What's the average IQ of an atheist?

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Lord Aurora » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:59 am UTC

RealGrouchy wrote:
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This is the second time you mention this, at least, and neither time has been in a thread about who is an asshole. I don't know who you are; someone with 140 posts should be more careful and polite with what they say about established fora members. Now get off my lawn.
First, neither time have you denied being an asshole. SecondTalon didn't deny it either--well, he offered a more accurate description, but still. Second, I would highly recommend not looking for people to be careful OR polite on the internet, even in a space like the XKCD fora. Third, I am not so desperate for attention as to suck at your high-posting teat (or anyone else's) for acceptance into an internet community. If you want subservience and deference, you will not find it here. Don't even begin to think that I believe you're better than me in any way.

Back on topic:
Durandal wrote:Really, WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER IF THE FUCKING GROUP YOU BELONG TO IS SMARTER THAN ANY OTHER FUCKING GROUP? Does the average IQ of the group put an intelligence modifier on your own IQ? The only thing that matters is how smart you are.
Personally, I just disagree with the reasoning behind it. I couldn't care less about what it says about me or the OP, I just don't like it when people use faulty reasoning to reach conclusions.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Luthen » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:32 am UTC

Am I the only one who read the topic and thought a poll might be nice?

My gut feeling is that for the three groups of religious, agnostic and atheist, their IQ distribution in relation to the overall population's would be something like:

Agnostic ~= Population: Not being sure whether or not something's there isn't very difficult and I suspect people from all backgrounds subscribe to agnostism. Note: my personal definition of agnostism includes people who just haven't considered the issue of atheism vs. religion.

Religious: My expectation would be for religion to have a similar distribution to the overall population, possibly slightly skewed towards lower IQs. However I wouldn't really expect the mean to be much lower than population average. Can't say that I have any to justify this though.

Atheism: I suspect that atheism would have something of a mirror image of religion's distribution. Not because atheists are smarter but because I suspect that people with higher IQs have more time to contemplate the issue and possibly be more exposed to evidence they can't fit with any idea of God.

Not locking in these answers because I have to think on them more.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:40 am UTC

I have a feeling if you attempted to take a poll here... this place already skews Atheist on self-reporting polls, and I believe it skews high on self-reporting IQ polls. So I don't think you'd get any meaningful data.


Why do I say self-reporting? Because it's not a series of questions about theology asked by someone else who then interprets the results.... and yes, I think that would be necessary to determine one's religious leanings.... nor is it an IQ test administered by someone who actually knows how to score an IQ test. It's some radial toggles and a submit button. Some people are religious but find it easier to describe themselves as Atheist than to go in to the world-spirit of which we are all a part as - technically speaking - they do not believe in gods.. but they're not unreligious as most people interpret by the word Atheist.

And on the outside chance individuals have had legitimate IQ testing, the data is likely out of date, misremembered, or flat out lied about via the "Well, I scored 128, but I was kinda tired that day..so I'll mark the 130-135 box as I'm sure it's 131 or 132..." method.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Mo0man » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:06 am UTC

Also, who the fuck would want to answer in a poll: Yes, I'm atheist and I'm retarded. I've got an IQ of 50 and I think at the level of a five year old
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Awia » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:11 am UTC

Those people, because no one ever lies on a poll.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Lord Aurora » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:24 am UTC

I think we need to take into account the otter/duck option here. What sort of people are more likely to choose otter/duck? Results could definitely be skewed.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby benjhuey » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:03 am UTC

Lord Aurora wrote:What sort of people are more likely to choose otter/duck?
Only the cool people.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Marbas » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:55 am UTC

I would also like to see the results of that GQ thing, that sounds interesting.


Uhh...I think he was making a joke.

Also, IQ is garbage. GARBAGE I SAY.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby RetSpline » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:02 am UTC

sje46 wrote:-snip-
I hope that isn't too simplistic (and it is), and the math makes sense. Basically I tried to explain why the average IQ of atheists are smarter while assuming that believing in a religion is equally rational to being an atheist. Soemthing doesn't sit riht with this proof though.


