Psychology Today is a popular magazine, it's like the Time Magazine of psychology. It's not a scholarly source but I used to read it in my college library back in undergrad days ("daze" is more like it). There articles about things like are fat people insecure because they are fat are they fact they because they are insecure? Now I find a blog calling itself "Psychology Today" it seems to be related to the magazine but I have trouble believing it is. This is because almost everything in this blog is about why Atheist are better than Christians or why Christianity is untrue. Those who think atheism is not a movement need to look at this.
The Article that caught my attention is entitled "Why Atheists Are More Intelligent than the Religious." see the link above. The article that follows is the most confused and disjointed, undocumented and silly bit of pseudo science I've ever seen. Knowing the Magazine form the 70s I would expect a large dose of pseudo science dressed to mascaraed as real science. On the other hand this blog is nothing more than a cheap window dressing disguising a outlet for the evolutionary psychology fan club. Evolutionary psychology is toughed here the cutting of edge of true scenic,e while in "true scinece" evolutionary psychology at this level of fandom is defined thought of as pseudo scinece. This particular article. Their approach is like saying "we all know astrology is not scientific and ti's false and misleading, I can prove with my numerology." The author (Satoshi Kanazawa ) asserts that a bell curve view of religion and IQ. He's arguing that being atheistic is evolutionarily novel, that' why most people have been religious throughout history and are so today. He denies a gene for religion but sees it as a combination of other genetic factors (he calls "agency detector mechanisms--I have seen others call "spandrels"). He's working according to a hypothesis called "the hypothesis" and links the same article several times (actually the full name for the theory is "Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis ").
If general intelligence evolved to deal with evolutionarily novel problems, then the human brain’s difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations (proposed in the Savanna Principle) should interact with general intelligence, such that the Savanna Principle holds stronger among less intelligent individuals than among more intelligent individuals. More intelligent individuals should be better able to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily novel (but not evolutionarily familiar) entities and situations than less intelligent individuals.
Thus the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis (hereafter “The Hypothesis” in this blog) suggests that less intelligent individuals have greater difficulty than more intelligent people with comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment. In contrast, general intelligence does not affect individuals’ ability to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily familiar entities and situations that existed in the ancestral environment.
Evolutionarily novel entities that more intelligent individuals are better able to comprehend and deal with may include ideas and lifestyles, which form the basis of their preferences and values. It would be very difficult for individuals to prefer or value something that they cannot truly comprehend. So, applied to the domain of preferences and values, the Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values that did not exist in the ancestral environment and thus our ancestors did not have, but general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar preferences and values that existed in the ancestral environment.
I'll get to the IQ thing soon,not today, this is just an overview concerning the blog. Everything on it is aimed at destroying religion. The first article "Scientific fundamentalist." He's wiling to hook up fundamentalism if it's in line with the atheist ideology. None of this bs about fundamentalism is always the extreme, these guys (new eightieths?) are fundies. they just pitch for their brand of fundism like any good fundie would.
In other words intelligence is defined as the ability to cope with the novel. Most animal on the Savina can deal with the familiar, that's not hard, it's not as crucial to survival, so it's defined as average intelligence. Intelligence is defined as the ability to solve problems that are crucial to survival. Dealing with the novel is more crucial and fewer organisms are equated to do so. Those who have that are more intelligent and thus intelligence is possessed by the smaller group. It's like the bell curve. The majority are in the middle where curve makes the bell. The smart people are on the right slope where it goes down and the smarter you are the fewer you are with and the further down the curve you go. So therefore, the majority are average.
This holds many implications for what we know about atheism. First of all atheist are always frantic to enlarge their numbers because of the typical fallacy of appeal to popularity would say being a little 3% minority makes them marginalized cranks. But this guy is rationalization being a marginalized crank by concluding that he's genetically superior because he's so much smarter than the majority. Does this mean atheist will being insisting up on shrinking their ranks? That would be interesting test of my hypothesis that atheist are emotionally scared people who need to mock and ridicule those who disagree with them in order to feel special and important. If this doesn't catch on and atheists continue demanding that their ranks are bigger than they are perhaps that will disprove my view. On the other hand if they are truly smarter wouldn't they have thought of this already and shouldn't they already be doing it instead of insisting that there are more than them than there are?
It's a pseudo scientific argument. The assertion of the "hypothesis" is based upon an ideology not real scinece but "evolutionary psychology" which is basically sociobiology warmed over. The assertion that since novelty is harder to handle it must be the fewer who can handle it therefore the more intelligent is certainly a fallacious argument. If religions is genetically endowed, (weather there is a religious gene or not--just being a combination of other traits is still a genetic endowment) it's an adaptation and it belongs to the majority because it enables them to cope with their environment. The idea that those who don't have it are Superior or smarter because they are a smaller group is abhorrently fallacious. First of all he's defining not being religious as coping with novelty but it could just as easily be the case that religious people are better at coping with novelty. What he's calling "coping with novelty" is just his own vindication for his own lifestyle. In the quotation above he tells us coping with novelty is dealing with values and lifestyles. This has either nothing to do with survival or actually is negative and drag on survival and the majority have an adaption to lave destructive lifestyles alone that's why they are the majority, they survived. If anything atheistic lifestyles would make one more open to disease and overdose, alcoholism and so forth than would belief, if by "belief" we construe "fundamentalist morality.". He's trying to put a spin on "sin" that makes it seem like an innovation in evolution that's totally his own value derangement one can can look at it the other way around.
Moreover,the attempt to attach a value of "intelligence" to lifestyle is nothing but Lamarkian evolution. He's trying to make evolution goal oriented, evolution is working to bestow smartness on people (that's the way sociobiology understood genes, like little guys inside you telling you want to do). He will admit being religious doesn't make you stupid but that more highly intelligent people tend to flock to non religious values and lifestyles. On the other hand that all depends upon how one looks at it. Fundamentalists do not tend to be as intelligent as open minded people, that's funny that this editors of this blog want to be thought of as "science fundamentalists." It's perfectly plausible that some religious people handle novelty better than do non religious people but the statistic don't show it becuase they are swallowed up in the bell curve since so many more are religious and deal well with novelty. The same principle as the class average being brought down and reflecting badly on the one really bright kid in the class. We can also go on and talk about the aptness of IQ scores to reflect intelligence which is very much in doubt. I will deal with that when I deal with the over all IQ issue.
The blog is a morass of links each one leading to another set of articles and more morass of links, all about the stupidity of religious belief and the intellectual superiority of the atheists. For example linked up in the article are links to two articles upon "why we believe in God" of cousre putting an evolutionary spin on it to make it seem like a silly thing to do now. In the side bar holds a set of article under the title about IQ:
side bar in article on "the hypothesis."
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In coming days this week I will focus upon the articles linked in this article, especially the IQ stuff.