Sunday, November 29, 2015

Atheist Propaganda and Religious Experience: Daren Brown

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Perhaps nothing scares atheists like feelings. They scared to death of religious experience arguments. Nothing raises their hatred like talking about religious experiences. Daren Brown is some sort of British stage magician who has a new stage act supposedly inducing religious experiences. Atheists waste no time in arguing that this is proof that such experiences are just accidents that mean nothing. He states "I examined the Placebo effect and proved just how powerful fear and faith can be." Of course he assumes that because there is a psychological process that produces faith that then there's no object of faith beyond that process that has any real bearing on life. This is really no different than the one's who claim to stimulate parts of the brain to induce religoius experiences.

In calling it "placebo" he's trying to set up the suggestion that it's unreal, it's unnecessary, God is the great cosmic sugar pill. Then he totally ignores the nature of real placebo. It's only for medicine, there's no evidence that such suggestive keys can manipulate us apart from expectation. All the things that he does in relation to evoking the psychological process are manipulative means of setting up the association. Yet most religious experience of the sort called "mystical" is not expected. In about half the time it's experienced in childhood, and much of the time mystical experiences contradict the doctrine of the experincer. If it was a real placebo it should confirm expectations. Placebo work by expectation. They don't work by challenging expectations. Calling it a placebo is wrong and improper and it's probably only done to evoke the concept and prepare the atheist to inoculated against emotion by making her suspicious of religious feelings.

He sets up several incidents before the main show (the phony atheist conversion) that are intended to get across the idea that suggestion works powerfully and most such feelings as one associates with the supernatural are also just manipulation. He makes people feel afraid by putting them in a room alone after reading to them some satanic right supposedly form the eleventh century. People are turned on by a sense of dark mysterious and ancient.  He gave people a fake drug which is no more than a sugar pill and by getting them to believe in it I got them to make dramatic changes in their lives. Of course he doesn't follow them in their lives or do a longitudinal study to determine if the changes are really transformational (dramatic, positive, and long term). He has no real control and no real way of determining if he's given anyone a real experience. Empirical study has demonstrated that religious experience is real, that's transformational, and that there is a way to determine real experiences from phony ones. No there is no proof direly that it's caused by God but this can be argued successfully by paying attention to what can be proved and using it with logic. It is the M scale that provides us with that means of verification for religious experience and it's been validated by a half dozen studies around the world.

His psychological explanation for the process is typically convoluted and not well throughout. He does an experiment that shows people in private when not watched lie about their mistakes. The idea is tp show that there's a presence in the room no one cheats. If people are given a idea of supernatural presence they act more moral. It is asserted that there are evolutionary reasons why we developed the idea of a supernatural presence. Don't want to be outcast form the tribe so we can reproduce. divine presence would ensure the sense of being cought out. God is made up to make us be moral. In other words like Foucault's take on the Panopticon the prisoners are learning to watch themselves. The problem here is he's convoluted several different reasons in to one.

First of all, if we feel a sense of presence that in itself is reason to assume we feel it. It doesn't have to be the result of needing a moral campus and inviting an invisible God. the illustration itself shows cave men ostracize a guy because he lied. So the fact of how people treated each other would be the reason for moral behavior and the fear of being rejected by the tribe and not being allowed to make would be enforcement enough, why make up an internal watch dog to do the job as well? If one has not felt experiences one doesn't know what they are. why invent a psychological process to evoke them then try to explain them. The fact that one has had such experience itself the reason to believe in the reality of such experiences, then the need to explain it comes out of having the need. The idea of ancient cave men trying to produce a sophisticated psychological technique for evoking some experience they haven't had is ridiculous and if they had it, it has its own reality.If they had it prior to producing the process of evoking it then it is real.

 Brown is certain that the experience explained by psychology. He asserts that these kinds of experiences come from big religious rallies with hyper suggestibility but there's no basis for that assumption. He's not using M scale studies to determine what percentage of religious experience is privately induced and percentage comes out of the big hyper rallies. Here's a clue, with half coming in childhood they are not coming form big rallies.

Then he goes through an elaborate production to produce a fake conversion in an atheist woman. He dose this indirectly without mentioning God. He uses several techniques such as tapping his fingers while they talk about her father to make her associate emotions the sound of the tapping with feelings of fatherly love. In several ways he evokes feelings of powerful father figure to bring atheist to believe. Establishes rapport. learns about her father. The woman is unconsciously processing, core religious belief evoked that God has plan for us and pulls strings to help us. No direct mention of God was made the woman made the connection to God herself through feelings of the father figure (tap tap tap). Brown says things that imply a grand plan, talk about things going wrong for a reason. sense of awe and wonder. Talks about the stars and space, evokes being cherished with awe. The woman describes her experience as "all the love in the world had been thrown at me. I pushed it away by not letting it into my life." Now she sees it's so stupid and she sees through it.

He says "I feel douty bound to make sure you understand that the postive stuff you got through this is not religious belief." This is what he tells her latter after they brought back befoer the audiecne. She's already been debriefed. He says explicitly "it certainly didn't come form God." The result of this elaborate dog and pony show is that we are supposed to come away with the grand feeling religion has been totally exposed and deconstructed and unraveled we see close up who fake it is there's no need for it. Of course the Brit media is opporating from the assumption that atheism is the standard, the grounding for society, the status quoe. The Audience is pre slected to reflect this idea. So one's going to challenge it.

It is a dog and pony show, he has no longitudinal study, no double blind, no control, he has no scale to measure the nature, depth, or effect of experience. He has no theory of religious experience to play it off of. That is all very crucial without that he's proved nothing. He can't guarantee that what she experienced is even a religious experience. One clue to that question is she says nothing about undifferentiated unity. she didn't say that she felt an all pervasive presence. She felt there's a plan and a purpose and she's cared for but that doesn't prove that it's the same religious experience that W.T. Stace talked about (see my link above on M scale).

The real problem is without a control there's no way to know if he isn't just evoking the we are given by God to be able to find him. The fact that he's evoking some of them doesn't prove that they are merely a matter of manipulation. There was no guy tapping when I got saved. Any associations that were evoked alone in my living room had to be coincidental or accidental rather than arranged. To say that there's a psychological process that enables to internalize the value of belief in God is hardly a denunciation of the reality of validity of that process. So there is a psychological process and we can manipulate it. I also had a need for a father figure, and guess what, I had a father. Saying that having a psychosocial need disproves the reality of the solution is just foolish.

That's like saying you have proved that love is just a psychological trick becuase when you when you do  things to make them think they are loved they respond emotionally. He's giving all the ques that God would give us to guide into a relationship with him, thus they respond becuase it's put in them to respond. The only real test of the validity of such feelings is the long term change and production of positive experiences and behaviors resulting from it. Plenty of studies establish that this is the case with mystical experience. It's not been proved that it is the case with phony evoked experiences.

 Essentially there is a psychological process to conversion. it make sense that there would be becuase if God wants us to have  a personal relationship with him then there must be affects which would draw us into a psychological state that is conducive to that relationship. Those affects are not hard to find because we all know  about them, the they things that motivate us and turn us on. So he merely found them and induced them in cleaver ways.
oct 13

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I am debating Michael Hill on Doxa Forums

He showed up on the Zuckerman IQ study post and said this:

"Forget the IQ idea. How smart is someone who has an invisible friend that they have no evidence for? I have yet to come across a religionist on youtube I cannot beat. With facts and truth on my side, how can I lose against someone who believes in fairy tales?"

