is your point? Everybody has biases. Including the people who conducted this particular survey in question. Including CuriousGirl who seems to accept the conclusion without further investigation or independent thought. On a side note, I just watched a guy get a creme pie smashed into his face while wearing a sombrero at the Mexican restaurant I am at while his girlfriend took pictures. I wonder if they are atheist or not?
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This is an interesting topic, but we are all over the map on agreeing what intelligence means, so it's hard to discuss.

True
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Maybe the IQ test is a bad representation, but it is a measure of something useful, so again, all other things being equal, the atheists will still come out with a higher score, most likely.
Whatever helps you sleep at night
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: albeto on September 21, 2011, 09:31:06 PM
To a certain extent so is the atheist. Atheism requires nothing more than the lack of belief in religion. It does not require that a person be well educated or even a scientist to not believe in religion. Everybody has their own personal beliefs. So what is your point?

The point is simply, regardless of where the theist or the atheist begin, the theist willingly embraces ignorance in order to maintain a belief system that is clearly contrary to reason.  Either one can be sharp as a noodle or dumb as a post but the theist will retard his/her intellect willfully.  They may not be able to help it for emotional reasons, but that's simply how faith operates. 
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 21, 2011, 09:32:10 PM
Including CuriousGirl who seems to accept the conclusion without further investigation or independent thought.

My bolding above. I think that was unwarranted. I provided not only the original study, but also a second study that was conducted by a different researcher in 137 countries. I could attempt to provide more studies, but I'm not sure if you will acknowledge them or just say "nuh-uh".

As for independent thought, I have definitely shown some in my posts. I used Copernicus as an example in one of my earlier posts, which was my idea.

Quote

On a side note, I just watched a guy get a creme pie smashed into his face while wearing a sombrero at the Mexican restaurant I am at while his girlfriend took pictures. I wonder if they are atheist or not?


Irrelevant. That has nothing to do with information processing ability.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 21, 2011, 09:46:36 PM
@curiousgirl

I am not completely unreasonable. Note I did say "seems" because you only stated two studies. I may or may not say "nuh-uh" to other studies, it kinda depends on who conducts the studies and how they were conducted. I am more of an agnostic than anything. For example, I would hold studies under suspicion if they were funded by the Koch brothers equally as if they were funded by Code Pink. As far as the creme pie, yeah...irrelevant but it is what I just saw at the moment and I have had many cervaza's...my apologies.

modified to add:

As for independent thought, I have definitely shown some in my posts. I used Copernicus as an example in one of my earlier posts, which was my idea.
Quote

Life's parade of fashion just leaves me depressed
Under every garment I can see the world's address
Call the men of science and let them hear this song
Tell them Albert Einstein and Copernicus were wrong

P.S.
I am drunk


Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 21, 2011, 10:40:08 PM
Jayb..I can't say it any more clearly.  Sleeping at night has nothing to do with it.  You see, this is not some dichotomous dilemma of humanity we are discussing.  This is pure bullshit mythology versus reality.  What part of that do you want to keep arguing against, or trying to make atheism seem similar in some way?

I'm fine with a discussion that gets us closer to showing the distinction between humans who believe in bullshit mythology and made up gods versus those who can clearly see that there is no such thing, using whatever measures we can all agree on.  For example, education level might also be a factor...I'm not sure.  Its too late for me to dig right now, but I have a vague memory of a study that showed higher education levels among non-believers...if I'm wrong about the study, I will retract.

But let's say it's a valid study, and when combined with higher IQ scores, it just strengthens the argument that atheists are smarter.  And honestly, even if we can't objectively measure it with tests such as the IQ test, we can certainly get it done via research that targets the general question. 

Show me the bias in an atheist view?  I don't understand how anyone can make an argument that there is bias in atheism.  What kind of bias is required to sit patiently while a deluded portion of humanity desperately tries to prove something as ridiculous as a god?  Do you think we willfully reject god claims?  I certainly don't, and I don't know any atheists that do.

I suppose it is possible that a group of people who believe the earth is 6000 years old could be as smart, or smarter than those who understand and accept the knowledge gained by or supplied by science, but I'm not going to give anyone that benefit just because an IQ test might not be the best indicator.  The god belief is the ultimate test, and theists fail beyond measure.

I should also add that in my opinion, most theists don't actually believe, they are just afraid to question their religion.  So if they manage to show a similar level of intelligence, it may be due to the possibility that they suspend their private beliefs when they know they are being measured a certain way.  I suppose I can back off a bit if this idea were true.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 21, 2011, 11:06:05 PM
curiosGirl, you will like this study. i dintbthink its the miltary one you mentioned

http://undergraduatestudies.ucdavis.edu/explorations/2004/clark.pdf

Got to run.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 22, 2011, 04:35:55 AM
This is a response to jaybwell32's post but it is also intended for Jetson and curiousgirl.

What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists?

When it comes to religion and belief in a god specifically, all theists are less intelligent than all atheists... without exception. Why? The atheist position is justified and the theist position is not. That's all there is to it.

Now I'm not saying that education, or lack thereof, doesn't influence people or play a part in which side of the fence they reside. Surely, exposure to science, logic and critical thinking via education will steer more people towards atheism. But people are amazing at compartmentalizing to the point where they can be overall very intelligent and yet unbelievably stupid when it comes to belief in a god.

Take [wiki]Francis Collins[/wiki] for example. He is an accomplished geneticist who was head of the [wiki]Human Genome Project[/wiki] when it mapped the full sequence of human DNA for the first time in history. His contribution to genetics has been outstanding.

He has a higher level of education than I do and when it comes to genetics, he is far more intelligent than all of us (unless there happens to be a geneticist among the atheists on this board with greater experience, knowledge and achievements in the field of genetics than Francis Collins ... I highly doubt it).

Now, if you're familiar with Francis Collins' christian beliefs, his testimony of how he became 'born again evangelical' is positively moronic. Francis Collins says he was hiking one day when he saw a waterfall that was frozen into 3 streams. This reminded him of the trinity and at that very spot he fell to his knees and accepted Jesus as his lord and savior.

Would Francis Collins score higher than us on an IQ test? Probably. Does it fucking matter? No.

When it comes to his belief in god and his reasons for it, he's a dumbass.



edit: spelling
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 22, 2011, 05:49:35 AM
Plethora,

Your point is well taken, and I don't disagree at all.  But I think it makes a difference when you look at the groups, as opposed to individuals.  I think that a proper study would show that Collins pulls the theists IQ up, but not far enough to take them above the atheists overall.  I could be wrong, but that is the fundamental question, I think. 

And I have to agree that I cannot claim that atheists are smarter without proper evidence.  When I thought about a measure of education level, I realized that I work with college graduates, and even PHd level education in my colleagues who seem to be dumber than rocks.  It leave me wondering what they were doing during school.

So, I'm left without proper evidence to support my thought, but I remain convinced that atheists are smarter.  I will have to dig around for some of those studies now and see what I can find!  I know I've read more than one that shows some correlation between the two groups.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 22, 2011, 08:24:51 AM
I don't think it makes enough of a difference to be able to legitimately say that atheists are smarter than theists, or vice versa for that matter.  Remember the studies that showed that black people were handicapped taking the standard IQ test, because of cultural considerations?  I don't know if that qualifies for here or not, but in a way, it's beside the point.

Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists?  Think about the question before answering.  Will it really do any good to try to prove that atheists, on average, get higher IQ scores?  I, personally, don't think so.  I think trying to prove that one group is 'smarter' on average than another is nothing more than a way to screw up with confidence.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 08:59:10 AM
Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists? 

Absolutely. As I said earlier, if atheists are able to process the information from their environments better in order to find out the truth, that is very significant. This was an excerpt from the study I provided that was done in 137 countries:

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My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor.[

Also:

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atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.

This was the finding of the second study I provided. Pretty similar to the first one.

In other words, those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily because they are not as skeptical as the more intelligent people. Which is why, earlier, when TOT said that he used new information to replace the incorrect apologetics he used to believe, I said that if he had not done this, he would have been less intelligent.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 09:06:30 AM
Pleth, I have been talking about groups here, especially in my earlier posts. Collins is most definitely an exception, because he is intelligent enough to be head of the Human Genome Project, yet he is willful, which is something that I did discuss earlier. Obviously, a waterfall frozen into 3 streams does not make one logically conclude that there is a God.

Let me give a group example that hits closer to home. I grew up going to church and apologetics seminars, yet the members of this forum seem more logical and intelligent than any of the theists I was in contact with.

Take the theists on this board as an example. No offense to them, but as a group overall, do they argue intelligently?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 22, 2011, 09:07:00 AM
Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists?  Think about the question before answering.  Will it really do any good to try to prove that atheists, on average, get higher IQ scores?  I, personally, don't think so.  I think trying to prove that one group is 'smarter' on average than another is nothing more than a way to screw up with confidence.

I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.

Atheists are right about the non-existence of a god because the evidence, or lack thereof, justifies our position. Theists cannot justify their belief in a god. That should be enough. We win, they lose.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 09:11:04 AM
I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.

Atheists are right about the non-existence of a god because the evidence, or lack thereof, justifies our position. Theists cannot justify their belief in a god. That should be enough. We win, they lose.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?

My bolding above. It is not enough. We need to have every shred of evidence and every good argument that we possibly can, because atheists are generally hated and dismissed by a society (here in the US, at least) that is clinging desperately to religion. At least if we can prove that atheists are smarter, it may sway some of the more moderately religious people.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 22, 2011, 02:47:23 PM
I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.
Agreed.  In fact, it might actually backfire.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?
The only thing I'd like to add to that is that it's all-too-easy for that sort of 'proof' to make exactly the wrong kind of difference. 

Absolutely. As I said earlier, if atheists are able to process the information from their environments better in order to find out the truth, that is very significant.
Sorry, I have to disagree; it isn't particularly significant in the sense that you mean.  5-6 IQ points is something like a 5-6% difference, one way or the other.  That's not nothing, but it isn't all that much either.  Practical skill and training by themselves can easily overcome an innate difference that small.

In other words, those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily because they are not as skeptical as the more intelligent people. Which is why, earlier, when TOT said that he used new information to replace the incorrect apologetics he used to believe, I said that if he had not done this, he would have been less intelligent.
I'm quite sure that IQ tests don't measure skepticism.  And if you don't think "those with a lower intelligence" are not skeptical, then you aren't paying attention at all.  What we believe is very often shaped by those we trust, and it is natural to be skeptical of new information provided by those who we don't trust.  And, honestly, how would you react to someone you don't know very well coming in and saying, "hey, I'm naturally smarter than you, here's some studies that prove it, so you should listen to me"?

My bolding above. It is not enough. We need to have every shred of evidence and every good argument that we possibly can, because atheists are generally hated and dismissed by a society (here in the US, at least) that is clinging desperately to religion. At least if we can prove that atheists are smarter, it may sway some of the more moderately religious people.
Even when evidence comes across as grasping at straws?  Even when an argument has a critical flaw that you didn't consider?

If atheists are hated and dismissed by a society that clings to religion, then what makes you think that clinging to 5 or 6 additional IQ points is going to ameliorate that?  What that does, more than anything, is make you seem desperate for any advantage, which has the result of amplifying skepticism and distrust.  Furthermore, nobody likes to be called stupid, even by implication.  And by saying that atheists are slightly smarter than theists, you're implying that theism, whatever variety, is only chosen by stupid people (or at least, dumber people than average).  You aren't going to accomplish much to sway anyone's opinion the way you want by suggesting, no matter how inadvertently, that someone was stupid for having a religious belief to begin with.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 03:35:21 PM
Sorry, I have to disagree; it isn't particularly significant in the sense that you mean.  5-6 IQ points is something like a 5-6% difference, one way or the other.  That's not nothing, but it isn't all that much either.  Practical skill and training by themselves can easily overcome an innate difference that small.
Information processing ability would affect how theists would interpret training. The fact that atheists are even slightly more intelligent is significant. Or we could just pretend that it's not.

Quote
I'm quite sure that IQ tests don't measure skepticism.  And if you don't think "those with a lower intelligence" are not skeptical, then you aren't paying attention at all.  What we believe is very often shaped by those we trust, and it is natural to be skeptical of new information provided by those who we don't trust.  And, honestly, how would you react to someone you don't know very well coming in and saying, "hey, I'm naturally smarter than you, here's some studies that prove it, so you should listen to me"?

You missed my point, which was that those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily, so there is a correlation between intelligence and skepticism, not that IQ tests measure skepticism. I never said that those with a lower intelligence are not skeptical. My quote says that they are "not as skeptical". As for the stranger with studies proving his point, I would take a look at the studies even if I didn't like the guy. That's what lead me to agnostic atheism to begin with: questioning those theists whom I was familiar with and believing the atheist strangers on this board.

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If atheists are hated and dismissed by a society that clings to religion, then what makes you think that clinging to 5 or 6 additional IQ points is going to ameliorate that?  What that does, more than anything, is make you seem desperate for any advantage, which has the result of amplifying skepticism and distrust.  Furthermore, nobody likes to be called stupid, even by implication.  And by saying that atheists are slightly smarter than theists, you're implying that theism, whatever variety, is only chosen by stupid people (or at least, dumber people than average).  You aren't going to accomplish much to sway anyone's opinion the way you want by suggesting, no matter how inadvertently, that someone was stupid for having a religious belief to begin with.

Again, I said try to show the more moderate theists evidence. They are less likely to hate and dismiss atheists, and more likely to be intelligent enough to interpret the info that I would provide realistically. I'm not calling theists stupid. That is a strawman. I was saying that they are less intelligent than atheists, but that does not mean stupid.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 22, 2011, 05:32:01 PM
Information processing ability would affect how theists would interpret training. The fact that atheists are even slightly more intelligent is significant. Or we could just pretend that it's not.
Okay, basic ability - intelligence or information processing in this case - only determines a person's natural ability with something.  Training, education, and experience all act as multipliers for that natural ability, and they ultimately make a much larger difference than natural ability possibly could by itself.  It's certainly true that someone who has an advantage, even a relatively small one, will get more out of the same amount of training, etc.  But it is incorrect to assume that both will put the same effort into training, or that the person with more natural ability will stay ahead simply because they have more natural ability.  There are other factors which influence the effectiveness of training which have nothing to do with natural ability.  So there's no point in waving a small difference in IQ around like it's especially meaningful, because in the grand scheme of things, it isn't.

As for your statement about how theists would interpret training, I have to admit I'm not completely sure what you're trying to say here.  But I think you're making an assumption which isn't going to hold up under scrutiny.  IQ isn't some static thing that never changes; a person who goes into the sciences is likely to stretch their information processing ability much more than a person who goes into seminary.  So I don't think it's accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists.  Certainly not without examining things in much more depth than they have been so far.

You missed my point, which was that those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily, so there is a correlation between intelligence and skepticism, not that IQ tests measure skepticism. I never said that those with a lower intelligence are not skeptical. My quote says that they are "not as skeptical". As for the stranger with studies proving his point, I would take a look at the studies even if I didn't like the guy. That's what lead me to agnostic atheism to begin with: questioning those theists whom I was familiar with and believing the atheist strangers on this board.
No, I understood it just fine, I simply don't agree with the conclusion you're trying to draw.  You're saying that more intelligent people are more skeptical than less intelligent ones.  I believe it's actually backwards from what you're describing; more intelligent people are able to rationally suspend their skepticism in order to consider an idea that they don't agree with.  So in a sense, less intelligent people are actually more skeptical and less willing to seriously consider something they disagree with.  Your counterexample demonstrates that point.  You aren't being skeptical of his ideas by being willing to consider them; you're actually suspending your skepticism to a degree to give him a fair chance to convince you despite yourself.

Again, I said try to show the more moderate theists evidence. They are less likely to hate and dismiss atheists, and more likely to be intelligent enough to interpret the info that I would provide realistically. I'm not calling theists stupid. That is a strawman. I was saying that they are less intelligent than atheists, but that does not mean stupid.
I didn't say you were calling theists stupid.  And I don't think you're deliberately implying they are either.  But that's the way it often comes across when you start talking about one person being smarter than another.  It is simply aggravating to be around someone who presumes that they're smarter, because it's often received as "you're not as smart as I am", and that creates a lot of resentment.  You don't have to start calling someone dumb or stupid for them to feel like you are, since those are both relative terms.

