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Author Topic:   Atheists are more intelligent than Religious people
Tangle
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Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


(1)
Message 1 of 60 (809929)
05-22-2017 9:35 AM


53 out of 63 research studies found that belief correlates negatively with intellignce. This study explains why - religion is instinctive, it requires intelligence to overcome it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/...nct-cleverness-a7742766.html


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by vimesey, posted 05-22-2017 10:04 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 05-22-2017 10:06 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 5 by RAZD, posted 05-22-2017 2:49 PM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 7 by caffeine, posted 05-23-2017 3:57 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 05-24-2017 12:42 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 16 by Davidjay, posted 05-27-2017 6:27 PM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 17 by nwr, posted 05-27-2017 11:51 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


(3)
Message 6 of 60 (810048)
05-23-2017 2:40 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
05-22-2017 10:06 AM


Faith writes:

There have been too many religious people who are also geniuses for that to be true. Jonathan Edwards, Isaac Newton, John Owen are a few.

It's an average Faith. No-one is saying that religious people can't also be intelligent or that atheists can't be dim, just that on average religious people aren't as intelligent as atheists.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 05-22-2017 10:06 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 8 of 60 (810130)
05-23-2017 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by caffeine
05-23-2017 3:57 PM


Caffeine writes:

So we can simply religion from the equation and come to the conclusion that, the more intelligent someone is, the more likely they are to question the prevailing orthodoxy.

Another conclusion might be that religion makes you too stupid to question the orthodoxy.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by caffeine, posted 05-23-2017 3:57 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 12 of 60 (810152)
05-24-2017 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
05-24-2017 12:42 AM


Phat writes:

Are you suggesting that instinct should always be questioned?

Can you explain why you seem to think that we wouldn't question instinct? To most of us it's pretty obvious. After all, we have evolved higher level intelligence.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 05-24-2017 12:42 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 18 of 60 (810332)
05-28-2017 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by nwr
05-27-2017 11:51 PM


nwr writes:

I'm going to take this with a grain of salt.

Why not take them as they are?

If someone had done a similar survey, say 200 years ago, they would have come up with very different results.

200 years ago you'd be hard pressed to find any atheists to study.

Intelligent people are generally able to be successful in society. If the society is such that religion is important to getting ahead, then intelligent people will tend to be religious. And that's the basis for my comment about 200 year ago.

But today we're finding that intelligent people tend to be atheists. 200 years ago isn't relevant

I'm taking the studies with a grain of salt, because I see it as dependent on too many factors.

It is what it is - a series of studies that find the same thing. In another, less contentious, area we'd just nod and say ok.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by nwr, posted 05-27-2017 11:51 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Davidjay, posted 05-28-2017 9:22 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 20 by ringo, posted 05-28-2017 2:26 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 21 of 60 (810375)
05-28-2017 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by ringo
05-28-2017 2:26 PM


ringo writes:

But they're all based on the same premise - that intelligence can be measured in some meaningful way.

They might be controversial but they measure intelligence in the way we define it.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by ringo, posted 05-28-2017 2:26 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Davidjay, posted 05-29-2017 10:59 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 23 by ringo, posted 05-29-2017 11:52 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 24 by caffeine, posted 05-29-2017 2:41 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 25 of 60 (810455)
05-29-2017 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by ringo
05-29-2017 11:52 AM


ringo writes:

How would you compare the intelligence of an illiterate tribesman in Ethiopia with the intelligence of a person in suburban USA?

I wouldn't. And neither did the studies we're talking about.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by ringo, posted 05-29-2017 11:52 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by ringo, posted 05-30-2017 11:42 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 26 of 60 (810465)
05-29-2017 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by caffeine
05-29-2017 2:41 PM


Thanks for finding the actual paper.

I'm not at all clear what point you are making.

All the studies had some form of measurement of intelligence and some form of measurement of religiosity. Of course they're not all the same but that's not an argument to dismiss them, simply a limitation to note. It could just as easily be a strength - different methods producing similar results can indicate robustness.

On EvC? I'd be surprised and disappointed.

Oh come on! None of us have time to read and analyse the source material for every article we come across in our musings - most here don't even have access to the base papers. I lost my access 12 months ago when my last period of study ended. The best we can often do is point to an article that has made it into the general media and leave it at that. Of course if it becomes contentious, then we look further.

I have so far only skim read the paper that you found but it has all the hallmarks of being pretty thorough and it's published in a decent enough publication. The researchers found "a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity". I'm not seeing any reason to throw away the overall conclusions.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by caffeine, posted 05-29-2017 2:41 PM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by caffeine, posted 05-31-2017 3:37 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 28 of 60 (810559)
05-30-2017 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by ringo
05-30-2017 11:42 AM


ringo writes:

So what difference does it make how many studies agree if they're all comparing apples with apples?

They compare intelligence - measured in various ways - with religiosity and find a negative correlation.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by ringo, posted 05-30-2017 11:42 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Davidjay, posted 05-30-2017 10:56 PM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 30 by ringo, posted 05-31-2017 11:47 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 34 of 60 (810695)
05-31-2017 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by ringo
05-31-2017 11:47 AM


ringo writes:


That doesn't answer the question. If all of the "various ways" assume that they can measure intelligence, why wouldn't they all agree?