The thing that doesn't sit right is that you're completely making numbers up, for one. Secondly, you're assuming that most religious people cannot even begin to logically denounce their faith, or that logic or intelligence are even required to lose faith; there are many (anecdotal) stories, that I've heard, of people experiencing a single traumatizing event 'converting' (for an increasing lack of synonyms to "losing faith") to atheism. Also, you assume that atheists are naturally logical, as they lack the "intelligence inhibitor" that is faith, which is simply not true.

Finally, I didn't even notice your fairly rampant misspellings until I quoted your post, and saw the merry red underlining all over the place. This is not so much a judgment on you, simply more evidence that I'm slowly going insane.

Anyway, to get back a bit to the OP, Syntax seems (to me) to imply that athletes are unintelligent by their nature, and so could be aptly compared to the uneducated mass of religion. Going by my high school, I feel confident in saying that the stereotypical dumb athlete is fairly inaccurate, though I don't know what the situation is for professional sports. About half of my AP Calculus BC class (not even required for graduation) is (are? I'm really not sure what to use here) baseball/football players, and I would even consider myself an athlete, though I'm currently in an extended break, choosing to focus more on academics.

Maybe I'm biased though.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Spuddly » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:55 am UTC

That paper is pretty interesting. The top 3 religions for income, are Jews with 114k, Episcopals/Anglicans at 81k, and Mormons at 76k. Atheists rank 12th with around 60k. I'm surprised at Mormons rating 3rd, but it makes sense. Most Mormons I've met are hard working and go to school. They're church and community is surprisingly pro-education for a bunch of young earth creationists.

Spuddly wrote:If IQ is a legitimate metric for measuring intelligence differences between atheists and theists, would it also be legitimate for concluding that white people are smarter than black people?


Why is everyone so ready to call theists less intelligent than atheists based on IQ, but unwilling to use the same reasoning to claim that Asians are smarter than whites? Could not the same justifications used to ignore IQ differences between other groups whose intellectual capacities we're unwilling to quantify be used to defend theists?
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Durandal » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:08 am UTC

RetSpline wrote:Anyway, to get back a bit to the OP, Syntax seems (to me) to imply that athletes are unintelligent by their nature, and so could be aptly compared to the uneducated mass of religion. Going by my high school, I feel confident in saying that the stereotypical dumb athlete is fairly inaccurate, though I don't know what the situation is for professional sports. About half of my AP Calculus BC class (not even required for graduation) is (are? I'm really not sure what to use here) baseball/football players, and I would even consider myself an athlete, though I'm currently in an extended break, choosing to focus more on academics

This is an untrue generalization, propagated by Hollywood. I speed skate at a level very close to professional; the only thing holding me back is that I want to finish my undergrad degree in four years, so I have to take a full course load. Most of the people I speed skate with are intelligent, and I have met Cindy Klassen and Denny Morrison, both of whom are very smart people.

The whole concept of seeing athleticism and intelligence like the acceleration vs. max speed meter in F-Zero is stupid.

Trying to lump people into categories based on their intelligence is futile. The only reasonable correlation would be success; of course there are a myriad of other factors such as motivation and monetary resources, but generally speaking the good technical jobs go to those qualified to do them, while less motivated/intelligent people settle for more simplistic (and often less prestigious) ones.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:14 am UTC

I'd say motivation plays a much larger role than intelligence. I mean.. if a dumb motivated guy studies his ass off and then some, and tries as hard as he can, he's going to go farther than a smart guy who half-asses it all the time.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby sje46 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:38 am UTC

RetSpline wrote:
sje46 wrote:-snip-
I hope that isn't too simplistic (and it is), and the math makes sense. Basically I tried to explain why the average IQ of atheists are smarter while assuming that believing in a religion is equally rational to being an atheist. Soemthing doesn't sit riht with this proof though.


