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What's the average IQ of an atheist?

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:43 pm UTC
by Syntax
...as well as the standard deviation. I'd like to know the numbers for christians as well but I can't seem to find any relevant data.




reason is, I wanted to show a friend of mine that the probability(using real math) of any given atheist being smarter than a given christian is only slightly higher than .5 and thusly almost negligible for all intents and purposes. according to wikipedia the average IQ is about 5 points higher for atheists, but the actual numbers aren't given. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:21 pm UTC
by Shakleton
The whole "Atheists are much more intelligent than christians per se"-thing is rubbish. If your friend doesn't believe you, he's probably not the kind of atheists in the top IQ corner because intelligence is weak against ignorance.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:24 pm UTC
by Syntax
Shakleton wrote:The whole "Atheists are much more intelligent than christians per se"-thing is rubbish. If your friend doesn't believe you, he's probably not the kind of atheists in the top IQ corner because intelligence is weak against ignorance.




He's actually pretty smart(I make it a habit to not argue with dumb people) and he'll likely accept whatever figures I come up with as he trusts my objective mathematical judgments.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:38 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
The best thing I could find was this, which doesn't give numerical data.

That said, I wouldn't find anything meaningful unless it was basically a 50 year study of a random selection of the population that checked in every, I dunno.. 5, 10 years or so to reevaluate a person's beliefs. Religious beliefs are not a static thing, and someone who's a rebellious atheist at 20 might be extremely devout at 50.

There's anecdotal stories of people turning to religion as they age, but I don't know how accurate that is.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:45 pm UTC
by Mr.RobLikesBrunch
I read about a study a while back that said the more "intellectual" your job, the less likely you're to believe in God. So someone who is an engineer for NASA will be more prone to atheism than a construction worker.

Now, if we look at this chart:

Image

We can see that jobs of a more intellectual nature are associated with people by higher IQ.

Therefore, we can conclude that the average IQ of an atheist is going to be higher than that of your average joe...but no idea by how much (on average).


Anyway, I believe IQ is complete bullshit.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:10 pm UTC
by Aikanaro
Y'know, there's one other thing to keep in mind....a lot of the morons out there probably don't bother taking IQ tests....

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:39 pm UTC
by Mr.RobLikesBrunch
Aikanaro wrote:Y'know, there's one other thing to keep in mind....a lot of the morons out there probably don't bother taking IQ tests....


Great point- stats are often deceiving.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:47 pm UTC
by kinigget
and can be easily manpulated. It is a proven fact (irony intended) that you can prove anything you want to with the proper abuse of statistics.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:22 pm UTC
by Shakleton
kinigget wrote:and can be easily manpulated. It is a proven fact (irony intended) that you can prove anything you want to with the proper abuse of statistics.


It's what my mom always said: (Really) Don't trust any statistic you haven't faked yourself!

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:28 pm UTC
by Syntax
I don't think we should immediately assume the study citing that atheists score higher in standard IQ tests is invalid before reading the study itself. It's here, if anyone has a username on this site;

The Study


in the mean time does anyone have the numbers I was looking for?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:48 pm UTC
by Lord Aurora
Syntax wrote:I don't think we should immediately assume the study citing that atheists score higher in standard IQ tests is invalid before reading the study itself. It's here, if anyone has a username on this site;

The Study


in the mean time does anyone have the numbers I was looking for?


Can you not see the entire article just by clicking the link? I can...

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:50 pm UTC
by Syntax
Lord Aurora wrote:
Syntax wrote:I don't think we should immediately assume the study citing that atheists score higher in standard IQ tests is invalid before reading the study itself. It's here, if anyone has a username on this site;

The Study


in the mean time does anyone have the numbers I was looking for?


Can you not see the entire article just by clicking the link? I can...



Nope; I'm prompted for a login name or the option to buy the article for $35...

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:57 pm UTC
by apeman5291
Shakleton wrote:
kinigget wrote:and can be easily manpulated. It is a proven fact (irony intended) that you can prove anything you want to with the proper abuse of statistics.


It's what my mom always said: (Really) Don't trust any statistic you haven't faked yourself!

