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  1. I suspect the problem is not so much low IO as low confidence. I have debated with Christians and pointed out an inconsistency in the bible. They would say “Yes that certainly seems to be inconsistent. However, I am just a simple XXXX, What do I know of the mysteries of God? I could get you an appointment with Pastor Brown. Perhaps he could explain it to you.”

    She has no doubt the church has some idiotic story to cover for the inconsistency, and it will be good enough for her. She has been taught to be obedient and deny her own brain and experience.

    If you have not got the confidence to trust you own solutions, you will never develop the ability to find your own solutions to problems as IQ tests demand.

  2. Good point. Just comes to show how important it is to encourage and nurture critical thinking in children. Especially when one considers how little the education system actually does in that department.

  3. I suppose so long as people maintain some level of dislike for being thought stupid, there is hope for our species. (I’m talking generally, not necessarily focused on people of faith).

    Mike

    P.S. Prof. Dawkins did a great job keeping everyone on point about the correlation suggested in the study rather than give one inch to irrelevant anecdotes.

  4. The appalling sound quality made it very hard to listen to the program until the end. Especially when Maureen was speaking, the higher pitch of her voice made the audio distortion even worse. That and the fact that everybody except Prof. Dawkins was way off topic during the entire show.

    A shame really. This could have been so much more interesting had the guests been better selected. Probably one of the most ill-planned interviews I’ve ever heard. I feel bad for Prof. Dawkins having wasted his valuable time over there.

    • In reply to #5 by NearlyNakedApe:

      The appalling sound quality made it very hard to listen to the program until the end. Especially when Maureen was speaking, the higher pitch of her voice made the audio distortion even worse. That and the fact that everybody except Prof. Dawkins was way off topic during the entire show.

      A shame rea…

      They were going to talk about this anyway. It’s better that there was someone there to keep reminding people that their anecdotes are insignificant and useless when in search for truth.
      Otherwise the whole program might have been lovely stories about intelligent kind theists.

  5. In reply to #4 by Smill:

    In reply to 3. Does calling someone ‘stupid’ encourage their confidence in their abilities as potential learners? Dawkins should have talked more, not Maureen. But Maureen may not listen at all if she is dismissed as irrelevant.

    1) I don’t know but negative reinforcement is not my first choice. 2) Who’s calling anyone stupid? 3) Perhaps, and she wasn’t.

    Mike

  6. The cognitive mechanisms in judgement and decision making strive to form a coherent view of the experience of reality. There are underlying epistemic assumptions in the mechanism which are in someway dependent on evolved cognition. We are all susceptible in some degree to cognitive bias one of which is to pay too much attention to the salience of patterns in small data samples so the real world looks more regular and predictable than it really is. A lot of people in consequence do not question the validity of information and are also susceptible to fallacies about information sources. ‘I read it in a newspaper, or the priest or my teacher told me so it must be true’! I think here in lies the issue rather than one related to measurement of IQ by alphanumeric & visuo-spatial tests. Rational people challenge evidence and their epistemic assumptions are based on reason and taking evidence from concrete and diverse sources. It is hard work and you will never know what the truth is because your ideas only stand until they are falsified by new evidence. If however you can say god is responsible it saves you the trouble of ever having to look any further. I am not too surprised that some one may be considered less intelligent if they opt for this.

    • In reply to #7 by Vorlund:

      If however you can say god is responsible it saves you the trouble of ever having to look any further. I am not too surprised that some one may be considered less intelligent if they opt for this.

      If they are not initially less intelligent, they will be in a matter of time, with a brain-lazy approach to to learning and exercising their mental faculties.

  7. After listening to this mess of a show, It just goes to show that emotional appeal is more likely to trump reason if one has never been exposed to honest skeptical/critical thinking.
    Therefore more critical thinking please.
    And Kudos to Richard for trying to keep the show on topic, even though that should be the job of the daft presenter.

  8. A meta analysis indicates that atheists are smarter than theists.
    What’s your view?

    fisticated theist: “Well, to believe in fundamentalist theology is pretty stupid, but most people aren’t like that.”

    Dawkins: “Of course, but look at the overall picture.”

    Theist caller: “I had a truly life changing experience that has changed me for the better and it was due to religion and I’m not stupid”

    Dawkins: “A lovely story, but that is only one point out of a huge data set, so I cannot take it seriously.”

    Theist caller: “You cannot just disregard stories like this. Data is made of anecdotes.”

    Dawkins: “Yes I can. compile those points into a study and turn them into data. Then I will no longer disregard them.”

    Brilliant.

  9. Got to love Maureen, with her irrelevant, rambling anecdotes. By her own admission, she appears not to have been indoctrinated at a young age and acquired religious belief much later in life (predictable life-changing-event-edge-case). By any reasonable measure, surely this must require an unusual level of credulity and ignorance (if not a lack of intelligence)*? I fear Maureen anecdotally (!) appears to have qualified the findings of this particular study. Oh the irony.

