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With all the hoopla surrounding a quiz question apparently formulated by an Ohio State University grad student asking whether Atheists were smarter than Christians, why has Corporate Media focused on right-wing outrage rather than doing their jobs in exploring the facts behind this question, which is based on the textbook for the psychology course citing scientific studies?
Not one major news outlet has brought attention to the fact that peer-reviewed studies have been ongoing and consistently show the IQs of Atheist to be higher than those of Christians.
Mainstream news sources could also note studies showing children raised in parochial schools have difficulty interpreting fact from fiction (which makes sense, many would argue, when an Iron Age book – which repeatedly references unicorns and states the earth is flat, stationary and rests on pillars – is taught as truth).

Instead, Corporate Media reporters have pulled the “discrimination” card over this quiz question, but what is discriminatory about citing evidence?

And why not note that although the better educated are more likely to ask questions, thereby cultivating critical thinking skills and a secular mindset, which Christians could develop as well?

The discussion could also focus more on the fact that this is good, solid evidence one can take into consideration when voting for taxpayer money going to voucher schools, many of which are not only unregulated but parochial in nature.
There are many aspects this story could instead concentrate on, but the sooner we recognize this is symptomatic of Corporate Media bias toward the religious right Republican viewpoint, the sooner we can encourage more balanced reporting.
Since six mega-corporations control 80% of our primetime news, and corporations rely on lax environmental controls, low taxes and anti-union policies by the Republican Party, Corporate Media now slants to the right end of the political spectrum.
This is likely why news stories, rather than educating and enlightening people for the betterment of society, now often just feed into the “culture wars.” However, the airwaves “belong to the people,” and by neglecting these types of questions, the public is not being served.

In noticing the relevant questions Corporate Media fails to touch on, we can be motivated to work toward stopping media consolidation and breaking up big media. Only then will we have an informed public and perhaps raise the intelligence quotients of everyone, not just Atheists.

IQ Studies

Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations
http://www.sciencedirect.com/...

The relationship between intelligence and multiple domains of religious belief: Evidence from a large adult US sample
http://www.sciencedirect.com/...

The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations
http://psr.sagepub.com/...

Is it smart to believe in God? The relationship of religiosity
with education and intelligence
http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/...

Why People Believe Weird Things
http://books.google.com/...

Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/...

Biblical references

Unicorns: KJV: Job. 39:9-10; Psalm 22:21, 29:6, 92:10; Isaiah 34:7; Num. 23:22, 24:8; Deut. 33:17

Flat Earth: Job 38:13; Isaiah 11:12; Rev. 7:1

Stationary Earth: Eccles. 1:5; Psalms 93:1, 96:10, 104:5; Joshua 10:12; 1 Chron. 16:30

Earth Resting On Pillars: I Sam. 2:8; Job 9:6, 38:4

Media Consolidation

http://www.freepress.net/...

MediaMatters.org

http://www.newswatch.org/...

Legislative Voting Records

Votesmart.org

Originally posted to Secular School Teacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Eileen B, AoT, blueoasis, kevinpdx, AJ in Camden, Alice Olson, thomask, MKHector, ImpactAv, oldcrow, ypochris, catly, wayoutinthestix, richardvjohnson, stunvegas, ItsaMathJoke, quill, slatsg, Sonnet, windwardguy46, IowaBiologist, DerAmi, deepeco, Youffraita, Orinoco, cspivey, nirbama, greenmeanie, NonnyO, mamamorgaine, thenekkidtruth, LynChi, MadRuth, 2thanks, OregonWetDog, radarlady, pfiore8, nookular, Chaddiwicker, Dood Abides, blue in NC, dmhlt 66, democracy inaction, DSC on the Plateau, yellowdogsal, PeteZerria, Jim R, Kingsmeg, VPofKarma, Medium Head Boy, third Party please, unclejohn, Carol in San Antonio, kharma, wader, GeorgeXVIII, ChemBob, DaveP, most peculiar mama, ColoTim, on the cusp, Tool, MartyM, Byron from Denver, ApostleOfCarlin, Fishtroller01, Onomastic, sandav, middleagedhousewife, tampaedski, IndieGuy, Teiresias70, ClevelandAttorney, political mutt, jfromga, zerelda, Front Toward Enemy, StrayCat, dewtx, pierre9045, kumaneko, marina, Cedwyn, Woody, ewmorr, joynow, SherriG, ChasMac77, rustypatina, Hannibal, TX Unmuzzled, pixxer, owlbear1, millwood, home solar, Stwriley, HedwigKos, shaharazade, turdraker, Gustogirl, cybersaur, opinionated, Ice Blue, cpresley, Arsenic, fb, cardboardurinal, purplepenlady, SteelerGrrl, roses, AZsparky, AllanTBG, FarWestGirl, Gowrie Gal, psnyder, maregug, RiveroftheWest, Angie in WA State, asterkitty, JayRaye, pvasileff, Dodgerdog1, annominous, ginimck, surfbird007, jaf49, statsone, BlueMississippi, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, imagiste, MJ via Chicago, TexDem, JVolvo, slowbutsure, gulfgal98, shesaid, Betsrutan, SamanthaCarter, Prinny Squad, Windowpane, kfunk937, 2dot
      •  I don't think so. (16+ / 0-)

        Religious folk have had a problem with evolution since it was introduced.  It's probably the most damaging thing for their faith since Galileo challenged geocentrism, and most of the true believers know it.

        Those who aren't bothered by evolution are far enough outside of religion that they have secular values and aren't much of a danger to society.  (Not that I don't have objections to that position, too.  They're just not worth addressing.)

        This is deeper than just the problems of the modern republican party.  It goes all the way back to the origins of the theory.

        •  Hold on a minute (39+ / 0-)

          Judaism, Catholicism, and mainline Protestantism have no difficulties with evolution.  Your "religious folk" are in fact just the "fundamentalist Protestants" who are a much smaller group of people.  This fact renders your second paragraph nonsensical, as there are millions of people who are both perfectly orthodox Christians and perfectly comfortable with evolution.

          But we can all agree that Creationism is an embarrassment to the country, that the roots are deep, and that the problem is resistant to easy resolution.  I myself have been fighting these guys for more than thirty years now.  One issue that bedevils me is why are America and Australia the two advanced countries plagued by this issue?  In Denmark and Norway, not even the most arch of conservatives would try to argue against a theory so strongly supported as evolution - only a totally fringe nutjob would try.

          Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

          by tarkangi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:04:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Corporate Money fuels Republican craziness & now (8+ / 0-)

            more than ever thanks to Citizens United. Republican SuperPACs are outspending those progressive 3:1. The only thing we can do is vote, including in the upcoming mid-terms.

            The Secular School Teacher

            by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:10:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Secular values are moral values. (9+ / 0-)

            It happens to be my opinion that those who reject slavery, for one (overly used) example, happen to do so largely for secular reasons.

            I don't mind if certain religious folks disagree on that.  But those who are willing to rewrite history and excuse slavery as 'good for the blacks' tend to do using their religion, because they don't happen to think it's something their religion gets wrong.

            To be clear, I'm not saying you must consciously adopt secular values in order to reject things like slavery.  Just that if you do have such values, you're likely to hold them for secular reasons.

            •  Studies show secular folks far more compassionate (9+ / 0-)

              than religious folks, probably because religion promotes an us vs. them mentality, while secularism is a progressive, inclusive ideology.

              The Secular School Teacher

              by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:33:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Secularism is not an ideology. (5+ / 0-)

                I know my previous statement sort of implies that, but I did not mean it that way.  I meant that one can only arrive at morals once one takes the burden of thinking about them onto oneself.  A god is not necessary (and more often than not hinders) that requirement.

                Secularism is not necessarily a progressive ideology on its own.  Libertarians strike me as about as anti-progressive as they come.  And most libertarians I've met are secular, but fail at morality because they tend to be axiomatically dogmatic with regards to ethics.

                I tend to be kind of a divisive person, but that's just because I mock people who make absurd statements.  And there's a lot of absurd people in the world.

                •  I join you in hurling lightning bolts at Stupidity (6+ / 0-)

                  Sadly, all too often they bounce right off.

                  And I would like to amplify your comment here: just like "secularism" the term "religious folks" is not a terribly useful guide to what people believe.  It is an important distinction to make, between the two groups, but neither group is itself homogeneous and you have to dig down quite a bit further to get a meaningful identity.

                  "Right wing atheist hunter from wyoming" is a compact group, as is "Liberal urban mainline Protestant" while "white American Christian" is so broad as to be meaningless.

                  Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

                  by tarkangi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:02:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That's why I say secularism promotes a progressive (4+ / 0-)

                  ideology rather than is a progressive ideology. It doesn't always work out that way, I agree. Libertarians, for example, are an even greedier form of Republican, if that's possible.

                  The Secular School Teacher

                  by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:43:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People appreciate easy answers. (3+ / 0-)

                    Libertarianism is often just another excuse not to think.  Its adherents portray often the world in black and white, and thinking like that is almost always wrong.

                    In a mostly secular world, without a radicalized fundamentalist christian movement, progressive atheist and christian allies would likely be posting studies about how libertarianism causes social ills, and reduces IQ and so on.  It would probably be just as questionable a link then, too.

                    That gets at what the core of the issue is, really.  The problem is a desire to accept easy answers as a replacement for critical thinking.  Certain religious groups are the current (obvious) representatives for those problems right now.  But it's not unique or necessarily exclusive to them.

                    Sure, there are legitimate philosophical points to make about religious beliefs being unfounded, but ultimately that doesn't matter as much as the crux of the issue, which is a social acceptance that it is okay to lack critical thinking skills.

                    And any social group can fall prey to that ideological blindness.

                  •  yes it is possible (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest, semiMennonite

                    money quote:

                    Libertarians, for example, are an even greedier form of Republican

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:12:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You mean like in Stalinist Russia? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tarkangi, RiveroftheWest

                    Very "secular"  but apparently not very progressive. Authoritarians come in both flavors-- secular and religious.