The thing that doesn't sit right is that you're completely making numbers up, for one.

That is because I don't have the actual numbers handy. I doubt they are exactly available. Try to criticize the basic germ of the idea, no?
Secondly, you're assuming that most religious people cannot even begin to logically denounce their faith, or that logic or intelligence are even required to lose faith; there are many (anecdotal) stories, that I've heard, of people experiencing a single traumatizing event 'converting' (for an increasing lack of synonyms to "losing faith") to atheism.

True. But I did not intend to communicate that ONLY the top ten percent of the population will be rational enough to question faith, but that it tends towards that. Even extremely dumb people will question it too, and of course so will the average person. But I think that the higher the intelligence, the more likely they are to PURSUE it, and then make their decision, whatever it may be, without any events being involved.

But WITH events involved: bad things happen to intelligent and not-so-intelligent people. So if they change their beliefs based off of this, the ratio should remain the same. Right?
Also, you assume that atheists are naturally logical, as they lack the "intelligence inhibitor" that is faith, which is simply not true.

I don't claim that they are natuarally logical, but rather that the population tends to be closer to the tabula rasa state of affairs when it comes to rationality. But RELIGIOUS people, depending on how fundamentalist they are, of course, have to fight against logic. Even if, say, one religion is right (Let's say Mormons), everyone else is wrong . .. including the atheists even. So then the vast majority of religious people have to fight against logic . .. unless you're mormon. . . .but not really because there is nothing to suggest that Mormonism is the correct faith anyway. All religions seem to have an equal shot of being right to me.
But anyway, it isn't that religion is a INTELLIGENCE blocker, but rather they are more trained to deny logic. So then the population necessarily has to be lower in intelligence, even if only a tiny bit.

Finally, I didn't even notice your fairly rampant misspellings until I quoted your post, and saw the merry red underlining all over the place. This is not so much a judgment on you, simply more evidence that I'm slowly going insane.

Then why mention it?
[snip]

Maybe I'm biased though.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby |Erasmus| » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Marbas wrote:
I would also like to see the results of that GQ thing, that sounds interesting.

Uhh...I think he was making a joke.

*facepalm*

SecondTalon wrote:I'd say motivation plays a much larger role than intelligence. I mean.. if a dumb motivated guy studies his ass off and then some, and tries as hard as he can, he's going to go farther than a smart guy who half-asses it all the time.

True. There are quite a number of people who I believe would score lower than me on an IQ test (I have not done a proper psychologist one, but have gotten 140+ on numerous other ones. I assume they probably overstate it a bit, but I think we can assume I would perform reasonable on a real one) that have done better academically because they have a better work ethic/study habits than me.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Marbas » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:20 pm UTC

*facepalm*


Oh damn. I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic/ironic or not. I gambled wrong it seems.

Edit: I'm pretty sure this is the worst 666th post ever. Yes I know it's 616, stop yelling at me.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Syntax » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:16 pm UTC

Plenty of hate in this thread; let me right a few wrongs and see if that helps...



First off, a 5-point difference in IQ(while statistically relevant) is completely irrelevant. No one is saying that having faith makes you stupid; even the study itself had a working hypothesis which stated that people with high IQs were most likely drawn to atheism. It would be non sequitur to conclude that people of lower intelligence being drawn to religion is a sufficient condition of the claim that states all religious people are of lower intelligence.


Secondly, IQ is not "bullshit". One's intelligence as measured by a psychiatrist correlates very strongly with one's success in live, both monetarily and otherwise. Any presumed ambiguity of causation can obviously be ruled out as IQ is, for the most part, static.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Yuri2356 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:14 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:On the one hand, you have existence owing to chance - if any one of dozens of factors was just a little bit different, we would not exist.

Both are pretty ridiculous when you think about them.


