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  • Are Atheists More Intelligent than Theists?

    It seems there is some strong evidence that the more intelligent a person is the less he/she believes in the existence of God. In a study done by the psychology department at the University of Edinburgh last year, Gary J. Lewis, Stuart J. Ritchie, and Timothy C. Bates looked at links between lower levels of intelligence and high levels of religiosity.

    http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1197.pdf

    Their findings showed that intelligence was significantly and negatively associated with measures of religion, especially fundamentalism. What was demonstrated was that those with greater cognitive skills are able to form more open-minded (antiauthoritarian) attitudes than those with lesser cognitive abilities. In other words, greater intelligence leads to more open mindedness and individualism; resulting in an intellectual conflict with the arguments made by religious scripture and leaders. This is particularly true with fundamentalism’s literalistic interpretation of scripture.

    In another study done three years ago, Average Intelligence Predicts Atheism Rates Across 137 Nations, by Richard Lynn, John Harvey, and Helmuth Nyborg, the authors reviewed evidence pointing to a negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief in the U.S. and Europe.

    http://davesource.com/Fringe/Fringe/...Lynn-et-al.pdf

    The factors included not only evidence pointing to a negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief; but also lower percentages of those who are extremely intelligent holding religious beliefs compared with the general population, a decline of religious belief with age among children and adolescents as their cognitive abilities increase, and the decline of religious belief during the course of the twentieth century as the intelligence of populations has increased.

    The authors mention 38 other studies that found a negative correlation between intelligence and religious belief; and a study in the Netherlands that reported agnostics scored 4 IQ points higher than believers. In another study it was demonstrated that those who responded to “not religious at all” had the highest IQ.

    In the 1990s, a study of members of the American National Academy of Sciences reported that seven percent believed in the existence of God, as compared with approximately ninety percent found in the general population. In Britain, it was found that 3.3 percent of Fellow of the Royal Society believed in the existence of God, while 78.8 percent did not believe.

    It seems clear from these studies that intelligence/cognitive abilities determine one’s acceptance of religious mythology.

  • #2
    It is called an "associative" study. It is worthless, except to manipulated media. As I recall the great professors of Edinburgh fell sucker to a skull doped with iron oxide.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sotoshi Kanazawa, of the London School of Economics, has some things to say about why liberals and atheists are more intelligent in a paper published in the Social Psychology Quarterly a couple of years ago.

      http://secure.asanet.org/images/jour...SPQFeature.pdf

      The author talks about how belief in higher powers may be a byproduct of evolved psychological mechanisms known as “animistic bias” or “the agency-detector mechanisms.” This is the evolutionarily acquired trait of over-inferring personal, intentional, and animate forces behind otherwise perfectly natural phenomena.

      For example, you see a bush on fire. It could have been caused by an impersonal, inanimate, and unintentional force (lightning striking the bush and setting it on fire), or it could have been caused by a personal, animate, and intentional force (God trying to communicate with you). The Animistic Bias predisposes you to opt for the latter explanation rather than the former. It predisposes you to see the hands of God at work behind natural, physical phenomena whose exact causes are unknown.

      This capacity to believe in supernatural beings is a byproduct of Animistic Bias (the tendency to be paranoid). Humans didn’t evolve to be religious; they evolved to be paranoid. Humans are religious because they are paranoid.

      In this study, Kanazawa tells us that the results indicate that more intelligent individuals are more likely to identify themselves as liberal as opposed to conservative; that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values like liberalism and atheism than less intelligent individuals.

      Kanazawa quotes from two surveys that support the hypothesis that liberals are more intelligent. One is the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), and the other is the General Social Survey (GSS). The Add Health study shows that the mean IQ of adolescents who identify themselves as “very liberal” is 106, compared with a mean IQ of 95 for those calling themselves “very conservative.”

      http://www.nber.org/~kling/surveys/AddHealth.html

      http://www3.norc.org/gss+website/

      The jury may be out on whether conservatives are less intelligent than liberals, but there’s evidence that they may be physically stronger. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences publishes a paper by authors who measured the strength of 343 students using weight-lifting machines at a gym. The participating students completed questionnaires designed to measure, among other things, their proneness to anger, their history of fighting and their fondness for aggression as a way to solve both individual and geopolitical problems.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/106/35/15073

      This study demonstrates that men with the most physical strength were the most likely to feel entitled to good treatment, anger easily, view themselves as successful in winning conflicts and believe in physical force as a tool for resolving interpersonal and international conflicts. Women who thought of themselves as pretty showed the same pattern of greater aggression.

