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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mailvox: the distribution of atheist intelligence

As some of you have probably noted by now, I am not inclined to suffer fools gladly. And the fools I am least inclined to suffer are those who are prone to smugly offer erroneous corrections. Now, I have repeatedly pointed out that the small average atheist IQ advantage is small in comparison with the much larger number of highly intelligent theists and that most atheists have sub-100 IQs. These are all facts, easily verified by examining the GSS datafile.

Nevertheless, this did not prevent CLK from leaping in and attempting to correct me:
Now the unknown here is what is the data that you got #1 from ---and what does the distributions look like. The only way your statement #3 could possibly correct is if the two distributions are shaped differently and the atheist one is much wider and shewed severely to a low IQ .. which would seem very very unlikely... Its likely that variance of the distribution of intellegence of theists will match the general population variance and that the distribution of the atheists will be in fact a subset of the theists....I do apologize for getting in the middle of the private conversation ... and for being right.. I will try to be less right in the future. :)
To which all the response needed is this graphic, taken from the latest 2012 General Social Survey and combined with the WORDSUM/IQ conversion table calculated by the estimable Aoli Pera. There is the explanation for the nonexistent dichotomy that CLK identified. The distributions are not only dissimilar, they are very nearly opposites. And note that as I predicted, the peak number of theists is precisely at 100 IQ.

As you can see, the two most common types of atheists are the High Church atheists with +2SD IQs (128+) and Low Church atheists with -2SD IQs (65-72). Note that the Low Church atheists actually outnumber the High Church atheists, 22.9 to 17.2 percent. This will surprise no one who has read TIA; as I noted there, we can observe a similar phenomenon at work in the Democratic Party membership.

Now, the statistically naive might look at this chart, note that the +2SD theists only account for 3.5 percent of the theistic population, and assume that this means there are more highly intelligent atheists than highly intelligent theists. This is not the case. As it happens, there are 11.4x more +2SD theists who either know God exists or believe God exists despite having the occasional doubt than there are +2SD atheists who don't believe God exists.

The bad news for theists is that the overall number of those who know that God exists has declined from 63.8 to 62.6 percent from 2008. However, the number of those who believe, but are less certain has stayed the same. Interestingly enough, the increase in the agnostics (no way to know) and the spiritualists (higher power), has outpaced the increase in the number of atheists, with the spiritualists gaining the most, increasing from 8.1 percent of the populace to 8.8 percent. I'm not sure that's quite what the anti-woo campaigners had in mind. Regardless, the chart below should put into perspective how mostly irrelevant atheists are to the population at large as it shows the percentage of atheists at the 10 different IQ levels in comparison to the most fervent categories of believers.

My guess is that most of the atheist trolls we see here from time to time are in the midwitted 114-121 category. In any event, I would think that most commenters here would understand by now that I don't write anything here without having some evidential basis for it. I'm not saying that I'm always right, because that's not the case. But I am saying that if you detect an apparent contradiction in what I've written, it would probably be a good idea to verify your assumptions before leaping in to correct me.

UPDATE: This amused me while playing around with the GSS. Of the dumbest strata of college graduates, nearly half, 46 percent, are atheists. That's twice as many as all types of theists combined. We finally have an explanation for the Richard Dawkins fans.

Labels: ,

110 Comments:

Anonymous MrGreenMan January 15, 2014 1:08 PM  

These twits never want to own the low-church atheists, nor are they inclined to consider that, just perhaps, somebody has thought the thought before, because they're too busy savoring their own aromas.

Anonymous reason-monster January 15, 2014 1:19 PM  

but... but... no true atheist

Blogger IM2L844 January 15, 2014 1:28 PM  

they're too busy savoring their own aromas.

The ineluctable consequence of having their heads up their asses.

Anonymous Tawmmy from Quinzee January 15, 2014 1:29 PM  

DAHKIES AH NAWT TRUE ATHEISTS BECAWSE THEY AH NAWT AS WICKED SMAHT AS WE NON DAHKIES AH! ONLY SMAHT PEOPLE FROM HAHVAHD YAHD AH TRUE GRITTY ATHEISTS! NO ONE DENIES THIS!

Anonymous Glossy January 15, 2014 1:32 PM  

Full disclosure: I'm an atheist.

I like to check sociological data against personal observations. There are so many ways to get statistics wrong. Poor sampling, researcher bias, etc. Who are these < 90 IQ atheists? I've never met a black or Mexican atheist. I don't think there are many atheists among lower class US whites either. How many lower class atheists of any color have you met in America?

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 1:36 PM  

I like to check sociological data against personal observations. There are so many ways to get statistics wrong. Poor sampling, researcher bias, etc. Who are these < 90 IQ atheists? I've never met a black or Mexican atheist. I don't think there are many atheists among lower class US whites either.

Glossy, look up "Pauline Kael" and "Nixon". I think you would find it informative. And actually, high-IQ blacks are 6x more likely to be atheists than high-IQ whites.

Anonymous Glossy January 15, 2014 1:43 PM  

The bottom portion of the Dem coalition does mot share the values of the top portion. Secularism, like support for gay marriage, is mostly an elite lefty position.

Anonymous Josh January 15, 2014 1:44 PM  

The bottom portion of dem coalition is effectively secular

Anonymous Rex Little January 15, 2014 1:51 PM  

I just looked up in Voxicon the definitions of Low Church and High Church atheists, and I'm curious: into which category would you put someone who fits the following description:

An individual lacking god belief who is college-educated, self-identifies as an atheist and subscribes entirely to a materialist model of the universe, rejecting all supernatural concepts. Doesn't know what "Enlightenment values" are and doesn't care. Subscribes to a belief in evolution but is skeptical that it's driven by blind chance. Trusts in science but not necessarily in scientists. Not the least bit evangelical or militant about his lack of god belief.

The above is how I'd describe myself; from what I've read from John Derbyshire, I suspect it would be a pretty close fit for him as well.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 1:55 PM  

Hinduism is the religión that would make more sense to me, i am an Agnostic and the closest religión i would convert is Hinduism, here just one example of the wisdom of Hinduism:
” for any finite good action, it seems, must eventually exhaust its potency (no heaven ) and no finite bad action, no matter how bad, should warrant eternal damnation (no hell)” quote taken from a Hindu website.

Anonymous MrGreenMan January 15, 2014 1:57 PM  

Glossy: Nice round-about way of trying to play the no-true-atheist game.

What do you call someone who has no religious affiliation, never even thinks that there is anything beyond the material, thinks Sunday mornings are a time to sleep off Saturday night's drinking, and operates on the assumption - religion's for suckers and the only question is whether something is legal or illegal?

Having grown up in a little Shitsville USA midwestern town, where there were more than a large number of dropouts/burnouts/tuneouts that acted like the above - especially the gay ones - tended to be dumb, angry, poor, and show the emotional anger and hatred encompassed in the expression I heard many, many times when trying to witness: "If there's a God, he wouldn't make my life suck like this, so I don't believe in him".

