Are atheists more intelligent than religious believers? Study suggests such a correlation

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posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by makinho21
The scientific community, above any other subgroup of the population, has become overwhelmingly atheistic. According to a 1998 report in Nature,


i found it quite easy to find this report, quite interesting. while there seems on the surface to be a greater level of disbelief among scientists the falling response rate may well reflect the stigma attached to belief in the current cultural climate. in 1933 the response rate was 75%, it fell to 50% in 1996. original it's difficult to make any reliable connections based on surveys, they tend to be a fairly blunt tool.


It seems you are speaking in absolutes for some reason - but that's not the context Atheists work in *snip* Ofcourse I can not claim in absolute certainity that there is not god.


that makes you an agnostic. an agnostic cannot claim the reality or unreality of god, a atheist believes there is no god.




posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by pieman
 


Unfortunately you are wrong - gnostic and agnostic refer to knowledge and whether you know for certain or aren't certain.
One can be a gnostic atheist or an agnostic atheist - it doesn't mean they are not an atheist if they say don't know for sure...they still reject the defined god you religious folk propose.

"agnosticism and atheism aren't mutually exclusive"

www.youtube.com...

plus as Matt explains, in an non-absolute context, I am certain there is no god. Absolute certainty obviously allows one to posit anything to maybe be true. That doesn't get us anywhere, and it's illogical to use that avenue.

If you want to maintain that perspective - I would call myself an agnostic atheist. I still reject your definition of a god or creator because there is a complete [edit] lack of evidence and supporting fact for such a claim.

I guess I needed a break - writing so much made my brain fuzzy - fixed it though!




[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]

[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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I am not going to bother reading this entire thread, and if this has been mentioned then I apologize. Short and sweet.

People who believe in religion are not essentially 'dumber' than anyone else, even atheists (I am not religious btw). They have just grown up with blinders of ignorance distorting their perception of reality. Religion limits the mind to believe only certain things are possible.


People believing the earth is only 6000 years old when thousands of scientific papers completely shatter that concept. Doesn't prove stupidity, it shows ignorance.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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Any scientist who rules out the idea of god/consciousness forgets that there is no science without the scientist, or that which has understanding/observes.

IQ is not a measure of intelligence at all. It's simply a measure of how fast one is able to learn and see patterns in things. I have an extremely high IQ, I mean extremely high. I could read and spell at the age of 2(couldn't write til later, couldn't hold a pencil), I started school a year early and they still wanted me to skip grades(mom wouldn't let them thankfully, it was rough enough being the youngest in school as it was). I did logic puzzles for fun even when I was like 9 years old.

It doesn't mean I'm smarter than other people. Plenty of people have lower IQ's than I do and know things I have no clue about. I just learn things fast is all. If it takes the average human 6 months to complete a course in learning something, I can do it in less than 1 month. That is all that means.

It is a gift, that is for sure. As I learn things quicker, I am more likely to finish/succeed in doing that, over someone who has to put way more effort into it. I can also if I apply myself to learn more over periods of time, and that is an advantage.

Just isn't a measure of intelligence. Put someone me on a show like Jeopardy and I'll lose to someone who has great memory. Because my memory sucks. I tend to look at things in terms of equations rather than memorizing the variables. I live by the rule of - don't need a great memory if you always tell the truth. I would never remember who I lied to or told what etc.

As for religion, there is a difference between what people do in the name of religion and what they claim, as opposed to the understandings it provides. Big difference. Religion as you see it is all about acceptance and it's wrong. But there is real understanding and wisdom to be found in the bible, and it is those things that are supposed to be the point.

The acceptance stuff is deception, and yes those people are deceived. But so are atheists, as they accept the religions as being the authority on god, and so they still are accepting what is said by religion, rather than the understanding.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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i believe in god but i don't go to church and i smoke and drink and drug lol some churches make me angry how they have all these expectations on their congrigation i mean damn if you believe in god that's it you believe in him. There's no rules and regulations to believe in something.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by badmedia
 


I don't accept Christianity or Judaism or Islam as an authority on god at all. I think they got it all quite wrong (if I had to define a god/creator that would make sense to me) - it's actually disheartening they couldn't have been more creative with it, because basically modern religion just distorts older polytheistic views - they didn't even bother coming up with their own idea. Lazzzzzzzzzy

Also I'm glad I put up that title that says "please come share with us how much smarter you are compared to all of us", otherwise we would have never got the chance to read about your intellectual awesomeness.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by jd140
I really don't see how someone who belives in God is any less intelligent then someone who doesn't.