We are Debating here The God Corrolate argument I put up here on AW a few days ago.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Athyeism, Illiteracy, and Intellectual Dishonesty.

Bluegrass Skeptic decries the frustration of dealing withy open minded atheists who say: ”You are being intellectually dishonest by saying deities absolutely do not exist." You cannot know 100%..." She asserts that one can state with confidence that, ”Gods does not exist! 100% if you lay the appropriate foundation for understanding in your conversation."[1] Before doing that you want to lay a fou8ndation for grammar. if God doesn't exist he doesn't exist just 75%. Be that as it may, she is mistaken. Intellectual dishonesty is not belief in God, it is not disbelief, nor is it being open minded and admitting you don't know everything. Intellectual dishonesty is when you refuse to even consider counter evidence. I am confident that there is God the basis of reality but I would never try to say that disbelief is dishonesty.

The height of intellectual dishonesty is pretending that you know all about something when you have never studied it. Like most atheists BGS is basing her view of Christian doctrine of God upon Christians with whom she has clashed on the net, or in her personal church going or acquaintances in real life. Example:
First things first, there is an equivocation problem with the concept of god in the religious and atheist communities. The concept that there are mysterious beings/forces/entities in the Universe we have not yet discovered that might possess amazing powers of healing, immortality, and psychic afterlives, is not far fetched. In fact, it is impossible to say with 100% certainty that they do not exist. But the statement “Gods do not exist! 100%” has absolutely nothing to do with fantastically powered beings that watch you masturbate, and cry for your wasted semen in that kleenex.Godliness has to do with worship, dogma, reverence, and sovereignty. We are not going to automatically worship the wonderfully different creature that just made that amputee’s leg grow back. It’s still just an alien of sorts. When this thing crosses the threshold of awe and brings the euphoria of worship, then you have a god. But how does it cross that threshold of importance? Well, it is an individual decision that one embraces after a certain level of criteria has been met emotionally, as well as intellectually.
A sure sign she not studied anything misuse of the term "godliness." The term she is looking for is "deity," or "divinity." That refers to God's divine nature. Godliness refers to our attempt to exhibit live lives that reflect righteousness. That's a telling error because even casual familiarity with any Biblical literature should tell one that, not to mention a dictionary. As for the bit about the Kleenex that tells us more about her than it does about God, but more than I care to know as well. BGS says: "As you can see, there is a very obvious difference between god and an all powerful being somewhere in the Universe. Yet the religious, and many atheists, tend to equivocate the two as one and the same..." She means equate, if they equivocate they are saying different things. She seems to thi9ng that religious people th9in God is like a powerful space alien just a magnification or humanity. That is not what Christianity teaches. At this point she says that the equivocation (now morphed from saying the3 same as agnostic atheists a--see above--to the sameness between Christian idea of God and space alien. When she first misused the term it meant Christians and atheists thin he same thing, wrongly, now it means thinking God and aliens are the same. Actually I don't know any Christians who don't understand the difference. After a couple of unintelligible paragraphs that mean nothing she says:
“I am not 100% sure there isn’t something in the Universe I wouldn’t consider worshiping.” This sentence is what the discussion should really be about. It’s about personal accountability instead of shifting choices on to other manifestations and ideologies. This sentence doesn’t say “Yes, deities might exist.” It says one is willing to consider giving that reverence to something in the Universe if the appropriate amount of personal standards are met. Too often, many people, even famous writers and historians, have a tendency to round up their belief system to the next qualifier, misunderstanding that what they perceive as a small leap in reasoning is actually a very large one.
This is actually a contradiction. I understand the first sentence said "I am sure God does not exist." (Passover the 100%vmuddle). This says I'm not 100% there isn't something I would worship. That is a contradiction. God is the only valid thing to worship. The concept of God is that of the ultimate concern, the basis of all things. What if the proper thing to worship is God, the is the concept of God:object of ultimate concern. The statement:I am not 100% sure there isn’t something in the Universe I wouldn’t consider worshiping means there is something you would worship. If you are not sure there is not how can you be sure there is no God? Only if you refuse to ever worship God, but then what would you worship? See this is a contradiction? Thyen she says we like to round thinfs off, "Some possible being out there who we don’t understand, and who may have powers we don’t understand – if we ever found one of these beings, a lot of us would also say “eh, close enough”, and round “mysterious powerful being” up to “god”, and then start worshiping it." Then she says:"And why would all these mainstream intellects like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitches, or Sam Harris just “round” things up? Maybe because they haven’t taken the time to learn the difference." Mainstream intellectuals? Not a word how she can be sure there's no God. not a argument not a hint. Is your irony met4er running? She chides people on both sides for intellectu8al laziness!. The comment section: [1] Bluegrass Skeptic, "Intellectual Dishonesty And Being Certain Gods Do Not Exist," Atheist Nexus August 1, 2014 at 6:11am >, blog, URL:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Debate: belief in God rationally warranted? Metacrock vs. Michael Hill

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First Affirmative Constructive: religious belief is rationally warranted; Metacrock Joe Hinman).

Decision Making Paradigm:

God Corrolate: The co-determinate is like the Derridian trace, or like a fingerprint. It's the accompanying sign that is always found with the thing itself. In other words, like trailing the invisible man in the snow. You can't see the invisible man, but you can see his footprints, and wherever he is in the snow his prints will always follow.

We cannot produce direct observation of God, but we can find the "trace" or the co-determinate, the effects of God in the world.The only question at that point is "How do we know this is the effect, or the accompanying sign of the divine? The answer is in the argument below. Here let us set out some general parameters:

We can set up criteria based upon what we would expect from encounter with the divine:

A. Life Transforming and vital in a positive life=affirming sense

B. It would give us a sense of the transcendent and the divine.

C. No alternate or naturalistic causality could be proven

These criteria are based upon the writings of the great mystics and religious thinkers of history, especially in the Christian tradition, and distilled into /theory by W.T. Stace. The theory is verified and validated by several hundred studies using various methodologies all of them published in peer reviewed journals. The following argument is based upon the findings of these studies. All of this, the studies, the methods used, Stace's theory, these studies and their methodologies are discussed in depth in The Trace of God: a Rational Warrant for Belief by Joseph Hinman, (all proceeds go to non profit) available on Amazon

Read much about the book on the Trace of God blog..


(1) The affects and effects of mystical experience are real in that they are measurably transformative in a positive sense.

(2)These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena.

(3)Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explanations and the affects are real we should assume that they are genuine experiences of something transcendent of our own minds.

(4)Since mystical experience is usually experience of something, the Holy, the sacred, or some sort of greater transcendent reality we should assume that the origin of the experience is rooted in transcendent reality.

(5)Since mystical experience is usually about the divine we can assume a divine origin.

This fulfills the criteria for the trace: therefore, e are warranted in asserting that mystical experience is the trace of God, and this gives us warrant for belief in God.


Real Affects of Mystical Experience Imply Co-determinate

A. Study and Nature of Mystical Experiences

Mystical experience is only one aspect of religious experience, but I will focus on it in this argument. Most other kinds of religious experience are difficult to study since they are more subjective and have less dramatic results. But mystical experience can actually be measured empirically in terms of its affects, and can be compared favorably to other forms of conscious states.