Shatter your expectations further by attacking the entire leftist trifecta of "cool" - right, atheist, and gay: Go find out that homosexuality has a higher incidence rate in the non-white community, and that homosexual households tend to be poorer. The New York Times, Psychology Today, and the UCLA William's Institute can't all be lying for Pat Robertson:

"After adjusting for a range of family characteristics that help explain poverty, gay and lesbian
couple families are significantly more likely to be poor than are heterosexual married couple
families. " (Williams Institute, UCLA)

Perhaps you live in a glass bubble or gated community?

Reason and medieval logic must give way when the facts refute them.

Blogger IM2L844 January 15, 2014 1:57 PM  

Who are these < 90 IQ atheists?

Honestly, Glossy, this probably wouldn't even be an issues if it weren't for the militant proactive atheists constantly bringing it up as if it somehow supports the fallacious notion that Christianity is an irrational worldview.

Anonymous MrGreenMan January 15, 2014 1:58 PM  

Right -> rich

Anonymous David January 15, 2014 2:06 PM  

I do apologize for getting in the middle of the private conversation

Apology accepted.

... and for being right

You cannot be sorry for something you did not do.

.. I will try to be less right in the future. :)

That will be quite a challenge.

Blogger JartStar January 15, 2014 2:09 PM  

I don't think there are many atheists among lower class US whites either.

They tend to be functional atheists in my experience. When pressed hard some might say God exists, but I think plenty just don't care and would say God might not exist because He certainly doesn't seem to care about them. Religious self identification is always difficult which is why I think the much better metric to gauge belief is regular worship attendance.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:11 PM  

I am a Bisexual man, and if Homosexuality could be cured , WHY I WASN'T CURED AT ALL, i supressed the most i could the gay desire, but i HAD WET DREAMS WITH MEN when i was a 100% true sincere believer, when i woke up i was pretty scared that the Christian god will be angry at me, but a wet dream is not on purpose, and by the way that was many months ago after i converted to Christianity, and plus, at that time, i was more a CELIBATE than a Heterosexual, i just felt that i in theory liked women, but i didn't try hard to have a girlfriend or to touch women, i liked more to hug other men that i saw as friends (i am a Bisexual that likes more men than women)

Anonymous Krul January 15, 2014 2:12 PM  

So atheists represent slightly more than 2% of the highly intelligent (+2SD). I wonder if there's data for +3SD and +4SD ranges.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:16 PM  

Really the Babel tower makes sense to u?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWf_Nw1Px-o

Anonymous Krul January 15, 2014 2:17 PM  

Glossy, you have to admit that your comment is pretty funny, coming as it does right after Tawmmy's.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:20 PM  

: P

http://indianrealist.com/2010/01/03/why-hinduism-will-win-in-the-end/

Blogger JartStar January 15, 2014 2:21 PM  

Here's some evidence about working class whites: As of the 2000s, the General Social Survey indicates, nearly 32 percent of upper-middle-class whites ages 30 to 49 attended church regularly, compared with 17 percent of the white working class in the same age group.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:24 PM  

And What about the Middle class and working class in Japan? go to sites such as Imdb.com and you will notice the most popular TVseries are American, British and aside of the Anglo-Saxons, the Japanese are the next more popular, Japan case is too important to be ignored and British aren't as religious as Americans.

Anonymous Rex Little January 15, 2014 2:28 PM  

They tend to be functional atheists in my experience. When pressed hard some might say God exists, but I think plenty just don't care and would say God might not exist because He certainly doesn't seem to care about them.

I'd call that a functional agnostic, not atheist. An atheist is firmly convinced that God doesn't exist, not merely doubtful.

Anonymous Glossy January 15, 2014 2:29 PM  

Go find out that homosexuality has a higher incidence rate in the non-white community, and that homosexual households tend to be poorer..."

I'm pretty sure that this is true. This stuff is obscured by differences in impulse control. For example, observation tells me that blacks are both more likely than whites to believe in the reality of hell and more likely than whites to do things that are said to lead one to hell. But if you take the "judge them by their deeds, not their words" position on this issue, wouldn't it lead you to categorize a clean-living self-described atheist as a theist? Personally, I think that would be silly.

Blogger JCclimber January 15, 2014 2:32 PM  

As a long time Vox Popoli participant, I was quite amused to see that Vox was very, very open to being corrected on that thread. The amusing part was that the angry atheists didn't seem to pick up that nuance.

Vox is usually open to correction, when proven incorrect. I suspect that in this case Vox was taking facts that he'd already observed and making an intuitive guess on the underlying numbers and distributions. Because he hadn't yet done the number crunching that we see posted today, he was more open than usual in his language to being shown in error in his conclusions.

And the aspies jumped all over it like they usually do when their worldview was under attack. Completely missing their opportunity to educate. Draw your own conclusions.

OpenID cailcorishev January 15, 2014 2:37 PM  

Nice work. I knew atheists, like Democrats, would be more highly represented at the top and bottom, but I had no idea just how extreme it was. So if you're of average intelligence, you're almost certain to believe in some kind of god. The only people who don't are those who think they're smart enough not to need one, or too dim to understand the concept.

It puts the lie to the common claim by the irreligious that stupid people are especially religious, believing in God and following rules and devotions in a rote, nonsensical way without knowing what any of it means.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 2:40 PM  

I'd call that a functional agnostic, not atheist. An atheist is firmly convinced that God doesn't exist, not merely doubtful.

JartStar's opinions and observations are irrelevant, Rex. The IQ distribution ratio is based on the following questions from the GSS, as people were presented with cards giving them the following options and asked which best represented their beliefs.

"Tell me which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God:

1. I don't believe in God.
2. I don't know whether there is a God and I don't believe there is any way to find out.
3. I don't believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind.
4. I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others.
5. While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God.
6. I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it.

The low-IQ atheists are the people who got only 1 question correct on the WORDSUM test and also answered 1 on the CONFIDENCE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD question. They are clearly atheists by any meaningful definition of the term.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:40 PM  

That data is from United States, we need data from UNITED KINGDOM and JAPAN, which are way more irreligious than Americans, and by the way i am from Spain but i live in Mexico, my IQ is 110 and sometimes i think in the possibility of god, but as how HINDUISM explains it

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 2:44 PM  

Vox is usually open to correction, when proven incorrect. I suspect that in this case Vox was taking facts that he'd already observed and making an intuitive guess on the underlying numbers and distributions. Because he hadn't yet done the number crunching that we see posted today, he was more open than usual in his language to being shown in error in his conclusions.

Pretty much. Although I had seen the numbers in the 2008 study, I didn't recall much more than being surprised that the lowest IQ atheists outnumbered the highest-IQ atheists. So, I surmised the distribution would be U-shaped, on the basis of my observations of the Democratic Party and because I didn't recall anything unusual about the middle of the curve.