If we did not exist, we wouldn't be here to ponder how incredibly unlikely we are. There's no one to speak for every potential world, star, galaxy, and universe that produced fuck all during its history. Now, tell me how this implies the existence of the almighty sky wizard without appealing to ignorance of or inability to grasp how fucking huge the universe is.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Marbas » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:23 pm UTC

Secondly, IQ is not "bullshit". One's intelligence as measured by a psychiatrist correlates very strongly with one's success in live, both monetarily and otherwise. Any presumed ambiguity of causation can obviously be ruled out as IQ is, for the most part, static.


*Plugs ears* LALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU. That's how I normally react when confronted with that information. Mainly because it's just so depressing. It seems like testing one's IQ is a useless endeavor if one isn't applying for GATE. What do we gain from it anyways?

I am the pinnacle of maturity.

Edit: I have a question, does anyone know how common unbalanced IQ scores are? Or if they're indicative of anything? I mean in terms of someone getting a score on one section that's a standard deviation or two below the other ones? I recall my own test was quite unbalanced. With verbal and spatial reasoning being above 140 and 130 respectively and processing speed and working memory being around 105 both.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Toeofdoom » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

Durandal wrote:Really, WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER IF THE FUCKING GROUP YOU BELONG TO IS SMARTER THAN ANY OTHER FUCKING GROUP? Does the average IQ of the group put an intelligence modifier on your own IQ? The only thing that matters is how smart you are.


When I looked at the statistics posted, one of my first thoughts was along these lines: Why are agnostics lower than atheists? If smarter people tend towards atheism instead of agnosticism, maybe it has more merit and then why do I (not extremely strongly) consider myself an agnostic? I quickly realized that not only do these statistics suck and that I wasn't entirely sure of the definition of my beliefs anyway, but with better data you might think something along these lines:

1: Smart people are more likely to be right.
2: On average, smarter people choose X.
3: X is more likely to be right.

Of course this is ignoring any other altering effects such as the effect described above of people wanting to think of themselves as intelligent and as such picking the group that is apparently intelligent, the irrelevance of IQ, how people chose their beliefs and how they arrived at their current level of intelligence. As mentioned earlier, even age could be a major factor. (If people do turn religious as they get older as a general trend and do worse on the intelligence test past a certain age you that would have a weighting effect against religions)

Syntax wrote:Secondly, IQ is not "bullshit". One's intelligence as measured by a psychiatrist correlates very strongly with one's success in live, both monetarily and otherwise. Any presumed ambiguity of causation can obviously be ruled out as IQ is, for the most part, static.


Sounds like I'm all set then, if you're correct. But to be honest, I havent seen any conclusive evidence either way and your assertion does nothing to change that.


To the OP: You aren't going to get any conclusive statistics, ever. You probably won't get anything close. There are so many flaws with everything from the scientific process of these studies to the basis of IQ itself that it's unlikely to be of any practical use even with proper numbers that are collected well.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby 4=5 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:29 pm UTC

there is a very simple explanation for the flynn effect.
IQ tests don't measure intelligence, they measure modernness.

When confronted with a question like "which is most like a rabbit; (a) dog, (b) rat." non modern people are more likely to choose the dog because "you hunt rabbits with dogs". What is the opposite youth? is it age, is it non aging? , what is the opposite of 2? is it 1/2 is it -2? IQ tests measure how much well you remember the arbitrary definitions of things taught, and is as far as this they correlate to education and therefore to earning and career.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Rentsy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

I would guess atheists that came from religious families would show a higher IQ because changing your worldview radically takes intelligence.

Of course, I'd expect the same IQ bump from people whose families were irreligious and who became closer to G-d.

So rather than "atheists are smarter, so atheism is smarter, so atheism is right...", I'd say that people who think about the world around them and challenge ingrained cultural beliefs are bound to be smarter than the general population.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby sje46 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

Rentsy wrote:I would guess atheists that came from religious families would show a higher IQ because changing your worldview radically takes intelligence.