      The lessen here is that if you are a liberal who believes you’re smarter than conservatives, you probably shouldn’t bring that up around them. You might not like them when they’re angry.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you and they are confusing narcissism and superiority complexes for intelligence when in fact they show a lack of. It's a form of bigotry and bullying against believers in God and all bigots, bullies are always the least intelligent.

        This reveals the roots of the militant, arrogant, intolerant Atheist movement. Bigotry, narcissism and overblown superiority complexes. It is never necessary to validate one's beliefs by denigrating someone else because of their beliefs. People's actions are the true revelation of the harm their beliefs cause. Atheism does not have a stellar history to brag about.

        What this also reveals is what we have always known. Anyone with an agenda can skew studies to project whatever their agenda dictates.

        For example I've always thought that raving radical Michael Savage's book and quote: "Liberalism is a Mental Disease" is stupid bigotry. I do not think that or go around saying that Atheists are stupid or certainly do not say they are more intelligent.

        We all make choices what to believe or disbelieve. I've made mine and they've made theirs. Ridiculing them or name calling is something only school yard bullies do.

        Legitimate studies could also be done to show that Atheists have less intelligence than believers in God. And Atheists would rightfully scream that the results of the study was agenda driven by Theists. So what is the point in all of this crossfire?

        Tolerance should be the golden rule here. Denigrating the intelligence of believers in God just backfires on Atheists and reveals to the world Atheist's lack of intelligence, unwillingness to be tolerant as well as total lack of compassion for others.

        Comment


        • #5
          So, Franklin…do you believe that there are invisible supernatural beings such as angels, demons, and the Devil himself? If so, what do you base this belief on? I'm assuming you've never personally seen any of these mythic characters. Or have you?

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not going to get into that discussion with you. Been there, done that. I responded not to debate Atheism versus Theism but to point out the bigotry in the articles you referred to. They are intolerant and denigrating, ridiculing to those who believe in a God or gods.

            We should try to tolerate each others beliefs as long as they are not harmful, which those bigotry filled articles and one dimensional thinking above are.

            We do have to try to live together on this planet. But what we should not have to tolerate is bigotry of any kind or name calling, calling believers in God "STUPID"! You know it's wrong. I'll leave it up to you as to when you finally decide to knock it off. You'll be more at peace with yourself and humanity when you do. .-}

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jeff_franklin View Post
              I'm not going to get into that discussion with you. Been there, done that. I responded not to debate Atheism versus Theism but to point out the bigotry in the articles you referred to. They are intolerant and denigrating, ridiculing to those who believe in a God or gods.

              We should try to tolerate each others beliefs as long as they are not harmful, which those bigotry filled articles and one dimensional thinking above are.

              We do have to try to live together on this planet. But what we should not have to tolerate is bigotry of any kind or name calling, calling believers in God "STUPID"! You know it's wrong. I'll leave it up to you as to when you finally decide to knock it off. You'll be more at peace with yourself and humanity when you do. .-}
              Dodge lives and breathes manipulated media. I, personally, have never seen an electron. But I know they are there. I, personally, have never seen an earthquake. Should I dismiss those too?

              Comment


              • #8
                Franklin, it’s not my fault that studies have shown that religious conservatives are less intelligent than atheist liberals.

                In Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries (copyright 2010), a book published by the World Psychiatric Association edited by Peter J. Verhagen et al., it says that “meta-analysis showed a negative correlation of the occurrence of atheism with education and IQ. There are thus remarkable differences within a population, and it is clear that the degree of atheism in a society is connected with intelligence, education, scientific achievement and a positive interest in natural science. It is not surprising that the large majority (78%) of eminent evolutionary biologist refer to themselves as “pure naturalists” (materialists).”