That being said, I did laugh when I graphed it this morning and the U turned out to be so distinct. It was one of those lovely "damn, I am good" moments".

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 2:47 PM  

C'mon 100% believers ,i am here ready for you , yawn i got bored here, no one challenged me, while i get tons of non-stop chat in other blogs, YouTube or Yahoo answers, on a positive note i guess this means i won ;)

Anonymous Stoner Cat January 15, 2014 2:57 PM  

no one challenged me, while i get tons of non-stop chat in other blogs, YouTube or Yahoo answers, on a positive note i guess this means i won ;)

Yes. You won.

Very well played.

Blogger Nate January 15, 2014 3:02 PM  

"C'mon 100% believers ,i am here ready for you , yawn i got bored here, no one challenged me, while i get tons of non-stop chat in other blogs, YouTube or Yahoo answers, on a positive note i guess this means i won ;)"

so your IQ is 110 you say?

Anonymous Porky January 15, 2014 3:06 PM  

Why does the graph just stop at 128?

I'm curious where the High Church Atheist curve peaks.

Anonymous Giraffe January 15, 2014 3:07 PM  

so your IQ is 110 you say?

Yeah, I thought he might have been cheating about 2-3 SD, but he says he's Spanish, so English is probably a second language, so I'm inclined toward giving him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I'm too generous.

Anonymous Sigyn January 15, 2014 3:07 PM  

so your IQ is 110 you say?

Well, English isn't his first language, so maybe he thinks "IQ" means "weight".

Blogger James Dixon January 15, 2014 3:12 PM  

> Why does the graph just stop at 128?

Probably too small a sample size. IQ's above 130 are only 2.5% of the population.

Anonymous Krul January 15, 2014 3:14 PM  

guerrero, -a adjective
1. warlike (belicoso); argumentative, quarrelsome (peleón)

You know, if your handle is essentially "I am a troll", you probably won't be taken seriously.

Anonymous Glossy January 15, 2014 3:17 PM  

If I remember correctly, Wordsum scores are only based on ten questions. If they asked a hundred questions, both range and resolution would improve. I'd say, based purely on anecdotal evidence, that at the extreme right tail political and religious opinions become more extreme. I'd expect more hard-core atheists and fundamentalist theists and fewer agnostics and non-literal theists there. Similarly, there are few moderate Democrats and Republicans at the extreme right tail of the IQ distribution. All ideologies become more extreme as you move right along that curve.

Anonymous dh January 15, 2014 3:18 PM  

All ideologies become more extreme as you move right along that curve.

That is very interesting. How could you go about proving that?

Anonymous Glossy January 15, 2014 3:20 PM  

"All ideologies become more extreme as you move right along that curve."

Mind you, this is only true at the right tail. It's not going to be true in the middle.

Blogger James Dixon January 15, 2014 3:22 PM  

> You know, if your handle is essentially "I am a troll", you probably won't be taken seriously.

I think that was sort of the point.

Anonymous Goossy January 15, 2014 3:26 PM  


dh, I think I've seen someone show this effect with Wordsum and GSS. Might have been the Audacious Epigone. However, observation tells me that this effect would be even more apparent beyond the range covered by Wordsum. I predict that if they asked 100 questions, the guys who answered 98 right would have weirder, more extreme opinions than the guys who answered 95 right.

Blogger Brad Andrews January 15, 2014 3:29 PM  

"there are +2SD atheists who don't believe God exists."

Wouldn't it be better described as believing that God doesn't exist? Somewhat a issues of words, but the difference seems applicable since they actively disbelieve.

Though the questions you posted would seem to indicate the quoted phrase must be applied since that is what their choice was.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 3:33 PM  

I predict that if they asked 100 questions, the guys who answered 98 right would have weirder, more extreme opinions than the guys who answered 95 right.

Almost surely. Hell, look at this blog. Of course, they would probably have no information at all if they did that, because no one is going to sit down and answer 100 questions.

Though the questions you posted would seem to indicate the quoted phrase must be applied since that is what their choice was.

Yes. One can't do more than cite the information provided.

Anonymous bluto January 15, 2014 3:35 PM  

Porky,
Wordsum is a very short test, thus it isn't proper to use it to distinguish between scores beyond fairly broad buckets. Here's more info on the correlation.

Anonymous Porky January 15, 2014 3:39 PM  

Probably too small a sample size. IQ's above 130 are only 2.5% of the population.

That's 7 million+. Not small at all.

Also, why does the upper end of the graph stop short of the complete 2SD (130 on Wechsler, 132 on Stanford), while the lower end extends far below -2SD?

Blogger Some dude January 15, 2014 3:45 PM  

@stoner cat

LOL

I'm stealing that.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 15, 2014 3:47 PM  

"i guess this means i won ;)"

Yes, you won the special internet argument Olympics, now take your trophy and start gloating with your friends....

Anonymous Aeoli January 15, 2014 3:57 PM  

Porky,

That's an artifact of the GSS wordsum. The average score is above 5, and the range of possible scores is 0-10. So the minimum score is further from the average than the maximum score.

OpenID kaneadvice January 15, 2014 4:02 PM  

What variables did you use?

This didn't pass the sniff test so I went into the GSS to play around. Comparing variable WORDSUM against GOD while controlling for OTHLANG(2) shows us that agnostics are the smartest, followed by atheists and then average WORDSUM decreases as confidence in the existence of god increases. The only distribution that looks bimodal is the one for people who believe in god sometimes.

Maybe what you are seeing is a language effect i.e. non-native English speakers who don't know what atheist means.

Blogger James Dixon January 15, 2014 4:07 PM  

> That's 7 million+. Not small at all.

They didn't survey the entire population of the US, Porky.

Anonymous Porky January 15, 2014 4:08 PM  

So is the SD of 14 a convenience or does it really calculate out that way with the given distribution?

Anonymous The Faith Monster January 15, 2014 4:19 PM  

Well, evidence that a portion atheists are dumb as a bag of hair can be demonstrated by the fact that 21% of self-professed "atheists" said they believe in God, with 9% saying they believed in a personal God, and 12% stating they believed in the kind of "impersonal force" that regularly showed up in episodes of Space:1999 in the Pew Forum poll: http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report2religious-landscape-study-key-findings.pdf. A courageous 3% said "other" or they "didn't know" if there is a God, but declined to identify themselves as Agnostics.

(55% of the agnostics said they believe in God, with 14% believing in a personal God, and 36% believing in a non-personal but non-materialistic "impersonal force" - presumably something more than gravity or magnetism, one supposes.)

That puts almost a quarter of the atheists and over half of the agnostics in the same camp with 92% of the U.S. population. (Although the stats on Protestants, Evangelicals, Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox who don't believe in a personal God are distressing.)

21% of those atheists are absolutely certain there is a God, and 8% are absolutely certain there is a personal God. What this means for the stats showing the number of atheists are rising, is interesting to speculate.