Of course, I'd expect the same IQ bump from people whose families were irreligious and who became closer to G-d.

So rather than "atheists are smarter, so atheism is smarter, so atheism is right...", I'd say that people who think about the world around them and challenge ingrained cultural beliefs are bound to be smarter than the general population.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby |Erasmus| » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

4=5 wrote:there is a very simple explanation for the flynn effect.
IQ tests don't measure intelligence, they measure modernness.

When confronted with a question like "which is most like a rabbit; (a) dog, (b) rat." non modern people are more likely to choose the dog because "you hunt rabbits with dogs". What is the opposite youth? is it age, is it non aging? , what is the opposite of 2? is it 1/2 is it -2? IQ tests measure how much well you remember the arbitrary definitions of things taught, and is as far as this they correlate to education and therefore to earning and career.

association != similarity. I'm sorry if you think that's a good reason for getting a question wrong on an IQ test, but I don't buy it.

That's not saying IQ tests -are- fair and reasonable, I just don't refuse to believe that is the reason for them not being so.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Durandal » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:13 pm UTC

Actually, cultural bias is a huge part of why IQ tests don't work very well.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby apeman5291 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:02 am UTC

Marbas wrote:
I would also like to see the results of that GQ thing, that sounds interesting.


Uhh...I think he was making a joke.

I'll just stop trying to type sarcasm.

sje46 wrote:
Rentsy wrote:I would guess atheists that came from religious families would show a higher IQ because changing your worldview radically takes intelligence.

Of course, I'd expect the same IQ bump from people whose families were irreligious and who became closer to G-d.

So rather than "atheists are smarter, so atheism is smarter, so atheism is right...", I'd say that people who think about the world around them and challenge ingrained cultural beliefs are bound to be smarter than the general population.

Yes.

I COMPLETELY agree, here, and I have one thing to add: a corollary to this is that whatever group is in the minority at the time will have a higher average IQ. This is because as the majority gets bigger, assuming the percent of people who "convert" stays roughly the same, more and more people will switch to the other group. Similarly, numerically less people in the minority will switch to the majority. As a result, a high percentage of the minority will be people who converted instead of people who were raised in the culture and didn't switch. A low percentage of the majority will be people who switched. Because people who switch beliefs tend (on average, nothing about individuals) to have higher IQ's that will affect the average IQ of the whole.

I will now make a prediction, and you can hold me to it 50/100/1000 years from now. I predict that if there comes a day when the majority of the world is atheist/non-religious, religious people will have higher IQ's on average.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Yawgmoth » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:13 am UTC

Mr.RobLikesBrunch wrote:Anyway, I believe IQ is complete bullshit.

Keep in mind that IQ is not a measure of how "smart" you are, but how well you will learn in a given educational system. You could be a brilliant person with fantastic ideas that will revolutionize the world, but if you're bad at standardized tests, you may still only have a 75 IQ, because it's based around the american educational system. It's why we can take inner-city kids with high-60s IQ (borderline retarded!), put them in a different situation with a different style of learning with different rewards for excelling, and suddenly they can double their IQ score in a month.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Lycur » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:57 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Why do I say self-reporting? Because it's not a series of questions about theology asked by someone else who then interprets the results.... and yes, I think that would be necessary to determine one's religious leanings.... nor is it an IQ test administered by someone who actually knows how to score an IQ test. It's some radial toggles and a submit button. Some people are religious but find it easier to describe themselves as Atheist than to go in to the world-spirit of which we are all a part as - technically speaking - they do not believe in gods.. but they're not unreligious as most people interpret by the word Atheist.


This. Atheist / Agnostic / Religous are not well defined groupings; I might identify myself as any one of the three depending on my mood that day and the context of the conversation.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Yuri2356 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:57 pm UTC

Rentsy wrote:I would guess atheists that came from religious families would show a higher IQ because changing your worldview radically takes intelligence.

