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IQ and Religiosity
Posted: 16 March 2007 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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George Said:

Or why it is that a doctor who can perform an open-heart surgery doesn’t know how to change a faucet in his bathroom*.

* My friend’s father, who is a successful doctor, attempted this, but forgot to shot off the water before removing the faucet.  But then, he dresses nicely, and he doesn’t believe in god.

Yes, human abilities are hard to understand with simple theories. I’ve never been able to explain the fact that even after two graduate degrees, and despite respectable test scores I still can’t calculate the tip in a restaurant or understand even the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon explanation for non base 10 mathematics.  :oops:

I like Gardner’s multiple intelligences idea, but I gather it’s not widely accepted in the psychology community, though the education field makes a lot of use of it.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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[quote author=“mckenzievmd”]Metaphor said:

When I try to argue with theists about belief and nonbelief, I don’t say ‘I’m obviously more intelligent than you, so I’m more likely to be right’. I do try to make rational arguments against believing in God, and hope that the arguments can speak for themselves, no matter if they are uttered by a genius or a fool.

Of course, one could argue that if people who tend to believe in God are less intelligent than atheists, they would likely be less able to understand and follow these rational arguments.  :wink:

It certainly seems true that people are often tough to argue out of their beliefs. I doubt this has anything to do with intelligence, though. Have you read Thomas Kida’s book Don’t Believe Everything You Think ? It does a great job of surveying common habits of thought that lead intelligent people to believe ridiculous things. So apart from the debate about what intelligence is and means, I think we both agree IQ has very little to do with religious belief vs atheism.

When I was an undergraduate, I found arguments against God’s existence logically but not psychologically, persuasive. Overvalued ideas are notoriously resistant to change, you’re right. The fact that the tsunami strengthened people’s faith in God is a perfect example of this point.

(Among scientists, the ones most likely to believe in God are mathematicians, and the ones least likely are biologists (I’m sure Dawkins loves this fact)). Now, whilst higher mathematics is harder than biology (and by ‘harder’ I am using the convenient operational short-hand of simply counting the number of people who could do it), as I’ve said before, it is education that correlates with belief in God (moreso than IQ and God, but of course education and IQ are also positively related).

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Posted: 16 March 2007 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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[quote author=“mckenzievmd”]George Said:

Or why it is that a doctor who can perform an open-heart surgery doesn’t know how to change a faucet in his bathroom*.

* My friend’s father, who is a successful doctor, attempted this, but forgot to shot off the water before removing the faucet.  But then, he dresses nicely, and he doesn’t believe in god.

Yes, human abilities are hard to understand with simple theories. I’ve never been able to explain the fact that even after two graduate degrees, and despite respectable test scores I still can’t calculate the tip in a restaurant or understand even the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon explanation for non base 10 mathematics.  :oops:

I like Gardner’s multiple intelligences idea, but I gather it’s not widely accepted in the psychology community, though the education field makes a lot of use of it.

Gardner’s 7 intelligences is taught to undergraduates, but narrower definitions of intelligence have had more empirical attention.

I think ‘intelligence’ is a very powerful word, but I find it problematic when its use is extended to mainly noncognitive abilities.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I have an extraordinarily average IQ and yet I was able to reason for myself that god and the rest of the supernatural could not possibly exist.

Just yesterday I took my wife to see her neurologist, a very smart guy who we admire greatly. That was until he told us that my wifes epilepsy was gods will.
IQ and wisdom don’t necessarily go hand in hand rolleyes

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Posted: 17 March 2007 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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[quote author=“Metaphor”][quote author=“skepticdave”]By the way, a belief in god or gods has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence.

I believe you are wrong.

http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/atheism1.htm

Of course the highest correlation of unbelief is to be found in the scientific community but not all scientists reject a belief is some sort of deity. A lot of people argue for the existence of god ad ignorantium, the god of the gaps. Those familiar with science can dispell superstitious illogical reasoning because they understand and appreciate the evidence for what used to be given to the gods. It’s a good thing we have mountains of evidence for the Big Bang and evolution.