12% of atheists believe in Heaven and Hell, 10% pray at least weekly, 19% believe their values are threatened by Hollywood, and 13% believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

So a little bit over 10% of atheists are, in fact, theists. Consider that in any discussion of atheist stats.

As far as party affiliations go, Democrats show a much higher level of belief in pseudosciences (not counting economic beliefs)

Belief in Reincarnation Democrats: 30% Independents: 26% Republicans: 17%

Belief in The Evil Eye: Democrats: 19% Independents: 15% Republicans: 12%

Belief in astrology: Democrats: 31% Independents: 26% Republicans: 14%

Belief in the spiritual benefits of Yoga: Democrats: 31% Independents: 26% Republicans: 15%

Belief in spiritual power in rocks and crystals: Democrats: 30% Independents: 28% Republicans: 17%

Source: http://www.pewforum.org/2009/12/09/many-americans-mix-multiple-faiths/

Anonymous Porky January 15, 2014 4:26 PM  

@James

Oops. Out of 20,000 GSS respondents we're talking about 500-600. Not insubstantial.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 4:28 PM  

What variables did you use?

None.

This didn't pass the sniff test so I went into the GSS to play around. Comparing variable WORDSUM against GOD while controlling for OTHLANG(2).... Maybe what you are seeing is a language effect i.e. non-native English speakers who don't know what atheist means.

Your nose is off. And you screwed up big time. OTHLANG(2) means "CAN R SPEAK LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH". So you eliminated all the English-only speakers, which was 2/3rds of the sample set. It's not surprising the results are different, because you got rid of all the low-IQ atheists by limiting your sample to the multilingual.

Also, your attempted explanation is impossible. The word "atheist" isn't used in the questioning at all.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 15, 2014 4:45 PM  

I am busy on a date but lol , Guerrero = Warrior ,is not a sign that i am a troll ,is a real surname and am proud of it. So glad that i won, that means we are more probably in the Kali Yuga (Hindu Apocalypse) than the Apocalypse and Krishna will come in to restore peace. Hinduism don't have a problem with LGTB people.

Anonymous Noah B. January 15, 2014 4:57 PM  

Fascinating -- so atheism is vastly more attractive to those who are of non-average intelligence. Or in other words, those who don't "fit in."

Anonymous lurker January 15, 2014 4:57 PM  

"So glad that i won, "

You're on a troll.

Anonymous Krul January 15, 2014 5:05 PM  

I am busy on a date

Is he a Hindu?

Guerrero = Warrior ,is not a sign that i am a troll

Nevertheless, I'm quite sure you're a troll. From now on, I'll call you "La Cucaracha".

Blogger TangoMan January 15, 2014 5:25 PM  

Regardless, the chart below should put into perspective how mostly irrelevant atheists are to the population at large as it shows the percentage of atheists at the 10 different IQ levels in comparison to the most fervent categories of believers.

Your evidence doesn't support this conclusion. The influence of a group isn't proportional to their size or share of population, ie, Jews as Nobel Prize winners, Blacks in American media or sports, liberals in the cultural & educational industries. Blacks comprise 13% of the population, conservatives outnumber liberals by a 2:1 ratio.

What's relevant are the trend lines, their causes and whether those causes can be traced down the lever to particular groups who are exercising influence on the religious attitudes of the populace.

Look at the hysteria which greets the expression of religious sentiment in the public sphere. If atheists had influence in proportion to the population footprint then we wouldn't be seeing the wide spread adoption of such intolerance towards religious expression.

Clearly Atheists are exhibiting more influence than their mere proportion of the population would suggest.

Anonymous kh123, Destroyer of Worlds™ January 15, 2014 6:24 PM  

"Hinduism don't have a problem with LGTB people."

Neither does it apparently with dead bodies floating in their bathing/drinking water.

Anonymous Aeoli January 15, 2014 7:01 PM  

I assumed an SD of 15 when I made up the chart. This is a definition and doesn't change. The GSS approximates vocabulary, not IQ. But it happens to be a good proxy for IQ as explained by Razib Khan (correlation of 0.71). The vocab test is a discrete distribution, IQ is idealized as a continuous distribution. The discrete distribution approximates this continuous distribution well enough to support this type of analysis.

Better explanation when I hae a keyboard.

Anonymous biff January 15, 2014 7:05 PM  

Seems to me the old-school atheists who grew up going to church and picking the sermons apart had a much better grasp of the subject. Ingersol, Heinlein, Christopher Hitchens. CS Lewis thought his generation of atheists were much dumber and wussier than his old tutor's generation, 'when even McCabe argued like a man'.

Anonymous Aeoli January 15, 2014 7:29 PM  

You know, scratch that explanation. Pick up the Manga Guide to Statistics. It's a 5-hour read and it'll equip you reasonably well for IQ discussions. I reread it once per year as a refresher on the fundamental concepts.

OpenID kaneadvice January 15, 2014 7:40 PM  

OTHLANG(2) means the respondent can speak only English.

"CAN R SPEAK LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH - 739a. Can you speak a language other than English? 0 IAP 1 YES 2 NO 8 DK 9 NA "

If your nose worked properly, you would have never posted your "analysis" because you would have dug deeper to find out the truth. Unfortunately, you decided what the result was before you looked at the data.

The smart money says the dumb atheists in your sample are just dumb theists who don't know the meaning of theism or atheism.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 8:14 PM  

The smart money says the dumb atheists in your sample are just dumb theists who don't know the meaning of theism or atheism.

Not possible. You're totally wrong. For the second time:

"Tell me which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God"

1. I don't believe in God.

They're definitely atheists. They don't believe in God.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 8:21 PM  

If your nose worked properly, you would have never posted your "analysis" because you would have dug deeper to find out the truth. Unfortunately, you decided what the result was before you looked at the data.

You're correct about my having the meaning of OTHLANG(2) backwards, but you're projecting when it comes to my deciding what the result was before I looked at the data. You're the one trying to cherry-pick the data, not me. In fact, the only reason to dig deeper is if you can't believe that there are low-IQ atheists. But there are, and GSS isn't the only way to see this.

You only need look at the disproportionate number of "no religion" people in jail to see the same phenomenon. You're just confused because they don't call themselves atheists. They don't think in abstract terms. But they don't believe in God, perhaps in part because they don't think in abstract terms.

You may not want to claim them because they harm your precious misplaced superiority complex, but they have no religion and they state that they don't believe in God. Like it or not, they are atheists.

Anonymous Mavwreck January 15, 2014 8:22 PM  

What do you guys use to do the statistical analysis? Just the tools on the SDA website ( http://sda.berkeley.edu/sdaweb/analysis/?dataset=gss12 )?

Anonymous wEz January 15, 2014 8:43 PM  

Vox, do you have data on people in jail being primarily atheists? My assumption is thay they would self identify with theism though their behavior and knowledge would scream ignorant, uneducated atheist.