1) Primarily Religious

Transpersonal Childhood Experiences of Higher States of Consciousness: Literature Review and Theoretical Integrationm (unpublished paper 1992 by Jayne Gackenback

Gackenback website is Spiritwatch

"The experience of pure consciousness is typically called "mystical". The essence of the mystical experience has been debated for years (Horne, 1982). It is often held that "mysticism is a manifestation of something which is at the root of all religions (p. 16; Happold, 1963)." The empirical assessment of the mystical experience in psychology has occurred to a limited extent."

2) Defining charactoristics.


"In a recent review of the mystical experience Lukoff and Lu (1988) acknowledged that the "definition of a mystical experience ranges greatly (p. 163)." Maslow (1969) offered 35 definitions of "transcendence", a term often associated with mystical experiences and used by Alexander et al. to refer to the process of accessing PC."

Lukoff (1985) identified five common characteristics of mystical experiences which could be operationalized for assessment purposes. They are:

1. Ecstatic mood, which he identified as the most common feature;
2. Sense of newly gained knowledge, which includes a belief that the mysteries of life have been revealed;
3. Perceptual alterations, which range from "heightened sensations to auditory and visual hallucinations (p. 167)";
4. Delusions (if present) have themes related to mythology, which includes an incredible range diversity and range;
5. No conceptual disorganization, unlike psychotic persons those with mystical experiences do NOT suffer from disturbances in language and speech.
It can be seen from the explanation of PC earlier that this list of qualities overlaps in part those delineated by Alexander et al.

3)Studies use Empirical Instruments.

Many skeptics have argued that one cannot study mystical experince scientifically. But it has been done many times, in fact there are a lot of studies and even empirical scales for measurement.



"Three empirical instruments have been developed to date. They are the Mysticism Scale by Hood (1975), a specific question by Greeley (1974) and the State of Consciousness Inventory by Alexander (1982; Alexander, Boyer, & Alexander, 1987). Hood's (1975) scale was developed from conceptual categories identified by Stace (1960). Two primary factors emerged from the factor analysis of the 32 core statements. First is a general mysticism factor, which is defined as an experience of unity, temporal and spatial changes, inner subjectivity and ineffability. A second factor seems to be a measure of peoples tendency to view intense experiences within a religious framework. A much simpler definition was developed by Greeley (1974), "Have you ever felt as though you were very close to a powerful, spiritual force that seemed to lift you out of yourself?" This was used by him in several national opinion surveys. In a systematic study of Greeley's question Thomas and Cooper (1980) concluded that responses to that question elicited experiences whose nature varied considerably. Using Stace's (1960) work they developed five criteria, including awesome emotions; feeling of oneness with God, nature or the universe; and a sense of the ineffable. They found that only 1% of their yes responses to Greeley's question were genuine mystical experiences. Thus Hood's scale seems to be the more widely used of these two broad measures of mysticism. It has received cross cultural validation" (Holm, 1982; Caird, 1988).

4) Incidence.



"Several studies have looked at the incidence of mystical experiences. Greeley (1974) found 35% agreement to his question while Back and Bourque (1970) reported increases in frequency of these sorts of experiences from about 20% in 1962 to about 41% in 1967 to the question "Would you say that you have ever had a 'religious or mystical experience' that is, a moment of sudden religious awakening or insight?" Greeley (1987) reported a similar figure for 1973".

"The most researched inventory is the State of Consciousness Inventory (SCI; reviewed in Alexander, Boyer, and Alexander, 1987). The authors say "the SCI was designed for quantitative assessment of frequency of experiences of higher states of consciousness as defined in Vedic Psychology (p. 100)."

"In this case items were constructed from first person statements of practitioners of that meditative tradition, but items were also drawn from other authority literatures. Additional subscales were added to differentiate these experiences from normal waking experience, neurotic experience, and schizophrenic experience. Finally, a misleading item scale was added. These authors conceptualize the "mystical" experience as one which can momentarily occur in the process of the development of higher states of consciousness. For them the core state of consciousness is pure consciousness and from it develops these higher states of consciousness.

Whereas most researchers on mystical experiences study them as isolated or infrequent experiences with little if any theoretical "goal" for them, this group contextualizes them in a general model of development (Alexander et al., 1990) with their permanent establishment in an individual as a sign of the first higher state of consciousness. They point out that "during any developmental period, when awareness momentarily settles down to its least excited state, pure consciousness [mystical states] can be experienced (p. 310). " In terms of incidence they quote Maslow who felt that in the population at large less than one in 1,000 have frequent "peak" experiences so that the "full stabilization of a higher stage of consciousness appears to an event of all but historic significance (p. 310)."

"Virtually all of researchers using the SCI are very careful to distinguish the practice of meditation from the experience of pure consciousness, explaining that the former merely facilitates the latter. They also go to great pains to show that their multiple correlation's of health and well-being are strongest to the transcendent experience than to the entire practice of meditation (for psychophysiological review see Wallace, 1987; for individual difference review see Alexander et al., 1987;

B. Empirical Studies show Long-Term Positive Effects of Mystical Experience

Research Summary

From Council on Spiritual Practices Website

"States of Univtive Consciousness"

Also called Transcendent Experiences, Ego-Transcendence, Intense Religious Experience, Peak Experiences, Mystical Experiences, Cosmic Consciousness. Sources:

(1) Studies Wuthnow, Robert (1978). "Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), 59-75.

Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.

Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184.

Roger Walsh (1980). The consciousness disciplines and the behavioral sciences: Questions of comparison and assessment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(6), 663-673.

Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar (1983). ``Psychedelic Drugs in Psychiatry'' in Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, New York: Basic Books.

Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. (Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.)

(2)Long-Term Effects


*Say their lives are more meaningful,
*think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life is
Meditate more
*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style


*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*intelligent, relaxed
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*integration, allocentrism,
*psychological maturity,
*self-acceptance, self-worth,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion

(3) Trend toward positive view among psychologists. Spiriutal Emergency MYSTICAL OR UNITIVE EXPERIENCE "Offsetting the clinical literature that views mystical experiences as pathological, many theorists (Bucke, 1961; Hood, 1974, 1976; James, 1961; Jung, 1973; Laski, 1968; Maslow, 1962, 1971; Stace, 1960; Underhill, 1955) have viewed mystical experiences as a sign of health and a powerful agent of transformation." (4) Most clinicians and clinical studies see postive. (Ibid) "Results of a recent survey (Allman, et al,. 1992) suggest that most clinicians do not view mystical experiences as pathological. Also, studies by several researchers have found that people reporting mystical experiences scored lower on psychopathology scales and higher on measures of psychological well-being than controls (Caird, 1987; Hood, 1976, 1977, 1979; Spanos and Moretti, 1988)".

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Old School Atheist Watching: my visit tof Debuncing Christianity blog (2 of 2)


I am going back to the elevated standard of intellectual discussion, but I really ant to show one of the denizens of DC. They had no arguments at all. I said moderate stuff and this is what I got:

I said something about I want discussions that are based upon a standard of reason.

So that I understand you clearly, Joe, you consider yourself to be the standard by which reason and rationality are to be judged? Do I have that right?