If you can explain how the two go hand in hand then I will be more inclined to acknowledge crap like this.


Well.... for a start if you just accept god did it, then you may not look for further answers... therefore your knowledge of the world as a whole would be lacking. Alternatively learning through science gives greater knowledge of the world around you, and helps you spiritually to evolve as you accept your predicament of being an evolved creature on a fairly ordinary planet orbitting an ordinary star in an ordinary spiral galaxy. But to do this you have to accept that some things we just don't know or understand yet, and therefore you can't just attribute it to a god.

Alternatively if your definition of god is "anything" for now. Then you are essentially an athiest because you are open-minded as to accept whatever the evidence tells you.

But I think this report was talking specifically about those who believe in an organised religion such as christianity. These beliefs are stringent on a holy book and accepting that as god's word, which takes an obvious leap of faith that critical thinking would never do.

And history tells us that taking leaps of faith has led to untrue beliefs. Eg. Earth is flat, age of the Earth, Earth at the centre of the universe. And last of all that man/woman is just an evolved ape and not so special after all.

Planet Earth is only a tiny fraction of the universe and therefore is insignificant in comparison. But the Earth is the most significant object to us, including the Sun. Therefore this just implies that humans are insignificant in comparison to the rest of the universe. But to ourselves we are significant. In a way this can be comforting.

This is a cool blog on insignificance: blogs.discovery.com...


What frightens people about their own mortality is the thought of not consciously being, and from that, perhaps, springs the human need to invent belief systems that reassure them that their death will not be the end. That, and an unwillingness to admit to ourselves just how insignificant we really are.

We are born narcissists, almost by definition, since we can only experience the world around us from our own perspective. In that sense, the world revolves around us, and no wonder the prospect of having our consciousness snuffed out unsettles us. But empirically, it's a different story. Before Copernicus, pretty much everyone in Western Europe believed that the Earth was the center of the solar system, with the sun and all the other planets orbiting it, and man, made in the image of God, ruling over the whole shebang.

There was a very good reason people balked when confronted with scientific evidence to the contrary. Accepting Copernicus meant removing man from his place at the top of the cosmological food chain. “The world had scarcely become known as round and complete in itself when it was asked to waive the tremendous privilege of being the center of the universe,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe later wrote of the implications of a heliocentric universe to 17th century believers. “Never, perhaps, was a greater demand made on mankind.”

Until the modern era of space exploration, however, when the Hubble Space Telescope took this famous image of the Ultra Deep Field:

You learn to redefine vastness when you're married to a cosmologist who thinks about these things for a living. Every speck in that image is an entire galaxy. Each one of those galaxies contains billions of stars, no doubt with countless undiscovered solar systems orbiting them. Somewhere in that vast expanse, floats our tiny blue planet. We are smaller now than ever.

If one embraces an atheist worldview, it necessarily requires embracing, even celebrating, one's insignificance. It's a tall order, I know, when one is accustomed to being the center of attention. The universe existed in all its vastness before I was born, and it will exist and continue to evolve after I am gone. But knowing that doesn't make me feel bleak or hopeless: I find it strangely comforting.

Nor does it make me feel like nothing I do could possibly matter -- quite the opposite: everything we do matters a great deal. That's the great paradox. It makes our short time here on Earth incredibly precious, in which every moment should be savored. I tell my husband I love him every single day, because those days are finite. Fifty years will be gone in an instant from a cosmological perspective. Our choices, our actions, how we choose to behave toward our fellow travelers -- random kindness to strangers -- all of this becomes tremendously important when one embraces insignificance... because this life is all we have.


[edit on 27-7-2009 by john124]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by king9072
I am not going to bother reading this entire thread, and if this has been mentioned then I apologize. Short and sweet.

People who believe in religion are not essentially 'dumber' than anyone else, even atheists (I am not religious btw). They have just grown up with blinders of ignorance distorting their perception of reality. Religion limits the mind to believe only certain things are possible.


People believing the earth is only 6000 years old when thousands of scientific papers completely shatter that concept. Doesn't prove stupidity, it shows ignorance.