Anonymous VD January 15, 2014 9:11 PM  

Vox, do you have data on people in jail being primarily atheists?

Yes, see TIA. But it's not "primarily", it is "disproportionately overrepresented". But again, these are the de facto atheists, not the self-identified atheists. They have no religion, they don't believe in God, but they don't call themselves atheists.

Anonymous The Faith Monster January 15, 2014 9:13 PM  

There's a higher percentage of atheists than are represented in the population at large arrested for certain crimes, including serial killers and child abductors/rapists who kill their victims. Although they rarely survive their contact with law enforcement, school shooters and other active shooters tend to have a higher level of atheistic or anti-theistic statements in the manifestos they leave behind, although I haven't seen any statistics on the latter group.

Anonymous The Faith Monster January 15, 2014 9:16 PM  

Sorry, I meant to write "convicted" rather than "arrested."

Blogger James Dixon January 15, 2014 9:26 PM  

> So is the SD of 14 a convenience or does it really calculate out that way with the given distribution?

The generally accepted SD for US intelligence is actually 15.

> Oops. Out of 20,000 GSS respondents we're talking about 500-600. Not insubstantial.

Agreed. So my suggested reason is obviously incorrect. I guess that Aeoli's suggestion makes more sense.

Blogger TangoMan January 15, 2014 9:35 PM  

There's a higher percentage of atheists than are represented in the population at large arrested for certain crimes, including serial killers and child abductors/rapists who kill their victims.

What can we infer from this?

Either, Atheism influences these people or it doesn't.

If it doesn't then we might wonder if the causality is reversed. Is there something about the behavior exhibited by this person which makes them want to hold an Atheist position or don the label of Atheist?

If you're an anti-social douchebag then appropriating the social imagery of Atheism (the rejection of the teachings of religion, the rejection of fellowship through shared religious belief with others, etc) probably works to tickle their need to be rebels and edgy and anti-social.

It's a hard case to make to argue that non-belief does something to predispose or drive people towards child abduction and serial murder. It's much easier to argue that those people simply adorn themselves with an ideological position of ant-religion in order to more fully flesh out their anti-social douchebaggery.

Blogger tz January 15, 2014 9:49 PM  

Occasionally you have a better class of troll. But their passions destroy their reason too.

You seem to have no problem gladly making fools suffer. As it should be. If you don't do it out of kindness, it will still be done, only more painfully or finally.

Any claim of IQ is irrelevant if you insist to the point of insult that sugar is salty and sodium chloride is sweet. You are either dumb, stupid, evil, or something worse. Better a simple person who has common sense, if not deep wisdom, than someone too smart to understand they are clueless.

If you allow mixing metaphor, douche-carpet-baggery is a steam-cleaner rug-shampoo. I would go into douche buggery, but that was the other post.

Anonymous The Faith Monster January 15, 2014 10:12 PM  

TangoMan, that's probably part of it. High levels of depression, and suicidal ideation turned outwards towards others seems to be common in almost all school shooters, and the research shows that atheists score higher on almost every metric for depression and depression-related issues - stress-related illnesses, substance abuse, obesity, smoking. Maybe the depression leads to atheism, or the atheistic outlook ultimately tends to lead to depression. In some way, they're linked.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 15, 2014 11:08 PM  

Atheists are different depending on what gods they don't believe in. (I do not say "reject" because rejection or non-rejection is a key difference.) I don't have much experience with Muslim atheists, but my experience tracks with Steve Sailer's.

Jewish atheists are not rejecting or rejected by their families, but following through on family traditions that include radical leftism. These tend to be smarter than whites (of course) and become leaders and influential (of course), and do very well for themselves. A Jew is still a good Jew and part of the people as long as he or she does not convert to a competing religion such as Christianity. (Superstitions like healing crystals and beliefs like reincarnation are irrelevant.) Atheism, particularly when directed at rival religions while turning a blind eye to Judaism (or while seeing Judaism as an ethnic/racial rather than a religious collective) is highly compatible with healthy, strongly identified Jewishness. So atheist Jews tend to be better than atheist Christians in every way: more pro-family and pro-race, more social, smarter, more successful and more "normal" (or better than normal) across the board.

With atheist Christians it's very different. Because of the nature of their religion they are automatically in rebellion against their religion, and almost automatically in rebellion against their families, their ancestors, their cultures and so on. You'd think they'd be on track for personal and collective destruction, and by and large you'd be right. You'd also expect them to be followers in relation to Jews (as they are so much less secure in their backgrounds and have much less family backup) and you'd be right. You'd expect them to be dumber (on average, with a U-shaped curve of course) and you'd be right.

It's among this group (and definitely not with secure Jews that hate the religions of the non-Jews but love "cultural Judaism") that atheism often comes down to "daddy issues"; that is "daddy told me to believe in God but I hate daddy, therefore God does not exist".

Of course Jews are only a small dot of the population, but they would definitely be a dot holding up the high end of the U.

Blogger TangoMan January 15, 2014 11:42 PM  

With atheist Christians it's very different. Because of the nature of their religion they are automatically in rebellion against their religion, and almost automatically in rebellion against their families, their ancestors, their cultures and so on.

If your parents like Vanilla ice-cream and you like Chocolate, does that put you into rejection-rebellion mode against your family and ancestors and culture?

There are plenty of aspects of life which, at the core of the phenomenon, have nothing to do with rejection of other phenomena or even reaction to other phenomena.

You desiring that Atheism be packed with meaning in reaction to religion doesn't make it so.

When you observe Atheists reacting and rejecting that simply indicates that those Atheists came to their position through that route.

A lot of this is culture-war driven - to reject established culture often entails giving the finger to religion. Whether these Atheists have come to hold this position through reflection, analysis, thought is an open question. Many of them have simply engaged in logical backfilling - they decided that they should be Atheists, or more accurately, that they want to reject religion, and then they devised reasons to hold their position.

Lots of people exhibit this mode of thinking - arrive at conclusion first and then devise reasoning to support that decision. This applies to some religious people as well and their justifications for believing as they do.

My point is that what you're painting as an inherent quality simply isn't.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 16, 2014 12:25 AM  

TangoMan: "If your parents like Vanilla ice-cream and you like Chocolate, does that put you into rejection-rebellion mode against your family and ancestors and culture?"

Jesus ain't vanilla ice-cream.

Atheistic and implicitly anti-Christian intellectual movements, typically deriving from Jewish and part-Jewish leaders and intrinsically "weaponized" against white Christians and white Christian culture, aren't chocolate.

Joining such movements is likely to consolidate and greatly exacerbate any rejection-rebellion mode against your family and ancestors and culture. It can turn what should have been ephemeral adolescent peevishness into a life-altering disaster. Or a nation-wrecking disaster.

Blogger TangoMan January 16, 2014 1:46 AM  

Jesus ain't vanilla ice-cream.