                (by Professor Dr. Dick F. Swaab, an internationally renowned researcher in neuroscience, director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research for 27 years, founder of the Netherlands Brain Bank, and a current leader of the Neuropsychiatric Disorders research team at the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience.)

                All you have to do is look at these threads and see the general anti-scientific/intellectual attitude coming from Christians, who reject any science that conflicts with their biblical world view.

                Science says that everything follows the rules, religion says that God is an exception. You have a choice in deciding which of the two models better explains the world that we experience around us, which one fits reality better. That’s why I brought up your assumed belief in angels, devils, demons, Satan, a virgin birth, heaven and hell, a Garden of Eden, a snake/serpent who talked a woman into eating forbidden fruit, biblical characters who lived to be eight or nine hundred years old, resurrection of the dead, people turning into pillars of salt just by looking behind them, and holy ghosts who appear as tongues of fire. Why anyone would believe such things is baffling to me.

                I chose to accept the scientific method as a way to determine the working of reality. If there were evidence of divine handiwork in the universe, I could be led to belief in God. A miraculous event that I could observe would go a long way in that direction, or if you could produce an angel or a demon for me to see. As it is now, scientific materialism offers the most comprehensive description of the universe; with no reason to invoke God as part of that description.

                “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” (Gene Roddenberry)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cowshut -- What’s “manipulated media,” anything outside of Fox News? My sources are academic, scholarly, scientific; none of which come from any major news source. Your mantra of “manipulated media” is meaningless right-wing propaganda.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Scriptures about a person who says there is no God

                    Psalm 1:7

                    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

                    Psalm 10:4

                    The wicked in his haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

                    Psalm 14:1-3

                    The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”. They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is none that does good, not even one.

                    Psalm 53:1-3

                    For the choir director, according to Mahlath. A Maskil of David. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice. There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands. Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside: together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, no even one.

                    Psalm 74:18

                    Remember this O LORD, that the enemy has reviled. A foolish people reviles Your name.

                    Psalm 74:22

                    Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dodge View Post
                      Cowshut -- What’s “manipulated media,” anything outside of Fox News? My sources are academic, scholarly, scientific; none of which come from any major news source. Your mantra of “manipulated media” is meaningless right-wing propaganda.
                      You know dodge, you should try turning off manipulated media and your computer for a week. Have you ever smelled grass? Have you ever walked on a sandy beach? Have you ever considered going down to the Commons and look at the pretty girls? Do you even know there is live beyond your computer/tv screen?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by easeltine View Post
                        Scriptures about a person who says there is no God

                        Psalm 1:7

                        The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

                        Psalm 10:4

                        The wicked in his haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

                        Psalm 14:1-3

                        The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”. They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is none that does good, not even one.

                        Psalm 53:1-3

                        For the choir director, according to Mahlath. A Maskil of David. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice. There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands. Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside: together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, no even one.

                        Psalm 74:18

                        Remember this O LORD, that the enemy has reviled. A foolish people reviles Your name.

                        Psalm 74:22

                        Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.
                        Easeltine, do you actually believe quoting the B i b l e to someone who doesn't believe it in the first place will prove anything? It did not in your case. Is dodge better/more open minded than you?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dodge's highly touted "scientific studies" but obviously agenda driven by militant leftist atheists are as scientifically valid as the "scientific studies results that Nazis did to prove that Germans were super superior to all other races and ethnic groups. And just as bigoted and dangerous.

                          That type of narcissism, militancy, intolerance led megalomaniacs like Hitler to liquidate millions of Christians, Jews, Stalin to exterminate millions of Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Mao Zedong to murder millions of Buddhists, Chrisitans as well as the other atheists Pol Pot and Kim IL Sung.

                          That is where those type of bigoted "scientific studies" lead to.