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damnable lies, and then there are statistics." (I forget who said that)

Anyway, the study said that there were 5.89 points separating the means of the two samples. Assuming the standard deviation for each group was roughly equal to the standard deviation of the population (about 15 iq points), you can get some rough estimates. If the sample size is under 43, then 0 is in the 99% confidence interval for the difference. A sample size under 62 still has 1 in the 99% confidence interval for the mean, and a sample size that's less than 77 still has 1.5 in the 99% confidence interval for the difference. Even so, 6 IQ points equates to roughly 8 percentile points, and 1.5 IQ points equates to roughly 4 percentile points when close to the mean of 100. Depending on how you look at it, that can either be a lot or not much.

Somebody might want to check me on these numbers, it's been a while since I've done anything with statistics.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:07 pm UTC
by Syntax
I just noticed that that article has a chart that has the numbers I need. can someone with access view them for me and report back?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:13 pm UTC
by apeman5291
I don't have access, but I think I spotted something in the abstract that's worth attention: It compares atheists to agnostics, "liberal persuasions" and "dogmatic persuasions". Unless those are just euphemisms for different types of religious folk that I'm not up on, I think that makes it kind of invalid. It's certainly possible for atheists and agnostics to be considered of the "liberal persuasion", even "dogmatic". Which makes the groups they are comparing not mutually exclusive and kind of blurs the statistics.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:18 pm UTC
by Syntax
honestly I just want the numbers.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:02 pm UTC
by william
Lord Aurora wrote:
Syntax wrote:I don't think we should immediately assume the study citing that atheists score higher in standard IQ tests is invalid before reading the study itself. It's here, if anyone has a username on this site;

The Study


in the mean time does anyone have the numbers I was looking for?


Can you not see the entire article just by clicking the link? I can...

Are you at a university? Often universities purchase access to the whole site.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:20 pm UTC
by Durandal
NUMBERS!!!

Spoiler:
NUMBERS 2.jpg
NUMBERS 2.jpg (11.31 KiB) Viewed 8613 times


I, too am at university. Which is probably why I can see it.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:34 pm UTC
by sje46
I am an atheist, and I believe my IQ is something like 125 or so. I'm not sure but it's around there (i took an IQ test in AP Psych and that is around what I got, and a few internet tests even correlated with this . . .some of which even look decent).

I don't see why it is so hard to believe atheists would have a higher average IQ. There are a lot of smart religious people out there and a lot of dumb atheists too, but I would think that an atheist would bve more prone to have critical reasoning skills, simply because most religions require faith. There would be more people just accepting a religion with no thinking than people accepting religion with no thinking.

Maybe I'm biased though.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:42 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
sje46 wrote:Maybe I'm biased though.


No shit. No one will ever say "Gee, the group I belong to sure does seem dumber than average."

Probably part of the Lake Wobegon Effect or something similar.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:51 pm UTC
by Alpha Omicron
Syntax wrote:He's actually pretty smart(I make it a habit to not argue with dumb people)...

Does he know how to use parentheses?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:52 pm UTC
by Mo0man
Durandal wrote:NUMBERS!!!

Spoiler:
NUMBERS 2.jpg


I, too am at university. Which is probably why I can see it.

That makes no sense. Is everyone ABOVE average IQ? or did they change the definition of IQ when I wasn't looking?
(100 IQ is average, everything else is based on that)

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:55 pm UTC
by sje46
SecondTalon wrote:
sje46 wrote:Maybe I'm biased though.


No shit. No one will ever say "Gee, the group I belong to sure does seem dumber than average."

Probably part of the Lake Wobegon Effect or something similar.

Well, you don't have to swear at me.

Do I make a good point, or not?

Mo0man wrote:
Durandal wrote:NUMBERS!!!

Spoiler:
NUMBERS 2.jpg


I, too am at university. Which is probably why I can see it.

That makes no sense. Is everyone ABOVE average IQ? or did they change the definition of IQ when I wasn't looking?
(100 IQ is average, everything else is based on that)

I think they have to restandardize it once every while. People are smarter now then they used to be, I guess. Their brains are getting exercised more, perhaps.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:04 pm UTC
by Mo0man
I'm not as smart as I thought I was! NOOOOOOOO

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:09 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Yeah, sorry.. I'm tired and cranky.