You might be able to get through to a few of the more moderate theists that way, but you're only doing so by severely handicapping yourself in how you relate to all the other ones.  And it isn't just that it will affect you, it's that it will affect other atheists as well.  The damage you'll do to your own cause isn't worth what you get in return, at least in my opinion.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 06:10:54 PM
It's certainly true that someone who has an advantage, even a relatively small one, will get more out of the same amount of training, etc.  But it is incorrect to assume that both will put the same effort into training, or that the person with more natural ability will stay ahead simply because they have more natural ability.  There are other factors which influence the effectiveness of training which have nothing to do with natural ability.  So there's no point in waving a small difference in IQ around like it's especially meaningful, because in the grand scheme of things, it isn't.

This is about what they get out of training overall (my bolding).  If there were an atheist "training" class for logical reasons for God's non-existence, I would think that someone with more intelligence would get more out of that because they can (barring willfulness). What do you mean by "the grand scheme of things"? The history of mankind? The universe? If it is either of those, then you and I wouldn't be especially meaningful either.

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As for your statement about how theists would interpret training, I have to admit I'm not completely sure what you're trying to say here.  But I think you're making an assumption which isn't going to hold up under scrutiny.  IQ isn't some static thing that never changes; a person who goes into the sciences is likely to stretch their information processing ability much more than a person who goes into seminary.  So I don't think it's accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists.  Certainly not without examining things in much more depth than they have been so far.

I never claimed IQ was static, but a person with an IQ of 100 is not going to "stretch their information processing ability" and later have an IQ of 150. I think it is accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists. What depth should we examine things to?

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No, I understood it just fine, I simply don't agree with the conclusion you're trying to draw.  You're saying that more intelligent people are more skeptical than less intelligent ones.  I believe it's actually backwards from what you're describing; more intelligent people are able to rationally suspend their skepticism in order to consider an idea that they don't agree with.  So in a sense, less intelligent people are actually more skeptical and less willing to seriously consider something they disagree with.  Your counterexample demonstrates that point.  You aren't being skeptical of his ideas by being willing to consider them; you're actually suspending your skepticism to a degree to give him a fair chance to convince you despite yourself.

I doubt that less intelligent people who believe in God are more skeptical. They are less willing to consider something they disagree with either because they aren't processing the info very well, or because of willful ignorance. My (former) problem was willful ignorance, so I never actually suspended my skepticism because I didn't have that to begin with. I am skeptical now that I am willing to use my intelligence to interpret info rather than shut it out.

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I didn't say you were calling theists stupid.  And I don't think you're deliberately implying they are either.  But that's the way it often comes across when you start talking about one person being smarter than another.  It is simply aggravating to be around someone who presumes that they're smarter, because it's often received as "you're not as smart as I am", and that creates a lot of resentment.  You don't have to start calling someone dumb or stupid for them to feel like you are, since those are both relative terms.

Sorry you feel it comes across that way. I'm not trying to aggravate you, I am trying to debate you. Whether or not anyone is aggravated, facts are facts, and I tried to present them with those studies.

Quote
You might be able to get through to a few of the more moderate theists that way, but you're only doing so by severely handicapping yourself in how you relate to all the other ones.  And it isn't just that it will affect you, it's that it will affect other atheists as well.  The damage you'll do to your own cause isn't worth what you get in return, at least in my opinion.

You are free to have your opinion. I just disagree. Hopefully people can understand that truth is truth no matter how they feel.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 22, 2011, 07:36:17 PM
I don't think it's a bad idea to point out that atheists are smarter, on average.  It may seem petty to some, and even elitist, but I think it is important.  It is important because we are considered stupid, ignorant, and completely wrong in our position regarding what they believe is our eternal salvation or damnation.  I don't intend to stand around playing Mr. nice guy while being slandered by deluded humans, who also happen to actually have a lower level of intelligence (assuming studies support this).

I can understand the points being made about why it might not make a difference, and that may be true.  I have even considered that maybe my position is not a good one, but I'm not ready to give in just yet.  I'm thinking about how poorly atheists are treated, and how many people in this country feel towards us.  And I realize that throwing something like this in their face is not going to make friends.  But as it stands, we have nothing.  We are nothing in the political arena, we are being tossed around and ignored in pretty much every facet of society.  The only way to get attention, it seems, is to get in the faces of theists, and let them know that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Not only are we smarter, but we have more common sense, and we don't waste our lives away with bullshit god nonsense and religious woo.  We care about the world, and what is happening to it, and we want to see it improve.  We want to see humans put their personal woo aside, and treat each other with respect, and be treated the same way in return.

In many ways, this is a fight.  And on the intellectual side of the battle, we are in a serious lead.  Sadly though, theists are sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "la la la la la", while simultaneously pushing their religious and political agendas on us from every possible angle.  We don't have time to be nice any more.

Ok, let me have it!
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 07:47:30 PM
Ricky, I read some of the study you provided, but you didn't comment on it. What were your thoughts regarding the study?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 22, 2011, 07:56:52 PM
When it comes to religion and belief in a god specifically, all theists are less intelligent than all atheists... without exception. Why? The atheist position is justified and the theist position is not. That's all there is to it.

I disagree and disagree totally.

The atheist position isn't "justified" in a positive sense.

Its "justified" in a negative sense.

That is:
- heuristic arguments exist for the existence of God and even for the truth of Jesus.
- one may accept those arguments while being fully aware of their weaknesses. This is precisely what people do, in many cases.

For example, one may understand that the bible is what it is. Its a set of an accounts. Some evidence does exist that some people died for those beliefs. Clearly people also died for other competing beliefs but there may be aspects of those beliefs that rings true to a person but if one leads credence to those accounts ... Why one would do this? Some reason to consider the sources honest?

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Now, if you're familiar with Francis Collins' christian beliefs, his testimony of how he became 'born again evangelical' is positively moronic. Francis Collins says he was hiking one day when he saw a waterfall that was frozen into 3 streams. This reminded him of the trinity and at that very spot he fell to his knees and accepted Jesus as his lord and savior.

This is a total misrepresentation of the thought process that Francis Collin's put into aquiring his Christian beliefs, a process that took years of his life, beginning from an atheistic secular beginning. He wrote an entire book on the subject. I suggest you re-read the book, The Language of God.

Your summary of his journey is moronic.

One of the things that really struck him, as a doctor, was how belief in God affected people, when those people were near death. This was only one of the experiential things he describes. In context, you have to understand that he was and is aware of the weaknesses in his position.

Its been a few years since I read his book. He describes several aethetic aspects of ther Christian faith that really rang true to him. Hea lends a considerable amount of weight on the works of C.S Lewis.

If you want an example of an intelligent person with moronic views, that would be Jason Lisle.

Fracis Colins is in a whole category of his own. One that may require quite a lot deeper sober reflection that what you've provided above.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 22, 2011, 08:06:00 PM
Ricky, I read some of the study you provided, but you didn't comment on it. What were your thoughts regarding the study?

Whether or not I totally do agree, on first glance, it looked like the sort of definition of intelligence they were working on, seems to agree with the kind of thing you are aiming at.

On my first read, that definition of intelligence, doesn't necessarily look tied to the hardware of the brain. I think, it takes into account one's techniques as well as the quality of the hardware. I need to re-read the article but I think its a far better quality than the study you opened the thread with.

The study you opened the thread with, appears to have tons of holes and I did manage to find an article, that seems reasonable that pointed out a whole slew of weaknesses in it. Its hard to tell from your article or from the abstract of the publlished paper but the article refuting it has a lot more detail. What I did notice however, is that evolutionary researcher does seem to make pretty radical sweeping conclusions in his work.


Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 22, 2011, 08:29:12 PM
The only way to get attention, it seems, is to get in the faces of theists, and let them know that we are a force to be reckoned with.


I know I'm quoting myself, but I wanted to add to this particular line of thought:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-well/201109/are-you-teaching-people-treat-you-badly (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-well/201109/are-you-teaching-people-treat-you-badly)

This article talks about how being too nice might be encouraging others to be even more aggressive and abusive towards you.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 08:36:01 PM
Whether or not I totally do agree, on first glance, it looked like the sort of definition of intelligence they were working on, seems to agree with the kind of thing you are aiming at.

On my first read, that definition of intelligence, doesn't necessarily look tied to the hardware of the brain. I think, it takes into account one's techniques as well as the quality of the hardware. I need to re-read the article but I think its a far better quality than the study you opened the thread with.

The study you opened the thread with, appears to have tons of holes and I did manage to find an article, that seems reasonable that pointed out a whole slew of weaknesses in it. Its hard to tell from your article or from the abstract of the publlished paper but the article refuting it has a lot more detail. What I did notice however, is that evolutionary researcher does seem to make pretty radical sweeping conclusions in his work.


OK, what about the second study I provided?

It's nice that you provided a study, but it had some limitations that might cause one to question it. From the study you provided:

Quote

LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
Unfortunately, characteristics of my sample may limit generalization of the findings. One such characteristic is gender. The study consisted primarily of women, who are universally more religious than men (Stark, 2003). The mean IQ of the population is also an area of concern. Mean IQ scores for both men and women in this study reached well into the high-average range of cognitive ability (the general population mean is 100). The findings might be somewhat different, or even stronger, if a wider range of intellectual ability were sampled.
Religious self-identification by the participants may also limit generalization. Forty-eight percent of the participants declared themselves as religious, twenty-five percent as spiritual, twenty percent as agnostic, and eight percent as atheists. This distribution differs from that found in the United States population, which does not have as many atheists or agnostics (Shermer, 2000). The representation of religions in the current study was similarly skewed; most respondents were Protestant or Catholic.

While it says the findings might be stronger "if a wider range of intellectual ability were sampled," the higher than average cognitive ability of the subjects might cause one to question the study. Also, the subjects were mainly women. Men might call that unfair. The subjects were a higher ratio of agnostics and atheists than there would be in the US.

I think it would be great if the researcher would redo the study with those problems fixed. Then we could get a clearer picture.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 08:59:13 PM
Here is a link to the full version of the second study:

http://www.valdegames.com/pig/mirror/Average%20intelligence%20predicts%20atheism%20rates%20across%20137%20nations.pdf (http://www.valdegames.com/pig/mirror/Average%20intelligence%20predicts%20atheism%20rates%20across%20137%20nations.pdf)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 09:20:30 PM
I have to add that it says this within the study I just gave a link for (my bolding), which seems to support my argument:

Quote
A number of studies find negative correlations between
intelligence and religious belief. A review of these carried out
by Bell (2002) found 43 studies, of which all but four found
a negative correlation.

EDIT: Wanted to add that I looked it up, and you can find the original review by Paul Bell in Mensa Magazine for February, 2002 if you can get a copy. Richard Dawkins also quotes Bell to make the same point about intelligence and religion, in case anyone felt like looking that up.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 22, 2011, 09:51:37 PM
This is about what they get out of training overall (my bolding).  If there were an atheist "training" class for logical reasons for God's non-existence, I would think that someone with more intelligence would get more out of that because they can (barring willfulness). What do you mean by "the grand scheme of things"? The history of mankind? The universe? If it is either of those, then you and I wouldn't be especially meaningful either.
An "atheist training class" is starting to go into the realm of ideology rather than intelligence, and it really isn't meaningful to this discussion.  I mean, someone more intelligent would probably also do better in a theology class as well, barring a willful refusal to learn.  But both are essentially ideological subjects, and as such there are not going to be many 'neutral' learners.  So...it doesn't really say anything useful.

What I mean by "the grand scheme of things" is that the level of intelligence someone is born with doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to all the other factors that contribute to actually being able to use that intelligence.  If you have someone of average intelligence, and someone of above-average intelligence, but the average intelligence person goes to college while the above-average intelligence person does not, there's no question that the former will be in a much better position than the latter.  That's a large part of the reason why arguing about a few IQ points doesn't really mean a whole lot.

I never claimed IQ was static, but a person with an IQ of 100 is not going to "stretch their information processing ability" and later have an IQ of 150. I think it is accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists. What depth should we examine things to?
But we aren't talking about a 50-point difference in IQ between atheists and theists, are we?  We're talking about five or six points total, which is well within the range that an IQ can 'stretch' as a person grows up.  Or retract if it's not used effectively, for that matter.  Instead of trying to argue that atheists are smarter, you might do better to argue that atheism[1], stretches the mind more than theism[2], does.  And yes, that is different than saying that more-intelligent people are attracted to atheism while less-intelligent people are attracted to theism.

I doubt that less intelligent people who believe in God are more skeptical. They are less willing to consider something they disagree with either because they aren't processing the info very well, or because of willful ignorance. My (former) problem was willful ignorance, so I never actually suspended my skepticism because I didn't have that to begin with. I am skeptical now that I am willing to use my intelligence to interpret info rather than shut it out.
Your doubt doesn't have any bearing on whether they actually are more skeptical or not.  Though, that's not exactly what I was saying in any case.  What I was trying to get across is that less-intelligent people are more skeptical towards the ideas of others and less skeptical towards their own ideas, whereas more-intelligent people are less skeptical towards the ideas of others and more skeptical towards their own ideas.  And that's what skepticism fundamentally is, the unwillingness to consider something that one disagrees with (essentially, doubtfulness).

Sorry you feel it comes across that way. I'm not trying to aggravate you, I am trying to debate you. Whether or not anyone is aggravated, facts are facts, and I tried to present them with those studies.
I actually wasn't referring to you in particular.  I am certainly not 'aggravated' by your attitude.  However, I think you're not understanding my point.  You may not agree, but the way you present yourself matters as much as what you present.  Facts are facts, but there's no reason to make your job presenting them harder than it needs to be.  As Mary Poppins would say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  Similarly, conveying facts with the right attitude makes people much more likely to listen.

You are free to have your opinion. I just disagree. Hopefully people can understand that truth is truth no matter how they feel.
And therein lies the problem; how a person feels about something actually does matter, quite a lot.  Ever try to study a subject you hate or don't care about?  Someone sufficiently disciplined might be able to make themselves do it anyway, but it'll be difficult, hard work.  Whereas, studying something you like is much easier.
 1. The habit of questioning preconceived beliefs
 2. The habit of not questioning preconceived beliefs
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 22, 2011, 10:57:37 PM
An "atheist training class" is starting to go into the realm of ideology rather than intelligence, and it really isn't meaningful to this discussion.  I mean, someone more intelligent would probably also do better in a theology class as well, barring a willful refusal to learn.  But both are essentially ideological subjects, and as such there are not going to be many 'neutral' learners.  So...it doesn't really say anything useful.

The reason I mentioned an atheist rather than a theist class was because an atheist training class in logic would be grounded in reality. I would hope that if an intelligent person did well in a theology class, that they would recognize that theism is not realistic. That is my point: atheism is realistic and theism is not. Hopefully an intelligent person would figure that out even if they were initially willful.
 
Quote
What I mean by "the grand scheme of things" is that the level of intelligence someone is born with doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to all the other factors that contribute to actually being able to use that intelligence.  If you have someone of average intelligence, and someone of above-average intelligence, but the average intelligence person goes to college while the above-average intelligence person does not, there's no question that the former will be in a much better position than the latter.  That's a large part of the reason why arguing about a few IQ points doesn't really mean a whole lot.

I would say that the above-average intelligence person could still do better without a degree, because they could educate themselves outside of college, and  simply gain experience and knowledge in a particular trade/industry. 

Quote
But we aren't talking about a 50-point difference in IQ between atheists and theists, are we?  We're talking about five or six points total, which is well within the range that an IQ can 'stretch' as a person grows up.  Or retract if it's not used effectively, for that matter.  Instead of trying to argue that atheists are smarter, you might do better to argue that atheism[1], stretches the mind more than theism[2], does.  And yes, that is different than saying that more-intelligent people are attracted to atheism while less-intelligent people are attracted to theism.
 1. The habit of questioning preconceived beliefs
 2. The habit of not questioning preconceived beliefs

OK, I'll consider your argument. It would definitely help if you could provide some evidence so I could look into it.

Quote
Your doubt doesn't have any bearing on whether they actually are more skeptical or not.  Though, that's not exactly what I was saying in any case.  What I was trying to get across is that less-intelligent people are more skeptical towards the ideas of others and less skeptical towards their own ideas, whereas more-intelligent people are less skeptical towards the ideas of others and more skeptical towards their own ideas.  And that's what skepticism fundamentally is, the unwillingness to consider something that one disagrees with (essentially, doubtfulness).