Although I’m a strict atheist the BB and evolution does not totally persuade all rational intelligent people to reject a belief in a first cause creator kind of deity. Call them deists, call them what you want but it’s irrational to say a “god” can be refuted as of now and what we know about our world/universe. But for one to persist in a literal interpretation of religions, such as the Abe faiths, now that is irrational given evidence, lack of evidence and what we know about our universe and how it works.

When one mentions a belief in “god” that does not automatically mean one of the gods of the past bronze age religions that intervenes in the world. For some, it’s about god without religion. I don’t appeal to it but as of yet it is not an irrational thought.

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Posted: 30 March 2007 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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inteligence v/s IQ

there seems to me a clear difference between intelligence & IQ. i personally (amateurishly) define intelligence as an ability to react to a challange or to create something new (product or process) from available data & materials.

now IQ, as in tests, only measure analytical & mathematical side of it…... complex judgements that are hard to quantify & even harder to justify can not be tested in any reliable way, & are a major part of what pop science calls emotional intelligence. creativity is an even more difficult thing ot measure.

my point is we are wasting our time discussing a non-topic when it seems clear to me that while there may be multiple examples of high & low intelligence in both the groups, an average number or a distribution curve will clearly show more intelligence in rationalists than believers.

but thats immaterial as long as society stays the way it is…. we willl keep trhem fed & they will keep attacking us.

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Posted: 30 March 2007 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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[quote author=“skepticdave”]When one mentions a belief in “god” that does not automatically mean one of the gods of the past bronze age religions that intervenes in the world. For some, it’s about god without religion. I don’t appeal to it but as of yet it is not an irrational thought.

i believe it doesn’t matter what god u are talking about as long is its not a provable god, any belief in it is irrational. remember flying spaghetti monster?

i think we should psychologically start putting the burden of proof right, even us atheists

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Posted: 30 March 2007 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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[quote author=“drjayeshsharma”][quote author=“skepticdave”]When one mentions a belief in “god” that does not automatically mean one of the gods of the past bronze age religions that intervenes in the world. For some, it’s about god without religion. I don’t appeal to it but as of yet it is not an irrational thought.

i believe it doesn’t matter what god u are talking about as long is its not a provable god, any belief in it is irrational. remember flying spaghetti monster?

i think we should psychologically start putting the burden of proof right, even us atheists

We really don’t disagree on this issue much it seems to me.

To say that there may be a first cause creator is no more irrational than hypothesizing a spherical earth, GR or string theory. Everything, hypotheses and theories were once “unproven” at one time but that didn’t make it irrational to consider beforehand. Not to mention no theory can be proven true, only falsified.

Although I am a strict agnostic deist, the mere possibility that there may be a ‘first cause creator’ that does NOT intervene in the governance of existence has yet to be proven illogical.

Yeah, the burden of proof is on me….........it sounds like an appeal to the gawwd of the gaps but at its most base level…...I think it’s the only logical argument for the plausible possibility of any kind of existence of you know what, albeit I’m not arguing for intervention or immortality.

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Posted: 01 April 2007 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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[quote author=“skepticdave”]To say that there may be a first cause creator is no more irrational than hypothesizing a spherical earth, GR or string theory.

i dont for a moment doubt that your heart is in the right place, this conversation (lets not even call it an arguement) is strictly on polemics (if thats the correct term), the rules of logic lets say..

see the above quote could be for creationism or instead of a creator. the point is all these things u called hypotheses are actualy called so by the people who start that hypothesis, & there is a good, logical usualy quantifiable, always verifiable reason. if there is belief involved, no matter at what level its not an arguement, its a belief. & to a rationalist & objectivist its not acceptable. & please lets stop using quantum mechanics as a favourite arguement for believing in implausible, for all sorts of reasons, not least because it undermines one of the most cutting edge science

and (finally) in any case the discussion here was about religious belief not about some hypothetical deity that, even if it existed, wouldn’t make the slightest difference….  the discussion here as i understand it, has been about the faith as it is usualy meant. that faith, i believe is a sign that on an average the person’s IQ will be lower than average IQ of the atheists

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Posted: 01 April 2007 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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I recall that my ex-wife’s cousin, a psychologist at some back-east trade school, NYU-Stonybrooke, I think :D , was engaged in educational research.  He set up programmed instruction in a number of areas.  Then presented them in high school classes to all the students (a lot of school politics were involved to get this through).  The kids went through the instruction with the computer testing them every session.  If they got it, they moved to the next topic.  If not, the same material was presented in a different way focusing on the areas they missed.