Sure he is. There's a few ways of putting this. Either you're wired to feel the mysticism or you're not. Either the spirit has moved you or it hasn't. Either you've felt the presence of God in your life or you haven't. Either you've been born again or you haven't.

If you're not wired that way, if the spirit hasn't moved you, if you feel no Godly presence in your life, then you're chocolate.

Being chocolate doesn't mean that you're rebelling or rejecting.

When you see a subset of these folks rebelling they're the ones who purposely choose chocolate in order to rebel against their parent's preference for vanilla. They though are only a subset.

There are many paths that people can take to wind up in a common place. Religious folks don't all walk the same path to being born again, so why on Earth would you presume that there is only one path to Atheism?

Anonymous Scintan January 16, 2014 3:26 AM  

I generally find that the IQ discussions start out interesting and then quickly peter out as people get bogged down in the inanities. There's a simple reality at play when it comes to IQ:

In today's world, it's a hell of a lot better to be born very rich than to be born very smart.




Everything else is just nibbling at the edges.

Blogger Markku January 16, 2014 9:03 AM  

Sure he is.

This is begging the question. From the opposing point of view it isn't vanilla vs. chocolate, but insulin vs. arsenic - they're perhaps similar in some regards, but there are important differences.

Anonymous indpndnt January 16, 2014 1:00 PM  

Vox, can I get some clarification on your analysis technique?

After going through the GSS data myself, I cannot reproduce your charts.

You can follow how I did this by going to this site:
http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/indpndnt/8459516

I did a rather simplified, unweighted comparison of the WORDSUM and GOD variables. The results I get are basically the same as the results that show up from the web interface at:

http://sda.berkeley.edu/sdaweb/analysis/?dataset=gss12

where you can plot WORDSUM and group by answers to GOD.

I also look at IQ vs GOD, but since the transformation from WORDSUM to GOD is linear, it really makes no difference if you use one or the other.

The histograms for WORDSUM vs GOD show that there just aren't enough low WORDSUM score when GOD is low to justify saying that 20% of GOD == 1 answers have WORDSUMS near 0. The distributions don't support, in my view, any conclusion that atheist IQ looks like a bucket.

As a side note, I don't think this data is very important. An atheist trying to use it to say that atheists are smarter, and therefore "right" about their beliefs is just engaging in the genetic fallacy. At most, it does what Vox (and others) are also using it for, which is showing that there are many high WORDSUM score theists, and that those in that group outnumber high WORDSUM atheists.

Believing in any kind of god will usually entail moral restrictions, which easily conflict with personal desires. It's my view that Atheism has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather with the volition of the concerned parties. The intelligence just looks for answers that the will wants.

Anonymous indpndnt January 16, 2014 1:11 PM  

In my above comment, I say:

" since the transformation from WORDSUM to GOD is linear "

I meant to say:

" since the transformation from WORDSUM to IQ is linear "

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 16, 2014 7:15 PM  

Scintan: "In today's world, it's a hell of a lot better to be born very rich than to be born very smart."

Right.

But it is also nice to be born into one of the groups that are growing richer and stronger, and not one of the groups that are loosing what riches they still have left. It's not that useful of be born rich and educated how to be rich and stay rich and act with the responsibility due from the rich, but divorce lawyers or other predators take everything or most of everything before you attain your majority or certainly before you inherit. That just makes you a bottom-rung service employee with an interesting background.

One of the characteristics of the groups that are getting richer and stronger is IQ. It's far from the most important characteristic. Ethnocentricity and not being targeted for decline by the people and the forces that really run things matter far more. but it is part of the mix, and it's easy to measure in a crude-but-useful way.

Anonymous the bandit January 17, 2014 9:37 AM  

Were answers of 5&6 counted as theists, or just 6? My guess would be the former, but wanted to verify.

Anonymous CLK January 17, 2014 8:18 PM  

Wow .. stop looking at the front page for a few days and I get the front page billing ... my 15 minutes of fame. I am of course still right but I do appreciate the hard work you did... I don't know what you are on (some type of 55 hr energy) but I wish I was half a prolific a writer as you.

I don't believe the data -... I think I would want to look at this a little closer because I think there must be an error here somewhere that a subset of the overall population (which tends normal) would be so far out from the distribution of the IQ of the whole population. That doesn't happen to often and isn't shown in other studies.

(1) If I look at the Zukerman study, I don't see this result. I will look at other studies and see what data I can find.
(2) There is up to a 29% error in the 10 word test to IQ correlation -- so add you error bars and see what you get.
(3) and the 10 word test only goes up to 10 = 128 --- I am sure you always get a 10.

But again -- you didn't say I was wrong, you just said I was a fool.. My original comments still apply --- but after reading you rhetoric lesson I have new insight into how you think -- next time save youself time trying to create grpahs to prove you point that make no sense and instead just say " hey .. rhetoric here ...dont look too close at the man behind the curtain"

Blogger Daniel Haas January 18, 2014 3:22 AM  

I also crunched these numbers myself, and came out with the same results as 'indpndnt'. I did this using a different method - extracting the data from SDA into excel, and then producing the charts using excel charting tools.

Without further explanation from Vox, I can only assume that his charts are fundamentally flawed.

OpenID kaneadvice January 18, 2014 10:56 AM  

Every commenter who knows how to use the GSS has been able to disprove the claim of atheist over-representation among the low-IQ population.

Anyone with experience in cognitively demanding subjects knows how easily someone with merely a +2SD IQ is confused. I do not doubt that theists outnumber atheists at that level, but even a cursory examination of the literature will reveal that the same is not true for +3SD IQs. Terman's study of individuals with 140+ IQs - a cutoff about 1/3 of an SD below +3SDs - found that a majority of individuals at that level were not religious. Only 10% of men and 18% of women in that sample were religious.


Why did Vox fail to conduct an accurate analysis? Was it primarily a cognitive or emotional failing?

Either way, I suspect Vox is smart enough to know he is wrong. Even if his emotions are driving him to go through rationalization gymnastics to justify his faith in theist superiority, the part of his brain that is still thinking logically knows that he has been proven wrong.

Blogger Daniel Haas January 18, 2014 9:57 PM  

I have no idea who Vox is, I just stumbled upon his charts in a Google image search. One of the greatest 'sins' IMO is to leave people with a poorer understanding of the world than before they interacted with you. If Vox's conclusions are incorrect, and they certainly appear to be, then this will be his legacy... unless of course he either explains his results adequately or retracts them altogether.

Blogger lmcquaid January 20, 2014 12:38 AM  

Any theory as to why there are so many atheists on Youtube? Aspergers love the internet?

Anonymous VD January 22, 2014 4:24 AM  

I also crunched these numbers myself, and came out with the same results as 'indpndnt'. I did this using a different method - extracting the data from SDA into excel, and then producing the charts using excel charting tools. Without further explanation from Vox, I can only assume that his charts are fundamentally flawed.