I would call what you are describing in less intelligent people "willful ignorance," because they believe their own ideas despite what others may show them. I don't think that your description of skepticism in more intelligent people agrees with what the study that I provided says, but you are welcome to provide a different study to prove your point.

Quote
I actually wasn't referring to you in particular.  I am certainly not 'aggravated' by your attitude.  However, I think you're not understanding my point.  You may not agree, but the way you present yourself matters as much as what you present.  Facts are facts, but there's no reason to make your job presenting them harder than it needs to be.  As Mary Poppins would say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  Similarly, conveying facts with the right attitude makes people much more likely to listen.

Noted for future reference.

Quote
And therein lies the problem; how a person feels about something actually does matter, quite a lot.  Ever try to study a subject you hate or don't care about?  Someone sufficiently disciplined might be able to make themselves do it anyway, but it'll be difficult, hard work.  Whereas, studying something you like is much easier.

I definitely know how hard it is. Becoming an agnostic atheist was very difficult for me emotionally. Initially, I did not like the truth that God is non-existent, but I have grown past that emotion through being rational. I don't think any theist will like it when you question their faith, so I'm not sure how to get them to "study something" they hate so to speak (atheism). Right now I just want to present facts.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on September 22, 2011, 11:39:31 PM
Here is a link to the full version of the second study:

http://www.valdegames.com/pig/mirror/Average%20intelligence%20predicts%20atheism%20rates%20across%20137%20nations.pdf (http://www.valdegames.com/pig/mirror/Average%20intelligence%20predicts%20atheism%20rates%20across%20137%20nations.pdf)

Thanks.

I was having trouble finding it. My computer is so damn slow
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 23, 2011, 04:13:00 AM
When it comes to religion and belief in a god specifically, all theists are less intelligent than all atheists... without exception. Why? The atheist position is justified and the theist position is not. That's all there is to it.

I disagree and disagree totally.

The atheist position isn't "justified" in a positive sense.

Its "justified" in a negative sense.

That is:
- heuristic arguments exist for the existence of God and even for the truth of Jesus.
- one may accept those arguments while being fully aware of their weaknesses. This is precisely what people do, in many cases.

Belief in a god and religious doctrine requires faith. "Faith" meaning belief in a god without evidence. Lacking belief in a god does not require faith.

So, when it comes to belief in a god you can take any theist and any atheist, put them together and the result will always be that one of them has faith and the other does not.

The minute a person invokes faith as a basis to their belief, they lose. The atheist will always be smarter than the theist when it comes to belief in a god specifically.

Their levels of intelligence in other areas are irrelevant.

Quote from: rickymooston
For example, one may understand that the bible is what it is. Its a set of an accounts. Some evidence does exist that some people died for those beliefs. Clearly people also died for other competing beliefs but there may be aspects of those beliefs that rings true to a person but if one leads credence to those accounts ... Why one would do this? Some reason to consider the sources honest?

I don't care what the theist's reasons are for retaining a belief in a god or how much these beliefs actually match their holy book. Fact is, they believe in the existence of a god without justification. Evidence that people died for those beliefs is not evidence that the beliefs are true.

Again ... on the specific point of belief or lack of belief in a god... atheists have all reached a smarter conclusion than theists.

Quote from: rickymooston
This is a total misrepresentation of the thought process that Francis Collin's put into aquiring his Christian beliefs, a process that took years of his life, beginning from an atheistic secular beginning. He wrote an entire book on the subject. I suggest you re-read the book, The Language of God.

I admit, I have never read Francis Collins' book.

Quote from: rickymooston
Your summary of his journey is moronic.

One of the things that really struck him, as a doctor, was how belief in God affected people, when those people were near death. This was only one of the experiential things he describes. In context, you have to understand that he was and is aware of the weaknesses in his position.

Its been a few years since I read his book. He describes several aethetic aspects of ther Christian faith that really rang true to him. Hea lends a considerable amount of weight on the works of C.S Lewis.

Fracis Colins is in a whole category of his own. One that may require quite a lot deeper sober reflection that what you've provided above.

Here's the quote from Francis Collins' book ... his own words.

Quote from: Francis Collins' "The Language of God"
"On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains ? the majesty and beauty of God?s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ."

I don't give a rat's ass what sort of lengthy and complex research Collins did before this moment. When this moment arrived, he made a correlation between the 'beauty of nature' and the existence of a god... and not just any god, the Christian god in particular.

He made an unjustified leap. When it comes to belief in a god, his reasons are moronic and are not made any less moronic by adding the 'journey' he made before this as "context".

Quote
If you want an example of an intelligent person with moronic views, that would be Jason Lisle.

I had never heard of Jason Lisle. Looked him up ... indeed, another prime example.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 23, 2011, 08:21:34 AM
The reason I mentioned an atheist rather than a theist class was because an atheist training class in logic would be grounded in reality. I would hope that if an intelligent person did well in a theology class, that they would recognize that theism is not realistic. That is my point: atheism is realistic and theism is not. Hopefully an intelligent person would figure that out even if they were initially willful.
Atheism and theism being realistic or unrealistic is tangential to this discussion.  You are making a purely subjective judgment here, that an intelligent person would recognize the 'unrealism' of theistic beliefs, but that is outside the scope of the discussion; plus, there are plenty of intelligent people who do not accept that conclusion, for whatever reason.  Furthermore, you are not basing that conclusion on evidence, but on hope.  The fact is that whether someone 'recognizes' something (especially a philosophical point) has much more to do with experience than intelligence; an intelligent person might require somewhat less experience, but neither could do it at all without sufficient experience.
 
I would say that the above-average intelligence person could still do better without a degree, because they could educate themselves outside of college, and  simply gain experience and knowledge in a particular trade/industry.
Except that we are talking about a difference of five or six IQ points.  That is not a very significant difference, as I have maintained all along.  It is likely to not even be noticeable considering all the other factors that are involved.  For example, what if the person with the slightly lower IQ had learned the value of hard work and discipline earlier than the person with the slightly higher IQ?  Discipline and the willingness to work hard make a far greater difference than intelligence in the long run.  A five or six point difference in IQ is going to vanish without a ripple by comparison.

OK, I'll consider your argument. It would definitely help if you could provide some evidence so I could look into it.
It's not exactly 'my' argument.  I'm more trying to get you to think about alternatives to "atheists are smarter than theists".  Because the qualitative difference we're talking about is barely noticeable overall.  It's like arguing that a computer with a 1.03 GhZ processor is going to be noticeably faster than a computer with a 0.97 GhZ processor.  Sure, there's a speed difference, but compared to the other factors that affect the performance of the computer...

I would call what you are describing in less intelligent people "willful ignorance," because they believe their own ideas despite what others may show them. I don't think that your description of skepticism in more intelligent people agrees with what the study that I provided says, but you are welcome to provide a different study to prove your point.
A study is basically a set of statistics with an analysis by the person who did the study.  The problem with statistics is that it's really easy for someone (whether the original person or a reader) to get them wrong.  So I tend to avoid relying on them, and I am certainly going to be very careful about the conclusions I draw from them.  Also, 'ignorance' is a subjective value judgement; it's like using the term 'barbarian' or 'savage' to describe someone from a primitive culture.

I definitely know how hard it is. Becoming an agnostic atheist was very difficult for me emotionally. Initially, I did not like the truth that God is non-existent, but I have grown past that emotion through being rational. I don't think any theist will like it when you question their faith, so I'm not sure how to get them to "study something" they hate so to speak (atheism). Right now I just want to present facts.
The first step is always to get people interested in something.  You don't do that by presenting facts and statistics, especially if they are unpalatable ones.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 09:14:25 AM
Atheism and theism being realistic or unrealistic is tangential to this discussion.  You are making a purely subjective judgment here, that an intelligent person would recognize the 'unrealism' of theistic beliefs, but that is outside the scope of the discussion; plus, there are plenty of intelligent people who do not accept that conclusion, for whatever reason.  Furthermore, you are not basing that conclusion on evidence, but on hope.  The fact is that whether someone 'recognizes' something (especially a philosophical point) has much more to do with experience than intelligence; an intelligent person might require somewhat less experience, but neither could do it at all without sufficient experience.

No, it is not tangential. A more intelligent person will be able to use his/her information processing skills to interpret reality in a way that a less intelligent person may not. You are not basing your conclusions on evidence. I have yet to see a study provided by you, or some sort of objective evidence regarding your claims for intelligent people and skepticism. I at least provided a study.
 
Quote
Except that we are talking about a difference of five or six IQ points.  That is not a very significant difference, as I have maintained all along.  It is likely to not even be noticeable considering all the other factors that are involved.  For example, what if the person with the slightly lower IQ had learned the value of hard work and discipline earlier than the person with the slightly higher IQ?  Discipline and the willingness to work hard make a far greater difference than intelligence in the long run.  A five or six point difference in IQ is going to vanish without a ripple by comparison.

You are making a claim about hard work, but I would prefer to keep this conversation about intelligence and how it affects the info processing with regard to the reality of atheism so we can keep the conversation relevant. A five or six IQ point increase is at least something that I provided with evidence. Tell me, why is there that increase at all? It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that Paul Bell found that 39 out of 43 studies supported what I was arguing to begin with.

Quote
It's not exactly 'my' argument.  I'm more trying to get you to think about alternatives to "atheists are smarter than theists".  Because the qualitative difference we're talking about is barely noticeable overall.  It's like arguing that a computer with a 1.03 GhZ processor is going to be noticeably faster than a computer with a 0.97 GhZ processor.  Sure, there's a speed difference, but compared to the other factors that affect the performance of the computer...

My bolding above. If you want me to think about alternatives, why should I do so without any evidence? The IQ points are not only about speed, they are about slight overall better info processing.

Quote
A study is basically a set of statistics with an analysis by the person who did the study.  The problem with statistics is that it's really easy for someone (whether the original person or a reader) to get them wrong.  So I tend to avoid relying on them, and I am certainly going to be very careful about the conclusions I draw from them.  Also, 'ignorance' is a subjective value judgement; it's like using the term 'barbarian' or 'savage' to describe someone from a primitive culture.

So are you simply not going to rely on scientific evidence in this discussion? I draw the conclusions that are supported by the study. If I call someone willfully ignorant, it is because they are refusing to listen to evidence simply because they do not want to. Does that sound like a good description of willful ignorance?

Quote
The first step is always to get people interested in something.  You don't do that by presenting facts and statistics, especially if they are unpalatable ones.

It may very well be unpalatable to theists if they hear that atheists have a slightly higher IQ. I'm not sure how to make it palatable for them.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 09:31:13 AM
Since I don't have a copy of Mensa Magazine, I just wanted to post Richard Dawkins quoting Paul Bell (in addition to the study I provided earlier that mentioned Bell). My bolding below:

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/117-a-challenge-to-atheists-come-out-of-the-closet (http://richarddawkins.net/articles/117-a-challenge-to-atheists-come-out-of-the-closet)

Quote

But a recent article by Paul G. Bell in Mensa Magazine provides some straws in the wind. Mensa is an international organization open only to those of high measured IQ. Not surprisingly, therefore, its magazine displays an interest in questions of intellectual ability. From a meta-analysis of the literature, Bell concludes that:

Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and one's intelligence or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious . . ."


So, again, 39 studies support what I have been trying to argue: that there is a connection between intelligence and religion.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 23, 2011, 09:42:53 AM
So, again, 39 studies support what I have been trying to argue: that there is a connection between intelligence and religion.

I have a question... for those here who used to be theists like myself ... were we less intelligent when we were theists than we are now that we are atheists?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT on September 23, 2011, 10:01:03 AM
So, again, 39 studies support what I have been trying to argue: that there is a connection between intelligence and religion.

I have a question... for those here who used to be theists like myself ... were we less intelligent when we were theists than we are now that we are atheists?

That may just be the "Million Dollar Question." It's a wonder that it took 95 posts before someone asked it.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 10:19:27 AM
So, again, 39 studies support what I have been trying to argue: that there is a connection between intelligence and religion.

I have a question... for those here who used to be theists like myself ... were we less intelligent when we were theists than we are now that we are atheists?

Not necessarily, because you simply used your information processing ability to discern that atheism is more realistic after you received information that caused you to question theism. If you were initially willfully ignorant, that may have been a factor. I used to be a theist, and willful ignorance was a factor for me. Then I decided to use my intelligence rather than stick my fingers in my ears and shout, "LA LA LA" and now I am an agnostic atheist.

BTW, if you disagree with the 39 studies, can you provide some evidence to prove whatever point you are trying to make?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 23, 2011, 10:42:09 AM
^^ I agree that atheists are smarter than theists when it comes to the belief in a god. I've been saying this all along.

... and I accept the studies that confirm that atheists who are already confirmed atheists tend to do better than theists (willfully ignorant or not) in certain areas that measure certain part of people's intelligence (i.e. the IQ exam).

I stand by my position that this is irrelevant, these studies do not measure everything there is to know about a person's intelligence and making the argument that atheists are smarter than theists doesn't help anyone. We should focus solely on debunking theist's claims, not proving ourselves to be smarter as this is only incidental, not precise and only deepens the divide.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on September 23, 2011, 12:07:09 PM
[1]
Quote from: curiousgirl
Reply #18 on: September 19, 2011, 05:59:11 PM »

Provide me with your version of a non-biased study if you disagree with this one.

I don't agree or disagree, mainly 'cause I haven't read it as of yet...and I have no intention to.  But many factors go into certain things; but, one really has to look at the level(s) of education of those who are of both; most religious people tend to be of the "poor" variety (thus my other comment after my initial one) and though that doesn't necessarily preclude them from an education, in many cases it does hold them back; especially if where they are getting their education from.  In some places those who are able to "read" and "write" are considered by many in those places to be "highly intelligent" people because most of the population in that particular area can not.  This doesn't mean that those who can are more intelligent than those who can't but to those particular people it does seem that way, to a point.

In the society I live in I would be considered to be not as intelligent as most; even though I obviously know how to read and write, I however never graduated high school, never went to college, have only 2 certificates of completion: one in JROTC and one in typing.  Neither of the latter two take much intelligence; they're moreso skills than anything, a type of labor.  However, I state this because in the society I live in that's what people base one's intelligence on: the level of school they've completed.   The degrees that they have -- the pieces of paper they have obtained.  However, I know many people who have those pieces of paper and yet are less intelligent than I am.  So, where a society regards such thing in high principle (such as the one I currently reside in) -- what exactly is "intelligent" really based on?

I do not have to read the study by the link provided to have an inkling of what it states; especially since I've read similar in the past but as all of them have done, and most of them will do in the future; they will leave out some fundamental truths -- and it's not their fault, really.  Those fundamental truths just aren't a part of their society.

-Nam
 1. quote function still not working at library
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 01:52:02 PM
^^ I agree that atheists are smarter than theists when it comes to the belief in a god. I've been saying this all along.

OK, then we are in agreement on that.

Quote
... and I accept the studies that confirm that atheists who are already confirmed atheists tend to do better than theists (willfully ignorant or not) in certain areas that measure certain part of people's intelligence (i.e. the IQ exam).

And we agree on that, too.

Quote
I stand by my position that this is irrelevant, these studies do not measure everything there is to know about a person's intelligence and making the argument that atheists are smarter than theists doesn't help anyone. We should focus solely on debunking theist's claims, not proving ourselves to be smarter as this is only incidental, not precise and only deepens the divide.

I'm not claiming that the studies measure everything there is to know about a person's intelligence. I am claiming they measure a very significant aspect of intelligence: information processing. I've been trying to say that the reason atheists are so grounded in reality is because (if they suspended their willful ignorance as theists) once they were provided with info that contradicted theism, they understood that theism was wrong through the use of their intelligence. I agree that we should debunk theists' claims, and I claim that we use our intelligence to do so. Even if our slight advantage with intelligence is only incidental, it is evidence that we are using our intelligence to be more realistic, hence atheism. I understand that many theists would find this irritating. However, debunking their claims would also irritate them, so I think it is hard to avoid irritating them.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 02:00:30 PM

I don't agree or disagree, mainly 'cause I haven't read it as of yet...and I have no intention to. 

Then how can we have a discussion about the findings of the study if you refuse to read it? Are you seriously going to dismiss something you didn't even look into to begin with? If so, do you have a valid reason for doing so?