You, who claims to accept on one hand that humans evolved, while on the other you accept as a true state of the world that every one of those same evolved humans somehow became infected with Original Sin after two of said humans were induced to being naughty by a talking snake, are the standard of reason and rationality? Seriously? And, now you imagine that the thing that created that is imagined to have created the whole Original Sin clusterfuck to begin with, including the inciting talking snake, had an effective plan to deal with that Original Sin: conduct a fake sacrifice of himself to himself to save all of humankind from himself?

From this we should accept you as a reliable adjudicator of what is reason and rationality?
Metacrock sin nature is the result of anxiety stemming from self transcendence and memory, consult Loftus for Lowdown on Reinhold Niebuhr and St. Augustine. So sin is inherent in being corporeal. We could not refrain from it regardless of what we did. God also gave us the cure. He could not create flesh and blood beings without risking that they would fall, unless they were not free to choose and wanted free creatures to willingly chose the good.
"And, now you imagine that the thing that created that is imagined to have created the whole Original Sin clusterfuck to begin with, including the inciting talking snake, had an effective plan to deal with that Original Sin: conduct a fake sacrifice of himself to himself to save all of humankind from himself?"
Metacrock now, that's an inadequate understanding of doctrine. Original sin is not original guilt its merely the capacity to sin which is part of human nature. Adam and Eve are not the first humans they are merely metaphors.

"Religion has nothing to recommend it intellectually, Joe. Religions are wholly human-manufactured constructs existing in bubbles independent from what is real and what is true."
MetacrockI was an atheist from 16 to 23. I've been a Christian for 36 years. I've been an intellectual since 6th grade. So Obviously not true. Through Loftus's words back at him "Joe Hinman is the real deal" meaning an intellectual.
"Your version of a religion might have lots of participants, but intellectually it is no different from Scientology, or Russianity, the religion with me as its Supreme Being."
Metacrockyou don't even know what it is. you think all of Christianity is fundamentalism.. Apparently you have never heard of liberal theology. That is sheer ignorance. Moreover you could study and learn but you would rather mock and ridicule study so that proves you have no idea what being an intellectual is, That prove my point atheism is for the ignorant it's a hate group.
"All of humanity suffers as a direct consequence of the competing truth claims of the religious."
MetacrockEmpirically disproved projecting your personal experiences.Here are 300 empirical studies that show religion is good for you. they don't allow links here. you are being isolated from knowledge so you can't unlearn your brain washing.Doxa > Theology > what is supernatural > 300 studies

If your party one had any truth to it you would be making arguments instead of bromides. [Notice the make no attempt to back anything up]
You assert there is a standard. What is it? Show us that by its consistent application it is even worthy to be considered a standard. Your PhD-ness in God-Stuff should be useful for at least that
[I told him the standard is logic--latter in the rhubarb when I said Adam and Eve are Metaphors he said:]
And, Bible is a metaphor for bullshit. Joe, there is NO adequate understanding of "doctrine." To claim otherwise makes you a liar, pure and simple. Doctrine is whatever you make up or what you accept that someone else has made up. Doctrine is completely arbitrary. Gods do not exist to mind the doctrinal store, so every religious group concocts doctrine to suit themselves. The 40,000 Christianities attest to exactly that.
[This moron who knows nothing about doctrine is not even attesting discussion. Apparently he is afraid to do any real thinking--what's the point of attempting discussion with stupid people who have no intension of thinking about what you say. This guy actually said if you claim to have an understanding of doctrine you are lyinjg--has hevever read anby?] Metacrock Joe: >>> sin nature is the result of anxiety stemming from self transcendence and memory, consult Loftus for Lowdown on Reinhold Niebuhr and St. Augustine. So sin is inherent in being corporeal. We could not refrain from it regardless of what we did. God also gave us the cure. He could not create flesh and blood beings without risking that they would fall, unless they were not free to choose and wanted free creatures to willingly chose the good.
More of Joe Hinman's bullshit which would be contradicted by lots of other theologically-trained(not educated) Christians.
[getting the point? the guy's a dunce and he has no desire to learn anythinjg]

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Survey of Atheism of blogds and medsage boards, not pretty.

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I don't miss the mocking and ridicule of the idiots on message boards and I'm not going back to it. I'm not pulling back the high intellectual standard I've set for AW. But I am still going to keep tabs on the atheists and Dawkies from time to time. It's not pretty. A survey of the message board scene makes me shutter. What I predicted has come to pass. The atheists and Christians barely talk. The Atheists huddle in their corner talking about how stupid the Christians are. The Christians do not talk to them (why should they)? There is no basis for discussion when both sides think the other is stupid.

I dropped by Loftus's old site, Debunking Christianity, which I had not see in two or three years. Man Has it declined. It imploded. It used to have some bright people and they were challenging to argue with. Below is an example of what they have now.

Apparently a Christian has been there pestering them, named Kenny. He is pestering them by asking questions. How do they deal with him? Character assassination.

An Open Letter to Kenneth

By John Loftus at 11/13/2015

Kenneth is a Christian who comments here. After reading his stuff I'd like to challenge him with an open letter. It may seem harsh, but he's been here a while and he can handle it:

kenneth, if you actually believe what you say then you are a functionally insane person, in the same way as an alcoholic can be functional in society. Your brain is lying to you just like we know brains can do to people. Wow! You're hopeless and nothing we could say will change your mind, in the same way as a brainwashed cultist cannot be reached without an intervention. We tell you to put yourself in the shoes of other religionists who would say the same things, and you can't do it.
You know there's nothing like honesty is there? If your best friends can't tell you who can?

We can point out to you that your God agrees with you about everything, and that doesn't affect you. LINK. We could point out how your brain is lying to you about your life, and it won't be able to penetrate your lying brain: LINK.We could prove to you that faith based processes are notoriously unreliable, and it won't be a cause for doubt: LINK.
He links to a typical atheist website with real obvious slogans about how we should doubt God and we can't believe anything good in our lives is from God. Real helpful and so well thought out. These people are actually stupid enough to think Christians don't think about thyat. There

Is your irony meter ready? He has a thing that says:

Join the discussion…

Glad to, where are you hiding it? One of the denizens of the new DC chimes in:

Reynoldsp56 • 3 hours ago

The golden rule says to treat others the way you want others to treat you. In poor Ken's case he doesn't want anyone here to criticize his faith or beliefs but he has stated a couple of times that he is here to criticize our beliefs. It's almost as if he was afraid to have his beliefs challenged in the same way he wants to challenge us. Maybe he isn't confident that his beliefs are able to stand up under close scrutiny so that's why he presents them only to like-minded people. There is an old saying that a ship is safe in a harbor but a ship wasn't build to sail in a harbor. Same is true for Ken's beliefs also.
I think we can all understand why Ken does this by whatr Loftus said above. I tried to talk bout ideas in several post comment section, not only was I called names but I never saw a single argument. I don't knowhat Kenny is like but one poster says of him:

ephemerol • an hour ago

Here's a look inside a proxy of Kenneth's mind. It's a piece by a catholic named Michael Voris on why the separation between church and state is such a horrible idea. Why, from a highly distorted perspective at least, is this separation such a horrible idea? Two reasons that I could find:

1) In order for the Papal Pedophiles to dominate you, they need to control your government. In 1906, Pope St. Pius X said, "It limits the actions of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only. ... But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it."