Not at all. The answer is quite simple. You guys are over-massaging the data. All your charts are showing is that the GSS appears to overrepresent the high-end of the bell curve. If you simply look at the default weighted data, you can see that 8.5 percent of column 1 is (1 don't believe). And 5.7 percent of column 10 is (1 don't believe). The stacked bar chart on the site itself perfectly mimics my chart. Look at the red bars.

All your charts are showing is the difference between the fact that there are 169 answers in WORDSUM column 1 and 474 answers in column 10. Now ask yourself: does that accurately reflect the distribution of g in the general population?

Anonymous VD January 22, 2014 6:31 AM  

I have no idea who Vox is, I just stumbled upon his charts in a Google image search. One of the greatest 'sins' IMO is to leave people with a poorer understanding of the world than before they interacted with you. If Vox's conclusions are incorrect, and they certainly appear to be, then this will be his legacy... unless of course he either explains his results adequately or retracts them altogether.

I don't know who you are either. I don't care about your opinion. And I very much doubt that a single chart will be my legacy, for good or ill.

Blogger Daniel Haas January 22, 2014 9:59 AM  

Here is the wordsum score distribution directly from the GSS for Believers (WORDSUM filtered by GOD(3,6)): http://i.imgur.com/1k3xUGS.png

Here is the wordsum score distribution directly from the GSS for NON-Believers (WORDSUM filtered by GOD(1,2)): http://i.imgur.com/qNrrBXJ.png

As you can see, non-believers are much more likely to achieve higher wordsum scores. Why is your chart wrong? Two reasons:

1) You have plotted the wordsum score distribution of non-believers using the column percentage figures, which is already a relative value. You've introduced free variables that shouldn't be there. You need to use the absolute values (N). Why should the number of believers that score an (x) on wordsum affect the distribution of non-believers scores? It doesn't. That's not how you do probability distributions.

2) The WORDSUM to IQ function that you have used does not accurately model all of the the inherent nonlinearities in this transform. It's a rough estimate at best. But that's pretty insignificant compared to the first problem.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2014 6:39 PM  

1) You have plotted the wordsum score distribution of non-believers using the column percentage figures, which is already a relative value. You've introduced free variables that shouldn't be there. You need to use the absolute values (N). Why should the number of believers that score an (x) on wordsum affect the distribution of non-believers scores? It doesn't. That's not how you do probability distributions.

You're wrong. As Indpndnt has already accepted, you're assuming an unbiased distribution. The problem is that the absolute values are distributed unevenly; they are weighted too high to the right side of the bell curve by as much as 40 percent. That's why the percentage figures are the more accurate

Anonymous VD January 22, 2014 6:40 PM  

Here is the wordsum score distribution directly from the GSS for NON-Believers (WORDSUM filtered by GOD(1,2)): http://i.imgur.com/qNrrBXJ.png

You're also cheating. The comparison was to GOD(1) atheists only, not to GOD(2) agnostics. The shape of the curve on your chart alone should have been sufficient to tell you something was wrong.

Blogger Daniel Haas January 22, 2014 6:53 PM  

There are two questions we can answer from the GOD/WORDSUM table:

1) Given a particular wordsum score, what is the probability that a respondent with that score is theist / atheist (column-wise percentage)

OR

2) Given a group of atheists (or theists), what is the likelihood that a respondent in that group is above or below average intelligence (or more completely, what is the probability distribution for all levels of intelligence) (row-wise N)

In your original post, you make the statements that “… the Low Church atheists actually outnumber the High Church atheists” And “most atheists have sub-100 IQs”. These are questions of the probability distributions of (2) above.

You then justify these claims with your chart, which is the answer to question (1) above. You cannot use one to justify the other. They are completely different metrics.

I suggest that you realised this and changed the proposition in your follow-up post to “atheist *over-representation* among the low-IQ population has not been disproved”. This was not your original proposition, as it has nothing to do with the absolute number of high IQ atheists.

So to be clear, do you still believe that “most atheists have sub-100 IQs”?

The problem with the charts has nothing to do with skew – just a misunderstanding of what the data represents.

Daniel.

Blogger Daniel Haas January 22, 2014 6:56 PM  

Regarding the GOD(1) vs GOD(1,2), to call this cheating is unjust. There is an argument to be made that agnostics are 'not believers' and therefore belong in the 'atheist' camp (to use your dichotomy). This is subjective however, and if you re-plot the data with GOD(1) you will see that the probability distribution is not materially different to that with I presented.

Anonymous Dumbass February 07, 2014 1:42 AM  

Well I guess we'll just take your word for it, right?

OpenID Isaac February 12, 2014 10:26 PM  

I'm sorry to be crass, but those charts are f***ing baloney, especially the first one.

The bar chart represents the ratio of atheists to theists belonging to different IQ levels (derived from Wordsum scores, no less - it would have been better just to stick with Wordsum scores as the conversion leaves out the genius level on the IQ scale, among whom the highest ratio of atheists is found).

The major outlier is those atheists who scored 1 on the Wordsum test. The relative percentages of atheists to committed theists in that (I'm just comparing the extremes, those who "don't believe" vs. those who "know god exists") is 10.7% to 89.3%, which is a discrepancy from the overall ratio of atheists to theists in the GSS data, which is 4.3% to 95.7%. And considering that this one data point makes up more than half of the 72- IQ group (which is a whopping 26.6 people weighted, 21 non-weighed), this group is similarly an outlier.

It's not clear, however, what this is actually supposed to demonstrate, especially in terms of the relative intelligence of atheists to theists. All that's been done here is that one anomalous data point from a tiny data set has been cherry picked to make some preposterous conclusions about atheist intelligence. Maybe it's worth pointing out that the number of theists who scored 0 (which corresponds to a 58 IQ or less) on the Wordsum tests outweighs atheists?

(I'm using weighted values simply because that's what the OP used, but it's somewhat strange that he would simultaneously use weighted values and also try to argue that the intelligence distribution of atheists looks nothing like a standard deviation).

And bafflingly, based on this chart, the OP states that "that most atheists have sub-100 IQs." This is simply false. Either the OP has no idea how to read very basic data, or is just disingenuous. The data set clearly shows that the majority of atheists have above 100 IQs (insofar as you take the Wordsum to IQ conversion seriously). Out of the 276 atheists in this 40 year data set (such robust data!), 64.7% scored a 6 or above on the Wordsum test, which corresponds to a 100 IQ or above. Conversely, only 58.4% of committed theists have above 100 IQs!

The most egregious bulls**t, though, is the first chart, that purportedly shows intelligence distribution of atheists compared to theists. It shows absolutely no such thing. It is a bizarre derivation from the bar chart which shows ratios between atheists and theists at different IQ levels, but the bar chart should have no bearing whatsoever in determining intelligence distribution of atheists or theists, insofar as one uses the correct meaning of intelligence distribution.