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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 23, 2011, 04:02:24 PM
No, it is not tangential. A more intelligent person will be able to use his/her information processing skills to interpret reality in a way that a less intelligent person may not. You are not basing your conclusions on evidence. I have yet to see a study provided by you, or some sort of objective evidence regarding your claims for intelligent people and skepticism. I at least provided a study.
You are continuing to act like this is a big deal, despite the fact that we are talking about a small difference in IQ.  6 IQ points is not even half a standard deviation, and there is just not that much of a difference for all practical purposes between someone with an IQ of 103 and someone with an IQ of 97 (which are the average IQs listed in the first study you provided).  They are both effectively average, and there is no guarantee at all that the former will do better than the latter in anything, because the non-intelligence factors have a much greater effect than a mere six points of IQ.

And here's some evidence for you, though you may not accept it since it's not some study that I can conveniently link to.  My own personal IQ score went up five points from the time I was in second grade, when I was first tested, to the time I was in fifth grade, when I was tested again.  In other words, a few years of simple elementary school education and normal maturation made almost as much of a difference in my IQ score as the IQ difference between atheists and theists that you're touting as 'significant'.  This should more than adequately explain why I do not accept that as meaning very much, even leaving aside the reasons I've already said.

As far as my definition of skepticism goes, I wasn't aware that any of the studies you had linked to were about skepticism and intelligence.  I was under the impression that your definition of skepticism was based more on your own personal observations, not on scientific studies.  So why are you expecting me to provide a higher degree of evidence than you gave?
 
You are making a claim about hard work, but I would prefer to keep this conversation about intelligence and how it affects the info processing with regard to the reality of atheism so we can keep the conversation relevant. A five or six IQ point increase is at least something that I provided with evidence. Tell me, why is there that increase at all? It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that Paul Bell found that 39 out of 43 studies supported what I was arguing to begin with.
When you start talking about "the reality of atheism", you've gone on a philosophical tangent regarding a particular way of using "information processing" which is not covered by IQ tests.  It is in no way relevant to the original point of the conversation, which was about how significant a five or six point difference in IQ might be.  I don't claim to know why that difference exists, nor do I have any intention of speculating beyond my knowledge to try to come up with a reason for it when I haven't studied IQ tests in depth.  What I do know is that there are factors which influence the ability to use one's natural intelligence that go beyond a relatively narrow statistic like IQ.  If you don't want to discuss them, even though they matter much more than an IQ difference which doesn't even exceed one standard deviation according to the study that you quoted, then I certainly see no reason why we should discuss philosophical ideas like "the reality of atheism", which might not even matter as much as those other factors do.

My bolding above. If you want me to think about alternatives, why should I do so without any evidence? The IQ points are not only about speed, they are about slight overall better info processing.
Which, again, isn't that important.  You're talking about six IQ points.  According to the standard methodology used in IQ tests, that isn't even one standard deviation (it's about 40% of a deviation).  Bearing in mind that the IQ test is formulated so that 95% of people will fall within two standard deviations on either side of the scale (a total of four standard deviations), a mere six points is barely a blip on the radar.  You're taking a statistic which, while significant, isn't particularly so, and trying to make it much more important than it actually is.  If we were talking about a 15-30 point difference in IQs, I would agree that it was important.  But a six-point difference, not even one standard deviation?  Not hardly.

So are you simply not going to rely on scientific evidence in this discussion? I draw the conclusions that are supported by the study. If I call someone willfully ignorant, it is because they are refusing to listen to evidence simply because they do not want to. Does that sound like a good description of willful ignorance?
I did not say that.  What I'm not willing to do is rely on an interpretation of a study that tries to make something impressive out of a relatively minor statistical difference.  I already granted that the study had statistical significance, but I do not consider it to be particularly meaningful for purposes of trying to prove what you're trying to prove.

As for willful ignorance, I hope you understand that the way you presented this paragraph gave the impression that you were including me in the category of "willfully ignorant".  I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt here, but you really need to watch out for what you say and how you say it[1].

It may very well be unpalatable to theists if they hear that atheists have a slightly higher IQ. I'm not sure how to make it palatable for them.
You can start by not proceeding from that assumption without better proof to support it than numbers which are well within a standard deviation.  Or at all, for that matter.  To be blunt, you are not going to be able to make it 'palatable' as long as you persist in trying to use a scientific study which, at most, shows a small difference in intelligence quotient, to pursue a philosophical argument.  The only thing which you are likely to accomplish with that is to leave the people you are attempting to convince with a really bad impression, and to turn away some of the ones who might have been willing to listen to the philosophical argument if you hadn't tried to mix it with a discussion about intelligence.
 1. Let's leave off discussions about skepticism and willful ignorance, at least in this topic.  It would really be much better to bring up your idea about atheists being more grounded in reality, etc, in a different topic, perhaps even in a different forum.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 23, 2011, 04:36:10 PM
So, again, 39 studies support what I have been trying to argue: that there is a connection between intelligence and religion.

I have a question... for those here who used to be theists like myself ... were we less intelligent when we were theists than we are now that we are atheists?

Yes.

Provided we define it like this:

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

Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving.


The indoctrination of my youth guaranteed I would be less inclined to reasoning, learning, and problem solving related to the belief in a god.  Hence, all the reinforcement of emotional dependencies; at some point I was no longer capable of exercising cognitive dissonance between my ability to reason and 'god belief'.  This motivation probably comes from an emotional spark of some kind, like observing christians behaving like TOT, raise, or any number of our typical religious trolls, then wondering why.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Omen on September 23, 2011, 04:43:43 PM
^^ I agree that atheists are smarter than theists when it comes to the belief in a god. I've been saying this all along.

... and I accept the studies that confirm that atheists who are already confirmed atheists tend to do better than theists (willfully ignorant or not) in certain areas that measure certain part of people's intelligence (i.e. the IQ exam).

I stand by my position that this is irrelevant, these studies do not measure everything there is to know about a person's intelligence and making the argument that atheists are smarter than theists doesn't help anyone. We should focus solely on debunking theist's claims, not proving ourselves to be smarter as this is only incidental, not precise and only deepens the divide.

I agree with most of everything in this statement, however I would qualify the statement about atheist being smarter than theist when it comes to a belief in a god.  I'm more than willing to provide a theist with the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a deistic like god.  While there are certainly no reason to suppose such a thing to exist, there is nothing explicitly non-intelligent about guessing that it might be true.

On the flip side, the god label is such vague and meaningless 'thing' that it can literally be supposed into any situation, even one where its existence is not necessary.  I can think of no philosophical positions on existence that I hold to be true and a god cannot exist anyway.  There is another condition or I should say symptom of the fact that the god label is so vapid of an intellectual consideration, that is that religions in themselves are so far removed from the process of intellectual philosophy that even if a god were to exist the means in which they claim it would guarantee that they would never know if it were 'their' god much less that a 'god' exists at all.  Religion really is the complete absence of any meaningful input on the discussion of whether or not a god exists, leaving only the possibility of absolute random chance that that happen to pick the right answer out of a hat of near infinite choices.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on September 23, 2011, 05:04:49 PM
It depends on which IQ exam they used. It is extremely difficult to separate intelligence from knowledge and so IQ tests are inaccurate if knowledge helps the test-taker get the right answer. The only legitimate way to test IQ is to test a person's ability to learn something new, and even that is difficult because the test-takers might have previous knowledge that gives them an edge. When I studied IQ testing, I remember learning that testing anyone over the age of 16 was inaccurate because the older a person got, the more knowledge they would gain, so it would more likely for an older person to score better on an IQ test.
I don't think the study proves anything because there isn't a significant difference between the tested groups.
Some more recent researchers recognize several types of intelligence rather than just the one that is measured by the IQ exam. For example, everyone knows someone who is very smart in school subjects but has no common sense. My daughter has an IQ of 145+ (she was tested at age 7) and she has done some very dumb things.
I believe that most atheists have arrived at the conclusion that there is no God based on rational thought. Religious people are capable of rational thought, but they may be unable to apply it to religious thinking. A large portion of religious people have had the religious dogma shoved down their throats since before they could speak, so it became a part of their belief system before they had developed the ability of rational thought. Environment plays a role in whether someone will be inclined to question their belief in God.
There are scientists who are religious and are considered to be very intelligent.
Jews are generally considered to have higher IQ's as a group. Rather than attributing that difference to genetics, you could assume that believing in Jesus lowers your intelligence. In my personal experience, I have three Jewish cousins, two of whom are very intelligent. The slow one became a Catholic, so I might assume that having lower intelligence makes you believe in Jesus.
I agree with you, Omen, that there is a big difference between allowing for the possibility that there is a god and accepting hook, line and sinker all the dogma the organized religions expect you to believe. Once you accept a faith, you abandon all free thought on the subject.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on September 23, 2011, 05:10:34 PM

I stand by my position that this is irrelevant, these studies do not measure everything there is to know about a person's intelligence and making the argument that atheists are smarter than theists doesn't help anyone. We should focus solely on debunking theist's claims, not proving ourselves to be smarter as this is only incidental, not precise and only deepens the divide.

Plethora,

This stronghold on society has been going on for far too long, and it needs to stop.  This may well require a certain defense against what I consider to be quite stupid.  That being that modern, supposedly educated humans are running around our society making life miserable for people like us, and for what?  For their imaginary god.  I normally cal it a delusion, and I don't want to say that every theist is stupid, but those who are outspoken enough to fill the airwaves and Internet, and all other form of communication with mythology that causes hate and division, death and destruction, and makes zero apologies for it, need to be bitch slapped.

And it is the atheists who will need to do it.  You've already stated that we have the edge on the main question.  But that edge is the entirety of their position, and it is plainly not as smart as non belief -at least to me.  So, how much longer shall we "focus solely" on debunking claims?  And do you really think this approach is working?  I know this is a bigger question, with more tangents!

Anyway, I'm a bit of a hypocrite, because I haven't done my part in what I claim is required to the extent that I think is necessary, but the discussion alone is getting me warmed up to trying something new.  If you read some of my more recent posts, you might notice a tone shift towards the woo.  :D
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 08:28:26 PM
You are continuing to act like this is a big deal, despite the fact that we are talking about a small difference in IQ.  6 IQ points is not even half a standard deviation, and there is just not that much of a difference for all practical purposes between someone with an IQ of 103 and someone with an IQ of 97 (which are the average IQs listed in the first study you provided).  They are both effectively average, and there is no guarantee at all that the former will do better than the latter in anything, because the non-intelligence factors have a much greater effect than a mere six points of IQ.

Look, Jaime, we keep going around in circles discussing the same thing. I claim that the IQ points are significant because even a slight increase in intelligence will mean slightly better info processing. Again, atheists have used their slightly better info processing ability to figure out that God does not exist. We can continue to disagree and disagree and disagree...

Quote
And here's some evidence for you, though you may not accept it since it's not some study that I can conveniently link to.  My own personal IQ score went up five points from the time I was in second grade, when I was first tested, to the time I was in fifth grade, when I was tested again.  In other words, a few years of simple elementary school education and normal maturation made almost as much of a difference in my IQ score as the IQ difference between atheists and theists that you're touting as 'significant'.  This should more than adequately explain why I do not accept that as meaning very much, even leaving aside the reasons I've already said.

That is good that your IQ score went up. My point is that even if a theist's IQ increases, the atheist's IQ could very well increase, and there could still be that 6 point gap even with an increase for both.

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As far as my definition of skepticism goes, I wasn't aware that any of the studies you had linked to were about skepticism and intelligence.  I was under the impression that your definition of skepticism was based more on your own personal observations, not on scientific studies.  So why are you expecting me to provide a higher degree of evidence than you gave?

Actually, I provided evidence. Here is an excerpt from the second study that I quoted on the 1st page of this thread:  "'My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical,' says the professor."

The professor that is being referred to is the researcher. And his hypothesis was supported by his results. So, I am not expecting you to provide a higher degree of evidence. I am expecting you to provide evidence, period.
 
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When you start talking about "the reality of atheism", you've gone on a philosophical tangent regarding a particular way of using "information processing" which is not covered by IQ tests.  It is in no way relevant to the original point of the conversation, which was about how significant a five or six point difference in IQ might be.  I don't claim to know why that difference exists, nor do I have any intention of speculating beyond my knowledge to try to come up with a reason for it when I haven't studied IQ tests in depth.  What I do know is that there are factors which influence the ability to use one's natural intelligence that go beyond a relatively narrow statistic like IQ.  If you don't want to discuss them, even though they matter much more than an IQ difference which doesn't even exceed one standard deviation according to the study that you quoted, then I certainly see no reason why we should discuss philosophical ideas like "the reality of atheism", which might not even matter as much as those other factors do.

Call it philosophy if you like, but atheism is a reality. I have yet to see a theist prove God's existence. Some IQ tests do not cover info processing, and some do, especially the military study. What are the factors that you are referring to above? BTW, I find it hard to ignore that 39 studies all had the same results, and that those results happen to support my argument.

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Which, again, isn't that important.  You're talking about six IQ points.  According to the standard methodology used in IQ tests, that isn't even one standard deviation (it's about 40% of a deviation).  Bearing in mind that the IQ test is formulated so that 95% of people will fall within two standard deviations on either side of the scale (a total of four standard deviations), a mere six points is barely a blip on the radar.  You're taking a statistic which, while significant, isn't particularly so, and trying to make it much more important than it actually is.  If we were talking about a 15-30 point difference in IQs, I would agree that it was important.  But a six-point difference, not even one standard deviation?  Not hardly.

Yet why do atheists even have several more IQ points than theists in general? You have yet to provide me with your viewpoint on that. It certainly is interesting that there is any difference in IQ points between atheists and theists, is it not?

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I did not say that.  What I'm not willing to do is rely on an interpretation of a study that tries to make something impressive out of a relatively minor statistical difference.  I already granted that the study had statistical significance, but I do not consider it to be particularly meaningful for purposes of trying to prove what you're trying to prove.

What about the other 39 studies?

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As for willful ignorance, I hope you understand that the way you presented this paragraph gave the impression that you were including me in the category of "willfully ignorant".  I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt here, but you really need to watch out for what you say and how you say it[1].
 1. Let's leave off discussions about skepticism and willful ignorance, at least in this topic.  It would really be much better to bring up your idea about atheists being more grounded in reality, etc, in a different topic, perhaps even in a different forum.

Well, I certainly did not mean to say that you are willfully ignorant. In fact, I rather enjoy debating you because you do seem intelligent. I was asking if we can at least agree on a definition when I said this: "If I call someone willfully ignorant, it is because they are refusing to listen to evidence simply because they do not want to. Does that sound like a good description of willful ignorance?" That sentence was a response to your, "Also, 'ignorance' is a subjective value judgement; it's like using the term 'barbarian' or 'savage' to describe someone from a primitive culture." Since you said ignorance was a subjective value judgment, I was honestly asking if my description was a good one. Anyway, I can quit talking about skepticism and willful ignorance with you from this point on, if you prefer.

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You can start by not proceeding from that assumption without better proof to support it than numbers which are well within a standard deviation.  Or at all, for that matter.  To be blunt, you are not going to be able to make it 'palatable' as long as you persist in trying to use a scientific study which, at most, shows a small difference in intelligence quotient, to pursue a philosophical argument.  The only thing which you are likely to accomplish with that is to leave the people you are attempting to convince with a really bad impression, and to turn away some of the ones who might have been willing to listen to the philosophical argument if you hadn't tried to mix it with a discussion about intelligence.

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, I think the theists may get irritated if I challenge their faith, period. The more moderate ones may be less irritated, so I guess that is the best I can hope for.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 23, 2011, 08:35:47 PM
Rather than attributing that difference to genetics, you could assume that believing in Jesus lowers your intelligence. In my personal experience, I have three Jewish cousins, two of whom are very intelligent. The slow one became a Catholic, so I might assume that having lower intelligence makes you believe in Jesus.

I would say that believing in any kind of God (including Jesus) is a sign of slightly lower intelligence if one is presented with logic and evidence, and then they reject it for their God. Or they could just be too stubborn to listen to reason.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on September 24, 2011, 02:27:17 AM
[1]
Quote from: curiousgirl
Reply #18 on: September 19, 2011, 05:59:11 PM »

Provide me with your version of a non-biased study if you disagree with this one.