              •  Most people r coherently both secular & religious (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                semiMennonite, RiveroftheWest, JVolvo

                ...as appropriate based on the topic, frame, sphere etc.

                You don;t have to be a genius to understand how that's done and it no matter how difficult it seems it actually quite easy even with a suboptimal IQ.  

                Although I suppose it seems complicated, maybe even contradictory or mythological - like the confusion for some when reading ancient literature and presented with multiple languages and multiple translations (e.g., the Hebrew re'em as ox vs. unicorn) - it's easy even for bone fide geniuses and it's commonplace and we all witness every day in all walks of life, science, the arts, and professions.

                The pro-choice movement, just for 1 example, is and has always been funded, fueled, and fought for generations by plenty of women who are fighting for public secular rights, even to choose among choices they have far different positions on religiously, for themselves. Diversity can be complicated.

                •  Even the conservative rural chuch of my youth... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kck, RiveroftheWest, semiMennonite, JVolvo

                  ...ignored the KJV translation of "unicorn", telling us that the translators were referring instead to "wild ox".

                  Ditto for the "four corners of the earth" and "pillars of the earth" mentioned in Scripture; we were taught those as metaphor for, respectively "every part of the world" and "the foundation of the world."

                  The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                  by wesmorgan1 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 08:30:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "Pro-life" is really anti-choice, it's Republicans (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo

                  who usually clamor for the death penalty, "eye for an eye" an all... And

                  a woman's right to choose has more to do with secularism in that it is a quality of life issue, which is an issue Progressives, rather than the religious, are more concerned with.

                  The Secular School Teacher

                  by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:47:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think your generalizations are not useful. (0+ / 0-)

                    Respectfully, the data in your diary is interesting but your reading of them and conclusions seem tendentious.

                    a woman's right to choose has more to do with secularism in that it is a quality of life issue, which is an issue Progressives, rather than the religious, are more concerned with.
                    Of course, "right to choose" refers to US civil rights in the law and that is by definition 100% secular (right?), not "quality of life" but simple rules of liberty and autonomy.
            •  an appeal to moral values is actually the best way (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, tarkangi, Paul Rogers

              to build progressive political coalitions.

              it is the place where atheists, freethinkers, secular people and reasonable religious people (as opposed to RWNJs) can agree to work together

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:11:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Historically inaccurate. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              The drivers of the abolitionist movement in Britain were religious radicals, such as Wilberforce and his evangelical circle and the Quakers, and in the US were evangelicals such as Garrison and the Quakers.  The arguments against slavery in the nineteenth century were mostly religious, and in favor of it were mostly secular -- eg, racial pseudoscience.

          •  It’s not just fundamentalist Protestants. (17+ / 0-)

            For Catholics in the UK there’s the Daylight Origins Society, whose ultimate aim is ‘to inform Catholics and others of the scientific evidence supporting Special Creation as opposed to Evolution, and to show that the true discoveries of science are in conformity with Catholic doctrines’.  In the US there’s the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation; its web site is currently not working, but the Daylight Origins Society links to it, and it pushes John M. Wynne’s A Catholic Assessment of Evolution Theory: Weighing the Scientific Evidence in Light of Thomistic Principles and Church Teachings on Origins, whose Amazon blurb begins:

            Sixty percent of Catholics believe that the origin of mankind is best explained by evolution theory; most are unaware of Church doctrine that could preclude such a belief; and most Catholics view the question of origins as settled and irrelevant. So common are these views - even among Catholic clergy and apologists - that it would take an overwhelming case against evolution theory to change the dominant mindset. A Catholic Assessment of Evolution Theory provides this case by explaining the relevance of beliefs about origins and by showing that the harmony of truth in science, history, Catholic theology, and Thomistic philosophy unanimously suggests the immediate creation of mankind by God, to the exclusion of any type of evolutionary process.
            And of course Michael Behe, the well-known advocate of ‘intelligent design’, is Roman Catholic.

            Avi Shafran and some other Haredi rabbis reject evolutionary theory.

            •  1950 Encyclical, Humani Generis (9+ / 0-)

              My understanding is that the official position of the Catholic Church is that there is no contradiction between Christianity and Evolution.

              Yet there are always more layers of the onion to peel away, and I am hardly surprised to read that there are Catholic groups devoted to special creation.  After all, one of the weirdest changes between my childhood and today is how the right wing Catholics have made common cause with the fundamentalist Protestants.  Back in the day they used to spit at each other, when they were not out right brawling, but now they are best buddies.

              Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

              by tarkangi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:42:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The US, unfortunately, seems to be rubbing off on (5+ / 0-)

              the UK when it comes to religiosity. Perhaps it also a backlash to the Muslims gaining strength in the UK.

              The Secular School Teacher

              by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:48:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I just noticed: Behe is Catholic? (6+ / 0-)

              I had no idea.

              Certainly I spent many happy hours clubbing the creationists who blundered into talk.origins to flog his "irreducible complexity" nonsense - and I still feel slimy when I remember some of the characters I dealt with - but I always lumped him in with Ken Ham and Duane Gish (both of whom I have had the dubious pleasure of meeting).

              So here it would be appropriate to mention that none of these three guys is stupid, in the sense of low IQ.  Horribly misguided, yes, and frustratingly dishonest - but not stupid.  Never make the mistake of underestimating your opponents, for they can use that as a club against you.

              Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

              by tarkangi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 11:34:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It’s been over ten years since I (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tarkangi, RiveroftheWest

                hung out in t.o., but a quick peek shows some very familiar names — John Harshman, Mitchell Coffee, even my old friend Paul Gans, who must be over 80 now.  Urk.  And Peter Nyikos, who is a very sad case: he’s a very fine topologist, and he was a nice and quite reasonable fellow when I knew him in person 35 years ago or so, but he’s turned into a rather obnoxious crackpot outside of mathematics.

                •  Gans is a marvelous fellow (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BMScott, BYw, RiveroftheWest

                  We shared many a happy conversation.

                  Nyikos, not so much: you have given him a decent little capsule summary.

                  PZ Myers now blogs at Pharyngula and I drop by now and then for old time's sake but our interests have diverged - after lo these twenty years, so that is hardly a surprise.

                  We could make a movie:  We Were Scholars, Once, and Young.

                  Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

                  by tarkangi on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 12:23:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It’s been a while since I last went, but (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest, tarkangi

                    I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Paul in person at more than one edition of the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo.  He really is a splendid fellow, and we both have wide enough ranges of interests to get a good intersection.  (Besides, he seems to know everybody!)  Considering that he’s 15 years my senior, it’s nice to see him still going strong!

          •  Honest question (10+ / 0-)

            If you're a "mainstream" religious person and you believe that much of the core of your religion (Genesis etc) is totally fictional and never happened, what is the reason you remain a member of that faith.

            If the Bible really was written by god there's no reason to include a false narrative. God could just as easily have written that earth formed billions of years ago and the universe is 13 billion years old.

            Theologically the creationists really are correct.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 12:01:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's an excellent question (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pat bunny, BYw, susanala

              and is in part the basis for the "educated" fundamentalists argument against the "modernists" as far back as the 1930's (I believe) when BB Warfield and others were arguing that 'modernism" would erode the "fundamentals of the faith"-- the fundamentals being the primary doctrinal foundations that determined, in their view, what was and was not the Christian faith.
                 For example one must have a literal, historical Adam and Eve as representatives of humanity for the doctrine of sin to make any sense (no Adam and Eve, no fall  into "sin", thus no need for Salvation, and no need for judgment). Logically, one after the other the major doctrines are impacted and eroded to the point one cannot distinguish in any logical, coherent fashion what is, and what is not Christianity. Give up the idea of Divine revelation and plenary inspiration and the meaning of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ loses its standard. The whole meaning of the Reformation from the Roman Catholic church is impacted as the battle cry of: "Sola Scriptura" is replaced by "multi scriptura" or even "non Scriptura"! Thus everything gets blurred. One loses clarity and coherence.
                 It's my understanding that "Modernists" handle the question of authenticity (best word  I can come up with) of their religious approach differently by not isolating and limiting their religious approach to clearly controlled concepts determined by traditional categories. Theologically the approach is to allow equal or greater weight to historical/critical findings, scienctific investigation, multi-cultural religious experiences and literature in order to shape an authentic, informed, religious experience and approach.
                 Your statement "theologically the creationists really are correct" presumes the validity of only the traditional fundamentalist approach. From the "modernist" view what is "Theological" means something quite different. Thus the statement is likely viewed as too limiting or out right false.

            •  No, they're not correct. The problem with (8+ / 0-)

              that line of reasoning is that it conflates belief in God with belief that God wrote the Bible.

              I believe George Washington existed, despite the fact that some of the information passed to us by biographers has been debunked (eg, the story about Washington chopping down the cherry tree.) One doesn't need a perfect history book to believe in Washington or Socrates; neither do I require a perfect Bible to believe in God.

              Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

              by VirginiaJeff on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:28:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you know its true in your gut... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Arsenic, cardboardurinal

                the truthiness is strong...

                If you didn't care what happened to me, and I didn't care for you, we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain, occasionally glancing up through the rain, wondering which of the buggers to blame, and watching for pigs on the wing. R. Waters

                by No Exit on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:03:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  well said--you saved me from having to write that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VirginiaJeff

                and you did it better and more succinctly than I would have!

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:13:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Bingo - when it comes to Scripture... (4+ / 0-)

                ...most Christians are neither inerrantists nor literalists.

                Consider the Scriptural citations made in this diary. I was raised in conservative churches, both rural and urban, and I was never taught that the KJV reference to "unicorn" was anything other than a "wild ox" (as other translations render the Hebrew word); in fact, I recall one pastor telling us that England had no "wild oxen", and that the translations simply "needed a word." The references to "four corners of the world" and "pillars of the earth" were never taught as literal "flat earth" or physical pillars; instead, they were taught as metaphors for "the entirety of the world" and "the foundations of the world," just as those phrases are commonly used today.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If the Bible were authorized by a supreme being, (0+ / 0-)

                  don't you think s/he'd take the ridiculousness out of it?