The rest of your point is.. not good.

I don't see why it is so hard to believe atheists would have a higher average IQ. There are a lot of smart religious people out there and a lot of dumb atheists too, but I would think that an atheist would be more prone to have critical reasoning skills, simply because most religions require faith. There would be more people just accepting a religion with no thinking than people accepting religion with no thinking.
Meanwhile I would say that an equal argument would be that those who are religious are obviously more intelligent, as for every individual who answers "Because $Deity$ says!" there's another who can give a detail explanation as to why it is so.

Not to mention that there is a bit of a confirmation bias there. *edit for clarity*

It looks to me like your though process is running something like this....

1. I am an Atheist
2. My critical thinking skills were what led me to Atheism.
4. As not everyone else is an Atheist, I must have superior Critical Thinking Skills (we're starting to hit flaws here)
5. Other Atheists I've spoken with cite arguments that run along the lines of "I started really thinking about it and realized there were too many contradictions and too much 'And *MAGIC* happened!' that defied scientific explanation, so I stopped believing" similar to my own - aka Critical Thinking.

and now we're pretty much stuck in a self-confirmation cycle. (though I'm sure someone else could explain it better)

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.

On the other hand, you have existence owing to a magical sky being who made something out of nothing.

Both are pretty ridiculous when you think about them.

And now that I've fixed my numbering, Bakemaster's comment makes no sense and... ah, crap. It's still wrong.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:11 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
100% of SecondTalon doesn't know how to count because he is athiest!

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:12 pm UTC
by Lord Aurora
sje46 wrote:Well, you don't have to swear at me.

Do I make a good point, or not?


In addition to a previously stated rule that RG is an asshole, these fora come with the understanding that SecondTalon is a bit of an asshole. Don't let him scare you, deep down he's just as cuddly as RG and (I've heard) also quite the romantic!

And you don't make a particularly good point. IQ is supposed to be static for your entire life, meaning that three-year-old version of you has the same IQ as twenty-five-year-old version of you. Three-year-old version of you has basically no idea what faith-based reasoning is, and, if he's religious at all, it's because his parents told him to be. He just goes to church for the cool stories, and maybe the punch and cookies they serve after the sermon. So his religious views have no effect whatsoever on his IQ. And please don't try to argue that atheists are born with this ability to reason based entirely on reality. Because that is most assuredly bullshit.

These statistics may in fact reflect the true state of things, but there's a reason nobody has quite touched on yet. Don't know it myself.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:16 pm UTC
by Mo0man
Lord Aurora wrote:And you don't make a particularly good point. IQ is supposed to be static for your entire life, meaning that three-year-old version of you has the same IQ as twenty-five-year-old version of you. Three-year-old version of you has basically no idea what faith-based reasoning is, and, if he's religious at all, it's because his parents told him to be. He just goes to church for the cool stories, and maybe the punch and cookies they serve after the sermon. So his religious views have no effect whatsoever on his IQ. And please don't try to argue that atheists are born with this ability to reason based entirely on reality. Because that is most assuredly bullshit.

I've got anecdotal data I can totally put here, since it's general, but I'm too lazy to type it out. So I'll do it this way
IQ is NOT static over age

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:21 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Lord Aurora wrote:
sje46 wrote:Well, you don't have to swear at me.

In addition to a previously stated rule that RG is an asshole, these fora come with the understanding that SecondTalon is a bit of an asshole. Don't let him scare you, deep down he's just as cuddly as RG and (I've heard) also quite the romantic!

No no.. RG is Grouchy. I'm a Dick.

There's a difference. RG just grumbles and yells at you to get off his lawn. I suggest playing in traffic.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:50 pm UTC
by Durandal
*sigh*

ASIDE from the fact that the whole concept of IQ tests is fundamentally flawed, what do these prove? The numbers I copied from that article show only a six point difference between the Atheist average and the Dogmatic average. Read that again. SIX POINTS. On a practical scale that's negligible - you wouldn't be able to definitively say which of two people is 'smarter' if they were separated by six points.

Point, Atheists love to think of themselves as intellectuals, people who have the critical reasoning skills necessary to reject what they see as bullshit that everyone else goes along with. Of course, this is accompanied by a nagging doubt that maybe they aren't as clever as they think, so studies are performed to reaffirm this.