                          Millions subjugated, oppressed, murdered because according the those megalomaniacs' "scientific studies" those people were unworthy of life because of their intellectual inferiority.

                          What you are shoving down our throats is no different than the Christian Identity / Shepherd Chapel narcissistic belief that they are Superior to all non Germanic Gaelics. No different.

                          Give it up and back far away from that stance dodge. You are on the losing and cruel side of history there! Just makes you look bad, bigoted, intolerant, intellectually inferior and yet I know you can be better than that.

                          Only cults that pretend to be true religions differ tremendously on religious doctrines. Cults.

                          And your always leaping to twist that otherwise shows that you are in the Cult of arrogant Atheism.

                          There is most definitely a Cultic side to arrogant, intolerant Atheism as many tolerant Atheists have pointed out. And sadly, dodge, you do not recognize you are deep within that cult.


                          "In my world view no one is better or smarter than anyone else.

                          We all just need and know different things and we all need God's help!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dodge,

                            Intelligents is not based on how much head gear you have in your brain, It based on your skill level to use what is in that brain to bring about productive results or results of any kind. Okay I am a fairly skilled crocheter. Not expert, but can manipulate the thread to form pretty much whatever I desire to make and can invision on my own without a pattern. However I got to be able to invision it to produce it.

                            Science is only as smart as the theory holds up. For these reason it based on trial and error per uncontrol and control environment even a child can do a simple experiement. Not everyone can crochet. However you can go around nakes at one time in history your using crafting skills and basic technology to produce items to keep you warm. Which is more intelligent skills or experimentation. Both are skills and experimentation is used in survival skills. Only science can be used for survival or it can be used to do harm. It seems we have more technology on how to build a super bug then we have how to cure cancer or diabetes, or other mysterious illnesses. Is that a shame, well it could be. Yet what does experiments with super bugs do teach people how more bugs work and how to kill it unless it is released, in hopes that if something really goes wrong, science will quickly discover how to fix it, but all in all guess what happens it released in our world. No scientist worries about a lab being destroyed by earthquake, or some storm but the possibly is there. A tornado can destroy the lab and then you have to worry about all those things that can be leaked out of that lab. Is that smart. No of course not. However the idea is to control plagues. This zombie things is over the top. However needless to say, is survival based on how many lab rats you can kill, or how much food, clothiing and shelter.

                            Intelligent how based on what? brain matter, or based on how to survive, until death. Jobs are a survival skill. Don't work you seldom eat or eat well. Even if it appears outwardly you do it still not always the case. What are you basing intelligents on, the ability to do high paying job, or survival. Many smart people have no common sense and some dumb people don't have it either. So lets weight that matter if someone has both common and intellect they should be treasured, no of course not anymore so then anyone else, they just learned to put it all together.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You’re so predictable, Franklin. I knew that eventually you would play the Nazi card, “reductio ad Hitlerum,” comparing an opponent’s view with that of Hitler/Nazis. It’s part of your debate style; which you’ve used many times here at FACTnet…and for which you were banned if I’m not mistaken. Instead of debating the information I provide you attack the ideas behind them as being similar to Adolf Hitler. It’s a tactic and nothing more, guilt by association. You just said that the ideas of some of the leading figures in the academic world are neo-pseudo-Nazi. You seem to have the image of Hitler firmly planted in your consciousness; because he comes up so often in your rhetoric.

                              Glenn Beck is notorious for playing the Hitler card, as is Rush Limbaugh in his made-up word “faminazi,” attempting to associate feminism with Nazism. Heroes of yours, Franklin? Actually, didn’t you once say that Glenn Beck was not far enough on the right for you?

                              There are some forums that say as soon as someone like you interjects Hitler or Nazis in a discussion in that way, the debate is over. It’s called Godwin’s Law, where the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler increases with the length of a debate. I’m going to suggest that we adopt that here and acknowledge that whoever uses Hitler/Nazi comparisons automatically forfeits whatever argument he’s involved in.

                              So, I invoke Godwin’s Law, Franklin, and declare you to have lost whatever argument you were engaged by playing the Hitler/Nazi card.

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