12 August 2013

Idiots, Normals, Smarties, and Genii

 An article from Yahoo claims that "more intelligent" people tend to be atheists.

Who are these "more intelligent" people who are less likely to believe in God? Isaac Newton, probably the most influential scientist of all time, spent thousands of hours more studying Biblical prophecy than he did physics. All his scientific endeavors were conducted as an act of worship. James Clerk Maxwell, the second most influential scientist of all time, was also very religious, going so far as to become an elder of the Church of Scotland. Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Nikola Tesla, Gregor Mendel, Michael Faraday, Robert Boyle, Galileo Galilei*, Gottfried Leibniz, Johannes Kepler, John Eccles, Werner Heisenberg, William Thomson Kelvin, Francis Bacon, and Rene Descartes all believed in God. Even Charles Darwin believed in God until much later in his life, and so did Alfred Russel Wallace, whom Darwin stole his evolutionary theory from. I'm left to wonder, are these "more intelligent" atheists "more intelligent" than the people I just listed? If they are not then why the fudge should I give a flying feather what they think?

The article says that these "more intelligent" people are really people with higher IQs, and they show a picture of Richard Dawkins holding up a picture of himself as an example, I guess, when the smartest thing Dawkins ever did was buy that really nice suit he's wearing in the picture (his selfish gene idea is intriguing, but I don't think it holds much water, he did create the word "meme", unfortunately, so that'll cost him some points, and everything he did after that is pure garbage). According to the article there was "a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children - those with IQs over 135." Well, there's your first problem. Okay, your second problem. It is almost impossible to accurately assess the IQs of children, to say nothing of the fact that IQ doesn't really mean anything anyway.

What do I think? I think it has to do with know-it-all-ism. "More intelligent" people tend not to fit in as well with normal people and social isolation + greater capacity for X = ego boost. "I don't fit in because I'm better than everyone else." Someone with know-it-all-ism is more likely to believe that one knows it all, and is less likely to appreciate just how much one does not know. Someone with know-it-all-ism is also less likely to go with the crowd just because it's something to do, being different for the sake of being different, or because "I'm better than everyone else."

On the contrary, a true genius has risen above the show all together and realises "I may know more than everyone, but in the grand scheme of things I really know shit." A genius is thus more likely to appreciate the mysteries necessary for spiritual beliefs. That is why the vast majority of the world-changing geniuses believe in God or some higher order of the universe while the merely "smart" people are more likely to be atheists.

*Who was imprisoned because he wrote a satire about the Pope, who was also the leading temporal authority of the time, making Galileo's writing an act of treason, NOT because he wrote about a heliocentric solar system. There was no official Church position on cosomology at the time. The ammended geocentric model of Ptolemy made better predictions than the heliocentric model created by Copernicus because he got the orbits of the planets wrong, and it was this greater accuracy with predictability that made most people accept the geocentric model at the time. The idea that Galileo was arrested because the Church is anti-science is a load of horseshit propaganda.