84% of the studies found that intelligence is negatively correlated with religiosity. As for why some didn't, I can't tell you because I haven't read them all. But it would be a rare outcome in the social sciences if every outcome was the same - methods differ, analysis differ.

What intelligence tests actually measure is the ability to take tests. That may be useful in choosing candidates for employment or further education, but I don't see how it's useful in determining whether one group is "smarter" than another.

The intelligence tests in the studies are a mixture

quote:
Studies included in the present meta-analysis used a variety of intelligence and religiosity measures. Most of the intelligence tests are widely used (e.g., Wechsler tests, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, etc.). A subgroup of studies used university entrance exams (UEEs; e.g., SAT, GRE), which are highly correlated with standard IQ measures (correlations in the .60-.80 range are typical for college students). Indeed, these tests are often viewed as measures of general intelli- gence (Frey & Detterman, 2004; Koenig, Frey, & Detterman, 2008). We also included studies that administered tests of cognitive abilities (e.g., synonym tests, working memory tests) that could reasonably serve as proxies for IQ measures.

These tests are used across the Western world to obtain entry into higher education and jobs, you can throw them away as useless if you wish, but they appear to have value in practice.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by ringo, posted 05-31-2017 11:47 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by ringo, posted 06-01-2017 11:37 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 35 of 60 (810699)
05-31-2017 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by caffeine
05-31-2017 3:37 PM


caffeine writes:

Unless some of these correlates are not actually measuring what they're purported to be. If your religiosity measure is not actually a genuine correlate of religious belief, but is measuring something else negatively correlated with intelligence for a different reason; then it's not an independent support for the correlation. It's spuriously making the correlation look stronger than it really it.

Well of course, it's a correlation - it doesn't measure cause. They tested for third variables of gender, age and education but concluded that there was no evidence to support them. They also did a time gap study by measuring intelligence prior to children acquiring religious knowledge. This was more restricted but they comment "...it is remarkable that intelligence can predict religiosity scores that are obtained years later."

I already suggested the one that I consider most likely (that people with higher IQ are more likely to differ from convention - whatever convention happens to be). Given that the metastudy is dominated by studies of Americans; this idea is not tested.

Sure, and the researchers point that out themselves. They provided several references indicating that intelligent people are more likely to also be 'non-conformers'. Intelligence leads to becoming more critical of argument and claims, which would make intelligent people less likely to be succeptable to 'the prevailing dogma'.

What I am trying to say is not that this study is nonsense. Rather, I'm saying that jumping from this to "Atheists are more intelligent than Religious people" is doing the same as news editors do when they tell us that grapes cause and/or cure cancer due to a suggestive study that establishes no such thing.

You have to admit that it's an pretty impressive piece of work that uses all the knowledge we've collected over time and the conclusion is quite robust - intelligence and religiosity are are negatively correlated.

Other variables that might be causal have been discussed and some tested for but they found no support for them and, in the case of education and conformity, they may be indirect measures of intelligence anyway.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by caffeine, posted 05-31-2017 3:37 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 37 of 60 (810808)
06-01-2017 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by ringo
06-01-2017 11:37 AM


ringo writes:

What I'm saying is that their usefulness has limits.

Well of course. But to make any reasonable point out of that generalisation you have to show why in these studies the use of intelligence tests is inappropriate or misleading.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by ringo, posted 06-01-2017 11:37 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by ringo, posted 06-02-2017 11:59 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 39 of 60 (810889)
06-02-2017 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by ringo
06-02-2017 11:59 AM


ringo writes:

On the contrary, the onus is on you to show that the generalization IS appropriate.

IQ tests and their equivalents have been used successfully for around 100 years as an effective tool for measuring relative intelligence. They have some known biases caused by cultural differences. You seem to be making the claim that the studies are fatally flawed because of this.

You therefore have to show why any such bias would affect the result of each test.

Or are you saying that religiosity is disproportionately culturally distributed or what?

At the moment you're just waving around a vague generalisation.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by ringo, posted 06-02-2017 11:59 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by ringo, posted 06-03-2017 11:43 AM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 43 of 60 (810986)
06-03-2017 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by ringo
06-03-2017 11:43 AM


ringo writes:

If applicant A scores 10 points higher on an IQ test than applicant B, does that mean applicant A will be a better employee?

If you want to start a topic on IQ tests and employment go ahead - here it's irrelevant. Here you job is to show why IQ is not negatively related to religiosity - if that is your claim.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. Je suis Mancunian.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by ringo, posted 06-03-2017 11:43 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by ringo, posted 06-04-2017 2:24 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8043
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 50 of 60 (811055)
06-04-2017 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by ringo
06-04-2017 2:24 PM


ringo writes:

Not negatively related"? That kind of contortion should set off your own alarm bells.

Hohum.

The study found that intelligence is negatively correlated with religiosity. That means that the more religious people are the less intelligent they are - on average So, if you're objecting to the conclusion it's your job to show why.

What does "more intelligent" even mean?

Ah, now I understand your problem.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. Je suis Mancunian.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by ringo, posted 06-04-2017 2:24 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by ringo, posted 06-04-2017 2:37 PM Tangle has responded

  
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