                  The Secular School Teacher

                  by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:06:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There are many biblical stories that cannot be (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SecularSchoolTeacher

                  taken as metaphors.

                  The references to "four corners of the world" and "pillars of the earth" were never taught as literal "flat earth" or physical pillars; instead, they were taught as metaphors for "the entirety of the world" and "the foundations of the world," just as those phrases are commonly used today.
                  Take the story of Lot. A couple of angels visit Lots house one night and a mob of people form who apparently want to rape them. Lot instead offers to give his daughters to the mob to be raped, because they're only girls and thus unimportant and not valuable compared to Lot's male angelic guests. At the last minute the Angels disperse the mob so Lots daughters don't have to be raped.

                  Unfortunately, there is a story in Judges with not as "happy" an ending. A Levite was set upon in the same circumstances and gave his concubine over to the mob who promptly raped and killed her. Seeing her lying dead on the ground, the Levite asked her to get up and when she didn't he strapped her dead body to his donkey and left.

                  If you can find a metaphor out of that please let me know.

                  I'd also like to know the metaphor that can be found in the genocide and slaughter of the Amalekites and the Mideonites when the Israelites are ordered to kill ever man woman and child (and animal) among them except for the virgin girls who were to be captured and used as sex slaves.

                  When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                  by PhillyJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:19:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Bible is far from perfect, with a cruel,vindictive (0+ / 0-)

                genocidal god, and so you're right, your god is far from perfect.

                My question is, why worship such an imperfect, likely nonexistent, being when faith in your fellow man to make things works so well Why are Secular Countries Better Off?for the secular countries, who are far more societally functional, and have a much higher quality of life, than the religious US?

                The Secular School Teacher

                by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let me ask you a question: (0+ / 0-)

                  This site exists for the purpose of helping elect more and better Democrats. To that end, it seeks to build community amongst a diverse group of progressives that includes atheists, agnostics, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, and others. How does your antagonism of the religious members of this community help us accomplish these goals?

                  Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                  by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:49:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  If God didn't write or inspire the bible (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kerplunk

                and we know about god FROM THE BIBLE do you not see the problem here? Do in a Deistic god who is not Yaweh the god of the old testament?

                The problem with that line of reasoning is that it conflates belief in God with belief that God wrote the Bible.
                If you think the Bible is unreliable then in what sense can you consider yourself Jewish or Christian?

                How do you know that the "good" parts of the bible aren't the false ones and god really does want you to kill homosexuals and witches but doesn't want you to love your neighbor?

                If we're just going by what we feel is right can't we just dispense with the bible altogether and do what we're already doing anyway?

                I believe George Washington existed, despite the fact that some of the information passed to us by biographers has been debunked
                As far as I know no one bases their morality and fundamental beliefs on life on specific pronouncements made by George Washington.

                People are literally dying throughout the world because of things like the 2nd commandment on graven images (Denmark cartoons etc), the Leviticus laws against homosexuality etc.

                When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                by PhillyJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's quite a Gish Gallop (0+ / 0-)

                  you've got there.

                  This being a comment thread and not a diary, I'm going to remain focused on the question immediately relevant to this discussion:

                  If you think the Bible is unreliable, then in what sense can you consider yourself Jewish or Christian?
                  Answer: The same way that some people consider themselves Jeffersonians or Hamiltonians or Aristotelians, even while arguing about what exactly those designations mean based on sometimes contradictory writings.

                  Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                  by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:33:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is historical evidence that Jefferson (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kerplunk

                    existed.

                    The historical evidence that god exists comes directly from the bible.

                    If we're going to disregard the bible, from where exactly can one derive Christianity or Judaism?

                    It doesn't matter whether Socrates existed because the Socratic Method was developed by someone and it can still be used today.

                    If I agree with you that the few mentions of Socrates are forgeries or later additions or were mythical, but I then argue that it doesn't matter and I "feel" Socrates must have existed isn't that illogical?

                    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                    by PhillyJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:40:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "We"? I'm not disregarding (0+ / 0-)

                      the Bible. You certainly may. Regardless, these digressions do not serve the purpose of this site.

                      We do not gather here to proselytize for or debate the existence of God. We come here to help elect Democrats, and to build a diverse group of people into a community that will cooperate in order to accomplish that goal. Toward that end, the religious members of this community do not attack the non-belief of atheist members. Please stop attacking the beliefs of religious community members.

                      Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                      by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 11:01:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Show me one time I attacked the beliefs (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kerplunk

                        of religious community members, because I didn't. If you don't want to have a discussion on that fine.

                        Do you also call on people to stop attacking the strongly held beliefs of "conservadems" or Republicans? You are part of the privileged majority and that's ok. You should at least understand and acknowledge your privilege at least.

                        Toward that end, the religious members of this community do not attack the non-belief of atheist members.
                        But they do attack the non-belief of atheist members. Non-belief is somewhat offensive as well in that it implies I don't have strong beliefs on anything. That's privilege talking again.

                        I'm sorry you construed that as an attack on your religion. In a secular society we should be able to at least talk about and/or question beliefs whether or not they're "faith based" or not.

                        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                        by PhillyJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 04:01:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You've given me a lot to respond to: (0+ / 0-)

                          1. Of course I wouldn't call on people to stop criticizing "conservadems" or Republicans. political policy is precisely why we're here. My religion, or lack thereof, is not.

                          2. Regarding whether you "attacked" my religion, this sure comes across as such:

                          People are literally dying throughout the world because of things like the 2nd commandment on graven images (Denmark cartoons etc), the Leviticus laws against homosexuality etc.
                          (By the way, the 2nd Commandment had nothing to do with the Denmark cartoons: you're confusing Judaism and Christianity with Islam. With regard to Islam, the Quran doesn't forbid making a likeness of Muhammed. But that's a whole 'nother tangent.)

                          3.

                          In a secular society we should be able to at least talk about and/or question beliefs whether or not they're "faith based" or not.
                          DK isn't "society," it's a privately owned website with a stated purpose and rules of conduct. Kos has repeatedly indicated that attacking the religion of fellow Kossacks isn't productive.

                          4.

                          Non-belief is somewhat offensive as well in that it implies I don't have strong beliefs on anything. That's privilege talking again.

                          I sincerely do not want to offend anyone here by referring to them in a way they feel is insulting. This is very important to me.

                          This is how the dictionary defines atheism: unbelief in God or deities: disbelief in the existence of God or deities.

                          Would that phrasing be more appropriate? Again, I'm sincerely asking.

                          Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                          by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 05:44:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Responses (0+ / 0-)
                            1. Of course I wouldn't call on people to stop criticizing "conservadems" or Republicans. political policy is precisely why we're here. My religion, or lack thereof, is not.
                            Why not? Those are also deeply held beliefs. Would you criticize a Buddhist who doesn't believe in a divine god? What about Quakers?
                            (By the way, the 2nd Commandment had nothing to do with the Denmark cartoons: you're confusing Judaism and Christianity with Islam. With regard to Islam, the Quran doesn't forbid making a likeness of Muhammed. But that's a whole 'nother tangent.)
                            I'm not sure how that's "attacking religion." Christian opposition to SSM generally comes from Leviticus and the writings of Paul. There are few non-religious arguments against SSM.

                            You're right, I made a mistake about the commandments but there is a version of the 10 commandments in the Quran and depicting the Prophet is forbidden in several Hadith.

                            I was raised Jewish. Laws like keeping Kosher DO come from the Torah. I don't see how you can deny that specific doctrines have real-world consequences.

                            Kos has repeatedly indicated that attacking the religion of fellow Kossacks isn't productive.
                            I still don't see how i attacked religion. If I have problems with religion it's the specific ideas and doctrines and certainly not religious people.
                            Would that phrasing be more appropriate?
                            It doesn't really bother me. Putting a focus on "unbelief" is someone similar to this idea of the "unbelievers." I think most would be fine with atheist.

                            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                            by PhillyJeff on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:24:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To respond to (0+ / 0-)

                            your first two questions,

                            1. This is a political site, dedicated to helping elect Democrats, and you want to know why I think it's OK to criticize Republicans here?

                            2. I don't criticize anyone for not believing in God. Have you not paid attention to anything I've said?

                            I couldn't read any more of your post. Either you're genuinely clueless or you're trolling.

                            Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                            by VirginiaJeff on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:25:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  The problem is... (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn, marina, Woody, Arsenic, AZsparky, tarkangi

            ...that the percentage of Americans who don't believe evolution is correct is way too high to just be accounted for by a relatively small group of fundamentalist Protestants.

            While those fundamentalists may be the hard core of the anti-evolutionists, I would say that there propaganda probably has managed to snag (or at least confuse) people who are outside of that core.

            If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

            by TexasTom on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:02:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is a very interesting question (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite, RiveroftheWest

              Why is it that belief in the 6,000 year seven day special creation has survived as a folk belief in the United States and Australia, even though it is not required as part of the formal belief systems of the dominant religious groups?

              I suspect that studying this question would tell us a lot more about people and how we are than the original studies in this diary about IQs and atheists.

              Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

              by tarkangi on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 11:17:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because people who didn't believe were slaughtered (0+ / 0-)

                that's why (the Crusades, Inquisition). And the Christians went on a hundreds-of years long censoring spree, where they burned all the books showing the Christ tale plagiarized from earlier mythologies of the region (born of a virgin, to save mankind, resurrected after 3 days, etc.)."Easter" Resurrections - A Shortlist of "Saviors"

                The Secular School Teacher

                by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:11:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Because people who didn't believe were (0+ / 0-)

                  slaughtered". You do realize that that is not just "poking fun" at someone's religion? You also realize the secular Soviet Union did exactly the same thing? So the atheists don't get a free ride either regarding their history.
                     As to censoring sprees, China under Maoist rule went on a "censoring spree" not only of religious literature, but forms of western music and instruments as well. To this day in Russia, they are still trying to recapture many of the knitting patterns, which many consider the most elegant in the world,  the secular communists attempted to obliterate considering them "decadent" relics.
                     Do I even need to bring up the current insanity that is being practiced in nominally secular North Korea?
                     Your continuous antireligious proclaimations and slurs, while at the same time winking at atheists' own tawdry history when they have been in charge suggest you are not an honest purveyor of issues to be discussed in order to prevent these atrocities from happening again. Your only solution seems to be to deride the religious.
                     But then what? Everything will be peaches in the pie if we could just stamp out religion? Actual history puts the lie to that bigotry-- however you never seem to mention it. Just like you never seem to get around to mentioning  secularism and its ties to Nihilism. I wonder why?
                     Perhaps it doesn't fit your propogandist narrative?