2) The Papal Pedophiles are infallible. "If the choice is between what a Pope/saint said and what you say, then the choice is obvious. You are wrong."
They claim to see into his mind, it's ruled by priest, which = pedophile. This is the once proud Debuncking Christianity blog? It's become nothing more than an echo chamber of stupidity. The atheist movement has imploded I predicted. The split of a few years ago drove off their more intelligent people. I'll go more into this site next time. I wont linger in this bog of bull [bleep] for long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Atheism is not increasing as of Nov 2015

 photo g3uzfj01q0ufz4smepuvjw_zps7oefgyst.png

The atheists propaganda machine is at it again. Another spate of articles based loosely upon a Pew study talking about Christianity is in decline. As I write it is Nov. 3,2015. They are still failing to distinguish between affiliation and belief in God. The Pew Study says belief in God is holding steady what is declining is affiliation with organized religion. The amalgamation none as "none" (as in religious affiliation: none) is what is growing and while those do include atheists they are not the majority in the category. First let's look at the propaganda. Friendly Atheist Blog says "the momentum is with us." He's talking about the results of a Pew study that follows up the 2014 follow up to the 2009 follow up to the 2007 study. The comment section is hilarious:

"People who believe in God have decreased among the unaffiliated. (Top chart - right side
As usual,"

Rastaman 462 says "the momentum is on our side. When it comes to belief in God, it’s getting smaller with each generation."[It's within the margin of error]

The wretched:
Atheist reasoning. I told them about the margin of error.
"You haven't show you can read survey results, why would we believe you when you are telling us what we think? [wrongly I might add, I quoted the study directly; If I haven't proven I understand the results then they have proven to me they can't count. 3%is obvious.]

"Kind of hard to bail when you're already at the bottom of the lake." [I'm at the bottom when it's 3% atheist vs 89% Christians?]

The figures they rave about say that belief in God declined from 92% to 89%, That's 3% which is in the margin of error. In an election they would call it a dead heat. But "religion hasn't changed" is not comforting to atheists. My thesis is that there is a real problem and Christians should not feel complacent. Yet belief in God is not declining.

Let's look at some of the articles fueling this orgiastic triumphalism

Tobin Grant, Religion News Service
the great deline They explain the gradual decline they chart over five decades but they never explain what they chat or what they take as "average. Withy no analysis of thye xontext for establishing the "average" the whole th9ng is meaningless.
The graph of this index tells the story of the rise and fall of religious activity. During the post-war, baby-booming 1950s, there was a revival of religion. Indeed, some at the time considered it a third great awakening. Then came the societal changes of the 1960s, which included a questioning of religious institutions. The resulting decline in religion stopped by the end of the 1970s, when religiosity remained steady. Over the past fifteen years, however, religion has once again declined. But this decline is much sharper than the decline of 1960s and 1970s. Church attendance and prayer is less frequent. The number of people with no religion is growing. Fewer people say that religion is an important part of their lives. All measures point to the same drop in religion: If the 1950s were another Great Awakening, this is the Great Decline.
RNS is a non-profit, limited liability corporation owned by the Religion Newswriters Foundation and based at the National Press Building in Washington, D.C., with a business office at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. RNS’s mission is to provide in-depth, non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ideas.

Apparently they also deal in yelloq journliam.

What does the pew study really say?

Pew Research Center: US public becomes less religious. Nov 3, 215

"The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God, while still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries, has declined modestly, from approximately 92% to 89%, since Pew Research Center conducted its first Landscape Study in 2007.1"

As I said before this is in the margin of error. They alway7s assume any survey could be off by 3% so they call it a dead heat in an election. What is really funny is that they will answer my book by saying M scale is a survey so it's not scientific, when it's a survey that suggests a loss in God belief atheists are all to happy to accept the validity of surveys. But atheism is not increasing in fact it could be an increase in belief since it's in the margin of error.

But the Pew Research Center study also finds a great deal of stability in the U.S. religious landscape. The recent decrease in religious beliefs and behaviors is largely attributable to the “nones” – the growing minority of Americans, particularly in the Millennial generation, who say they do not belong to any organized faith. Among the roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults who do claim a religion, there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment. Indeed, by some conventional measures, religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.
Belief in God is down among the nones. It's down from 71% to 61% but that's 61% of 10% of the country so it's in the 3% over all. Nones up from 16-23% That is not a loss in belief in God it's a loss in Christianity or maybe not even that but in organized church goers. Over all 77% still identify with a faith.
Pew Research Center surveys consistently show that not all religious “nones” are nonbelievers. In fact, the majority of Americans without a religious affiliation say they believe in God. As a group, however, the “nones” are far less religiously observant than Americans who identify with a specific faith. And, as the “nones” have grown in size, they also have become even less observant than they were when the original Religious Landscape Study was conducted in 2007. The growth of the “nones” as a share of the population, coupled with their declining levels of religious observance, is tugging down the nation’s overall rates of religious belief and practice.
Gallop offers figures from a a 75 year period given that long view we can see a real change in the level of non affiliated in the last 20 years but while that is undeniable there have been ups and downs before.

Galllop Religion It's only been within the last 20 years that none and non-denominational grew enough to report. While none has increased a from 2% to 16% (1948-2016) so has non-denominational grew proportionately. The loss in protestants could be taken up in growth for non-denom and none.Between 1948 and 2015 Protestant declined from 69 to 37%. Call it 40%. That 20% could be the 10% rise in nonn-denominaltioql and 10% none that would fit with the stats. The majority of nones still believe in God. That would only be a 5% decrease in Christianity. That means there could be no increase in atheism. Most of that fits with the charismatic movement that spawned ecumenical feelings. We see from the graphic at the top that religiosity has held stable much more so than the religious news article would have us believe.
1948 prots 69% Non dom na Catholic 22% None 2%
1958 Prots 69 Non dom na Cathyolic 23 none 2
1968 prots 67 non denom n Catholic 25 nonje = 3
1998 prots 58 non denom na Cathoics 27 non 6
2008 prots 47 nondenom 8 Catholic 22 none 12
2014 prots 37 nondenom 10 catholics 23 none 16

While America slips in Christian id China gains.

Realistically we should assume there's been more loss in Christian belief, maybe 20%. That is a problem Christians should be concerned. At the same time there is an increase in Christians in places like China.

US News and world Report: God isn't losing Ground

At the same time, according to "A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China," Christianity is surging in China. The authors of the new book – Rodney Stark, co-director of Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, and sociologist Xiuhua Wang – explained that in 2007 there were about 60 million Christians in Communist China. Now, they noted, more than 40 new Christian churches (not including underground churches) are starting up every week. "If this trend were to hold for even another decade," they wrote, "there would be more Christians in China than any other nation in the world."

Jill Smith 50 fred
Eve Jackson 94

Monday, November 9, 2015

Zuckerman IQ study part 2: The Case Agaisnt IQ

Please give your attention to this announcement.
On my site the religious a priori I have the Atheist Social Science Menu
This study is a sample from that page. I have a lot of them on IQ, do Christians go to prison more than atheists, Zuckerman's ide about better education leads to atheism (not this Zuckerman) and so on. The atheists are cranking them out they have a huge propaganda machine it's an industry. Anyone who cares about the faith needs to know this sight. Read the studies and put up links, pass them about!

 photo 350px-IQ_curve_zps385a1634.png

 In part 1, I dealt with problems and concerned raised by the study itself and the data it used. In this section I will present ideas that counter the overall conclusions atheist draw from the study, namely that atheism must be true because it's believed by more intelligent people. The first argument that I present is about the lack of longitudinal data.