That's true if they haven't seen the evidence and so they live in ignorance rather than stupidity. But if they have been shown this evidence, providing they don't live in a 100% religious community then they are showing lack of critical thinking, which implies a lack of intelligence. As critical thinking is required for every scientific, engineering, mathematical and technological breakthrough. And we accept those such as Einstein are geniuses. Critical thinking leads to creativity and therefore accomplishments.

For example, to just say we don't need to investigate why it didn't rain this month because we attribute it to god's will leads to a dumbing down of the mind, as you would never have the motivation to carry out research to determine the cause.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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blogs.discovery.com...


If one embraces an atheist worldview, it necessarily requires embracing, even celebrating, one's insignificance. It's a tall order, I know, when one is accustomed to being the center of attention. The universe existed in all its vastness before I was born, and it will exist and continue to evolve after I am gone. But knowing that doesn't make me feel bleak or hopeless: I find it strangely comforting.

Nor does it make me feel like nothing I do could possibly matter -- quite the opposite: everything we do matters a great deal. That's the great paradox. It makes our short time here on Earth incredibly precious, in which every moment should be savored. I tell my husband I love him every single day, because those days are finite. Fifty years will be gone in an instant from a cosmological perspective. Our choices, our actions, how we choose to behave toward our fellow travelers -- random kindness to strangers -- all of this becomes tremendously important when one embraces insignificance... because this life is all we have.


This part in particular I agree 100% with. And it's almost funny how this is exactly what I think without been influenced into thinking it, which is in contrary to religions where people tend to be told what to believe. That may imply that religions may have started like this and become distorted over time. Everyone has their own journey to accepting their insignificance. And I suppose intelligence could be a measure of how fast you reach this acceptance.

[edit on 27-7-2009 by john124]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 07:57 PM
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I think there will be a clear correlation. A high IQ is synonymous with critical and rational thinking and giving a wide berth to uncertainty while allowing for possibilities. Essentially it means that people won't believe so easily without some demonstrable evidence.

They'll also probably look at religion and how splintered it is, particularly in Christianity, and see that one is expected to take a definite stance in uncertainty. People of higher IQ don't appreciate this kind of logic.

The Gallop Polls have picked up on this trend aswell.

He told Times Higher Education magazine: "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."


It also stands to reason why more and more people are becoming atheistic than ever before.

He said religious belief had declined across 137 developed nations in the 20th century at the same time as people became more intelligent.

Telegraph.co.uk


I do worry though that the religious will not be able to see this as anything other than attack, rather than an actual investigation. Although in the end I suppose that if the science is sound then it doesn't matter what the original intent was - science speaks for itself.

[edit on 27-7-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by makinho21
 


First off: As for Atheists being more intelligent. On average, I would say this is probably a good correlation - though correlation does not mean causation. Atheists are generally more intelligent because they are more rational, either for lack of easy answers or by use of rationality to break free of religion. This doesn't mean that religious people can't be extremely intelligent (Gregor Mendel, Kenneth Miller, Robert Bakker, or Theodosius Dobzhansky), or that Atheists cannot be dumber than creationists. On average, however, you'll likely find that those who are more intelligent are more likely to become Atheists. For instance, 90%+ of all scientists are Atheists.

On to another point:



I guess he thinks there is a genetic difference in intelligence between human sexes and races.


Actually... there is. The "blank slate" philosophy which has guided study into human behavior the last century or so is wrong. We are not all born equal in capability or capacity.

The truth is, that heritability is every bit as important as environment - and the serendipity of chance and experience play a much larger role than most want to admit. This is not a "middle road" apologetic, but what we're actually observing across populations, in the wiring of the brain, and in studies involving clones (identical twins) and fraternal twins both in the same home and adopted out.

It isn't an excuse or justification for racism or discrimination, because a hereditary dispensation is only applicable to populations at large - not to individuals. The same way evolution operates on populations, not individuals. We are born with innate talents, moral templates, sexual orientations, and instincts. However, with the plasticity and adaptability of the brain, these only represent rough drafts which can be altered under the right environment, in the right culture, with the right experiences, and with serendipity.

Yet, considering how poorly scientific understanding filters down to the public understanding - this is still going to be a very big hot button to the idiots and racists who think it's some kind of argument for social eugenics. For god's sake, most people still don't understand even the basic tenants of evolution or emergence and complexity.

Even the specter of geocentricism and anthropomorphizing nature is still with us. The breeze is not "gentle", and the sun does not "set in the west" - because the breeze is not conscious and empathetic, and the sun does not revolve around the Earth.