            •  The lack of belief in a foundational science such (0+ / 0-)

              such as evolution is a direct result of our catering to the radical right-wing Republicans.

              The Secular School Teacher

              by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:07:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the percentages (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn, Prognosticator

            in the chart don't support the claim that it is only evangelicals.

          •  One thing both have in common (0+ / 0-)

            is Rupert Murdoch's media network.

          •  Really? No Catholic problems with evolution? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul Rogers

            Not singling out Catholics, all three sects that you mention won't fit in the subject line.  
            A logical position that follows out of evolution theory is that no supernatural force is required for things to be exactly as they are. If there is, it's not evolution.  
            None of the leader of these three sects would have difficulties stating "God had no role, zip, nula, nada, in the creation of Mankind"?
            I find that a bit of a stretch.  I also think its a litmus test for if folks are secular enough not to be a danger to Democracy, ala what Paul Rodgers mentions just above.

          •  Sorry... (0+ / 0-)

            but if this were true, the number of people in the United States who don't believe in evolution would be significantly smaller.  

            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

            by cardboardurinal on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:15:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul Rogers
            Those who aren't bothered by evolution are far enough outside of religion that they have secular values and aren't much of a danger to society.  (Not that I don't have objections to that position, too.  They're just not worth addressing.)
            Judaism, Catholicism, and mainline Protestantism have no difficulties with evolution.  Your "religious folk" are in fact just the "fundamentalist Protestants" who are a much smaller group of people.  This fact renders your second paragraph nonsensical, as there are millions of people who are both perfectly orthodox Christians and perfectly comfortable with evolution.
            These groups also tend to have secular values as described by the poster and (in general) aren't a menace to anyone else, except perhaps in terms of abortion.

            I'm generalizing, but most of the people in the groups you mention just go to their religious group every Saturday/Sunday, do their thing there, then come home, go to work, and mow their lawn like the rest of us. Regardless of what thoughts are going on in their heads, they outwardly treat their religion like just another extracurricular activity like hockey practice.

            But the people who are anti-evolution are much more likely to bleed their religiosity over into other aspects of their life and are much more likely (IMO) to engage in anti-secular political activism and similar activities.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:46:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Much smaller as in 50% of the populace? (0+ / 0-)

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 08:47:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely!!! (7+ / 0-)
        The public's nonacceptance of evolution -- the foundation of biology -- is a direct result of our coddling the radical religious right Republicans.
        [My emphasis.]
        Everyone in Moronic Media and elsewhere has bent over bassackwards in being "polite" and letting the reichwingnuts have their say - both willfully ignorant and willfully stupid as they are/sound - and that has carried the whole idea of "free speech" waaaaaaay too far in allowing wrongheaded idiocies flourish in this country.  Heck, even text books which are (mostly) written and published in TX, are being allowed to spew their "intelligent design" or "creationist" nonsense.

        These idiots should have been laughed off stages, hung up on when calling in to talk radio, satirized, mocked and ridiculed at every level, including on news shows where they've been asked on as "guests" (I don't know why they were invited), not just on Comedy Central shows featuring Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, as well as Bill Maher.

        How can educators possibly turn out intelligent adults at the end of four years of high school if teachers are forced to waste their time trying to explain something that is so pathetically and utterly stupid, vs teaching them facts...?

        STOP being so bleeping polite to the ignorant bastards!!!  Stop it, stop it, stop it!!!  Stop willful ignorance dead in its tracks!

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 02:19:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Textbook surrender (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO, annominous

          The textbooks sold in Texas must be approved by an elected state board, controlled by crazies. Because Texas is such a large market, the textbooks written and published elsewhere are edited to fit the demands of the crazies.

          California, Illinois, and/or New York could tweak their requirements to that the books designed for crazies in Texas would not be acceptable in their states. That would destroy the Texan control of the national marketplace.

          But the blue states don't fight back. They surrender to the publishers who have surrendered to the crazies and they buy the same books sold in Crazyland.

          •  That's wrong... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody, annominous
            But the blue states don't fight back. They surrender to the publishers who have surrendered to the crazies and they buy the same books sold in Crazyland.
            In accommodating Crazyland's demands (for the sake of money/profits), they help perpetuate ignorance.

            STOP coddling the reichwingnuts!  STOP being polite to the reichwingnuts when they blather ignorance on chat-yak poli-speak shows!  In fact, don't even invite these morons to participate in these shows!  STOP helping the reichwingnuts perpetuate ignorance!

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 02:36:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not all religious people are anti-science, just (9+ / 0-)

      fundamentalists of all stripes (including much of Islam, extreme Orthodox Judaism, and Evangelical Christianity).  Religion per se is not the problem.  Fundamentalism is.  Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia would probably score lower than Turkey.
      Probably Episcopalians, Reform and Conservative Judaism, Unitarians, and a few others would score as high as atheists.

      Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

      by richardvjohnson on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:18:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure what groups were surveyed, but I (4+ / 0-)

        agree fundamentalists - whether Christians, Muslims or Jews - have a very closed mindset and therefore less open to information from many sides.

        The Secular School Teacher

        by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:34:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly several denominations have universiti... (5+ / 0-)

        Certainly several denominations have universities and colleges with excellent science departments. Lutheran college come to mind. I've been told that Catholic universities also do.

        •  From what I understand, many religious universi- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          ties are shirking their duties in teaching evolution.

          The Secular School Teacher

          by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:49:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  University teaching... (0+ / 0-)

            ...I'd guess that this varies from place to place, denomination to denomination.

            My son looked into attending a place in Florida, right on the ocean.  It was an "evangelical" college.  He didn't understand that word, because our denomination uses it in the historical sense, but the more current usage has overtones of control and narrowness.

            Well, anyway, that college didn't let their students walk on the beach without permission, go to the nearby town without permission, and the students had to wear specific types of clothing.  The women could take some classes in Christian Homemaking.

            I guess if you can't explore the beach, you can't explore many areas of intellectual inquiry.

            Basically there are many groups that don't trust their people.

            My way of thinking is that if there is a God, which I do believe, then God isn't threatened by inquiry.  If there isn't a God, then Oh Well, inquiry obviously doesn't hurt either.

            Green and buzzy (mosquitoes.)

            by Andy Cook on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 12:42:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes! If there's a God for our limited space/time (0+ / 0-)

              he's certainly not a fundamentalist.  But I suspect, as do the Mormons, that there are many gods with limited scope.  And 10,000 years from now our descendant humanoids might be what we might think of as gods...assuming humanoids survive the current crisis.

              Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

              by richardvjohnson on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 05:04:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Fundamentalism is not the problem (6+ / 0-)

        religion is the problem.  All religions accept belief in the supernatural, for which there is no objective authority as there cannot be by the very nature of belief in that which is not supported by evidence.

        Even the most liberal of religions still enables fundamentalism because they both rely on the same supernatural belief system and once belief in the supernatural becomes acceptable, one cannot say that their supernatural beliefs are more correct than anyone else's supernatural beliefs.  There is no objective basis upon which that claim can be made.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:09:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A majority of human beings on Earth adhere to some (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, RiveroftheWest

          religion.  Only a minority are dangerous fundamentalists and believe in coercing others to share their beliefs.  And while cosmology pretty much rules out a Supreme Being, it certainly doesn't rule out beings so much more advanced that us that they would effectively be gods.  Buddhism doesn't say there are no gods, but it does say that gods are as natural as the rest of us.

          Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

          by richardvjohnson on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:29:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed! The problem for liberal Christians (6+ / 0-)

          who are generally socially liberal and open to science is that they carry around, refer to and revere the same bronze age mythology book as the fundamentalists, thus tying them at the hip to them and essentially enabling them.

          When I raise this issue, liberal Christians I talk to get really mad at me. Probably because they are just as intelligent as I am and recognize that I am correct.

      •  yay Episcopalians ♥ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:14:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've got a nice, safe place on my hard drive for (0+ / 0-)

      invaluable charts like this.

      But don't worry - I get them out often!

      Bodhisattva, won't you take me by the hand. Can you show me the shine of your Japan, the sparkle of your China. Show me, and I'll be there, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva.

      by thenekkidtruth on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 02:37:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can I get a link? I want to post this on facebook. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:58:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  None Are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      Nations aren't fit to be world powers. Neither are religions.

      Humans aren't.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 11:45:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Critical thinking & scepticism are common (4+ / 0-)

    traits of those who are anti-theists, atheists and agnostics.  The question as to which comes first, I can't say.

    It must also be said that there are plenty of brilliant people of faith.

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:45:35 PM PDT

  •  As someone raised an atheist I have to say that (33+ / 0-)

    I find comparing IQs between various populations to be nonsense and not a good measure of intelligence. IQ tests are created to measure certain kinds of intelligence.

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:48:38 PM PDT

    •  True. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, blueoasis, jqb, Paul Rogers

      The right wing loves their "Religiosity verses Gross Earnings" charts to fight back against intelligence quotients.


      _______________
      For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                  -- Albert Einstein:  far left, emo-prog, socialist.

      by Pluto on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:56:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And these are the same measures (11+ / 0-)

        that scientific racism relies on. There is a large amount of knowledge that goes into IQ tests. If you are raised in the right environment it's easy to score a 'genius' level on these.