The researchers of IQ are measuring either per-college or college students. Not too many of these studies measure IQ's of middle aged adults. They are getting them at a time in their lives when they are either beginning to want to leave home or when they have left home for the first time. Francis says the shock of the "atheist professor" is not as great as it used to be:

The long discussed shock of freshmen encountering Atheistic professors at college and the transition problems from childhood beliefs to intellectually defensible beliefs have been reduced in recent years. Today the shock comes earlier and with less force than in decades past.".[1]
Nevertheless, they are still free from the parents for the first time. They are striking out in independence for the first time. Now its time to rebel and experiment and throw off the chains of parental oppression. Few if any of these studies follow them through life to determine if they became believers latter in life. This is a real possibility that they will. Studies show that people become more religious as they age. McCullough et al found that "results were consistent with the rational choice theory of religious involvement."[2] The Zuckerman study found that the negative correlation was stronger in collage age than before college.[3] So this is a good indication that perhaps its the college years when people experiment and the more intelligent are more likely to reject for a time what their parents taught them then they will come back to it latter in life when they are  more mature. The Atheist IQ studies, which are not so much done by atheists per se as used by them, are not good predictors of what intelligent people really think. They really only predict the extremes that intelligent people go to during extreme parts of their lives.

There is dissatisfaction with the conventional IQ test as a measure of intelligence.For example "Richard Nisbest psychologist from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, difference in IQ scores largely disappear when researchers control for social and economic factors."[4] David Shenk argues that the standard Stanford-Binet test only measures a variety of skills and thus is an indicator of academic progress. They are designed statistically to keep in same place in the pack but they are not indicators of intelligence.

But did this stability prove that the tests revealed innate intelligence?
Far from it. The reality is that students performing at the top of the class in 4th grade tend to be the same students performing at the top of the class in 12th grade, due to many factors that tend to remain stable in students' lives: family, lifestyle, resources, etc. 
Being branded with a low IQ at a young age, in other words, is like being born poor. Due to family circumstances and the mechanisms of society, most people born poor will remain poor throughout their lives. But that doesn't mean anyone is *innately* poor or destined to be poor; there is always potential for any poor person to become rich. 
The happy reality is that IQ scores:
A) measure developed skills, not native intelligence.
B) can change dramatically.
C) don't say anything about a person's intellectual limits. [5]
A big myth about IQ is that the scores can't change over time. IQ scores do change over time. IQ scores "can change quite dramatically as a result of changes in family environment (Clarke, 1976; Svendsen, 1982), work environment (Kohn and Schooler, 1978), historical environment (Flynn, 1987), styles of parenting (Baumrind, 1967; Dornbusch, 1987), and, most especially, shifts in level of schooling," according to Cornell University's Stephen Ceci. [6] IQ scores do not imply a fixed or inate intelligence, Shenk quotes Ceci, "There is plenty of evidence, for example, that schooling raises overall academic intelligence." [7] Shenk goes on to ask:

Don't genes limit our intelligence? Isn't intelligence "heritable?" his answer is:

No, and no. Very sloppy science and journalism has led us to believe that what scientists call "heritability" (derived from twin studies) is the same thing as what we  ordinary folk call "heredity." In fact, they are not even remotely the same thing. Genes certainly do have an impact on intelligence, and everyone has their own theoretical limits, but every indication is that most of us don't come close to our true intellectual potential.[8]
He links to another article, by himself, "The Genius in All of us."

Nesbsit sums up his study of the latest findings:

We review new findings and new theoretical developments
in the field of intelligence. New findings include the follow-
ing: (a) Heritability of IQ varies significantly by social
class. (b) Almost no genetic polymorphisms have been
discovered that are consistently associated with variation
in IQ in the normal range. (c) Much has been learned
about the biological underpinnings of intelligence. (d)
“Crystallized” and “fluid” IQ are quite different aspects of
intelligence at both the behavioral and biological levels.
(e) The importance of the environment for IQ is established
by the 12-point to 18-point increase in IQ when children
are adopted from working-class to middle-class homes. (f)
Even when improvements in IQ produced by the most
effective early childhood interventions fail to persist, there
can be very marked effects on academic achievement and
life outcomes. (g) In most developed countries studied,
gains on IQ tests have continued, and they are beginning in
the developing world. (h) Sex differences in aspects of
intelligence are due partly to identifiable biological factors
and partly to socialization factors. (i) The IQ gap between
Blacks and Whites has been reduced by 0.33 SD in recent
years. We report theorizing concerning (a) the relationship
between working memory and intelligence, (b) the appar-
ent contradiction between strong heritability effects on IQ
and strong secular effects on IQ, (c) whether a general
intelligence factor could arise from initially largely inde-
pendent cognitive skills, (d) the relation between self-reg-
ulation and cognitive skills, and (e) the effects of stress on
intelligence [9]

One of the major disproofs of the validity of IQ tests is a phenomenon known as the "Flynn effect." This is a disproof becuase it indicates that IQ not fixed, it rises with time and that what is being measured is actually not intelligence but cultural literacy.

Multiple studies have documented significant IQ gains over time, a phenomenon labeled the Flynn effect. Data from 20 industrialized nations show massive IQ gains over time, most notably in culturally reduced tests like the Raven's Progressive Matrices. To our knowledge, however, this is the first study to document the Flynn effect in a rural area of a developing country. Data for this project were collected during two large studies in Embu, Kenya, in 1984 and 1998. Results strongly support a Flynn effect over this 14-year period, with the most significant gains found in Raven's matrices. Previously hypothesized explanations (e.g., improved nutrition; increased environmental complexity; and family, parental, school, and methodological factors) for the Flynn effect are evaluated for their relevance in this community, and other potential factors are reviewed. The hypotheses that resonate best with our findings are those related to parents' literacy, family structure, and children's nutrition and health.[10]
Flynn argues that our ancestors were not dumber. He rules out better nutrition or knowing the tests better. The bias of the test is such that a kind of technological imperialism is imposed upon the masses.

Flynn cites a hypothetical, but typical, test question: “How are rabbits and dogs alike?” Answers such as “both destroy gardens,” “both are dinner in some countries and pets in others,” or “you can use dogs to hunt rabbits” are true, but the response the IQ testers want is “both are mammals.” The question tests not knowledge of the world or of functional relationships but mastery of particular abstract concepts, which the test makers have themselves internalized as trained scientific professionals and literate intellectuals.[11]

The tests reward problem solving that reflects a bias toward the technological sort of thinking.
IQ tests also reward certain problem- solving abilities—what Flynn calls “problems not solvable by mechanical application of a learned method.” He cites tests of similarities and analogies, and pattern-completion tests, such as Raven’s Progressive Matrices. In the latter, each question is a series of line drawings followed by a collection of drawings from which the test taker must pick the one that completes the sequence. When J. C. Raven developed the test in 1936, he claimed it measured the ability to discover patterns, which was for him the essence of intelligence. Raven’s test is often said (without good evidence) to suffer little or no cultural bias. Yet it is on tests of this type that the Flynn effect is strongest; gains in IQ scores of at least 5 points per decade have been seen. In the Netherlands, for decades all 18-year-old males drafted into the military were given the test, and those who took it in 1982 scored 20 points higher than those who had taken it in 1952.[12]
Some have asked "if IQ tests are not predicting intelligence, or at least not fixed, unalterably, heritable standard of intelligence, what do they predict?" The Flynn effect give us one answer, cultural literacy. Another answer is academic motivation. That is not necessarily a marker for intelligence, since a bright student can be turned off from the process of learning or trying. Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team, conducted two studies; they did a meta analysis of 46 previous studies, the effect of monetary incentive's on IQ scores."...the effect of financial rewards on IQ scores increased dramatically the higher the reward: Thus rewards higher than $10 produced g values of more than 1.6 (roughly equivalent to more than 20 IQ points), whereas rewards of less than $1 were only one-tenth as effective."[13]

Duckworth's second study involved data from an earlier study, following 500 boys age 12, tested in the late 80s, they were video tapes and signs of boredom and lack of motivation were observed. The study was longitudinal, following the boys into early adulthood. There were no difference in IQ or other factors bewteen the boys.