I don't agree or disagree, mainly 'cause I haven't read it as of yet...and I have no intention to.  But many factors go into certain things; but, one really has to look at the level(s) of education of those who are of both; most religious people tend to be of the "poor" variety (thus my other comment after my initial one) and though that doesn't necessarily preclude them from an education, in many cases it does hold them back; especially if where they are getting their education from.  In some places those who are able to "read" and "write" are considered by many in those places to be "highly intelligent" people because most of the population in that particular area can not.  This doesn't mean that those who can are more intelligent than those who can't but to those particular people it does seem that way, to a point.

In the society I live in I would be considered to be not as intelligent as most; even though I obviously know how to read and write, I however never graduated high school, never went to college, have only 2 certificates of completion: one in JROTC and one in typing.  Neither of the latter two take much intelligence; they're moreso skills than anything, a type of labor.  However, I state this because in the society I live in that's what people base one's intelligence on: the level of school they've completed.   The degrees that they have -- the pieces of paper they have obtained.  However, I know many people who have those pieces of paper and yet are less intelligent than I am.  So, where a society regards such thing in high principle (such as the one I currently reside in) -- what exactly is "intelligent" really based on?

I do not have to read the study by the link provided to have an inkling of what it states; especially since I've read similar in the past but as all of them have done, and most of them will do in the future; they will leave out some fundamental truths -- and it's not their fault, really.  Those fundamental truths just aren't a part of their society.

-Nam
 1. quote function still not working at library
There is a definite link between belief in religion and economics. This might be explained by saying that the poor people have a harder life and have more of a need for the comfort that religion provides. Or you could come to conclusion that religious people are less intelligent and that is why they are poor. It is more likely that the poor happen to belong to a culture that has strong ties to a particular religion. The problem with any scientific study is when the researchers try to assign a why to explain their results. Just because their research showed a correlation between a and b doesn't mean that one caused the other.
In your case, the fact that you do not have a degree does not mean that you aren't intelligent. It means that you are less likely to get a high paying job. Intelligence has become less important in the job market. More and more jobs require certain degrees or certificates. I wanted to pick up a little extra money this year by preparing taxes for people, but now there is a law that you can't do this without getting a license, and you can only get the license by taking a series of classes which you have to pay for.
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 24, 2011, 05:27:23 PM
Look, Jaime, we keep going around in circles discussing the same thing. I claim that the IQ points are significant because even a slight increase in intelligence will mean slightly better info processing. Again, atheists have used their slightly better info processing ability to figure out that God does not exist. We can continue to disagree and disagree and disagree...
I don't accept that, because information processing isn't something 'inherent'.  It's a skill.  Skills, whether mental or physical, improve as you use them; they aren't static.  Furthermore, IQ is an average of several different test categories.  You can't use an average IQ result without actually looking at the results of the individual categories.  As an example, let's use an IQ test that tests spatial reasoning, language reasoning, and math reasoning[1].  Let's say you had someone with results of 103, 103, and 103, averaging out to 103, and someone with results of 92, 107, 92, averaging out to 97.  Even though the latter had two scores which were significantly lower, and the average was lower, they did better in one category.  In other words, they process a certain kind of information better, even though they may not be as good in other areas.

So your argument that "atheists have used their slightly better info processing ability to figure out that God does not exist" is flawed.  It averages the average IQ results of the participants of the study, in other words, an average of an average.  That isn't very accurate and it certainly isn't very useful for what you're trying to say.  I mean, you're saying "information processing ability"...what kind of information processing ability?  Humans process information in a number of ways, and proficiency in one way does not grant proficiency in another.  For example, someone who does a lot of logic problems is not necessarily going to be good at sudoku puzzles, even though both involve information processing.

My point is that even if a theist's IQ increases, the atheist's IQ could very well increase, and there could still be that 6 point gap even with an increase for both.
The point is that comparing average IQs like that overly simplifies the issue.  Maybe they both increased, or maybe one increased and the other didn't.  Or maybe one had a higher increase relative to the other.  Not only that, but IQ scores are really only relevant in a school environment, because the IQ test really only covers specific abilities that relate to a scholastic setting.  They in no way cover the whole of "information processing", but only certain limited aspects of it.  And the other part that you aren't considering is that the IQ test is mostly used for finding people who are outside the norm, either significantly below or significantly above.  It isn't useful at all for people who only differ by a few points from average.

Actually, I provided evidence. Here is an excerpt from the second study that I quoted on the 1st page of this thread:  "'My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical,' says the professor."

The professor that is being referred to is the researcher. And his hypothesis was supported by his results. So, I am not expecting you to provide a higher degree of evidence. I am expecting you to provide evidence, period.
That is not a very good example.  The quotation in the Wiki article has a "[dubious - discuss]" footnote, and Wikipedia strongly suggests that people verify the information being cited before citing it.  Not only that, but the professor in question has also argued that men have higher IQs than women (which you find if you actually check out the (translated) source).  I'm disinclined to accept his statement at face value, in other words.
 
Call it philosophy if you like, but atheism is a reality. I have yet to see a theist prove God's existence. Some IQ tests do not cover info processing, and some do, especially the military study. What are the factors that you are referring to above? BTW, I find it hard to ignore that 39 studies all had the same results, and that those results happen to support my argument.
Humans process information in a lot of ways.  You can't just point to an IQ test's overall result and say "that person is better at information processing", because you have to consider exactly what was being tested.  Someone who might get a lower overall IQ score may well do significantly better in some of the areas tested, because that's how averages work.  I can't name all the other factors that go into performance offhand, but among them are determination, focus, willpower, and craftsmanship.

[q
Yet why do atheists even have several more IQ points than theists in general? You have yet to provide me with your viewpoint on that. It certainly is interesting that there is any difference in IQ points between atheists and theists, is it not?
Not particularly interesting, no, certainly not in the way that you're trying to take it.  I've said this repeatedly, but we aren't talking about a big difference in IQ scores.  And my viewpoint is that a six-point difference is not worth trying to make anything of.  It doesn't prove that atheists are especially bright, and it doesn't prove that theists are especially dumb.  At most, it might be useful in demonstrating patterns in how people associate themselves with a particular ideology, or something like that.  It is not useful in trying to show that "atheism is a reality", because it's not a big enough difference to show anything beyond a basic statistical significance.

What about the other 39 studies?
You're quoting from a quote by Richard Dawkins about a summary by yet another person of those 39 studies.  This is third-hand or fourth-hand information at best, and not especially convincing.  Have you actually looked at any of these studies?  I don't mean looking at a news report on them, or a quote about them, I mean actually looking at the raw data of the study in question.

Well, I certainly did not mean to say that you are willfully ignorant. In fact, I rather enjoy debating you because you do seem intelligent.
I know.  If I had thought you were saying that, I would have been a lot more upset.  I was just trying to point out how easy it is for someone to take something you say badly, even though you don't mean it that way.  That's one of the pitfalls when you discuss something like this, especially if you discuss it with people whom you have philosophical disagreements with.

I was asking if we can at least agree on a definition when I said this: "If I call someone willfully ignorant, it is because they are refusing to listen to evidence simply because they do not want to. Does that sound like a good description of willful ignorance?" That sentence was a response to your, "Also, 'ignorance' is a subjective value judgement; it's like using the term 'barbarian' or 'savage' to describe someone from a primitive culture." Since you said ignorance was a subjective value judgment, I was honestly asking if my description was a good one.
I'm not sure I'd call it 'ignorance' to be honest.  I've seen situations where someone educated and intelligent tended to throw out evidence without seriously considering it because of some bias they had.  'Uninformed' might be a better term.

Anyway, I can quit talking about skepticism and willful ignorance with you from this point on, if you prefer.
It's more that I think the two have diverged too much to make it easy to discuss them in the same topic like this.

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, I think the theists may get irritated if I challenge their faith, period. The more moderate ones may be less irritated, so I guess that is the best I can hope for.
Personally, I think the fact that people might get irritated about something doesn't relieve one of the responsibility of presenting information in a way that will not make the job of presenting it harder than it needs to be.  And I think you're actually more likely to irritate the ones who you want to listen to you than the ones who aren't likely to listen in any case with this line of argument.
 1. I am fairly sure that IQ tests cover more categories than this, so this is just an example.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 24, 2011, 09:19:22 PM
I don't accept that, because information processing isn't something 'inherent'.  It's a skill.  Skills, whether mental or physical, improve as you use them; they aren't static.  Furthermore, IQ is an average of several different test categories.  You can't use an average IQ result without actually looking at the results of the individual categories.  As an example, let's use an IQ test that tests spatial reasoning, language reasoning, and math reasoning[1].  Let's say you had someone with results of 103, 103, and 103, averaging out to 103, and someone with results of 92, 107, 92, averaging out to 97.  Even though the latter had two scores which were significantly lower, and the average was lower, they did better in one category.  In other words, they process a certain kind of information better, even though they may not be as good in other areas.
 1. I am fairly sure that IQ tests cover more categories than this, so this is just an example.

There is a theory called Information Processing Theory that defines intelligence as information processing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_processing_theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_processing_theory)

Quote
Before information processing theory, psychologists had trouble operationally defining intelligence. One psychologist even ventured to define intelligence as, "What intelligence tests measure." Information processing defines intelligence as processing. In this way, intelligence can be researched with a more definitive purpose. If the better processor is the smarter human, then getting at what makes people better processors from a psychological level all the way to a biochemical level will help humans understand intelligence much better

With that in mind, the study that I am about to list shows that intelligence is inherent (my bolding below):

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/more-proof-that-intelligence-is-85134.aspx (http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/more-proof-that-intelligence-is-85134.aspx)

Quote

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Feb. 18, UCLA neurology professor Paul Thompson and colleagues used a new type of brain-imaging scanner to show that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain's axons, or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain. The faster the signaling, the faster the brain processes information. And since the integrity of the brain's wiring is influenced by genes, the genes we inherit play a far greater role in intelligence than was previously thought.

Therefore, information processing, which is mentioned above, is mostly inherent.

So your argument that "atheists have used their slightly better info processing ability to figure out that God does not exist" is flawed.  It averages the average IQ results of the participants of the study, in other words, an average of an average.  That isn't very accurate and it certainly isn't very useful for what you're trying to say.  I mean, you're saying "information processing ability"...what kind of information processing ability?  Humans process information in a number of ways, and proficiency in one way does not grant proficiency in another.  For example, someone who does a lot of logic problems is not necessarily going to be good at sudoku puzzles, even though both involve information processing.

Fair question. Let me provide an excerpt from the Information Processing theory link above. The Analysis of Stimuli aspect of info processing is useful in helping one realistically process info from the environment (to figure out that God does not exist):

Quote

The Four Pillars of the Information Processing Model

There are four fundamental assumptions – or four pillars – of the information processing approach. These pillars underlying, and support this approach as well as many other cognitive models.

Thinking: The process of thinking includes the activities of perception of external stimuli, encoding the same and storing the data so perceived and encoded in one's mental recesses.

Analysis of Stimuli: This is the process by which the encoded stimuli are altered to suit the brain's cognition and interpretation process to enable decision making. There are four distinct sub-processes that form a favourable alliance to make the brain arrive at a conclusion regarding the encoded stimuli it has received and kept stored. These four sub-processes are encoding, strategization, generalization and automatization.

Situational Modification: This is the process by which an individual uses his experience, which is nothing other than a collection of stored memories, to handle a similar situation in future. In case of certain differences in both situations, the individual modifies the decisions they took during their previous experience to come up with solutions for the somewhat different problem.

Obstacle Evaluation: This step maintains that besides the subject's individual development level, the nature of the obstacle or problem should also be taken into consideration while evaluating the subject's intellectual, problem solving and cognitive acumen. Sometimes, unnecessary and misleading information can confuse the subject and he / she may show signs of confusion while dealing with a situation which is similar to one he / she was exposed to before, which he / she was able to handle successfully.

The point is that comparing average IQs like that overly simplifies the issue.  Maybe they both increased, or maybe one increased and the other didn't.  Or maybe one had a higher increase relative to the other.  Not only that, but IQ scores are really only relevant in a school environment, because the IQ test really only covers specific abilities that relate to a scholastic setting.  They in no way cover the whole of "information processing", but only certain limited aspects of it.  And the other part that you aren't considering is that the IQ test is mostly used for finding people who are outside the norm, either significantly below or significantly above.  It isn't useful at all for people who only differ by a few points from average.

I understand that IQ testing is simplistic, however, I have yet to see a better way of measuring intelligence. The WAIS-III (one of the mainstream IQ tests today) was designed by psychologist David Wechsler:
 http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/int-history.htm

Quote
Wechsler believed that intelligence involved a number of different mental abilities, describing intelligence as, "the global capacity of a person to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment" (1939).

That definition sounds like what I have been trying to describe.

That is not a very good example.  The quotation in the Wiki article has a "[dubious - discuss]" footnote, and Wikipedia strongly suggests that people verify the information being cited before citing it.  Not only that, but the professor in question has also argued that men have higher IQs than women (which you find if you actually check out the (translated) source).  I'm disinclined to accept his statement at face value, in other words.

I agree that he sounds sketchy now that you brought up the gender issue, but that individual was only one of the researchers in one of the studies I provided. There were other researchers involved, and data is data.
 
Humans process information in a lot of ways.  You can't just point to an IQ test's overall result and say "that person is better at information processing", because you have to consider exactly what was being tested.  Someone who might get a lower overall IQ score may well do significantly better in some of the areas tested, because that's how averages work.  I can't name all the other factors that go into performance offhand, but among them are determination, focus, willpower, and craftsmanship.

I think that scientists (mainly psychologists) do the best they can to understand the nature of intelligence and to attempt to measure it with the means that are available. Do I think that IQ tests are a perfect method of measuring intelligence? No. However, they are what is available, unless you can provide me with some other way to measure overall intelligence. Honestly, I would like to learn a better method if you would be so kind as to provide me with one.

Not particularly interesting, no, certainly not in the way that you're trying to take it.  I've said this repeatedly, but we aren't talking about a big difference in IQ scores.  And my viewpoint is that a six-point difference is not worth trying to make anything of.  It doesn't prove that atheists are especially bright, and it doesn't prove that theists are especially dumb.  At most, it might be useful in demonstrating patterns in how people associate themselves with a particular ideology, or something like that.  It is not useful in trying to show that "atheism is a reality", because it's not a big enough difference to show anything beyond a basic statistical significance.

I have said that I understand that it is only a slight difference in points, and therefore a slight difference in intelligence. However, I am trying to figure out the reason for this slight difference overall.

You're quoting from a quote by Richard Dawkins about a summary by yet another person of those 39 studies.  This is third-hand or fourth-hand information at best, and not especially convincing.  Have you actually looked at any of these studies?  I don't mean looking at a news report on them, or a quote about them, I mean actually looking at the raw data of the study in question.

Unfortunately, I could not get a copy of Mensa Magazine, so I had to quote one of the studies as well as Richard Dawkins as the source for the excerpt of Paul Bell’s review.  I will continue to try and provide original information, but unfortunately, I did not possess it in this case. I will attempt to find the original source for some of that data.

I know.  If I had thought you were saying that, I would have been a lot more upset.  I was just trying to point out how easy it is for someone to take something you say badly, even though you don't mean it that way.  That's one of the pitfalls when you discuss something like this, especially if you discuss it with people whom you have philosophical disagreements with.

Agreed. It is definitely difficult to discuss things of this nature. It is a delicate subject.

I'm not sure I'd call it 'ignorance' to be honest.  I've seen situations where someone educated and intelligent tended to throw out evidence without seriously considering it because of some bias they had.  'Uninformed' might be a better term.

Duly noted.

Personally, I think the fact that people might get irritated about something doesn't relieve one of the responsibility of presenting information in a way that will not make the job of presenting it harder than it needs to be.  And I think you're actually more likely to irritate the ones who you want to listen to you than the ones who aren't likely to listen in any case with this line of argument.