        That said, I think that there is probably a little something here, mainly that people who are raised religious are less able to think in a way that conforms to the current scientific paradigm. I think that the lower scores probably reflect the fact that those children, and adults, who are religious and very smart probably use their intelligence in different ways than the IQ tests measure.

        I would really like to see this same study done over time to see whether being religious as a child has a long term effect on IQ scores or if a child who later leaves the faith quickly scores equivalent to someone who is raised atheist.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:07:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kids from religious schools less able to tell fact (7+ / 0-)

          from fiction, see the link to the study above.

          As for other such studies, please feel free to pass them on.

          The Secular School Teacher

          by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:43:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  IQ scores are overrated. (4+ / 0-)

          Religions tend to teach known falsehoods as fact.  I am aware of more than one formerly religious folk whom, upon learning how wildly out of touch with reality their former community was, get rather upset with the community's inherent resistance to education.

          I suspect adopting an understanding of the world that is- at its core- false and unlikely to yield a correct understanding of the world around one is likely to hinder one's IQ.  Just because it allows one to spend little to no time honing the skills of intelligence.

          •  This is just a generalization of IQ scores, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            democracy inaction

            they do contain critical thinking questions, which shows intelligence.

            The Secular School Teacher

            by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 08:49:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is true. (0+ / 0-)

              When I was a child, I played puzzle games for hours on end.  Hours upon hours.  Any and every puzzle game.  Even writing or designing my own puzzles.

              Eventually, I learned that my capability for solving puzzles made me smarter than everyone else.  One tends to have more of a thing the more one invests in it.

              But like how having more money doesn't necessarily make you better at handling money, having a higher IQ doesn't necessarily make you smarter.  At best, there's a mild correlation.  I've known some pretty smart morons.

              I also find it surprising how little people understand domains of human experience like philosophy (which causes a lot of thinking mistakes!), but that's another issue.

          •  While I understand your point, I've been a life... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tarkangi, Paul Rogers

            While I understand your point, I've been a life long Lutheran. We don't stifle people's use of their intellect. I don't view "faith" as somehow conjuring up enough mind energy to believe certain precepts, but exclude others. Rather it is a sort of peace of mind and heart that comes through hearing, seeing, and receiving. It isn't something a human does.

            •  ELCA (0+ / 0-)

              It's commonplace in these discussions for people to make pretty odd claims for what "religious folk" believe, so I have found it best to roll with the punch and prod the conversation into more productive lines.

              Because "Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom" may well be a documentary of archaic Hindu practices (1) but it has precious little to do with my faith community.
              .
              .
              .
              .
              .
              .

              (1) it isnt.

              Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati (-8.75,-8.36)

              by tarkangi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:29:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I find peace in just experiencing my life in a Zen (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, RiveroftheWest

              fashion. Zen involves no gods or devils, heaven or hell, just a meditative kind of way to experience life. I also found peace once I realized there was no indifferent, rather cruel and capricious, god who allowed eight million innocent children to starve to death every year. (That wouldn't happen on my watch!) I find my peace in science and reason, and I think the world would be a better place if we embraced that.

              The Secular School Teacher

              by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:59:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Trickle down knowledge. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, RiveroftheWest

              In terms of how to best gain knowledge about the world, how to best make moral judgements and so on, I do take issue with the idea that there is a source of some kind whom lets information about the true nature of the universe trickle down to prophets, who then in turns lets that information trickle down to the masses.

              If anything, our understanding of how best to gain accurate knowledge works in the exact opposite way.  Epistemology and science is bottom-up, not top-down.

              I'm not familiar with every religion out there (nor will I ever be), but I'm not yet aware of one that promotes values of understanding reality through the bottom up processes of epistemological study.  There's always an undercurrent of top-down revelation of knowledge.

              When I talk about the understanding of the world being false, I mean there's a claim of knowledge in there made contrary to how knowledge actually works.

              I don't consider that kind of faith to be a good thing.

              I don't believe that many, even the most fanatic of fundies, set out purposefully with a goal of stifling intellect.  But it does seem to be a consequence of the belief system.  To what extent it occurs can be either negligible or fairly major.

              •  Buddhism is the most accepting of scientific ev... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest, Paul Rogers

                Buddhism is the most accepting of scientific evidence that I know of.

                if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

              •  Lutheran Christians (0+ / 0-)

                I've never heard of Lutherans stifling inquiry.  Well, I should qualify that because my husband was raised in a branch of Lutherans that, at least back then, didn't like any talk of creation not happening POOF!

                However, I don't believe that any Lutheran University or College would put a lid on the scientific inquiry of any department.  

                It is quite possible that scientific investigation may show some attributes that seem to prove that there is a God -- or that there isn't.  

                It is also quite possible that God's ways and mind are so much beyond human understanding that cannot grasp it.  It is possible that there are "ways of thinking" that would put human "logic" in a very tiny box, so to speak.  

                After all, even human "logic" has different methods or schools of thought that don't agree.  

                And I do not think I'm smart enough to understand God, if there is indeed a God.

                Green and buzzy (mosquitoes.)

                by Andy Cook on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 12:37:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  One side is grounded philosophy, the other is not. (0+ / 0-)

                  I've never really talked much with a Lutheran.  So I know really very little about their belief that distinguishes them from all the other versions of christianity.  But I will say that a number of honest, and smart people are christians.  My statement doesn't preclude that.  Being smart doesn't mean one can't be mistaken.

                  Science addresses how things are, builds models, explains observations.  It builds on knowledge from little pieces that overlap, creating a bigger and bigger understanding of the world over time.  It can't explain everything, but what it can do is provide progressively better models for us to use, and a way to be confident in those models.

                  Religion (the ones I'm familiar with, at least) addresses things differently.  There are assertions about the nature of things gained through some divine, or divinely inspired source.  It then works backwards, trying to extrapolate from the metaphysics explanations for real world phenomena.  Figuring out what God wants.  That practice is called theology.

                  These are opposite approaches to understanding the world.  Religion is fine as long as its claims always retreat in the face of scientific models, and lots of theology does do that by tempering their theological reasoning according to modern science.  This is sometimes called the God of the gaps.

                  But there are some who correctly recognize that approach does weaken the position of the religion.  Because it places the scientific way of understanding the world above faith in the prophets, god, the holy text, etc...  These people are what atheists see most often as what a believer is, because these people are loud.  They are enemies for both non-believers and weak believers.

                  I do suspect that a majority of religious people want there to be some kind of middle ground.  These people, in my view, give the deniers of science some cover by muddling the discussion.  It doesn't make them stupid to do so (after all, compromise is a good value!), but it does make them mistaken, as they want to make a compromise between knowledge and ignorance.

        •  I'm sorry, but one thing you just said is pure BS. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest
          If you are raised in the right environment it's easy to score a 'genius' level on these.
          This is nonsense.

          There is some truth to the reverse: If you are not raised in the right environment it's hard to score in the higher echelons, regardless of your innate capabilities.

          Nonetheless, and like it or not, really smart people are born that way. Anyone who has ever had the experience of interacting with exceptionally intelligent toddlers knows that they are very, very different from their peers.

          And for that matter, if you are exceptionally intelligent yourself, you know that you are different from your peers -- you know that there are things you understand effortlessly that most people aren't ever going to understand, period.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:23:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because I was raised in a poor family (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          (economically always struggling) and my IQ test scores are very high, I'm going to anecdotally disagree with you based upon my one personal data point! :)

          There is a large amount of knowledge that goes into IQ tests. If you are raised in the right environment it's easy to score a 'genius' level on these.
      •  Yes, but (0+ / 0-)

        I would argue that success - especially financial success in a corrupt economy - is inversely proportionate to intelligence. Cleverness, amoral technical skill, but not intelligence. I define intelligence in such a way as to see the inconsistency between the qualities that promote economic success and the qualities that promote a broader life.

    •  These types of studies serve a purpose in that (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Just Bob, blueoasis, Pluto, RiveroftheWest

      they show political interference into the school systems -- where we see every year in state legislatures casting doubt on the science of evolution as well as climate change --
       should not be tolerated.

      They also reveal the problems with parochial and charter schools -- they tend to be more substandard than exceptional.

      The Secular School Teacher

      by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:39:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fine ... those kinds are correlated with disbelief (0+ / 0-)

      It's science, not nonsense.

    •  IQ tests were originally created (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, RiveroftheWest

      by Alfred Binet to identify student who were falling behind and thus target them for extra help. After the testing methods found their way to the US (from France), the IQ frenzy began, taking this single number and assigning a whole lot of bogus meaning to it.

      Binet stressed the limitations of the test, suggesting that intelligence is far too broad a concept to quantify with a single number.
      For instance, a slow but methodical problem solver (in D & D terms, lowish intelligence but high wisdom) will score very poorly on an IQ test but get most of the answers correct--because the scores are largely based on speed.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:14:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fear and ignorance vs reason and science. (5+ / 0-)

    We don't need to go any further. It's so bad that it's come down to science and reason or fear and ignorance. That's it. It's that simple. That's the choice that MUST be made.

    The answer is simple. Yet I don't believe Americans can pass this simple one question quiz. Which has the better future?

    The very reality that Americans haven't sent the rotten lying anti-science gop scum back to the stone age is beyond me.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:49:47 PM PDT

  •  Asians have always had the highest IQs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    …a known known for as long as I can remember.

    But I believe, even though they are non-religious, that is a genetic trait. For example, Asians have the highest IQs in the US, too.


    _______________
    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                -- Albert Einstein:  far left, emo-prog, socialist.

    by Pluto on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:53:33 PM PDT

  •  This could be valid but unhelpful as an argument. (8+ / 0-)

    Generally, this is about the poorest argument to be made in favor of atheism.  At its core, saying that generally the smart people reach the same conclusion is flawed.  Especially since things like IQ tests can have cultural biases.

    A consensus among experts in the topic, on the other hand...