Duckworth's team analyzed the results of these earlier studies to see what they said about the relationship between motivation, IQ scores, and life success. By constructing a series of computer models of the data, the team found that higher motivation accounted for a significant amount of the differences in IQ scores and also in how well IQ predicted later success in life. For example, differences in motivation levels accounted for up to 84% of the differences between the boys in how many years of school they had completed or whether they had been able to find a job. On the other hand, motivation differences accounted for about only 25% of the differences in how well they had done in school as teenagers. According to the researchers, that suggests that native intelligence does still play an important role in both IQ scores and academic achievement.
Nevertheless, the Duckworth team concludes that IQ tests are measuring much more than just raw intelligence--they also measure how badly subjects want to succeed both on the test and later in life. Yet Duckworth and her colleagues caution that motivation isn't everything: The lower role for motivation in academic achievement, they write, suggests that "earning a high IQ score requires high intelligence in addition to high motivation."[14]

This finding of course raises the question does this mean that those with high intelligence will score low on the test if they are not motivated? That test scores fluctuate at different times in your life would seem to be proof that IQ doesn't measure a fixed unalterable course. Take a book reviewed by NYT book review in 1998, published by Brookings Institue, the work shows that test scores between black and white narrow only a bit since 1970 but "the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests. On some tests the typical American black scores below more than 85 percent of whites?" Yet no genetic aspect has ever been discovered that would indicate that blacks are any less intelligent than whites. As a matter of fact when black children are raised in white homes their per-adolescent test scores rise dramatically (that also goes for mixed race children). Black adoptee test scores fall in adolescents. [15] I would actually predict that, since at that time the difference in racial make up of the family becomes more acute (I base that upon the experience of relatives). That could be a motivational issue. Moreover, the findings reported above by Nisbet shows the IQ gap bewteen blacks and whites has narrowed a lot more since 98. 

 --Even nonverbal IQ scores are sensitive to environmental change. Scores on nonverbal IQ tests have risen dramatically throughout the world since the 1930s. The average white scored higher on the Stanford-Binet in 1978 than 82 percent of whites who took the test in 1932. Such findings reinforce the implications of adoption studies: large environmental changes can have a large impact on test performance.
    --Black-white differences in academic achievement have also narrowed throughout the twentieth century. The best trend data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been testing seventeen-year-olds since 1971 and has repeated many of the same items year after year. Figure 1-2 shows that the black-white reading gap narrowed from 1.25 standard deviations in 1971 to 0.69 standard deviations in 1996. The math gap fell from 1.33 to 0.89 standard deviations. When Min-Hsiung Huang and Robert Hauser analyzed vocabulary scores for adults born between 1909 and 1969, the black-white gap also narrowed by half.[16]

Some scientists attribute the difference in IQ between men and women to motivation. Males surpass females by average of 3.6 IQ pionts, but more males decide to go to college than females. William and Mary psychologist Bruce Bracken thinks this is a good argument for linking motivation to the test score. [17]

The question is if IQ is really measuring motivation, what are atheists motivated toward? Why would those who don't believe in God have a greater motivation than those who do? Let's not forget the idea that  IQ tests are also measuring sort of "cultural literacy,"  or we might call it "indoctrination." People who score higher on IQ tests are those who have more successfully indoctrinated into the ideology of scientism, since that seems to be the dominate force in the culture. That tallies with findings I've discussed on AW  [18]about atheists low self esteem. Leslie Francis produced the correlation between rejection religion in youth and low self esteem. There is a voluminous data consisting of many studies already on the issue of negative God image and the relation it bears to self esteem. It seems that negative self esteem is connected to negative God image.[19]

Persons with high levels of self esteem may find it difficult to share the same religious belief. A theology predicated upon a loving accepting God is cognitively compatible with high self esteem, but it could be a source of discomfort for a believer low in self esteem. It does not make good cognitive sense to be loved when one is unlovable. Consequently the latter person can march to a different theology, one that is more consistent with his self image. (Benson and Spilka 209-210).[20]

If we put together the two explainations, cultural indoctrination into an ideology of technique (scientism), with the idea that IQ represents motivation, what are the atheist's motivated to do but to excel at the culturally prescribed ideology as a means of bolstering self esteem? Since they reject God based upon self esteem, they connected the bolster (scoring well on tests as a mark mastery over the culturally prescribed ideology) as an alternative to belief. Thus they are initially spurred by aversion to belief based upon low self esteem (if you don't like yourself why would you like the one who created you to be the way you are?) the means of bolstering self esteem is to replace the creator with a process of accident then mastering the understanding of that process to show one's worth. If religious are more inclined to accept personal experience of life as a clue to ultimate reality and the meaning of their lives then they are not as motivated to excel in mastery of an ideology, or at least not that ideology, but to seek more truth on a personal level that can't be subjected to such tests.


[1] Francis, L. J. . "The relationship between intelligence and religiosity among 15-16 year olds."
 Mental Health, Religion and Culture (1998) 1,185-196. doi:10.1080/13674679808406508, 188,

[2] Michel E. Mcullough, Craig K. Enders, Sharon Brion, Andrea R. Jain, "the varieties of religious development in adult hood: A longitudinal investigation of religion and rational choice."
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  the American Psychological Association
(2005, Vol. 89, No. 1, ) 78–8, 78.

[3] Zuckerman, et al, Op. Cit. (see part 1) from the study Abstract, 1.

[4] Michael Balter, "What Does IQ Really Measure?" Science Now, (4/25/11)
accessed 8/16/13

[5] David Shenk, "the truth about IQ," The Atlantic, (July 28, 2009),
accessed 8/16/09
David Shenk is the author of six books, including Data Smog ("indispensable"—The New York Times), The Immortal Game ("superb"—The Wall Street Journal), and the bestselling The Forgetting ("a remarkable addition to the literature of the science of the mind."—The Los Angeles Times ). He has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, The American Scholar, and National Public Radio. Shenk's work inspired the Emmy-award winning PBS documentary The Forgetting and was featured in the Oscar-nominated feature Away From Her. His latest book, The Genius In All Of Us, was published in March 2010. Shenk has advised the President's Council on Bioethics

[6]  Steven Ceci,S. J., On Intelligence: A bio-ecological treatise on intellectual development. 2nd ed., Harvard University Press. 1996. quoted in Shenk, Op. Cit.

[7] Ibid.