One of the subjects was “The Nature of the Chemical Bond”. pretty esoteric stuff for high school students in those days.  He then examined the results.  One factor he used was the students’ IQ scores.  He was surprised to find that there was almost no correlation between IQ and the final level of understanding.  Rather, there was a high correlation between IQ and the speed with which they got through the course. 

So, it may be that IQ is related to speed rather than depth of learning and thinking.

[edited to add the last two words.]

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Posted: 01 April 2007 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I personally think there are way to many con-founders in the IQ/Belief correlation to be at all comfortable believing it is a good measure.

And as I said in another thread according to a survey in nature 15% of our top scientists believe in a personal god that answers prayers. There seems to me to be much more to it than puzzle solving capacity or empirical world view.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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i think the data abot only 15% of those scientists being believers is an arguement i favour of IQ-is-atheism group. see the debate os not about absolutes. its not necessary for ALL High IQ people to be non-believers, all it needs is a significant diference in the proportions…. & that difference is quite apparant

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Posted: 02 April 2007 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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But there are plenty of other differences in the same groups that could be equally or more causal in why people believe or not. As I said there are too many potential confounding factors to draw a reasonable causation argument from such a broad correlation.

IQ is also notably higher with every generation, does that mean we are evolving higher IQ? Or does that mean we are better educated at puzzle solving and so appear to have higher IQ?

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Posted: 02 April 2007 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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[quote author=“drjayeshsharma”][quote author=“skepticdave”]To say that there may be a first cause creator is no more irrational than hypothesizing a spherical earth, GR or string theory.

i dont for a moment doubt that your heart is in the right place, this conversation (lets not even call it an arguement) is strictly on polemics (if thats the correct term), the rules of logic lets say..
see the above quote could be for creationism or instead of a creator. the point is all these things u called hypotheses are actualy called so by the people who start that hypothesis, & there is a good, logical usualy quantifiable, always verifiable reason. if there is belief involved, no matter at what level its not an arguement, its a belief. & to a rationalist & objectivist its not acceptable. & please lets stop using quantum mechanics as a favourite arguement for believing in implausible, for all sorts of reasons, not least because it undermines one of the most cutting edge science

and (finally) in any case the discussion here was about religious belief not about some hypothetical deity that, even if it existed, wouldn’t make the slightest difference….  the discussion here as i understand it, has been about the faith as it is usualy meant. that faith, i believe is a sign that on an average the person’s IQ will be lower than average IQ of the atheists

Polemics? The art of disputation? (yes, debate at its purest).

As much as I admire Einstein and Newton, Einstein held a biased preference for the belief in a static universe…..his self-professed biggest blunder. Newton appealed to a “creator” about certain issues that Newton could not explain.

Both had “faith” or belief in something without evidence, it is just that Newton appealed to a “deity”, Einstein did not. As an observation, not a rule, yeah I would agree with you on the intelligence/ignorance factor but only about intelligence/ignorance in certain areas.  Biblical literalism is irrational and so is any belief that leads one to make truth assertions without evidence.

There have been many pre-enlightenment greats that appealed to “faith” and the same holds true to this day but not in the same numbers. Don’t forget, children can be indoctrinated into atheism just as easily as faith.

It’s the “reasons” why one holds their position that is important…....and I’m not convinced it is “IQ”.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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[quote author=“cgallaga”]But there are plenty of other differences in the same groups that could be equally or more causal in why people believe or not. As I said there are too many potential confounding factors to draw a reasonable causation argument from such a broad correlation.

IQ is also notably higher with every generation, does that mean we are evolving higher IQ? Or does that mean we are better educated at puzzle solving and so appear to have higher IQ?

IQ is increasing at a rate that could not be accounted for by evolution by natural selection.

Much of this increase (about half a standard deviation per generation) is coming from reduction in variance in the low end (ie people aren’t spread out as much across lower IQ scores). People have higher IQs and the causes are environmental - ie better nutrition, better education and teaching methods, etc.

In any case ‘better educated at puzzle solving’ is also about IQ. If you can actually think more critically and better, it would be almost perverse to say that means your IQ score shouldn’t increase.

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