As I have said, I realize the topic is sensitive. I don't want to offend anyone, but it is possible, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on September 25, 2011, 04:11:37 PM
There is a theory called Information Processing Theory that defines intelligence as information processing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_processing_theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_processing_theory)

With that in mind, the study that I am about to list shows that intelligence is inherent (my bolding below):

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/more-proof-that-intelligence-is-85134.aspx (http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/more-proof-that-intelligence-is-85134.aspx)

Therefore, information processing, which is mentioned above, is mostly inherent.
In fairness, I wasn't trying to say that there wasn't anything inherent in intelligence.  What I was trying to say is that it the skill in using it matters far more than the inherent, genetic ability.  A person who has a greater level of natural strength has no guarantee of ending up stronger than someone who isn't quite as naturally strong, especially if the latter person works harder at developing the strength they do have.  Let's say you have someone who has a 10% genetic advantage in strength who lifts weights once a week for ten years, and someone who doesn't who lifts weights twice a week for ten years.  Can you honestly argue that the latter person will not end up with much more effective strength regardless of their relative starting points?  It's the same thing with intelligence and anything else; it's not what you have at the beginning, it's what you do with it that counts.

Fair question. Let me provide an excerpt from the Information Processing theory link above. The Analysis of Stimuli aspect of info processing is useful in helping one realistically process info from the environment (to figure out that God does not exist):
Your excerpt doesn't really answer my point.  Which was, for reference, that using an average of several hundred averaged IQ scores is going to be inherently inaccurate for determining anything useful and is thus a flawed argument for trying to say that one group of people is inherently 'smarter' than another (especially in conjunction with my point from above, that a baseline genetic value for intelligence is not going to make nearly as much of a difference as the work done to develop skill in using it).

I understand that IQ testing is simplistic, however, I have yet to see a better way of measuring intelligence. The WAIS-III (one of the mainstream IQ tests today) was designed by psychologist David Wechsler:
 http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/int-history.htm

That definition sounds like what I have been trying to describe.
Let me reiterate what I said before, that IQ scores are really only particularly useful in a scholastic environment.  They aren't useless for measuring intelligence, but they certainly shouldn't be held up as a way to say that person X is naturally smarter than person Y because of a test score they took when they were ten or twelve, or even fourteen or sixteen.  Especially when you consider that the real world only cares about the results of the only test that actually matters, how someone deals with real-life situations.

I agree that he sounds sketchy now that you brought up the gender issue, but that individual was only one of the researchers in one of the studies I provided. There were other researchers involved, and data is data.
Indeed, data is data.  It's how people use that data that matters.  As I pointed out, someone with an agenda can interpret the data in such a way as to reinforce some ideological or philosophical point, whereas someone else can interpret the data in a completely different way.
 
I think that scientists (mainly psychologists) do the best they can to understand the nature of intelligence and to attempt to measure it with the means that are available. Do I think that IQ tests are a perfect method of measuring intelligence? No. However, they are what is available, unless you can provide me with some other way to measure overall intelligence. Honestly, I would like to learn a better method if you would be so kind as to provide me with one.
Look, I'm not trying to say that I have a better method.  What I've been disagreeing with is your argument that you can take a six-point IQ difference and use it to claim that a particular group of people are "naturally smarter".  IQ tests are primarily used to find people who are significantly far from the norm[1].  That six-point difference, if you actually break it down, is actually only three points under the norm to three points over the norm.  It may have statistical significance (meaning, it falls outside the 'error' of the study), but for purposes of showing people who are significantly more intelligent, it's almost completely useless.

I have said that I understand that it is only a slight difference in points, and therefore a slight difference in intelligence. However, I am trying to figure out the reason for this slight difference overall.
I would say it's not enough of a difference to worry about, personally.  I mean, it's not even half of a standard deviation.  If you're really interested in trying to figure out the reason, then you need to look at the actual data itself, instead of relying on quotes from summaries of these various studies.

Unfortunately, I could not get a copy of Mensa Magazine, so I had to quote one of the studies as well as Richard Dawkins as the source for the excerpt of Paul Bell’s review.  I will continue to try and provide original information, but unfortunately, I did not possess it in this case. I will attempt to find the original source for some of that data.
That would be good.  I would also suggest that you be careful about pushing your conclusions when you don't have the actual data to work from.
 1. In the case of modern IQ test methodology, "significantly far" is a standard deviation or more, which is 15 points on the scale.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 25, 2011, 07:00:53 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.

In fairness, I wasn't trying to say that there wasn't anything inherent in intelligence.  What I was trying to say is that it the skill in using it matters far more than the inherent, genetic ability.  A person who has a greater level of natural strength has no guarantee of ending up stronger than someone who isn't quite as naturally strong, especially if the latter person works harder at developing the strength they do have.  Let's say you have someone who has a 10% genetic advantage in strength who lifts weights once a week for ten years, and someone who doesn't who lifts weights twice a week for ten years.  Can you honestly argue that the latter person will not end up with much more effective strength regardless of their relative starting points?  It's the same thing with intelligence and anything else; it's not what you have at the beginning, it's what you do with it that counts.

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:

 
http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/fluid-crystal.htm (http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/fluid-crystal.htm)

Fluid intelligence is "the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems." Crystallized intelligence is "learning from past experiences and learning.....This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences." Here is the difference with regard to increases and decreases:

Quote
Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence Throughout Life
•Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence.


•Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40.


•Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.

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.   


Your excerpt doesn't really answer my point.  Which was, for reference, that using an average of several hundred averaged IQ scores is going to be inherently inaccurate for determining anything useful and is thus a flawed argument for trying to say that one group of people is inherently 'smarter' than another (especially in conjunction with my point from above, that a baseline genetic value for intelligence is not going to make nearly as much of a difference as the work done to develop skill in using it).

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?

Let me reiterate what I said before, that IQ scores are really only particularly useful in a scholastic environment.  They aren't useless for measuring intelligence, but they certainly shouldn't be held up as a way to say that person X is naturally smarter than person Y because of a test score they took when they were ten or twelve, or even fourteen or sixteen.  Especially when you consider that the real world only cares about the results of the only test that actually matters, how someone deals with real-life situations.

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?

Indeed, data is data.  It's how people use that data that matters.  As I pointed out, someone with an agenda can interpret the data in such a way as to reinforce some ideological or philosophical point, whereas someone else can interpret the data in a completely different way.

How would you interpret the data from any of the info I provided? I am curious to know.
 
Look, I'm not trying to say that I have a better method.  What I've been disagreeing with is your argument that you can take a six-point IQ difference and use it to claim that a particular group of people are "naturally smarter".  IQ tests are primarily used to find people who are significantly far from the norm[1].  That six-point difference, if you actually break it down, is actually only three points under the norm to three points over the norm.  It may have statistical significance (meaning, it falls outside the 'error' of the study), but for purposes of showing people who are significantly more intelligent, it's almost completely useless.
 1. In the case of modern IQ test methodology, "significantly far" is a standard deviation or more, which is 15 points on the scale.

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 would say it's not enough of a difference to worry about, personally.  I mean, it's not even half of a standard deviation.  If you're really interested in trying to figure out the reason, then you need to look at the actual data itself, instead of relying on quotes from summaries of these various studies.

I have looked at the data and the quotes from the researchers, and they do seem to agree. What is wrong with a summary?

That would be good.  I would also suggest that you be careful about pushing your conclusions when you don't have the actual data to work from.

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?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 26, 2011, 09:20:01 AM
I have contacted British Mensa to see if I can order a copy of the February 2002 Mensa Magazine featuring the article by Paul Bell, in which he reviews the 43 studies, 39 of which support my argument. Let's hope I can get my hands on an original copy of that magazine, since it would make the debate more interesting.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Graybeard on September 26, 2011, 09:53:45 AM
From time to time, I have, from statistics available, compared various facets of human life set against a belief in a deity. There seems to be no perceivable difference.

If you were to examine the skills and attributes of those suffering mental illness with those of the general population, you would not find much difference. E.g. High IQ does not exempt anyone from schizophrenia, early death or poverty. Nothing follows from belief or lack of belief in deities, mainly because deities are nothing.

There are some societies where such claims have been made and the figures are superficially tempting, however, these figures are heavily influenced by culture. 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?

“Ah!” you say, “But there were plenty of people who just went along with Christianity for a quiet life.”

I reply, “Yes, that is why there are a disproportionate number of Christians in US jails. They just go along with Christianity they are not real Christians.” Whilst you are nodding sagely, I point out that in Ireland and Poland, 99% of prisoners are Catholic! But in Lithuania, fewer than 10% are!

You point out how wealthy countries have cleverer people and clever people are less likely to be religious. I point out Kuwait. You say, “But look at inventions!” I say, “Look at the Romans and Greeks; deists to a man.”

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.

Nature is cruel, isn't she?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect)

Quote

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:

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell 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?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl 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).
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers 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?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl 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!  :)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on September 27, 2011, 03:05:22 AM
t'was a pleasure ... and you made a very good effort at defending your proposition.  8)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on September 27, 2011, 08:59:38 AM
^^^Thank you!  :)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam 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.

Quote
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.

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

Already answered this.

Quote
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
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam 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
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam 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?

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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. 

Quote
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.

Quote
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
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Truth OT 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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam 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?

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

Are you implying that Technical schools are fake?

Quote
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.

Quote
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
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 01, 2011, 03:43:11 AM
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on October 01, 2011, 01:37:20 PM
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/
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 01, 2011, 04:50:21 PM
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on October 01, 2011, 05:10:19 PM
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:

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on October 01, 2011, 10:16:54 PM
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on October 02, 2011, 12:36:46 AM
EDIT. missed your footnote.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on October 02, 2011, 12:44:25 AM
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Ultra on October 02, 2011, 01:21:22 AM
Somehow I'm not surprised.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on October 02, 2011, 08:34:25 AM
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.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 02, 2011, 08:56:30 AM
@jayb...LOL.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on October 02, 2011, 12:01:00 PM
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.

Ricky, I did not accuse you of saying that most atheists are autistic. I merely wanted to point out that most atheists are not autistic in order to prevent anyone (especially theists) from having misconceptions.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 02, 2011, 01:05:46 PM
This has been beaten into the ground fairly well, but I have to ask...

Given the distinction between some theists who reject the theory of evolution, and everyone else who have no problems accepting it, what exactly is it within these theists that causes the rejection?  I mean, there is literally no evidence at all that any god ever invented is actually real, so what we have are people who insist that their beliefs in their god, and thus their rejection of actual facts and evidence from science are incorrect.

This distinction, in my mind, makes them less intelligent.  If ten humans stand before a desert plain and nine of them insist there is a mountain, is intelligence not a factor in determining that the nine people have less intelligence than the one?

I am not talking about specialized intelligence, and I don't expect anyone to defend theism as special intelligence. 

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on October 02, 2011, 05:00:11 PM
Given the distinction between some theists who reject the theory of evolution, and everyone else who have no problems accepting it, what exactly is it within these theists that causes the rejection?  I mean, there is literally no evidence at all that any god ever invented is actually real, so what we have are people who insist that their beliefs in their god, and thus their rejection of actual facts and evidence from science are incorrect.

I remember thinking that there are some parts about the theory of evolution that I had trouble understanding and believing but I am not in a position to extrapolate what specific area/s it was. I can tell you that it had more to do with my skepticism than any bias towards creationism. In a way, I can point to my early childhood indoctrination and shit like Santa Claus as the reason for my skepticism. Later in life I noticed that it was "bad" to eat eggs. Later in life I was told it was "good" to eat eggs. Later in life it was that there were two different kinds of cholesterol and at that point I stopped paying attention and just ate what I liked. I understand that scientists and nutritionists and geologists and evolutionists have to change their previous positions once new information and observation has been confirmed but the effect of the fairly frequent changes does little to instill confidence in the minds of people who are not classically trained in the sciences. Another fine example would be that in the 80's climatologists were ringing the alarm for the coming of the next Ice age. I think it might have as much to do with intolerance to change as it does actual intelligence. Or perhaps the two are connected.

If ten humans stand before a desert plain and nine of them insist there is a mountain, is intelligence not a factor in determining that the nine people have less intelligence than the one?


Observation perhaps not so much actual smarts. What does the tenth person see?

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Graybeard on October 02, 2011, 07:23:10 PM
Given the distinction between some theists who reject the theory of evolution, and everyone else who have no problems accepting it, what exactly is it within these theists that causes the rejection?  I mean, there is literally no evidence at all that any god ever invented is actually real, so what we have are people who insist that their beliefs in their god, and thus their rejection of actual facts and evidence from science are incorrect.
It is a delusion if you believe an opinion contrary to incontrovertible fact.

If I believe that the government is sending radio waves to my brain and telling me to eat dirt, then I am a suitable case for treatment. If I believe that by wearing a wedding ring the rays will not affect me, then I may lead a normal life.

The religious delusion is accepted in all societies as part of normal life because, bye and large, it is compartmentalised. Nothing stops me from believing in a blue god with 6 arms and being able to waltz through an IQ test, see the faults in other people’s arguments, quote learned writers and generally live the life of an academic.

Dr J Wiles thinks that the earth is 6,000years old and that the Bible is literally true. He has a genuine PhD in nuclear chemistry from a reputable university– you don’t get that if you are a mouth-breather.
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This distinction, in my mind, makes them less intelligent.  If ten humans stand before a desert plain and nine of them insist there is a mountain, is intelligence not a factor in determining that the nine people have less intelligence than the one?
No. Not at all. If I call the sea “wine coloured” am I unintelligent? The Greeks called the sea “wine coloured” and their intelligence didn’t seem to suffer. Everyone[1] thought it was normal not to have a name for the colour blue.

If in your example, I insisted there were no mountain, and destroyed all protective clothing, etc., then I would be mad. If we reached the mountain and I said that it was flat but that gravity was stronger as far as the top and weaker to the bottom, then, although I would be deluded, the idea would work for me and not affect anyone else. Intelligence isn’t a factor.

In short, you are not unintelligent just because you disagree with someone else, or even a lot of people. You may, in certain areas, be stubborn, obtuse, inflexible, not open to reason, but your intelligence is not lessened.
 1. i.e. everyone except those who did have a name for the colour blue
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 02, 2011, 07:39:03 PM
In short, you are not unintelligent just because you disagree with someone else, or even a lot of people. You may, in certain areas, be stubborn, obtuse, inflexible, not open to reason, but your intelligence is not lessened.

My bold.  In my opinion, this seems to ignore the actual fact that these people literally cannot be as intelligent overall if they decide to act this way "in certain areas".  If we want to claim that one with a PhD from a respected university is intelligent, yet that same person thinks there is a God, without evidence, or denies evolution, piled high with evidence, then tell me exactly what you mean by intelligence?

I cannot accept that people are equally intelligent, but either "stubborn, obtuse, inflexible, [or] not open to reason".  To me, they are less intelligent.  I mean, take any specialized field, like physics - where someone like me cannot keep up with a PhD.  I do not become stubborn, obtuse, inflexible, or not open to reason regarding physics.  Nor does anyone else with enough intelligence to recognize that science does not make shit up in a vacuum, and heap it upon the masses without supporting what it has learned.  If one decides to join any group that willfully ignores facts and evidence, and instead makes up their own, base on wishful thinking, then perhaps they simply do not possess the intelligence to accept what is more than obvious.

Perhaps we are getting caught up in the problem of defining intelligence, and I can accept that the basic definition may cause my argument to fail.  But I cannot accept that we write this off as a flawed conclusion just because of the methodology in one study.  Maybe IQ is a poor way of representing the difference, but even if only slightly, the results of the study are still intriguing to me, and there certainly could be a very good reason why there is a difference.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Graybeard on October 02, 2011, 08:23:53 PM
My bold.  In my opinion, this seems to ignore the actual fact that these people literally cannot be as intelligent overall if they decide to act [stubborn, obtuse, inflexible, not open to reason "in certain areas"]. 
But we are all like this in certain areas. You are disputing my facts, yet I know you are far from unintelligent. :) In areas such as evolution, physics, art, literature, philosophy, we might well agree.

As I said, religion is a delusion; it is as simple as that. Delusions are independent of intelligence otherwise the asylums of the world would be filled with people as thick as pigshit. The nature of delusion is that it affects certain lines of thought, but not others. As you might place a greater weight on one piece of evidence, so the delusional person puts much weight on a piece that appears inappropriate to the normal person.

We all have beliefs that we will maintain throughout life and others that we will discard and then adopt another that may, itself, be illogical.

