When "Smart" is Stupid: The Atheist IQ Scam


Image result for IQ bell curve

Atheists have been making the IQ argument for Some Time. They are still making it. The idea that atheists tend to score higher on IQ tests than theists is widely accepted in social sciences but it is not generally known how much atheist activists have contributed to the research.  There is one major study, using meta analysis, that establishes the overall correlation the  most corroboration is from minor studies. When that major study first came out, the study by Miron Zuckerman, I gave a two part devastating critique.[1] Not only do my original criticisms still hold but there is still no real groundswell but only the assumptions of atheists whose support is more ideological than scholarly.

Gregory Webster and Ryan Duffy, at first glance,  seem  to list other major studies that corroborate but in reality,However,  Zuckerman and Lynn et al are the only two they name that actually deal with IQ and religious belief.[2]The only other major study they cite is one by Lynn, Harvey, &; Nyborg [3]it's also about nations and IQ it is also racist and it has fundamental link to Zuckerman because a racist cronie of Nyborg's did the statistical analysis for Zuckerman [4] I will have more on the racist connection on Wednesday. Webster and Duffy, on the other hand, are not that supportive. First, they say, " we analyzed Zuckerman et al.'s meta-analysis, and after controlling for sample differences, the negative intelligence–religiosity link declined over time. The intelligence–religiosity link was non-significant among samples using men, pre-college participants, grade point average, and those collected after 2010. Education also partially mediated the intelligence–religiosity link" (Notice the title, "Losing faith in the intelligence religiosity link..."[5] that does not mean losing faith in a correlation that smart people are religious because there was no  such assertion). What all that means is the longer the research goes on the more uncertain Zuckerman's findings appear. 

Secondly,  "though the  negative intelligence–religiosity link appears more robust across people than countries, multiple variables moderate or mediate its strength, and hence, limit its generalizability across time, space, samples, measures, and levels of analysis."[6] In other words Zuckerman et al follow the link of religiosity and IQ as   manifest though people,and Nyborg et al follow it as manifest via  nations, The former  is a stronger correlation but multiple factors make it less  a meaningful concept for social analysis.  

Emma Yong says:

 Of course, there are examples of extremely intelligent individuals with strong religious convictions. But various studies have found that, on average, belief in God is associated with lower scores on IQ tests.[Zuckerman] “It is well established that religiosity correlates inversely with intelligence,” note Richard Daws and Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London, in new paper published in Frontiers in Psychology, which seeks to explore why.[7]
In saying "Manystudies" she only references Zuckerman, He does use other studies but if the reader consults fn 1 that is  problematic. She appeals  to Daws and Hampshire as a minor corroboration That is not a big help for the hypothesis, so not so well established after all.  Then we see the result of Nyborg;s racist propaganda, Young says  "It’s a question with some urgency – the proportion of people with a religious belief is growingby 2050, if current trends continue, people who say they are not religious will make up only 13 per cent of the global population. Based on the low-IQ-religiosity link, it could be argued that humanity is on course to become collectively less smart."[8] That says religion is going up where was that last week? It includes the world population thus third world. The problem here is Yong just said we may be making a lot more stupid people but she's actually speaking of Africans.That's one major point of increase in Christian compilation. Not to imply that Young is racist but it seems the racist implication is hanging over her position. That the Nyborg faction has engineered the discussion.

Daws and Hampshire wind up attacking  intuition by way of explanation, Religious people tend to be stupid because they rely upon intuition for religious thinking. rather than reason., In one paper I've done we see intuition be pointed to as the basis of religion. They produce no data,  nor can it be made to serve   as the clown's mistake atheists would have it be. While I would not rely upon intuition  to do my taxes, there are times when it may help. In battle, for example, when you need split second decisions and no time to think it might not hurt to be in touch with your intuitive sense. The major answer here is they never produce any data to show why intuition is the basis of religious  belief.[9]I suspect it's because they really believe religion is just about feelings. That's an academic sounding way of saying compare stupid feelings (religion) to smart ideas (science).