Of course, I'd expect the same IQ bump from people whose families were irreligious and who became closer to G-d.

So rather than "atheists are smarter, so atheism is smarter, so atheism is right...", I'd say that people who think about the world around them and challenge ingrained cultural beliefs are bound to be smarter than the general population.

So what about people who convert to cope with trauma? Or arbitrary rebellion? Or simple persuasion/coercion? (Don't try to tell me that all those people who get roped into cults must have above-average intellect)

Or how about smart people who analyze their worldview, and find that it holds up to criticism?

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby apeman5291 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:So what about people who convert to cope with trauma? Or arbitrary rebellion? Or simple persuasion/coercion? (Don't try to tell me that all those people who get roped into cults must have above-average intellect)

Or how about smart people who analyze their worldview, and find that it holds up to criticism?


He's speaking for averages here. Statistics really mean nothing to the individual. Since bad things happen to everybody, the IQ distribution for people who convert to cope should be centered at about 100. Also, I would expect for the persuasion/coercion demographic average to be lower than 100, but they don't represent that large of a group. No matter how dumb someone is, it's ridiculously hard to get them to change their entire belief system through persuasion. They usually have to come to some sort of conclusion on their own. Then there is the group of people who switch on their own, because they have analyzed all options and chosen based on whatever is sound to them, who would be expected to be a tad bit smarter than average. So the average of the total goes up ever so slightly. Like I said, this bump is more obvious in a minority group.

Also, the smart people who stay with their current worldview don't affect anything, because we're only considering the demographic that switches. It's like a "most A are B, but not most B are A" thing.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby benjhuey » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Rentsy wrote:So rather than "atheists are smarter, so atheism is smarter, so atheism is right...", I'd say that people who think about the world around them and challenge ingrained cultural beliefs are bound to be smarter than the general population.

Or hippies.
Last edited by benjhuey on Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:41 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby apeman5291 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:33 am UTC

Rentsy said that. I just quoted him.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby benjhuey » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:41 am UTC

So he did. Sorry. Fix'd.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Actaeus » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:00 am UTC

I don't think religion/faith is as much tied to IQ as it is to thought and contemplation.
I was originally a secular Jew by default, began actually thinking about my beliefs, became atheist, went through a short affair with existentialism (it's not depressing, but it sure isn't helpful - feel free to debate me on this), and now I know for sure that I don't believe in a separate, conscious, traditional God, but I do believe in inherent goodness and other things that border on religion. Mostly, I'm just in awe of the universe at this point, and I don't see that changing, regardless of what I think about "higher powers".

I'm definitely a bit above average, IQ-wise (I don't like to brag, because IQ is crap), but I know a lot of smarter people who are atheists because they try to apply logic to religion, or religious because they never really thought about it. IQ is irrelevant, it's all about thinking through religion often enough to find some sort of personal answer. You never know where inspiration will come from, many of my ideas were sparked from a colorful random walk I coded to mock modern art.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby CVSoul » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:02 am UTC

Well, from how I see it, you can't prove the Bible is right, but you can't prove it's wrong either. (keep in mind I have a whole other ball of yarn on 6-day creation.) That is to say, scientifically. To prove something scientifically, you have to actually see evidence. Since there are no recorded instances of the creation of the Universe, you can't really call atheism science.

That being said, there's no reason either religion or nonreligion is "smarter". Maybe it's possible (being a college know-it-all hippie at the moment, I'll admit I have absolutely no idea) that higher-IQ people like to be more self-reliant, or subconsciously push away from the concept of "fate" or not being in control.

I personally hear what I want to hear. Atheism is depressing.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:50 am UTC

CVSoul wrote:To prove something scientifically, you have to actually see evidence. Since there are no recorded instances of the creation of the Universe, you can't really call atheism science.
Firstly, a scientific theory of the creation of the universe is cosmogony. A lack of belief in any deity is atheism. The two aren't synonymous, just like evolution and atheism aren't synonymous.