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If we want to claim that one with a PhD from a respected university is intelligent, yet that same person thinks there is a God, without evidence, or denies evolution, piled high with evidence, then tell me exactly what you mean by intelligence?
It may help if you look at my example of the tin-foil candidate I gave above. Why should such a delusion lessen intelligence? If the sufferer is accepting of his delusion, why should he bother to address it?

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If one decides to join any group that wilfully ignores facts and evidence,
This is what I am getting at. I do not believe that, in the majority of cases, it is wilfull. It is a delusion.

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Perhaps we are getting caught up in the problem of defining intelligence,
For me, intelligence is one of those things that you recognise when you see it. It is not related to social or financial success, it is not a specific against illness, physical or mental, but high intelligence does seem to allow the possessor to hold vast amounts of knowledge, to see patterns within them and to collate the relevant attributes of knowledge very swiftly and clearly so as to reach a sound conclusion, when combined with normal mental health.

Intelligence is, to an extent controllable. As a man who can run 100 metres in 10 seconds does not do it all the time, so, the genius does not apply his brain all the time, but then neither do you or I.

I asked Dr J Wile PhD why it was that, when he was considering the age of the earth, he chose the anomalous rate of diffusion of hydrogen in zircon to show that the earth was, in fact 6000 years old. His reply was that he found the anomaly interesting, as all scientists should do, and it seemed to him that it was worthy of investigation – which he did do and is doing.

The fact that he ignored the vast difficulties of irregular decay and the huge corpus of evidence that ran against him was not unintelligent – who knows what he might find? (He said) But it was delusional, from my perspective, and that of 99.99% of scientists. On the other hand, he is vociferous in his support for the Measles, Mumps and Rubella inoculation not being anything to do with autism; here he is in agreement with me and 99.99% of scientists.

His intelligence may be misdirected, but it is not a lack of intelligence.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on October 02, 2011, 09:26:13 PM
I think what Graybeard is trying to say is that a person who is laboring under some delusion about something is not necessarily smart or stupid, they are simply deluding themselves without realizing it.  They believe the delusion is true, and that affects their perception of reality, but it does not make them less intelligent.  It is just that their intelligence is also affected by the delusion, because their intelligence can only act on things as they perceive them.  Intelligence, by itself, can't break someone out of a delusion.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 03, 2011, 02:03:13 AM
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.
Your logic makes perfect sense to me.
Except that wiki says that 4% of the US population reports they are atheist and autism-world.com  states that 1/4 to 1/2 percent of the US population is autistic. So, if every autistic were atheist, they would only account for 6 to 12 percent of all atheists.
There is another problem, though. Who reports that they are atheist and who do they report it to?
I don't believe I have ever reported my atheism to any government agency or poll taker. So wiki, that most reliable of sources, could be way off in their estimate. The autistic estimate is probably closer to the truth because most parents of autistics seek help from medical professionals and schools so those statistics are available. Some autistics can't communicate so it is hard to know for sure if they are atheists, so probably only high-functioning autistics are atheists.
I just found this article that implies that IQ tests are inaccurate when given to autistics:
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/11/17/iq.scores.fail.predict.academic.performance.children.with.autism
So maybe autistic atheism is due to intelligence rather than autism.
I don't own a weed eater. Since I have an higher than average IQ, I earn enough to afford a gardener. Does that make me gay, or does it only apply to people who don't have gardeners? Are there statistics available on the percentage of atheists that own weed eaters?

Maybe those delusional scientists who believe in God just have selective intelligence. They are only intelligent in some areas and blind in others. There are plenty of otherwise intelligent people who, once they make up their mind, refuse to be swayed by reason. They hang onto beliefs even in the face of absolute proof that they are wrong. Those scientists were probably taught about God from the moment they could talk. They can apply logic to new ideas but religion has been permanently burned into their brains.

Another question I would liked answered: How many atheists believe in aliens?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on October 03, 2011, 11:43:19 AM
Quote from: Reply #135 on: October 01, 2011, 03:43:11 AM
I am pretty sure you knew what I meant and are just nit-picking now.

I reply to what you state; if you're speaking metaphorical or using broad assumptions and expect everyone to just "get it", you're sadly mistaken; such devices should be used in different types of discussions not direct ones, such as this.

Quote
And yes, I am stating, not just implying, that trade schools are not real colleges.

So far the only person I've even seen imply that "trade schools" are colleges is you.  I do not think trade schools pretend to be what they are not unless they are purposely trying to scam the person.  As long as it is accredited -- who cares?[1]

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There are many subjects in which you could not improve without having feedback.

Really? Such as what?

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If you wrote your first essay on your own and never received any feedback, how would you know which of your skills needed improvement?

It's not difficult to write an essay; nor is it difficult to write anything at all; what is difficult would be to find a publisher for such a thing; not because what is written lacks any merit but because the publishing world is full of people who are lazy and expects everything to be perfect before they publish it; why they have editors is beyond me.  Oh, and just to let you know -- writing is my field, and has been for 20 years.  Yes, critical comments on one's work is necessary, at times, however, if one is not critical of themselves its pointless for anyone else to be.[2]

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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.

If you're speaking in general, I agree, however if it's just pointed at me: I do this purely for entertainment; however, though I do the latter I still try to participate as much as I can, be productive and all that that way I just don't seem to be trolling, or what not.

Quote
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.

It seems you're assuming that I think that anyone off the street should be able to get any job they want without something to state they can do it.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  There are certain jobs, I feel, that take no brains whatsoever, like being a garbage man, or janitor, or whatever, and yet in many places where I live one has to have at least a high school diploma to get those jobs; or to go to the places that teach those jobs, or what not.  I find that pathetically stupid; especially since the corporation and/or business usually have a training program that teaches the individual person how to do the job in which they are not only hired for but also as to how they want them to do it.  If I wanted a job sweeping trash off the streets in the city I live in: I need a high school diploma to do it.  These are the ridiculous things in which I'm talking about; how, politicians make it even difficult for the poor and uneducated[3] to even find a job.  They're told, "Hey, you need an education to sweep our streets!" and the poor man/woman says, "I tried to get one but you wouldn't give me one." etc.,

Usually people learn basic skill sets of what they wish to do with their lives (and sometimes not) while a child, and to deny that child as an adult a job that they can do, perhaps better than anyone else, just 'cause they do not have a piece of paper that says they can either do the job or the requirement to get the job, I find ridiculous.

I can type 120 wpm with no errors.  I can read 350-400 wpm with high comprehension.  Yet, I still, to this day, can not get a job as a typest, data entry, or anything simple as those things 'cause I do not have a high school diploma.  That, to me, is ridiculous.  It would be different if I was trying to be the CEO of the company, or perhaps even an editor[4] but just to type some words into a computer or on a typewriter that takes little to no skill at all?  Please...and some say it's just the individual companies that are doing this but it's not; in many cases: it's the state that require the companies to do this for whatever reason; perhaps to keep us poor people in our place.

Quote
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.

At 19 I was making $30,000 a year.  You know what I was doing?  I was working 12 hours a day processing chicken.  To think, I wanted better for my life and to get better I had to take a huge pay cut and then be rejected a plethora of times.  I still think I should go back doing the same job; I mean, I could be making $50,000 a year now doing that easy as hell job.

Quote
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.

Where did I state or imply that my self-education was a value to anyone else but myself?  You're going to have to point that out for me.  It seems to me you think that I stated something to the effect of, "Well, I taught myself so I deserve these jobs!" -- which I never stated.  I'm just giving my opinion on something; I'm explaining, or at least trying to explain to you why some people, such as myself, are self-educated.  Apparently you couldn't comprehend that; I don't know if that's your fault or mine.  I'll assume it's yours.

Quote
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).

How is it you insulting the various colleges in Florida, or Floridians in general, an insult to me? 

Quote
(which is why a California degree is worth more than a Florida degree)

Is this your opinion or are you stating a fact?  If it's your opinion I must say that's really cocky, and arrogant of you to say, and pretty much you're insulting more than Floridians because if a degree in California is worth more than one in Florida than every other state equal and/or less in educational eyes of what Florida gives out in education must also be less?

Quote
Obviously you are very bitter about your educational experiences.

Not bitter, angry at how poor it was, and how the one I went through didn't care shit about anyone[5] but the educational system me and my brother went through, luckily, wasn't the one my sister went through or she too would have withdrew herself when she had the chance.

I can't get a high school diploma or GED not because I'm stupid, I think I've proven to people on this website a few times that I'm not stupid.  I'm just slow at math; and I always fail the math, usually by 1-5 points, and they do not care that my brain processes math problems at a slower rate than the average person. I have an hour and half just like everyone else in that room.  Which is fine.  I'll probably never go further than I'll ever go; always getting jobs that are beneath my skill set(s), and never be taken as serious in the publishing world if I did have a piece of paper that says I'm intelligent enough for them to take me seriously.  However, I do not see that as a fault of mine but theirs, and apparently yours.

Quote
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 could've gotten straight A's, too.  The point I'm making is: is such a poor education worth the straight A's in the long run?  For you, perhaps.  For myself and my brother who also withdrew from school: it wasn't.  Of course he went on to college; he doesn't have my disability of math.  Lucky him.  I score high in every subject I take except Science (which I score average in) and Math (which I score low in, and when I say low, I mean in the teens; however, with the proper amount of time those teens can be turned into 90's).

-Nam

 1. of course there are plenty of colleges out there that aren't accredited
 2. in my opinion
 3. sometimes purposely made that way so the rich can get richer
 4. 'less I had years of experience in editing -- which by the by: I do
 5. basically, there were a rare few who cared
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on October 04, 2011, 03:51:17 AM
Person A: "God exists."
Person B: "Prove it."
Person A: "I can't. I have faith."
Person B: "Until you can prove it, I don't believe it."

Person B's position is justified. Person A's is not. This is a fact.

Their IQ's, level of education, social status, job, credentials, history, autistic tendencies, etc etc etc  are all irrelevant. They do not validate their respective positions any more or any less.

The truth is the truth regardless of who is stating it.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 04, 2011, 05:36:08 PM

Quote
There are many subjects in which you could not improve without having feedback.

Quote
Really? Such as what?

Quote
If you wrote your first essay on your own and never received any feedback, how would you know which of your skills needed improvement?

Quote
It's not difficult to write an essay; nor is it difficult to write anything at all; what is difficult would be to find a publisher for such a thing; not because what is written lacks any merit but because the publishing world is full of people who are lazy and expects everything to be perfect before they publish it; why they have editors is beyond me.  Oh, and just to let you know -- writing is my field, and has been for 20 years.  Yes, critical comments on one's work is necessary, at times, however, if one is not critical of themselves its pointless for anyone else to be.[1]

I can type 120 wpm with no errors.  I can read 350-400 wpm with high comprehension.  Yet, I still, to this day, can not get a job as a typest, data entry, or anything simple as those things 'cause I do not have a high school diploma.  That, to me, is ridiculous.  It would be different if I was trying to be the CEO of the company, or perhaps even an editor[2] but just to type some words into a computer or on a typewriter that takes little to no skill at all?  Please...and some say it's just the individual companies that are doing this but it's not; in many cases: it's the state that require the companies to do this for whatever reason; perhaps to keep us poor people in our place.
 1. in my opinion
 2. 'less I had years of experience in editing -- which by the by: I do

Feedback would have made you a better writer. You have made numerous grammar and spelling mistakes. You use run-on sentences. You switch between singular and plural verb usage regardless of the noun. If your spelling mistakes are just typos, then your claim that you can type 120 wpm without errors isn't true. Blaming the people in the publishing world for not accepting sloppy work because "they are lazy" is ridiculous. There are a great many more manuscripts written than there are editors who have time to read them. If you don't know how to use proper grammar, how could you have done a decent job as an editor?

Quote
(which is why a California degree is worth more than a Florida degree)

Quote
Is this your opinion or are you stating a fact?  If it's your opinion I must say that's really cocky, and arrogant of you to say, and pretty much you're insulting more than Floridians because if a degree in California is worth more than one in Florida than every other state equal and/or less in educational eyes of what Florida gives out in education must also be less?

Here is a list of the top 100 colleges in the world. Nine California colleges are in the top 50. The University of Florida is the only college in Florida to make the list at #53. A degree from the University of Florida would be considered fairly valuable, but I don't see how you would have been admitted.
http://www.ulinks.com/topuniversities.htm

Here are the qualifications to get admitted to the University of Florida:
http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/ugrad/frqualify.html
According to your own admission, you did not qualify. You did not have a 2.0 average. Did you complete and pass all four years of required math? According to what you have said, you didn't take the SAT or ACT. How could you have been admitted?


Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on October 05, 2011, 03:21:32 PM
Quote from: oversee Reply #155 on: Yesterday at 05:36:08 PM
Feedback would have made you a better writer. You have made numerous grammar and spelling mistakes. You use run-on sentences. You switch between singular and plural verb usage regardless of the noun. If your spelling mistakes are just typos, then your claim that you can type 120 wpm without errors isn't true.

I am writing to you in a discussion board; I have no need to edit my words down to the letter to make my words readable.   

Quote
Blaming the people in the publishing world for not accepting sloppy work because "they are lazy" is ridiculous. There are a great many more manuscripts written than there are editors who have time to read them. If you don't know how to use proper grammar, how could you have done a decent job as an editor?

However, I never stated I was perfect; and people in the publishing world do not publish my work because I've pissed a lot of people off.  My friends who own publishing companies publish my work but mainly under a pseudonym, and what I do not know they help me out.  I do not pretend to know everything but with the little education that I have, I think I do just fine. But I am not wrong in my assessment of the editing world of publishing to be "lazy"; many writers agree with me on that point.

The UF didn't base my "qualifications" on my GPA --- however, the requirements set forth that you provide, are they the same from 1994?  'Cause that's when I applied.

-Nam
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 05, 2011, 03:51:21 PM


The UF didn't base my "qualifications" on my GPA --- however, the requirements set forth that you provide, are they the same from 1994?  'Cause that's when I applied.

-Nam
I have no idea how to find out the qualifications for UF in 1994 nor do I want to take the time to find them. However, when I applied to the University of California in 1977 (almost two decades earlier) the SAT was required and your GPA had to be at least 3.0. If you had had to take the SAT, since half of it is math, I don't know how you would have gotten a high enough score on it to be accepted.
Didn't you say you have been a writer for 20 years? Did you start as a teenager?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: rickymooston on October 05, 2011, 06:42:34 PM
The truth is the truth regardless of who is stating it.

Bit of a false dichotomy I think. At least, I think many theists exist who are neither "A" nor "B". They are in between. Conditional probability may be implicitly involved or at least implied (With God, we have no way of knowing what the probabilities really are.)

Person A John Gotti is a criminal
Person B prove it
Person A - Provides some of the evidence around such as the fact that "rumour has it" he is the guy. Some cases of people turning up dead who Gotti disliked. Some evidence of witness intimidation, etc, etc.
Person B - I'm not putting Mr Gotti in jail until he is proven guilty

The fact is, fuzzy reasoning exists and has some validity in some cases.  John Gotti was, probably guilty, long before he was convicted.

Now lets take the potentially historic figures: Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha.

Did any of them exist? Well, I can't say for sure any of them did but I'd say, the existence of Mohammed has the strongest evidence. I'm not sure between  Buddha and Jesus.

Apparently, we have Mohammad's body. I think the accounts of Mommad's life are such that the confidence in him existing is pretty high. We can reasonably assert both he existed and we know something about him.

In the case of Buddha, I know they claim to have pieces of his teeth. No idea is that is b.s or not. I'm unsure about any other evidence.

In the case of Jesus, we have no body, no grave, no records of birth. We do have records of a huge following. We do have records of letters coming from somebody called Saul that go way back. Records of persecution that go quite far back.

In my opinion, I think, a reasonable case that he probably existed could be made. Clearly, if he did exist, I very much doubt we can tell much about him. The case for his existence isn't rock tight and yet, why did this all come about. Why did one person just invent a guy out of the blue and then create a false religion about him. Most religious cults seem to form around a cult leader who makes claims about himself.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 06, 2011, 02:33:32 AM
Out of curiosity I asked an autistic person whether he thought that most autistics are atheist and if so why. This is his answer:
"I think that many Autistic people have a deeprooted hold on logic and rationality and taking a leap of faith is at best difficult. That said i think that Autistics will follow mostly what they have been taught to hold as truth and rational irrespectively and deep seeded beliefs are hard to foist off, regardless."