The Blank Slate: Modern Denial of Human Nature

Jonathan Haydt: Real difference between Liberals and Conservatives

Steven Pinker: Chalking it up to the Blank Slate

Richard Dawkins: Natural Selection and Evolutionary Psychology 1/2



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 08:45 PM
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As an atheist i hate to say this but those statistics are rather small. I am one of the very high IQ pool but i don't believe IQ is a brilliant way of judging intelligence. Are atheists more intelligent? Utter nonsense, i have known some very intelligent religious followers.

Let's be fair with our criticism guys, i see many atheists jumping on what i can only call a fundamentalist bandwagon.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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The data isn't clear enough to draw the conclusions that this man is saying. It doesn't even take in account anything for a percentage of error, which in most cases would be more than the variation that they're showing in their results.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by makinho21
 




Yes that is what I said in my post - the dumb website wants us to pay for it. I could only link to that brief abstract unfortunately.


I'll give you an internet nickel if you can tell me WHY the site makes you pay. There is, actually, a very good reason why scientific literature is so expensive.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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Intelligence is a subjective issue.

Personally, I do *not* think there is some separate, God-like entity that created everything.

Everything including you and me is God.

Does this make me more or less intelligent? I do not believe so.

I have known very deeply religious men and women who are very wise and sage in their years. They have taught me many valuable things, and simply because we do not see eye to eye on creation -- I still respect their faith.

It annoys me that everyone wants everyone else to be just like them, think like them, and see the world like they do.

WTF kind of world would that be if we all thought like "Tom" -- because this guy "Tom" is totally and always right!

You get your jollies from singing hyms and eating Christ Chex at communion...I get my jollies from things called "quantum physics" which is equally absurd when taken into context.

Both sides are intelligent -- just in differing ways that cannot be compared.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by makinho21
 


Either way your avatar is rude and offensive to Christians.

Why would you do that?



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


You know i'm an atheist criticising this research because i'm fair. I also support anyone who wants to put up anything offensive to any religion. Offending people is something that happens when people speak their minds, it is the essence of free speech. I could say that Christians offend me with their preaching in the street but i dn't because it is their right to speak it.

Stop trying to censor things. You only hurt your own cause.

[edit on 27-7-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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AHA! Proof that IQ is about what you memorize and not how smart you actually are!

Finally proof!

See Atheists are open to memorizing more stuff, generally, than those who are brought up to not memorize that stuff.

It is not like your smarter overnight if you become atheist, it is just you are open to memorizing more info!

IQ = Being Passed Off in Fraudulent Way

IQ is actually just your memorization skills. Has nothing to do with critical thinking skills.

A true IQ test would score people of different religious views equally, as religious upbringing has nothing to do with natural critical thinking ability.

I am so glad that we can finally get past this "My IQ is higher than yours so I am smarter than you" phase. And we can get on to the "My IQ is higher so I memorize stuff like a good slave better than you do phase", which IMHO is wayyyy more accurate.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 10:34 PM
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This is an attack on religion though, if we look at how many people are spinning the information to suit their agenda.

Religious people automatically get screwed on these tests, because it is about memorizing stuff. Where as Atheists are more prone to be open to memorizing whatever comes towards them.

However if we tuned the test differently, I am sure I could make any religion look smarter than anyone else. Just let me ask the questions, and I can make anyone I want beat anyone else.

It is all bias see?

True Critical Thinking has nothing to do with information memorized though. For example a "primitive" bushman in Africa could have the highest critical thinking skills on Earth, but he would get a very low IQ test score because he has never memorized these particular types of trick questions that commonly appear on IQ tests.

They are all trick questions after all. And some math.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


It's not memorisation ability, else that would imply that people with poor memory retention would have low IQs when they don't.

First line from the wikipedia page:

An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests attempting to measure intelligence.
[Wiki]

Further...

According to Dr. C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, intelligence is a person's capacity to (1) acquire knowledge (i.e. learn and understand), (2) apply knowledge (solve problems), and (3) engage in abstract reasoning. It is the power of one's intellect, and as such is clearly a very important aspect of one's overall well-being. Psychologists have attempted to measure it for well over a century.
[Relation between IQ and intelligence]

It's not plainly memorisation, it's learning, problem solving and reasoning. I sense much anti-intellectualism in you.

[edit on 27-7-2009 by Welfhard]





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