    There is, however, something to be said about teaching critical thinking skills.  When religious studies promote the idea that the religion is best left unquestioned, that's bound to undermine the value of critical thinking and have the implied lesson critical thinking is best ignored in some cases.

    If it's not worth applying to all areas of thought, why is it worth applying to any area at all in the first place?

  •  I'd be extremely cautious of this. (11+ / 0-)

    It smacks of a correlation implies causation fallacy.  Also, I was under the impression that IQ measured capacity to learn, not how much one actually knows or manipulates by being wilfully ignorant.  Also, many people dismissed the Bell Curve several years ago for it's suggestion that there was a race/IQ correlation and rightfully so; this strikes me as using similar logic.

    You can be both smart and Christian.  An IQ test I took once showed me at 155, but alas I'm a Christian.  Even if we account for some Christians choosing to ignore scientific evidence, that is generally not the type of question asked on an IQ test.  In fact there are also Christian denominations that highly value education.  The Catholic Church has many college preparatory high schools and many well-known universities.  The United Church of Christ tends to have more highly educated and higher earning people than many denominations and its Puritan forbears founded Harvard and Yale.

    •  Unfortunately, it's the radical right Christians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6ZONite, TrueBlueMajority

      that have so much power in this country, which is why we have evolution beliefs only higher than Turkey. I agree, it's an embarassment. And all you have to do is to (try to) hold a conversation with a right-wing Republican to see that there's something to these IQ tests.

      The Secular School Teacher

      by SecularSchoolTeacher on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:13:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you then reconcile your (0+ / 0-)

      acceptance of science with your acceptance intellectually of a set of mythologies that have no evidence attached to them?

      I suppose one way is to compartmentalize the two conflicting spheres of knowledge, but it just HAS to create at some level of consciousness a sort of cognitive dissonance that gets in the way of open thinking and overall intelligence, doesn't it?

      •  Easily (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        I can tell the difference between science and mythology, even when that mythology comes from my faith tradition.  Greek mythology is a part of western tradition that we are inheritors of as well, but in the same way we know those are stories to either explain things science couldn't yet or teach a lesson.  I heard someone recently explain that he reconciles them by seeing the Bible as the poetry and the science as the prose.  He is both an ordained minister and a public high school biology and physics teacher, but would never confuse the Bible for either a science or history text.

        •  Yes, greek mythology is (0+ / 0-)

          a part of western tradition. But we put the Greek stories on the mythology shelf where they belong, we tell our children the stories are mythologies, and no one I know of actively worships Zeus (actually I read that there are still Zeus cults in Greece). The same should be done with the bible. It now sits on the non-fiction shelves in bookstores. Plus, it is totally dishonest to tell children the events in that book actually took place.

          Christianity is a system of explanations for how the cosmos works... there is a god and there is a "savior" and one must accept "salvation" and "eternal life" as "facts" about the universe in order to participate.

          Science is not even remotely related to religion, thus the "poetry and prose" descriptions, while clever, are totally false.  The fact that the minister/biology/physics teacher thinks he has made a reconciliation between the two is, in my view, a dodge, especially when it comes to the bible. The bible is an insult to science. My question is not how to keep these arenas separate in a classroom, it's how to keep them separate in one's brain.

          If you see some mythologies in the bible in your own faith practice, you have to include ALL the mythologies... that is all the stories about "Jesus" too and the system of "salvation" that he espoused.  Once you have done that, you really have nothing left, in my view, to hang your faith hat on.

          •  Many of us have figured out... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            ...how to keep them separate.  I'm sorry you have not.  Your description of Christianity in the second paragraph is not entirely accurate or complete.  I really don't care whether you believe or not, but I really wish you would accept what those of us who ARE involved tell you about what it is.  Regarding Bible vs. mythology, they are actually in the same spot on the bookshelf - in the 200s according to the Dewey Decimal System and 1.2 Class B in the Library of Congress System.  Not everyone gets told they are factual. (Another thing I wish you would accept is that we are all fundamentalist.)  In my Sunday School classes growing up nobody pretended they were teaching an alternative science.  Most of us went to Sunday School on Sunday, then to public school science on Monday and were never confused.

            •  Since I was raised in the Christian faith (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kerplunk

              I already know what it is about. I was not raised fundamentalist, however, just benign Midwest Protestant. But those stories were taught as having actually occurred in every church we attended. And my Lutheran pastor, who was a very kind and gentle person and not evangelical at all, believed in the trinity enough to have a terrible time trying to convince us confirmands that it was real and how it worked (he ended up with a 3 in 1 motor oil analogy). When I look back at that, I think I was observing cognitive dissonance at work. Here was a very intelligent man trying to convince a group of teenagers about something that was totally unintelligible (as Thomas Jefferson called the trinity concept).

               I would say that you are wrong about "most of us" not being confused about the bible stories and science. We have a country where only 40% of people agree that evolution is the correct explanation for how the earth and humans came to be.

              I spent about 20 years (or more) trying to learn about why I believed what I believed and whether it all was true or not. So I've been through enough reading, research and observation to qualify to comment and ask questions on this topic.

    •  another high IQ Christian checking in here (3+ / 0-)

      one of those child prodigy types with a high IQ from toddlerhood, who was also born into a believing family and went to church and Sunday School from toddlerhood.

      there's always an exception that proves the rule I suppose.

      The episcopal church values highly educated clergy and a master's degree is required for ordination.

      as VirginiaJeff already pointed out above, believing in God is not the same as believing in the literal truth of the Bible, not the same as being anti-science, and not the same as being a theocratic fundamentalist.

      we definitely all need to join together against theocrats. keep pointing out the public policies they promote are immoral by secular and progressive religious standards

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:25:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you equating Theocrat with fundamentalist? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        If so, I think that may be a false equivalence that many here seem to want to utilize for their own political convenience. But it is a strawman based on a false conflation or perhaps even prejudice.
           For example, the traditional Baptist perspective insists on a separation of church and state due in part from the persecution experienced both in Europe and here from state or government authorized religious perspectives that were in conflict with Baptist beliefs. Also due to their foundational belief of freedom of conscience, the traditional Baptist perspective is to insist on NOT imposing their beliefs on others, including atheists, especially not imposing their beliefs, or other beliefs through government sanctioned means.It would be a violation of one's freedom of conscience.
           If one reads Baptist history from the time of the colonies to the present, it is a repeated theme, stated often publicly and loudly.
           The current views of the Southern Baptist convention are an historical aberration from traditional Baptist views.

           Also, Fundamentalism, per se, is not opposed to progressive standards of morality. There are many factions of Fundamentalism-- it is not a monolithic structure. Many are quite socially liberal, egalitarian, and non authoritarian. Many derive their social activism for supporting the poor directly from their Fundamentalism.  Some, like the Brethren, are non hierarchical in their local church structure, and each local church is autonomous, not governed by a larger denominational form, but relate on the basis of informal association.
           Baptists have historically been promotive of education including the sciences. Even the Scofield Reference Bible, which used to be the go to reference for Baptists through the 1960's was fully accepting of Evolution.
           Many fundamentalists were active in the civil war to end slavery-- they weren't all southern fundamentalists.
        The historic peace churches many of which are Quaker and Mennonite opposed war and conscription (freedom of conscience again), while many due to their conscience served in the medical activities seeking to preserve life.

           

      •  psychological studies pertain to people generally, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        so it's nice that you have a high IQ. It is my  hope you use it for good, like alleviating suffering in some way.

        The Secular School Teacher

        by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Try measuring atheists (0+ / 0-)

      against Jesuit trained Catholics or Quakers or (to take a religion more commonly associated with being RW) Mormons and see what happens to this.

  •  Note that the meta-analysis finds a (13+ / 0-)

    mean correlation coefficient of r = -0.24.  To get an idea of how little practical significance this has, look at the scatter diagrams for r = -0.20 and r = -0.30 in Figure 5.11 on this page, the first two in the middle row.  The second figure on this page shows another scatter diagram with r = -0.30.  In each case the ‘blob’ is nowhere near linear.  In such a case trying to predict one quantity from the other is a mug’s game.  

    And that’s without even considering the problems of measuring the two variables, or for that matter of quantifying either on a single scale.  (Judging by the abstract, the second paper cited actually does split religiosity into components; it also finds the strongest correlation more specifically between fundamentalism and intelligence.)

    The correlation is interesting, and the meta-analysis suggests that it may well be real, but it doesn’t appear to mean much in practical terms — and I say that as one who has never had any use for religion.

  •  but but but the IQ tests don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, RiveroftheWest

    measure intelligence as it relates to Jesus riding a dinosaur, so how can they possibly be objective tests????????????

    in case it's needed: /snark!

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 03:25:49 AM PDT

  •  Sub 70's (0+ / 0-)

    It would not be a surprise to learn that the average IQ of believers is 70 or less since one must be really, really stupid to believe the stories of the bible.

  •  So we're making the 'Bell Curve' argument now? (6+ / 0-)

    Count me out, please.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:14:58 AM PDT

  •  I can't imagine a religious Kossack (5+ / 0-)

    promoting some "study" claiming that religious people enjoy more success than atheists in a particular area. It would never occur to me to do so.

    Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

    by VirginiaJeff on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:47:25 AM PDT

  •  Ooh, we're doing the (5+ / 0-)

    "group differences in IQ" thing now? There's a book from about 20 years ago in which you may be interested. . .

    "I've always admired your tart honesty and ability to be personally offended by broad social trends." -Principal Skinner.

    by cardinal on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:26:10 AM PDT

  •  The goal is to make Americans dumber & more (0+ / 0-)

    obedient. RW evangelicals are working on that with evil big biz, the white supremacists & the MIC/MSM.

    They're winning.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:59:33 AM PDT

    •  And the more poor they are, the more religious, (0+ / 0-)

      hence one reason for radical right Christian opposition to universal healthcare (which is one reason why other countries have greater longevity), or the minimum wage, etc. etc. The other reason being their partnering up with mega-corporations, which are now outspending progressive superPACs 3:1.