As far as whether or not Jesus or Buddha (or Moses, Abraham, Noah, etc.) were real, IMO there are three possibilities: 1. they were real but their stories include deliberate or inadvertent exaggerations or untruths, 2. the stories told about them are a composite of more than one person and a composite of fiction and reality, 3. the stories were completely made up. Since we can never know with certainty which possibility is true, I wouldn't want to waste any time trying to prove it one way or another.
The argument that Jesus never existed is supported by the many stories about other deities whose stories seem to parallel the story of Jesus, such as the Egyptian god Horus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology
I think that religion evolved and was determined by the people who controlled what was included in the bible, and over time and through translations a lot of the original meaning has changed. I have heard that there were many gospels that were left out of the new testament which might have told a different story. Ancient people knew so little about why anything happened that it was comforting to come up with explanations and it probably didn't take much to convince them that miracles were happening.
I remember reading that many of the ancient people thought that Moses had horns. Biblical scholars believe that this was a misinterpretation of a metaphor. The bible today is probably so distorted from the original - just like that game where you whisper something to someone, and he whispers it to someone else, and so on, until what the last person hears is no where near what the original statement was.
I remember once I saw a burning bush. Actually it was a tree at sunset, and with the sun directly behind the tree, it appeared to be on fire. That is when I figured out that is what probably  happened when Moses saw his burning bush. When this was originally written in the bible, the writers may have been just using adjectives to describe what they knew to be a natural phenomenon or they might have actually thought it was a miracle. We will never know.
I don't know much about Buddha, but I thought I read that he was a prince who lived in wealth until he saw how some people suffered. Then he decided to deny himself all the comforts of life and live like the poor. After awhile he decided that the best way to live was a middle ground between deprivation and overindulgence. Then he decided to meditate to find enlightenment. It is plausible that this really happened.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: catbird on October 06, 2011, 06:10:24 AM
curiousgirl,

Quote
IMO, it's like they automatically assume atheists will stereotype theists or vice versa after reading this. However, their study does suggest that atheists are smarter. What do you guys make of this?

To say that based on their findings that people who don't believe in any god are more intelligent than people who believe that there is a god or many gods is an extraordinary claim. You will need to have extraordinary proof in order to substantiate your claim.

Remember ? King Carl said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 06, 2011, 06:14:47 AM
curiousgirl,

Quote
IMO, it's like they automatically assume atheists will stereotype theists or vice versa after reading this. However, their study does suggest that atheists are smarter. What do you guys make of this?

To say that based on their findings that people who don't believe in any god are more intelligent than people who believe that there is a god or many gods is an extraordinary claim. You will need to have extraordinary proof in order to substantiate your claim.

Remember ? King Carl said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

The evidence and distinction in this case are not extraordinary.  And it's not at all an extraordinary claim.  If it is indeed true, it is not at any level something completely unbelievable.  It is quite possible and even likely that believers are not as intelligent as atheists on average.

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: plethora on October 06, 2011, 08:05:54 AM
To say that based on their findings that people who don't believe in any god are more intelligent than people who believe that there is a god or many gods is an extraordinary claim. You will need to have extraordinary proof in order to substantiate your claim.

Remember ? King Carl said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

Curiousgirl provided links to dozens of studies that confirm that atheists performed better in certain intelligence tests than theists, namely the IQ test.

Hers was not a extraordinary claim. Saying one has been abducted by anal-probing aliens or has been possessed by demon spirits is an extraordinary claim.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on October 06, 2011, 08:44:37 AM
The way I see it, it isn't a matter of a greater level of inherent intelligence so much as it is patterns of thinking that allow that intelligence to be effectively used.  Someone who is used to getting answers from something, no matter how wise that something is, is not going to be able to use their intelligence as effectively as someone who's used to having to discover the answers for themselves.  That's been proven time and time again.  The former could actually be slightly smarter than the latter, just as a swordsman who doesn't practice much could be slightly stronger and more agile than another swordsman who practices all the time[1].  But the latter will be better at using what intelligence they have, whether it's higher or lower.
 1. This is a rhetorical statement, I am certainly not suggesting that most or even many people who score lower on intelligence tests are like this.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Nam on October 06, 2011, 11:58:44 AM
Quote from: Reply #157 on: Yesterday at 03:51:21 PM
I have no idea how to find out the qualifications for UF in 1994 nor do I want to take the time to find them. However, when I applied to the University of California in 1977 (almost two decades earlier) the SAT was required and your GPA had to be at least 3.0. If you had had to take the SAT, since half of it is math, I don't know how you would have gotten a high enough score on it to be accepted.

My apologies, I was incorrect on what my GPA was when I applied.  It was a 3.2 when I applied however in my Senior year in high school the school I attended "corrected" it to 1.5.  Apparently they didn't care for the way I obtained the 3.2.  What I did was, I figured out a loophole or whatever in 8th grade and tried it in 9th grade and when it worked that's what I did for the next 3 years, and was starting to do my Senior year however I was going to withdraw myself anyway and do what my brother did[1].  What I did was I got an A or a B the first semester, flunked the second semester (but took the final exam) and then for the year I would pass with a C or a D.  I did have Honor classes (English and History), and on those classes I mainly got a B so at the end end of the year it'd equal a D -- D, at the time, was passing.  Now, at that school you need a C or higher to pass.  I took Remedial Math in 9th grade, which was easy but I took pre-Algebra my Sophomore year and Algebra my Junior year and Algebra I'm not too bad at, it's just the higher maths like geometry, calculas, and trignometry, all of which is on the GED, and what I normally fail on the math section of the test; or any math section of any test that has those three things. At the time "we" needed 24 credits to pass.  By my Senior year I had 18 1/2.  We took 6 classes a year, so by the end of the year (if I stayed) I would've had 24 1/2 credits more than I needed to graduate.  I did try at a Vocational school to obtain my High School Diploma but by the time I got 20 credits the state rose the credit limit to 28, and where I went, and lived, it was just impossible to get the additional 4.  The last 4 was the math[2], I was saving that for last but it would've been impossible for me to get 4 more credits (elective) to obtain my High School Diploma at the local High School in the town I was living in.  Every time I take the GED I pass everything but the math which I fail by 1-5 points.  The first time I took it I missed it by 5 points, the second time by 2 or 3 (don't remember) so hopefully when I take it again, which I may in the future I will finally pass the math section.

Quote
Didn't you say you have been a writer for 20 years? Did you start as a teenager?

Actually I've been writing poems for 20 years, I've been writing in general for almost my entire life. 

-Nam
 1. obtain my GED and then join the Navy; I had already taken the ASVAB and scored high on that but average to low on the math section.  My brother didn't join the Navy, he went to college after he got his GED.
 2. prior to the "new" 4
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 06, 2011, 04:07:30 PM
The way I see it, it isn't a matter of a greater level of inherent intelligence so much as it is patterns of thinking that allow that intelligence to be effectively used.  Someone who is used to getting answers from something, no matter how wise that something is, is not going to be able to use their intelligence as effectively as someone who's used to having to discover the answers for themselves.  That's been proven time and time again.  The former could actually be slightly smarter than the latter, just as a swordsman who doesn't practice much could be slightly stronger and more agile than another swordsman who practices all the time[1].  But the latter will be better at using what intelligence they have, whether it's higher or lower.
 1. This is a rhetorical statement, I am certainly not suggesting that most or even many people who score lower on intelligence tests are like this.


But, in the sword analogy, what is the likelihood that the practicing group will be outperformed on average by the non-practicing group?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: catbird on October 06, 2011, 04:29:37 PM
Jetson,

Quote
It is quite possible and even likely that believers are not as intelligent as atheists on average.

When you use the term "believers" it seems to me that you are making a reference to those who are believers in the Hindu religion. Is this assumption correct?
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: curiousgirl on October 06, 2011, 04:30:42 PM

To say that based on their findings that people who don't believe in any god are more intelligent than people who believe that there is a god or many gods is an extraordinary claim. You will need to have extraordinary proof in order to substantiate your claim.

It is certainly not extraordinary, when compared to your claim that God exists. In fact, I would call it quite ordinary, because I actually can provide evidence for my claim, as opposed to you. BTW, I did provide evidence. Were you just too lazy to actually go back and look at it? Probably, because you would have noticed that I gave up the argument earlier if you had actually read my posts.



Remember ? King Carl said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

Naaaaaaaah, that was the Flying Spaghetti Monster wearing Carl Sagan's skin!   &)

Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on October 06, 2011, 04:44:15 PM
But, in the sword analogy, what is the likelihood that the practicing group will be outperformed on average by the non-practicing group?
Not likely, but that illustrates the point.  It doesn't particularly matter how much natural athletic ability any given member has, only how effectively they make use of what they actually have.  If you have someone who has a slight edge in physical ability, but doesn't practice very efficiently, versus someone who has a better method of practicing, the second person has a reasonable, if not good, chance of outperforming the first.  You can even have someone with lots of natural talent that they squander through ineffective training lose out to someone who's relatively average but learns how to use what they do have very effectively.  As a saying I heard goes, genius only gets you to good on its own.

There's a difference between arguing that skepticism is a more effective means of learning how to use intelligence than religious belief, and arguing that atheists are naturally smarter than theists.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 06, 2011, 08:20:41 PM
Jetson,

Quote
It is quite possible and even likely that believers are not as intelligent as atheists on average.

When you use the term "believers" it seems to me that you are making a reference to those who are believers in the Hindu religion. Is this assumption correct?

All religions with gods.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: madame_zora on October 07, 2011, 04:04:31 AM
Jetson,

Quote
It is quite possible and even likely that believers are not as intelligent as atheists on average.

When you use the term "believers" it seems to me that you are making a reference to those who are believers in the Hindu religion. Is this assumption correct?

All religions with gods.

Hello my old friend!

Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with two Indian men who owned a gas station, haha. I noticed that whoever owned it had my father's name, so I asked who was his namesake when I went in. They got a cackle out of it and I had a chance to ask them about Hinduism. They seemed aghast, and made sure to repeat to me several times that Hinduism is a PHILOSOPHY.

They told me the temples stacked with gods are an allegory to all the gods who have come and gone, that people have held dear- and used to make better people of themselves. It's a way of seeing yourself perfected. But the gods aren't real, only the messengers. I have no idea if this is how all or most Hindus feel, but it was enlightening.

By the way, my father's name was Krishna, haha.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on October 07, 2011, 07:48:05 AM
madame_zora...nice to see you pop in!

I'm not convincing anyone in this thread, but it's still been a fun discussion.   :(
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 08, 2011, 04:06:02 PM
Quote from: Reply #157 on: Yesterday at 03:51:21 PM
I have no idea how to find out the qualifications for UF in 1994 nor do I want to take the time to find them. However, when I applied to the University of California in 1977 (almost two decades earlier) the SAT was required and your GPA had to be at least 3.0. If you had had to take the SAT, since half of it is math, I don't know how you would have gotten a high enough score on it to be accepted.

My apologies, I was incorrect on what my GPA was when I applied.  It was a 3.2 when I applied however in my Senior year in high school the school I attended "corrected" it to 1.5.  Apparently they didn't care for the way I obtained the 3.2.  What I did was, I figured out a loophole or whatever in 8th grade and tried it in 9th grade and when it worked that's what I did for the next 3 years, and was starting to do my Senior year however I was going to withdraw myself anyway and do what my brother did[1].  What I did was I got an A or a B the first semester, flunked the second semester (but took the final exam) and then for the year I would pass with a C or a D.  I did have Honor classes (English and History), and on those classes I mainly got a B so at the end end of the year it'd equal a D -- D, at the time, was passing.  Now, at that school you need a C or higher to pass.  I took Remedial Math in 9th grade, which was easy but I took pre-Algebra my Sophomore year and Algebra my Junior year and Algebra I'm not too bad at, it's just the higher maths like geometry, calculas, and trignometry, all of which is on the GED, and what I normally fail on the math section of the test; or any math section of any test that has those three things. At the time "we" needed 24 credits to pass.  By my Senior year I had 18 1/2.  We took 6 classes a year, so by the end of the year (if I stayed) I would've had 24 1/2 credits more than I needed to graduate.  I did try at a Vocational school to obtain my High School Diploma but by the time I got 20 credits the state rose the credit limit to 28, and where I went, and lived, it was just impossible to get the additional 4.  The last 4 was the math[2], I was saving that for last but it would've been impossible for me to get 4 more credits (elective) to obtain my High School Diploma at the local High School in the town I was living in.  Every time I take the GED I pass everything but the math which I fail by 1-5 points.  The first time I took it I missed it by 5 points, the second time by 2 or 3 (don't remember) so hopefully when I take it again, which I may in the future I will finally pass the math section.

Quote
Didn't you say you have been a writer for 20 years? Did you start as a teenager?

Actually I've been writing poems for 20 years, I've been writing in general for almost my entire life. 

-Nam
 1. obtain my GED and then join the Navy; I had already taken the ASVAB and scored high on that but average to low on the math section.  My brother didn't join the Navy, he went to college after he got his GED.
 2. prior to the "new" 4
I don't know if this is still true but I believe I heard that the GED is actually harder than getting a high school diploma. Calculus is not part of a normal high school curriculum so it shouldn't be on the GED.
Awhile ago, you said that writing isn't hard; anyone can do it. To me that is equivalent to a singer  saying that everyone can sing. I'm sure there are people who believe that about math skills. Writing is a talent. You can teach someone to write adequately but it takes talent to go beyond that. If you are being published  that is proof that you are doing something unique.
If you do a lot of reading, you can tell the difference between adequate writing and excellent writing. These days there are authors who sell well because they can create interesting stories even if their writing styles are sub par. There is no objective way to measure writing skill so it is probably ignored in IQ tests. In math, there is only one answer; in writing, there are innumerable ways to say the same thing. Only someone with a talent for writing will know intuitively the best way.
I do a little freelance writing but for me it isn't easy. It takes me longer to create an article because I have to figure out the most eloquent way to say what I'm trying to communicate. I have to create a rough draft and edit it over and over. Great writers can produce a great product in no time because it is easier for them.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: oversee on October 08, 2011, 04:11:13 PM
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By the way, my father's name was Krishna, haha.

I know a woman who is Palestinian but her last name means "Jew" in Arabic.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on December 12, 2011, 11:23:00 PM
Thought this was interesting...and yes, I know it does not mean that atheists are smarter!

http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/archive/?c=619 (http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/archive/?c=619)
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jaimehlers on December 12, 2011, 11:36:27 PM
I think stuff like that shows not that atheists are 'naturally' smarter, but that religion tends to negatively affect intelligence.
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: jetson on December 13, 2011, 07:03:16 AM
I think stuff like that shows not that atheists are 'naturally' smarter, but that religion tends to negatively affect intelligence.

So, perhaps all humans are equally intelligent at birth, and religion gets in the way of actually increasing intelligence as it they get more indoctrinated? 
Title: Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
Post by: Historicity on December 13, 2011, 09:06:06 AM
I think I read this material in Ethnic America (http://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-America-History-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465020755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323783189&sr=8-1) (1981) by Thomas Sowell.

Around 1900 the first IQ tests were given.  This was before the Stanford Binet tests.  Different ethnic groups scored differently justifying the minute racial prejudices of the time.

The Irish had high IQs.  Jews had low IQs.  A Harvard researcher said, "This should put an end to the myth of the Jewish intellectual."

A (ethnic) Jewish (atheist) relative said to me, "They must have been Christian questions."

I said, spinning from Sowell that there was an ethnic difference at approaching information.  We all know how to do the multiple guess tests.  The instructions are Read the paragraph.  Then read the statements A, B, C and D and mark off the one that most closely fits the paragraph.  We all know that instead you read  A,B,C,D and read far enough into the paragraph till you have enough info to exactly fit one of them or at least to disqualify the other 3.  Then do not finish reading the paragraph, clear our mind of it as you jump to the next one.

Judaism is affected by the Old Testament.  They take a handbook on genocide and a solitary pagan god and apply the Magic Decoder Ring to contemplate to delve to a subtext that has goodness and love of humanity.  It is quite a mental exercise.

The Irish teach their offspring glibness.   A quick answer is almost as good as a right answer.  Correct is better but it has to be fast.

So I guess that muitiple choice tests were new then.  The Irish understood that you had to get to the end of the test as quickly and superficially as possible.  The Jews were reading the paragraphs and trying to get the deep meanings and never finished the test.