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. If you want to use this information to your advantage by saying "y'all a bunch of idiots" to the other side, feel free to do so. Then someone can go do a study correlating how smart your group is vs. how much of an asshole you are.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:02 pm UTC
by sje46
Okay, I'm trying to think.
Originally religious people. Let's assume they have the same distribution of intelligence, centered at 100.
Originally ATHEIST people, same thing.
The religious people have a thing called faith, which may contradict with logic, and so they may ignore logic so that their beliefs would seem correct. I am not saying that Christianity is incorrect . . .but MOST religions, necessarily, have to be incorrect. SO most religious people are wrong, and there is no evidence that points to one religion over another. All religins, I think, are equally likely. What I suspect is that the most intelligent of initially religious people would question their faith instead of just accepting it, because a questioning nature . . .I hope . . .is indicative of intelligence. Now, they could realize that their religion is correct, or it is incorrect. Let's say that half swithc to atheism, and half stay in a religion of some form. But the point is that only ten percent are smart enough to eralize it isn't wrong to question faith, and make the decision.

Now the initially atheists. Raised without faith. They aren't told to believe in any thing. Some are stupid, some are smart. But they ALL question, because there is not a thing blocking them from doing so. Half could convert to a religion, and half could stay, assuming that they are both equally rational to believe in (something I DONT believe), the fact remains that the population remians the same EXCEPT for the group of intially religious people who saw through the bull of faith and questioned. Half of these smarter than average people will choose to be atheist, driving the average IQ up.

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.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:37 pm UTC
by RealGrouchy
sje46 wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
sje46 wrote:Maybe I'm biased though.
No shit.
Well, you don't have to swear at me.
"No shit" is not swearing at you, assforbrains, pay attention.

Lord Aurora wrote:RG is an asshole
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.

Back on topic now...

Syntax wrote:I wanted to show a friend of mine that the probability(using real math) of any given atheist being smarter than a given christian is only slightly higher than .5 and thusly almost negligible for all intents and purposes.
There's actually a study that was able to show that Atheists got a much higher score on a test that measured the GQ. I can dig up the link to this gullibility quotient test if you really like, though it isn't IQ, which is what you're looking for.

- RG>

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:41 pm UTC
by sje46
RealGrouchy wrote:
sje46 wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
sje46 wrote:Maybe I'm biased though.
No shit.
Well, you don't have to swear at me.
"No shit" is not swearing at you, assforbrains, pay attention.

*cries*

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:43 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Yeah.. I forgot to mention...

RG is the guy who, after expressing your theory, delivers a few quick quips that destroy your ego and leave you a quivering mess on ground.

I'm the guy who says "Oh yeah? Well fuck your theory!"

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:03 pm UTC
by |Erasmus|
RealGrouchy wrote:There's actually a study that was able to show that Atheists got a much higher score on a test that measured the GQ. I can dig up the link to this gullibility quotient test if you really like, though it isn't IQ, which is what you're looking for.

- RG>

Please do. I'm really quite interested in seeing these results...

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:10 pm UTC
by Cheese
But where does that leave me?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:13 pm UTC
by |Erasmus|
Cheese wrote:But where does that leave me?

You just show up late and act confused/awkward?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:15 pm UTC
by Cheese
...you can double the confused, because I didn't even notice you ninja'ing me.

And can I see this Gullibility Quotient thing too? I'd really like to see how gullible the average atheist is.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:22 pm UTC
by Spuddly
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?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:32 pm UTC
by apeman5291
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.

Well said, Durandal. Well said.

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

Also, I'd like to restate what I said earlier about how "dogmatically inclined" != "religious". I'm sure there are quite a few atheists whose reasoning is "well I read this book once and it seemed like it made a lot of sense so I'm gonna believe what he told me." Plus, dogmatically inclined is such a loosely defined group that the makers of this study could put pretty much anybody they want in there and get away with it. Hell, if I were doing it, I might even have based it on IQ. To me that phrase just makes the study say that the average stupid person is dumber than the average atheist. That sort of goes without saying. You know, unless "dogmatically inclined" is just some new euphemism.