What you are trying to find are the percentages of people belonging to a particular group who occupy various intelligence levels, or, more accurately here, different Wordsum scores. One does not determine the intelligence distribution of a group as a ratio of the intelligence distribution of some other arbitrary group. The first chart is complete gibberish, really.

If you actually want to see what the intelligence distribution of atheists in the GSS dats looks like, indpndnt above was kind enough to do the work: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/indpndnt/8459516

The intelligence distribution for atheists indeed does not follow a neat standard deviation, but not in the way the OP would like it to. It is skewed towards the high end of the Wordsum score (or IQ, whatever).

OpenID Isaac February 12, 2014 10:27 PM  


Perhaps what the OP might vaguely think that he is showing is that you are most likely to be an atheist if you belong to the 72- IQ group. This is also incorrect. You are actually "most likely" to be an atheist if you belong to the 128+ IQ group, which is to say there is a 6.4% chance you will be an atheist if you belong to this IQ group, which is to say that atheists constitute a higher percentage of the total 128+ IQ group than any other. There is a 4.7% chance of you being an atheist if you belong to the 72- IQ group. And while it is true you are more likely to be an atheist if you belong to the 72- IQ group than if you belong to the 100 IQ group, the same is also true for committed theists. On that note, you are "most likely" to be a committed theist if you have an IQ of 79.

However, this is definitely not to say, as the OP somehow concludes, that if you are an atheist, you are most likely in the 72- IQ group or the 128+ IQ group: "the two most common types of atheists are the High Church atheists with +2SD IQs (128+) and Low Church atheists with -2SD IQs (65-72). Note that the Low Church atheists actually outnumber the High Church atheists, 22.9 to 17.2 percent." Another baloney statement (in absolute terms, the number of High Church atheists outnumbers the low Church atheists 27 to 21).

Why one would need to look at the silly chart to determine what IQ groups atheists most belong to is perplexing. All one needs to do is look at the raw data, from which we find that if you are an atheist, you are most likely to belong to...you guessed it! The 100 IQ group!

The most common type of atheists are those with an average intelligence. Indeed, the most common type of any "religious" group are those with average intelligence. Standard deviation is crazy!

Anyway, that this bozo tried to mislead everyone is small potatoes. The data set, the Wordsum test, and the way the question about God is phrased, are all extremely problematic and one should not take them too seriously in trying to derive any meaningful conclusions, especially about the correlation between intelligence and how people come to acquire beliefs about anything.

And if you want to check my data: http://sda.berkeley.edu/sdaweb/analysis/?dataset=gss12 - The relevant variables are GOD and WORDSUM

OpenID Isaac February 13, 2014 12:05 PM  

* "standard deviation" above should read "standard distribution"

Blogger Reactor March 02, 2014 2:13 AM  

Thanks for the author for doing an intelligent study, first time I have seem one, all the other non intelligent ones seem to have been done by atheists, I suspect the author is theist but not sure, id put my money there,
Either way he is very intelligent for wading through the shit produced on this subject and producing something meaningful.
I am not sure what he is as i don't have time to find out but a big thanks to him!! (even if he is an atheist bastard!! :OP)
(no offence if you are I am joking!!) (Oh I am a Catholic by the way)

Blogger Reactor March 05, 2014 10:29 PM  

There is a strong correlation between the high IQ and mental illness too.
So it seems to be the case that atheists are composed, in the main of the stupid and the mentally ill.
There is distinct lack of normal people in atheism!! The IQ spread is severely abnormal.

Blogger Reactor March 06, 2014 12:21 AM  

"They found that people who excelled when they were 16 years old were four times as likely to go on to develop bipolar disorder"
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2154393/There-IS-link-genius-madness-claim-scientists--dont-know-evolved-gift.html

So maybe what is being shown is a link between mental illness and atheism?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100231060/are-atheists-mentally-ill/


Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but one problem with this argument is that, if you accept "average group differences in IQ”, you get into all sorts of sinister debates which bien pensant atheist Lefties might find less to their liking.

So let’s not go down that unhappy road. Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.

And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.

In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.

Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – as compared to their similarly crippled but heathen fellow-sufferers.

The list goes on. In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better. Believers also have more kids.

What’s more, these benefits are visible even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. And let’s not forget that religious people are nicer. They certainly give more money to charity than atheists, who are, according to the very latest survey, the meanest of all.

So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, and who go to their quietus with ritual dignity, expecting to be greeted by a smiling and benevolent God?

Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.

And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith: we have, as a species, evolved to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier – religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans.

Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.

Blogger Reactor March 06, 2014 12:26 AM  

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/12/why-religion-matters-even-more-the-impact-of-religious-practice-on-social-stability

Long article on the above link, but the summary is:-



Specifically, the available data clearly indicate that religious belief and practice are associated with:

Higher levels of marital happiness and stability;
Stronger parent-child relationships;
Greater educational aspirations and attainment, especially among the poor;
Higher levels of good work habits;
Greater longevity and physical health;
Higher levels of well-being and happiness;
Higher recovery rates from addictions to alcohol or drugs;
Higher levels of self-control, self-esteem, and coping skills;
Higher rates of charitable donations and volunteering; and
Higher levels of community cohesion and social support for those in need.

The evidence further demonstrates that religious belief and practice are also associated with:

Lower divorce rates:
Lower cohabitation rates;
Lower rates of out-of-wedlock births;
Lower levels of teen sexual activity;
Less abuse of alcohol and drugs;
Lower rates of suicide, depression, and suicide ideation;
Lower levels of many infectious diseases;
Less juvenile crime;
Less violent crime; and
Less domestic violence.


So it seems to the be the case that atheists are not so smart as they would like to think they are!!!

Blogger Veiler March 20, 2014 2:31 AM  

Orchids may be enthralling to humans, but our love of these flowers only goes so far.

Some wasps, on the other hand, find orchids so enchanting that they sexually climax while visiting them.

It is official scientific data.

God is a perverse!

I told that to a Christian, you know what he said? It is a lie.
It is official though... Ask your professor.

Inteligent design is ONLY for Americans.
In Europe, even hard core Christians NEVER rape science.

Blogger Mike Newton April 25, 2014 9:05 PM  

Reactor, yes, pull a study out of your ass and say that religious people are better than atheists in every possible way. I already know that divorce rates are lower among atheists than believers, all of your other stats would probably be also the other way round. Soooo smart you are. And heard about the fact that some 90% of the most educated are atheists? Especially in sciences? Hmmm... not so smart those atheists as they think they are.

Anonymous Anonymous August 04, 2014 5:57 AM  

So... These people do know that an IQ below 80 means you're mentally challenged right?
I'm sorry, but any results in the categories showing an IQ below 80 need to be cut off, a person with Downs syndrome is obviously not going to be affiliated to any religion since they do not have the ability to affiliate themselves.
These results are actually in the favor of atheists and as a Christian I advice you to take the results off of the site. They are not supporting theists at all.

Anonymous Rug distribution August 19, 2014 4:40 AM  

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