    • Or these faculties are usurped by fear.
  10. I think the God argument is a double edged sword. On one hand there are a lot of peaceful, nice people who “believe” in a God and get a lot of comfort from it when facing death/reasons for living. For some types of people, “believing”, provides a better, less scary existence. It does seem a little bit sad in a way when someone who is comfortable in their belief is subjected to the hard facts and left nowhere to go when all they want to do is believe. On the other hand , when unfounded beliefs are forced/taught to others it creates all sorts of wrongs.

    • In reply to #13 by la musique man:

      I think the God argument is a double edged sword. On one hand there are a lot of peaceful, nice people who “believe” in a God and get a lot of comfort from it when facing death/reasons for living. For some types of people, “believing”, provides a better, less scary existence. It does seem a little b…

      Maybe. Maybe it doesn’t make much difference. Can you refer us to some studies that have been done on the subject?

      • In reply to #14 by aldous:

        My thoughts are only based on personal experience. I wouldn’t have the heart to say to someone who knows they are dying and are comforted by their beliefs of say, “life after death”, that their beliefs are silly and unfounded. Having been in this position it has helped shape my view. That said, I am a believer of scientific fact myself.

        • In reply to #15 by la musique man:

          In reply to #14 by aldous:

          My thoughts are only based on personal experience. I wouldn’t have the heart to say to someone who knows they are dying and are comforted by their beliefs of say, “life after death”, that their beliefs are silly and unfounded.

          .
          I’m glad to hear it. We all hope to die in as much comfort as possible,without being assailed by unfeeling attempts at a deathbed conversion. The question I raise is whether belief in the unbelievable is really possible. It’s not very clear how something so at odds with reality as to be unimaginable can provide genuine re-assurance to the modern mind.

  11. The comment at the end was exactly my thought. They have Dawkins on the show to talk about statistics from studies and they let it get hijacked by some religious nutbag, taking half of the 20 minutes to tell her personal (and probably fake, million dollar home ? come on) story which is completely irrelevant. Do your job, host, and tell her to shut up.

  12. Can anyone tell me how the common experiences of billions of theists throughout time from all walks of life from nearly every culture at all levelsof education does not constitute even a jot ofevidence or at leadst a huge set of data ,leading to some enquirey when the majority would claim contact with the divine and some impact for the good In the everyday ordinances of life I am curious to understand the
    Atheist mindset , also what is the hard evidence you have that there is no God, no greater power behind our universe open minded theists

    • In reply to #18 by voiceformany:

      Can anyone tell me how the common experiences of billions of theists throughout time from all walks of life from nearly every culture at all levelsof education does not constitute even a jot ofevidence or at leadst a huge set of data ,leading to some enquirey when the majority would claim contact…

      From my point of view I would not rely on the human brain’s perception of reality i.e. I was visited by a spirit or God, I’ve seen the light etc. as the brain can be easily tricked. Take a look at some of the great optical illusions available that tell the mind one thing when actually a different reality exists. This is why we have science so that we can test if what we perceive is true, or not.

      As for evidence of there not being a God, is that not like asking for evidence that the bogey man doesn’t exist? One could make up a huge list of fictional characters and state they are true unless you can supply evidence to the contrary. I think the onus is on the believer to supply the evidence for their belief, but only if they want others to believe the same thing. As far as I’m concerned people can believe what they want so long as they don’t persecute me (or society) for not believing, which is probably a big ask it seems these days.

      In summary, I think that we know comparatively little about what exists or doesn’t exist ( which science is perusing vigorously ) and that there could be endless possibilities out there, but I would not profess to know, or believe that something is true until it is scientifically proven. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

    • In reply to #18 by voiceformany:

      Can anyone tell me how the common experiences of billions of theists throughout time from all walks of life from nearly every culture at all levels of education does not constitute even a jot of evidence or at least a huge set of data ,leading to some enquiry when the majority would claim contact with the divine and some impact for the good In the everyday ordinances of life.

      The experiences of theists can be used, as evidence of human perception and the power of group thinking and shared culture. It does not, however, make it any more likely that any sort of god or higher power is real. And it may be that some of the facets of these peoples’ faiths had an impact for good, but this again does not make it any more true.

      I am curious to understand the Atheist mindset

      Then you’re in the right place!

      What is the hard evidence you have that there is no God, no greater power behind our universe?

      Simply- none. But this does depend on which god you are talking about and how it is defined. If this god is attributed supernatural powers, then we can say that its existence would contradict the laws of physics, and therefore either our understanding of the physics of the universe is wrong, or such an entity cannot be. Our models of the universe suggests that the letter is much more likely.

      “open minded theists”

      I didn’t understand why you tagged this on to the end, but I would have to disagree that theists are open minded. I am an atheist so I can accept that there is an equal possibility (although vanishingly small) that any or all of the gods proposes by mankind throughout our existence may or may not exist. By the very nature of most theistic doctrines, this is not allowed and therefore any god but their own must be dismissed. So I would argue I am more open minded as I refuse to rule anything out. But I would also say that all proposed gods or supernatural beings are as unlikely as each other, and moreover, unnecessary compared to natural, scientific explanations of the world.

      Thanks for your comments, hope you take the time to reply to my points.

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