      The Secular School Teacher

      by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:37:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  rather than IQ, I'm more worried about training. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Prognosticator

    There's not a lot we can do about IQ's.  You're born with the capacity you have, and it's neither an achievement if it's high, nor a detriment if it's low.   When I was five I was tested at 168.  I don't know what it'd be now because I've never been interested enough to be re-tested.  Knowing a number won't do me any good.

    The thing that worries me about religion - at least the extreme versions of it - is how it re-trains the brain to work around facts and logic so a person can keep believing what they want to believe.  I know a lot of right-wing Christians who've been so vigorously trying to explain away things like evolution that their approach to reasoning has affected the rest of their thinking, as well.  When we have a problem to solve at work, they can't do it because they don't have those tools in their mental toolbox anymore.  A muscle that doesn't get used atrophies, and that principle works for thought processes as well.  Their "work-around-the-facts" skills have been given a shot of steroids while their "examine-the-facts-and-deduce-a-conclusion-from-them" skills are weak.  I don't know what their IQ's are, and I don't care -- I just know they're not making the most of what they have, because they've programmed their brains not to.

    I'm an atheist but I don't really care what anyone else believes.  I'll admit, I find religion silly and childish, and see it as kind of a wetware computer virus, but if it makes people happy and gives them some peace, and they're not using it to harm other people, then I'm cool with it.  I know a lot of very nice Christians who I like and respect a great deal, even if I admittedly don't respect the beliefs.  Good people are good people, period, and if religion helps them to be one, then that's what they should keep doing and I have no wish to change that.

     I also know far too many of the other kind.  Those, I don't understand.  Their religion seems to bring them nothing but hate, fear, and unhappiness.  Those are the ones that mystify me.  Like, ISIS for example, or the Phelps clan.  What, if anything, in their beliefs has made their lives better?  Or anyone else's?  There, I see nothing but detriment.  Aggressive detriment.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:07:44 AM PDT

  •  I hope you're not a statistics teacher. (4+ / 0-)

    One can make some very ugly 'correlations' using ter same criteria that you relied on.

    Along with the 'oh yeah Asians and Jews score well too' thing, this may just be a very clever Athiest trolling.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:30:41 AM PDT

  •  Can we correlate Hi IQ with survival rate? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev

    You could claim that we, as a species, are in trouble because we are smart enough to alter the planets habitat on a large scale. On the other hand, if you look at older cultures, like China, it's obvious that they are more acclimated to higher density populations cooperating. Our intelligence is useful in building large interdependent societies where individuals are capable of assuming specific roles within the larger group. This is perhaps the single trait that made h. sapiens more successful than other hominids. It also brought us to the point where we consume huge amounts of irreplacable resources.

    I'm not surprised that Atheists tests smarter, at least on a typical IQ test. It's a question of cause or effect, are smarter people more likely to become atheists (I think so) or does athiesm lead to more curious and unbiased learning (true also, I think). I also think that some people have the nature for high intelligence, but not the nurture and an environment based on objectivity is more likely to help that person realize her potential.

  •  Interesting data. Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiMennonite, RiveroftheWest

    As for the conclusions, I'd suggest that bad results always happen when corporate or secular uses of the religious occurs. When Karl Rove succeeded in Faustian railroading of the US evangelical churches and allied with anti-abortion obsessed US catholic bishops the so-called "religious" people sold their souls to a force more dangerous irl than the "devil" - batshit insane Republicans.  

  •  But that's cheating!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone knows the smart ones don't become Christians!!

    ;-)




    "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 08:00:20 AM PDT

  •  trying to measure intelligence is silly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, VirginiaJeff

    Is the native in the amazon who has had the same basic lifestyle for thousands of years and who has a fundamental understanding of her relationship to the environment, really that much more intelligent than the guy who just stepped out of his 4 ton SUV with his nose glued to his iphone while scanning his FB page who doesn't have a clue of how he's not only destroying his own environment but that of his children also?  Ok, maybe that's not a fair analogy.

    We can't even agree on a definition of intelligence, much less measure it.  It's fair to measure a persons accurate understanding of factual information, and their ability to use factual information to draw reasonable conclusions, but measuring "intelligence" is silly.

  •  I fucking love science! (6+ / 0-)

    As they say, and I am not into organized religion, and I am about to get the verbal shit beat out of me for this post.

    I see some pretty big signs in Liberal-land that any spiritual belief is going to, at some point, become as unacceptable on the left as non-belief is on the right.  This worries me.  For quite a while now I have watched as atheists bully people of faith, or people who don’t want to do everything possible to destroy all “faith” in other people.  This is EXACTLY the way Fundamentalists talk.  The arrogance is very much the same, the desire to control the thoughts of others is the same.

    I’m not saying I don’t believe in this IQ difference up to a point, with so many fundamentalists in this country who don’t permit their children’s natural curiosity to grow, I am sure it is skewed against anyone with any belief at all.  But I have participated in liberal message boards a lot, and spoken out against Fundamentalist many times, well ALWAYS.  And Kos was always the more welcoming of people with any belief than others, I might add.  But the “atheist vs ignorant Democrat who DARES to have a belief system” is really sickening.

    I know I am offending people, I’m done caring.  Hate and resentment are bliss for many, left or right.  I don't quite know where I will be once the left fully disowns me for not marching in lock-step on this issue.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 08:27:53 AM PDT

    •  There are atheist authoritarians (4+ / 0-)

      and religious authoritarians. Both can be odious, obnoxious, and dangerous. History has proven it so. . .

      •  True, but the religionists outweigh the atheists (0+ / 0-)

        in that regard. Don't forget 300 hundred years of slavery of hundreds of millions of Africans was based on, and justified by, the Bible. Hitler was also a Catholic, and the Nazis an offshoot of Christian white supremacy.

        The Secular School Teacher

        by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:44:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do not forget (0+ / 0-)

          My comment was regarding a trend in liberal-land that could end up being no different than the fundy Xtian choke-hold on all who describe themselves as conservative.

          I don't see how my original comment "forgets" the horrors of organized religious rule.  You will not find anyone who despises theocracy more than me.  But I also despise the idea of ridiculing people for fools and assuming that if they do not identify as atheists that they are somehow glossing over all the terrible wrongs brought on by theocracy.  That is a broad brush you are painting with by reading my comment as somehow "ignoring' history.  I've had people on liberal message boards get angry with me for my negative comments regarding certain theocracies in this world today.  A few years ago I had SEVERAL posts hidden on DU for that.

          I have all my liberal cred except for atheism.  But I believe someday that might be a liberal deal-breaker.

          Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

          by get the red out on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 05:45:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And which one of the groups mentioned (0+ / 0-)

          were not authoritarian? See? I can get a great deal more accuracy by focusing on authoritarianism than religiosity/atheism divide. But that wouldn't fit your narrative would it? True about Hitler (although you've gone Godwin here-- I wonder if it's a tell that you recognize the weakness of what you are saying?), but Stalin wasn't religious, nor was Mao. Authoritarianism is a much more accurate predictor.
             As for justifications for reprehensible behavior, the Secular/atheist regimes used there secularism for their immoral behavior as well, so that's a wash.
             You also must know that the Black Evangelical churches were in the forefront of the civi rights, so relogiosity cuts both ways on the issue of slavery. Atheism can be seen as cutting both ways too as Soviet Russia used slave labor from the Gulag for their economic benefit.
             

    •  Ironically... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      get the red out

      ...the only response to this comment that comes to mind is, "Can I get an AMEN!?"

    •  If secular countries weren't better off than reli- (0+ / 0-)

      gious US, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But the data does give the best arguments for reason rather than religion in governing a society. I suppose the Founding Fathers realized this would be the case, which is why they put in the very first sentence of the first amendment a clause prohibiting government-sponsored religion.

      The Secular School Teacher

      by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:41:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never said I disagree with that (0+ / 0-)

        What I have a problem with is a certain exclusion and derision of others as absolute fools who cannot be a proper liberal if they are not atheist.  This is not everyone who is an atheist, but enough of a trend among liberals to be worrisome.

        I have no issue with presenting the horrors that religious rule have given, and still do give us.  I stated my opposition to religious control in my original statement.

        Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

        by get the red out on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 05:40:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems like grouping all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, semiMennonite, VirginiaJeff

    religions to be same is really not the way to go.

    If this measured religious affiliation, then i think that we would see the trend that you're looking for...

    as a black person in this society, I am well aware of what pretensions to "scientific objectivity" can do to contribute to oppression.

  •  Why focus just on Christians? (0+ / 0-)

    I would think this applies to all the religious fantasies,  especially the craziest of all, islam.

    Mind you, these people may be dumber than enlightened atheists but they still have a right to their beliefs in this country.

  •  IQ is a flawed measure of intelligence (5+ / 0-)

    that is mostly about mathematical ability than a true inventory of one's strength's and weaknesses. More over even though I am more secular than not I can't help but think this is a silly study.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

    •  Snort. (7+ / 0-)

      You didn't read the diary, didja? You didn't follow any of the links, didja?

      The irony, it burns.

      •  oh I read the diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VirginiaJeff, cville townie

        and the links too but mostly they're worthless. At best you have possible correlation  but as anyone who has actually followed the scientific discussion on the topic will tell you intelligence is difficult to define and even more difficult to measure.

        This smacks of the same so called 'science' that was published 20 years ago and was not only discredited but is a laughing stock of folly.

        I'm sure to the die hard atheists this will be taken seriously. The rest of us? Well we know and understand how limited this is.

        So while the irony does burn it burns you and the diarist more than anything.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:46:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Snort. (10+ / 0-)

          The five linked articles are in peer reviewed scientific journals. Those are exactly the places where "scientific discussions" are followed.

          The irony, it still burns!

          •  just because you get published (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't mean a mistake hasn't been made. Go look at the correlation factor it's pretty useless.

            And just because you're published isn't the end all be all. Crap gets published from time to time the peer review is as failible as anything else.