Daws and Hampshire really demonstrate the total insufficiency of methodological constructs in researching this topic. Their method:
To investigate, Daws and Hampshire surveyed more than 63,000 people online, and had them complete a 30-minute set of 12 cognitive tasks that measured planning, reasoning, attention and working memory. The participants also indicated whether they were religious, agnostic or atheist.As predicted, the atheists performed better overall than the religious participants, even after controlling for demographic factors like age and education.[10]
That might Just prove nothing more than the idea that atheists have better computer skills.

They test the atheist on something something they are good  at and like and passing it off as intelligence.That highlights the problem. As I argue in my forthcoming book, God.Science, and Ideology, this is he illusion of technique.Intelligence is the ability to manipulate data and material for ideological purposes. Notice we never see a study that measures   intelligence by reflective thinking or in knowledge  of the works of James Joyce. Those are certainly things that require intelligence, But social  scientists don't value that kind of intelligence they only value   the kind of intelligence they  use in their  jobs.

Edward Dutton, and his co-author, Dimitri Van der Linden,  reference Zuckerman, still the only major study I  Duttin and Van der Linden set out to explain the correlation between smart people and skepticism and stupid people and religious belief, [11]  Their explanation goes something like this: "Religion is an instinct people who raise above their instincts are smarter than those who can;t." The fact that there were studies showing religious people were smarter and there were sine that showed that liberal theology people were as as smarty as atheists  ignored, not part of Zuckerman;s study.Their definition of intelligence: "Intelligence — in rationally solving problems — can be understood as involving overcoming instinct and being intellectually curious and thus open to non instinctive possibilities.:;'[12]

The problem there is they assume religious belief is just instinctive while in reality it involves five years in seminary. One could beehive in God and still find religious belief to be primitively based yet having evolved with Huang culture theology is far more than a bundle of instinct but involves as much intellect as mathematics, This our authors don't plain the correlation. In fact it's still an open question if it holds because Zuckerman did not include those studies that contradict  the thesis. Dutten and Van der Linden's conclusions are ope to many such possibilities.

In the days before Zickerman I responded to an atheist website and looked up a number of his studies,I had 17 studies 6 were supportive of the opposite hypothesis (that religious believers are smarter ) and the rest were too veg to call. That was possessed to six studies that supported the hypothesis (religious = stupid). 17 to 6  agaisnt the hypothesis, and the only one of those studies Zcukerman uses he uses wrong: 

Several studies that I know are positive in correlation are not found in the Zuckerman study:no Simington, no Pratt, no Rummell, no Corey. All of these are found in the list by Steve Kangus (the atheist list) (see Note 17 on my FN1 part 1). Using his list (some of this were put in the wrong category) I have 6 negative (that high IQ not religious) vs. 17 either positive (High IQ are religious) or no correlation. Yet Rathi counts only 10 that dont' support Zuckerman's correlation. That means somewhere seven studies at least are being overlooked. Francis says in his first study that the  greater number was with the negative. That doesn't mean the quality studies were negative. So even though it may be that the majority of studies find negative correlation, that doesn't prove that this is the answer. The studies left out (I know there are more than 10 that are not in line with the negative) are conspicuous by their absence. Lesley Francis did a fine study that supported the pro religious view. His methodology was fine but before that most of the negative studies were horrible in methodology. They had smaller samples and not representative samples.  

Zuckerman et al says the reason for leaving studies out is:

Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity at the individual level, and if the effect size (Pearson r) of that relation was provided directly or could be computed from other statistics. For several studies, intelligence and religiosity were measured, but the authors did not report the relation between these two variables. Authors of such studies were contacted to obtain the relevant information. If authors did not respond to our first request, two more reminders were sent. When necessary, second and/or third coauthors were also contacted. Studies that examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity indirectly (e.g., comparisons atgroup levels, comparisons between scientists and the general population) were excluded.;[13]
Simington seems to report it. What he says does not wash because I checked the sample sizes The pro religious studies had larger samples. [14] 

Before closing I really  should question once more the very concept being measured by IQ,  The entire part 2 of my Zuckerman article is about this topic, (see FN1). There is no standard definition of intelligence:

What exactly is intelligence? While intelligence is one of the most talked about subjects in psychology, there is no standard definition of what exactly constitutes ntelligence. Some researchers have suggested that intelligence is a single, general ability, while others believe that intelligence encompasses a range of aptitudes, skills, and talents.Intelligence has been an important and controversial topic throughout psychology's history. Despite the substantial interest in the subject, there is still considerable disagreement about what components make up intelligence. In addition to questions of exactly how to define intelligence, the debate continues today about whether accurate measurements are even possible.[15]
Atheists tend to be drawing from the ranks of scientific/mathematical/mechanical types. They are lauding their  kind of thinking as all there is to intelligence. A list of researchers who defimne intelligence differently:

Neisser, Ulrich; Boodoo, Gwyneth; Bouchard, Thomas J.; Boykin, A. Wade; Brody, Nathan; Ceci, Stephen J.; Halpern, Diane F.; Loehlin, John C.; Perloff, Robert; Sternberg, Robert J.; Urbina, Susana (1996). "Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns" (PDF)American Psychologist51 (2): 77–101. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.51.2.77ISSN 0003-066X. Retrieved 9 October2014.[16]

 IQ is not a concrete  measurement but an abstraction.[17] Religiosity is complex and consists of multiple forms many of which involve intelligence to understand,[18] Theology proper requires as much intelligence as science,Atheists are merely imposing their favorite thing, Trying to base the truth of the cosmos upon on something like IQ is probably a sign of stupidity in itself.

Sources and Notes

[1] Joseph Hinman,"New Zuckerman IQ Study: Are Atheist Smarter? Part 1" The Religious a Priopri, Social Sciences (Monday, August 19, 2013)

;Zuckerman IQ study part 2: The Case Against IQ, The Religious a Priopri, Social Sciences (Monday, August 19, 2013)

[parts 1 and 2 accessed 2/.23/19]

[2]Gregory Webster and Ryan D. Duffy,"Losing faith in the intelligence–religiosity link: New evidence for a decline effect, spatial dependence, and mediation by education and life quality." Research Gate abstract. inIntelligence 55 · April 2016with 87 Reads
[accessed 2/.23/19]

[3] Richard Lynn a, ⁎, John Harvey b , Helmuth Nyborg c Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations, Intelligence, Eksevier, (April 29,2008)
http://misc.tets.cz/science_iq_atheism.pdf  [accessed 2/.23/19]

[4] "New Zuckerman IQ Study: Are Atheist Smarter? Part 1" op cit

[5] Webster and Duffy, "Losing faith in the intelligence–religiosity link: op cit

[6] Ibid

[7]Emma young, "Are Religious People Really Less Smart, on Average. Than Atheists." Research Digest, British Psychological Society (Jan 26/2018)
[access  2/23/19]

[8] Ibid. 

[9] Josrph Hinman,"Is Belief in God Magical Thinking?" (Dec 6,2017)
[access  2/23/19]

[10] Emma Young ""Are Religious People Really Less Smart, on Average. ..." op cit

[access  2/23/19]

Edward Dutton, a research fellow at the Ulster Institute for Social Research in the United Kingdom,

Dimitri Van der Lindenan assistant professor of psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands,

[12] Ibid

[13]Miron Zuckerman, Jordon Silberman, and Judith Hall, "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations." Personality and Social Psychology Review. Sage Publications (August 6, 2013 online first version of record); Zuckerman on pib Med
[access  2/23/19]

[14] Joseph Hinman, Atheist IQ scam,religioius a priori, 2009

[15]Kendra Cherry "Theories of Intelligence In Psychology," Very Well Mind (October 12, 2018)
https://www.verywellmind.com/theories-of-intelligence-2795035  [access  2/24/19]

[16] Wikipedia, "Religiosity and Intelligence,"  srr FN 1
[access  2/24/19]

[17]  Richard Haier, The Neuroscience of Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.(2016-12-28) pp. 18–19. ISBN 9781107461437.

[18] Barbara Holdcroft,  "What is Religiosity?". Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice10 (1): (September 2006).89–103.


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