Secondly, science may not be capable of proving the nonexistence of any God, but it can certainly prove the Biblical creation myth incorrect. It can be shown scientifically that the earth wasn't created after the "waters under the heavens", that all the stars weren't created after Earth, that there's no such thing as a "firmament" in the sky holding up a bunch of water, that birds weren't created before land animals, etc, etc, etc.

These are things in the Bible that are proven to be incorrect, and while science can't comment on whether or not God created everything, we certainly can know that he didn't do it in the manner as described in the Bible.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby CVSoul » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:23 am UTC

On my mismention of atheism, I'll concede that point. Clarity and public speaking fail. Understanding fail, probably.

uncivlengr wrote:Secondly, science may not be capable of proving the nonexistence of any God, but it can certainly prove the Biblical creation myth incorrect. It can be shown scientifically that the earth wasn't created after the "waters under the heavens", that all the stars weren't created after Earth, that there's no such thing as a "firmament" in the sky holding up a bunch of water, that birds weren't created before land animals, etc, etc, etc.


Depends on how you read it. Chances are the sky was called a water because it's blue. A figurative term.
Stars weren't created after the earth, but when the bible mentions them, it's mentioning them as a figure for telling time and direction, not as being created.
If you consider relativity, it could be considered possible that it all happened in six days, as seen from the point of the Big Bang, where God was presumably standing.

The bible gets all the points of creation right, and in pretty much the same order -- and if it's not exactly what Darwin wrote, that's because Darwin didn't have 6000 years of people translating, transcribing, and editing his book. People are very often liars.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Yuri2356 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:45 am UTC

CVSoul wrote:Well, from how I see it, you can't prove the Bible is right, but you can't prove it's wrong either. (keep in mind I have a whole other ball of yarn on 6-day creation.) That is to say, scientifically. To prove something scientifically, you have to actually see evidence. Since there are no recorded instances of the creation of the Universe, you can't really call atheism science.

Martian China Teapot.

That being said, there's no reason either religion or nonreligion is "smarter". Maybe it's possible (being a college know-it-all hippie at the moment, I'll admit I have absolutely no idea) that higher-IQ people like to be more self-reliant, or subconsciously push away from the concept of "fate" or not being in control.

Determinism, and ideas about it, exist independently of sky-daddy.
I personally hear what I want to hear. Atheism is depressing.

Yes, it's so depressing to know that we weren't winked into existence by a sociopathic manchild so that he could violently torture us for having flaws that are only there because he built us this way. How can people live without the warm and soothing love of a genocidal sky wizard whose sense of justice is so warped that he'll hold an entire species responsible for a single offence, and slay babies en-masse because their parents were sort of assholeish. (Or worse yet, because their despotic head of state was so)

How sad it must be to think that we're just rather clever apes.

People are very often liars.
Which is why you trust the book many of them wrote over a 6000 year span as literal truth?
Last edited by Yuri2356 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby Alpha Omicron » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:57 am UTC

It is embarrassing to see this thread on the front page of General.
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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby sje46 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:28 pm UTC

There is also the strong possibility, which is different from my proof I gave before, that smarter people tend to be atheist not because only mostly the smart people who are orignially religious have the capacity to follow through with inquiry to be able to change their dicision, no matter what it is, but also because atheism is the more rational theory (as opposed to supernaturalism). It is NOT a 50% chance like I assumed in my proof.

I seriously do believe that this is the reason why this board, for example, is more full of atheists. But there are also heck of religious people here who are smart.
But I do not think a person is justified in saying that it could be either other way--that the choices are equally likely. No, no. Be an agnostic, but not that type of agnostic. It is cool if you are more for god's side. but dn't be right in the middle.

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Re: What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:35 pm UTC

It's full of self-reporting atheists. Meaning people are lying to fit in, saying they're atheist because they misunderstand what atheist means, or just not putting forth their religious convictions in the polls.

At best, this forum proves that atheists like polls.
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