            Please keep digging though

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 01:40:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  snortey snort snort snortley snort (6+ / 0-)

              One unsupported opinion versus five (count-em, five!) peer reviewed journal articles.  You, of course, have a right to your opinion ... just like you have a right to bear arms, and vote, and ... whatever.

              But ... before I reply to you again in this thread, I expect you to find FIVE, COUNT EM, FIVE, peer reviewed journal articles supporting your contention that five successive peer reviewed journal articles on the same subject are all in error. (Like, mistakes happen, right?)

              You said in your first reply that anyone (including you?) following this topic could cite a buncha RECENT, like not 20 year old peer reviewed science articles disputing the whole idea that
              a) intelligence can be defined
              b) intelligence can be measured
              c) such research is "a laughing stock of folly"
              d) results negatively correlating religiosity with low intellect are "a laughing stock of folly"
              e) such results, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have been absolutely discredited

              Now it is time for you to do some work, and back up your words with some real research results, from peer-reviewed journals only, puhleeze.

              Happy hunting!

              •  I have tried to be polite (2+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                cville townie, poco
                Hidden by:
                kharma

                but really you are insisting on being an ass then so be it.

                I have been published before. Science direct is hardly hard to get published in. In point of fact they take credit in their wide ranging acceptance. Mostly that's a good thing but until this appears in something other than an exclusively internet journal well I am skeptical and most actual scientists are going to be skeptical.

                Further I suggest you go get your glasses checked because I never said anything about citing anything. I said that anyone that has followed this area knows that not only is it all but impossible to get a working definition of intelligence but that testing for it has been highly contentious. But really what do you care about that? You're over there snorting like some 5 year old that doesn't even know the beginning of an actual adult discussion on the matter.

                I suggest you

                First grow up and show some maturity
                Second go read about the topic
                Third show some humility and apologize (or you can skip this step makes no difference to me but it probably will affect your credibility with others)

                Now run along child.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:48:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It sounds like you didn't do so well on your.... (4+ / 0-)

                  IQ test.  But either way, calling someone an ass and a child are not part of the civil discussion here at the GOS.

                  He who denies it is a tyrant; he who does not demand it is a coward; he who is indifferent to it is a slave; he who does not desire it is dead. -- Eugene Debs

                  by kharma on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 07:13:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  anyone posting a diary here has been published (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kharma, corvo, JVolvo, Lost and Found

                  “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                  by pfiore8 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 09:50:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it's hard to read this as anything other than (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe, rduran

                    maliciously dishonest given what we are talking about. Though maybe you were just trying to be funny?

                    On the off chance this was sarcasm or genuine misunderstanding let me be clear. I like many actual scientists have been published in peer reviewed journals. Internet journals do not have the reputation and history of actual journals. This is largely because the peer review process is often less rigorous and definitely less over sight. You show me these studies being published in more reputable journals and I'll begin to consider them. Till then this looks like just another attempt to use science to support bigotry.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:08:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  give us a link. (5+ / 0-)

                      and i'm not being funny. some of the best stuff and most of the analysis far ahead of the media has come from blogs.

                      anyway: it's easy to say whatever you want and create a persona to be whomever you want. if you're a scientist then i'm sure you appreciate my skepticism ...since i'm lacking any data on your assertion.

                      “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                      by pfiore8 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:12:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ..... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        poco, rduran

                        your belief is irrelevant and I value my privacy for many reasons. Not the least of which is there are people and groups here I do not trust in the slightest.

                        If you want to seriously look into the topic of intelligence I suggest starting with Gardener and Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardener first posited 7 distinct identifiable forms of intelligence. As I understand it the theory has since expanded to 9.

                        The evidence for single intelligence (SI) has always been very self fulfilling  in that when people only look for one thing that's all the find. Then you should look into the history of the so called 'IQ test' and see exactly how we got  to it. It's really fascinating especially because the 'father' of the IQ test Binet not only believed that his test wasn't a permanent measure of ability but continually stressed that the test was very limited and that intelligence was much more broad than what he was measuring.

                        It really is fascinating and in a way I find it profoundly hilarious that we forgot/ignored all of this in are rush to have some simple direct way to measure intelligence as if we could ever measure so simply something so complicated.

                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:23:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  ScienceDirect is not a publication. (5+ / 0-)

                  It's an aggregator database vendored by Elsevier that offers access to lots of different journals.   So you can't get "published in" it.  I haven't done a study of it, but everything I've seen in it so far is peer-reviewed in one way or another.

                  Note its correct spelling too, by the way, while you're at it.

                  I'm surprised you don't know any of this.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:04:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Astonishingly (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, duhban, AaronInSanDiego

                  I have to uprate this... because it's basically correct in all respects.

                  The fact of being published in some random journal by Elsevier isn't in and of itself a very good indicator of the study's quality.

                  And annominous is being astonishingly rude in this thread, to boot.

                  The only thing HRable about duhban's comment here is the last sentence. The rest of it is fine. Uprated accordingly.

                  •  No, you are uprating a comment with insults. (5+ / 0-)

                    The commenter resulted in personal insults including calling them an 'ass' and a 5 year old.  Regardless of the view on IQ tests, this comment is HR'able.  If the commenter can make an argument without insults, then it would stand.

                    He who denies it is a tyrant; he who does not demand it is a coward; he who is indifferent to it is a slave; he who does not desire it is dead. -- Eugene Debs

                    by kharma on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 11:41:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  And you acknowledge... (4+ / 0-)
                    The only thing HRable about duhban's comment here is the last sentence.
                     That makes your uprate a violation of the rules.

                    He who denies it is a tyrant; he who does not demand it is a coward; he who is indifferent to it is a slave; he who does not desire it is dead. -- Eugene Debs

                    by kharma on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 11:42:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  huh well thank you (0+ / 0-)

                    and honestly you're right that last bit was out of line so I extend an apology to annominious for that. Provoked or not  I shouldn't have said that.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 01:34:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Dude/dudette??? (1+ / 0-)
                    - you are insisting on being an ass
                    - Further I suggest you go get your glasses checked
                    - like some 5 year old that doesn't even know the beginning of an actual adult discussion on the matter

                    - I suggest you

                    First grow up and show some maturity
                    Second go read about the topic
                    Third show some humility and apologize (or you can skip this step makes no difference to me but it probably will affect your credibility with others)

                    - Now run along child.

                    Come on.  This is 5 insults if you take the block suggestions as 1.  Pull your uprate.

                    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

                    by JVolvo on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 01:57:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Check out the Sokal Hoax sometime. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VirginiaJeff, cville townie, poco
      •  It is funny, isn't it, people who criticize (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, annominous

        without bothering to inform themselves.

        The Secular School Teacher

        by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:48:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting...I'll have to discuss this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiMennonite, VirginiaJeff

    ...with the 89% of the folks in my Kentucky county (of 25,000) who have a HS diploma or better, or with the 30% who hold a Bachelor's degree or better. (By the way, both of those numbers are above their respective national averages.) Given that 95% of the folks in my county claim religious belief, I'm sure to get a decent sample from both groups, right?

    Perhaps my last pastor--who earned a BS in computer science from Georgia Tech before attending seminary--could shed some light on this topic.

    If I can't reach him, I'll just ask our current pastor; after all, he holds a BS in Pharmacy in addition to his MDiv and DMin degrees, and still maintains his status as a registered pharmacist in this state.

    I might ask our deacons, since at least 4-5 of them hold Bachelor's/Master's degrees (including engineering, education, business...).

    OK, so my tone is a bit snarky, but this diary makes a rather unsupportable assertion. I don't think you can extrapolate from the samples used in these studies to cover a group that numbers in the millions. Most folks name Southern Baptists the largest fundamentalist/evangelical group; well, that's 16 million people in 42 states, and I think you'd have a tough time extrapolating ANY particular findings to a group of that size and distribution. If one enlarges the target audience to "all believers", any significant findings are diluted well beyond usefulness.

    This diary is actually an example of using scientific research in a very unscientific fashion.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:51:32 AM PDT

    •  DMin of course being doctor of ministry. (0+ / 0-)

      If you'll forgive the tangent it reminds me of an anecdote I heard about a gathering in DC, which given that this is a political blog I figured people would appreciate.

      There was a conference at which a man I'll call John Smith since I don't remember his name was on the speaking program.  Smith was a doctor of ministry.  The emcee saw his name was listed as John Smith, D Min., but given it's DC politics was apparently on the brain, so when it was Smith's turn to be introduced the emcee got up and said, "I now present John Smith - Democrat of Minnesota!"

    •  Just because they hold a bachelors, doesn't mean (0+ / 0-)

      they're well educated. Be interesting to see a study on the educational levels between those going to school in religious vs. secular universities. You may not be happy with those results either.

      The Secular School Teacher

      by SecularSchoolTeacher on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:52:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Religious Childnren Learn Fiction is Fact (4+ / 0-)

    A study published in the July Cognitive Science journal found:


     When asked to distinguish between “real” and “pretend” protagonists, children who studied in parochial schools or regularly attended church with their families had trouble telling fact from fiction.

    Religious children have a "broader conception" of what can actually happen, write Kathleen H. Corriveau, Eva E. Chen and Paul L. Harris, a trio of researchers from Boston University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Harvard University, respectively.

    "The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories."

    A nation of suckers is made, not born.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 11:43:53 AM PDT

  •  A different interpretation (0+ / 0-)

    This column suggests that exposure to mythology enhances creativity.

  •  Surprising absolutely no one. (0+ / 0-)

    Or at least, it shouldn't surprise anyone.

    Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
    Stranger: Indeed?
    Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
    Stranger: I wear no mask.
    Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

    by Prinny Squad on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 04:27:56 PM PDT

  •  We are virtually a theocracy-CR controls elections (0+ / 0-)

    The US ranks 138th out of all 169 voting countries in actual voting. Since 1974, mid-term % of eligible voters who vote avgs. 37%. Democrats would dominate if they did one thing- GOTV. They never do. Curious.

    by Incredulousinusa on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 10:57:40 AM PDT

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