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Rational Thinker
 
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Atheists are more intelligent? Refuting that old atheist myth

17 March 2016, 14:32
One of the major lies preached by atheists is that "atheists are more smarter" than theists. In support of this nonsense, they cite research from Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg which compares belief in God and average IQs in 137 countries. The research has been heavily criticized as well as refuted since its publication by most scientists but this unfortunately doesn't stop atheists from still using it.    Firstly Helmuth Nyborg is not a good researcher. This is a researcher who attempted to say that women were less intelligent than men and that black people were less intelligent than white people. These sexist and racist "theories" having long been discredited in modern science. His research on atheists being more intelligent was highly flawed in several areas in that it did not take into account the social, economical or financial factors with most of the countries with lower intelligence being less developed African countries.   Artificial Intelligence researcher Randy Olson concludes in his criticism of the research that both the religious and atheist in the well developed countries were all within the bounds of average intelligence (90-109) and from a practical point, none were well distinguishable from another. When we examine the research we find that this is the case so all in all the paper failed to prove that atheists were more intelligent and only showed what was a well known fact for ages: that poorer countries have higher numbers of religious as religion serves as a source for comfort for those struggling. The poor intelligence meanwhile in these countries is down to these countries not having education. So to rephrase this entire paragraph: when the religious in the same countries as the "smarter atheists" were compared, they were of the same intelligence as the atheists.   When examining the statistics, we find that atheists aren't more intelligent, in fact, according to The Psychology of Atheism, many atheists became atheist for motivational reasons rather than rational reasons during their adolescence suggesting a link between emotional thinking and atheism. (Source The Psychology of Atheism [2013]. Oxford Handbook of Atheism Page 470) This seems to be reinforced by the fact that many atheists use emotional arguments to support atheism (i.e "bad things happen in the world ergo god doesn't exist").
Finally, studies have shown that Christians in East Asia are smarter than non-Christians there. East Asian countries also have an higher IQ on average to western countries (where the majority of atheists in the first study came from). So if we go by the atheist reasoning we can now say that Christians are smarter. Either way the myth of the smarter atheist has been put back into the hole it belongs.
  Sources:
http://www.randalolson.com/2014/08/24/the-myth-of-the-smarter-atheist/ http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2008/02/christians-in-east-asia-are-smarter-than-non-christians/#.Vt2eUvmLTIU https://iq-research.org/en/page/average-iq-by-country
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