[9] Richard E. Nisbett,Joshua Aronson and Clancy Blair, et al  "Intelligence, New Findings and Theoretical Developments." American Psychologist, The American Psychological Association, vol. 66, no. 2 (February March 2012), 130-159, 130.
accessed 8/16/13. Nisbet is University of Michigan, Aronson and Blair are New York Univ.
other authors include, William Dickens ofNortheastern University, James Flynn University of Otago, Diane F. HalpernClaremont McKenna College,Eric Turkheimer
University of Virginia

[10] Tamra C. Daley,et al "IQ on the Rise, the Flynn effect Rural Kenyon Children." Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. vol. 14, no. 3, (May, 2003) 215-219.on line version accessed 8/16/13

co authors include: Shannon E. Whaley2,Marian D. Sigman1,2,Michael P. Espinosa2 andCharlotte Neumann3

[11] Cosma Shalizi, "The Domestication of the Savage Mind," Book Rview of What is Intelligence, Beyond the Flynn Effect, by James Flynn,  in American Scientist, Vol. 97, no. 3 (May-June, 2009) 244.
on line version:
 accessed 8/16/13.
Cosma Shalizi is an assistant professor in the statistics department at Carnegie Mellon University and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He is writing a book on the statistical analysis of complex systems models. His blog, Three-Toed Sloth, can be found at

[12] Ibid.

[13] Angela Duckwork in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, quoted by Balter op.cit.

[14] Ibid.

[15] New York Times book review, The Black and White Test score Gap, edited by Christopher Jenks and Meredith Philips. Washington DC: Bookings Institution Press. 1998. New York Times online
accessed 8/17/13.
[16] Ibid.

[17] Jeanna Bryner,"Men Smarter than Women Scientists Claim," Live Science, sept 8, 2006. On line resource or blog:
accessed 8/17/13

 [18] Metacrock, "Rejection of Christainty and Self Esteem," Review of a Study by Leslie J. Francis, et al." Atheist Watch, blog Oct, 25, 2010. accessed 8/15/13.

 [19] Leslie J. Francis, in  Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV, Ralph L. Piedmont, ed.,Volume 16, 2005, 2006, 108.

 [20] Benson, P., & Spilka, B. (1973).  quoted by Leslie J. Francis, in   Ralph L. Piedmont, op.cit.
Francis attributes the quote to pages 209-210. Benson and Spilka study original source is:
God image as a function of self-esteem and locus of control.,Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Saturday, November 7, 2015

secular outpost chicens out

it wont recognize my password which it was doing and I know I'm using the right one. They are afraid to get beat

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Zuckerman IQ Study: Are Atheist Smarter? Part 1

Monday, August 19, 2013

think of it as a sample of good work, not recycled.

 photo iq-bell-curve_zps96c4c392.png

Please give your attention to this announcement.
On my site the religious a priori I have the Atheist Social Science Menu
This study is a sample from that page. I have a lot of them on IQ, do Christians go to prison more than atheists, Zuckerman's ide about better education leads to atheism (not this Zuckerman) and so on. The atheists are cranking them out they have a huge propaganda machine it's an industry. Anyone who cares about the faith needs to know this sight. Read the studies and put up links, pass them about!

A new major study on IQ and religious belief has been released, that is already caught the buzz in atheist circles. It's got a sophisticated and scientific approach to statistical methods, although that doesn't mean it is free of biases. The study, done by Miron Zuckerman and Jordon Silberman of the University of Rochester NY and Judith A. Hall, Northeaster University, Boston. The Study is major since it combined a statistical meta-analysis of a larger number of studies ever done before; its findings are overwhelmingly in favor of atheism. They used 63 studies showing a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity."[1] (the study has been removed from the scribd source linked to)
The study for all its statistical sophistication, is beset by some basic flaws that are more or less part of the package of buying into the atheist dogma about intelligence.

Before really getting into I want to point out what atheist will do with this on the popular level. We already see it on U.S. Message board  where they are saying the study finds "Religious people are less intelligent than atheists." They study never says that. It says there's a stronger correlation between higher IQ and unbelief than between higher IQ and belief. It doesn't say why, correlation is not cause. Let's let assert that this "says" what they  want it  to say.

The 63 studies used range from 1928 to 2012. "The authors look at each study’s sample size, quality of data collection, and analysis methods and then account for biases that may have inadvertently crept into the work. This data is next refracted through the prism of statistical theory to draw an overarching conclusion of what scholars in this field find." [2] The major findings are sumarized by Rathi, "Out of 63 studies, 53 showed a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity, while 10 showed a positive one. Significant negative correlations were seen in 35 studies, whereas only two studies showed significant positive correlations." As the abstract of the study puts it,  "The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior."[4] "Stronger for beliefs than behavior," In other words the relationship between being smart and being unbelieving holds more in terms of the beliefs themselves than for just going to chruch. I would also make that assumption. People might feel expected to go to church without believing the ideas.

  photo mironzuckerman_zpsb75a7211.png
Miron Zuckerman

Before analyzing the findings there are problems with the assumptions that must be understood. The study defines intelligence as "ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly,comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience”[5] There are other forms of intelligence but we can bracket that for the moment. No real problem there. There is a problem with the way they use religiosity:

Religiosity can be defined as the degree of involvement in some or all facets of religion. According to Atran and Norenzayan (2004), such facets include beliefs in supernatural agents, costly commitment to these agents (e.g., offeringof property), using beliefs in those agents to lower existential anxieties such as anxiety over death, and communal rituals that validate and affirm religious beliefs. Of course, some individuals may express commitment or participate in communal rituals for reasons other than religious beliefs. This issue was put into sharp relief by Allport and Ross (1967),who drew a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientations. Intrinsic orientation is the practice of religion for its own sake; extrinsic religion is the use of religion as a means to secular ends. This distinction will be referred to in later section.[6]
We start to see some problems of bias here. The concept of "belief in supernatural agent." This would no doubt be the hi-jack version of supernatural, not mystical experience, which is the original meaning of the term.[7] Not only would they ignore the mystic but also, depending upon how closly they define "using beliefs in those agents to lower existential anxieties such as anxiety over death, and communal rituals that validate and affirm religious beliefs," they might be defining religion too conservatively.That becomes important becasue it might lead to leaving out liberal theological types form the mix of "religious." If liberal theology tends to draw more intelligent people then one would be leaving the more intelligent religious people out of the count. In other words they are biasing their take on religiosity to include only the more conservative and fundamentalist types. Supposedly the findings determined that differences in education didn't matter for the correlation,[8] but that would be distorted by the leaving out of the liberals, who might tend to have a better theological education. It might also be that literalism implies less intelligence so by letting out liberals they might be letting out the more intelligent religious thinkers.

Another indication of the way biases might play a role is found in the opening paragraphs of the study itself in recounting the history of the study of the topic. In their brief history they show that findings seem to be correlated with the times. From the Early period in the 1920's to the 1960s the findings tended to be pro-correlation, intelligent people tend not to be religious. That coincides with a lot of things in that era, including the rise of reductionism, positivism, the secularization. In the 60s-90s the finding went the other way and tended to draw more intelligent people to knowledge of and belief in  religious ideas. [9] Findings show mystical experience increased a great deal in the 60s and due to both growing interest in eastern religion and mediation and "Jesus movement," religious interest increased.[10] During the remainder of the century the tendency seemed to be toward findings that affirmed there is no valid correlation between intelligence and religious beilef or lack there of. [11] Since the advents of this century the major studies have been pro-correlation again, correlating lack of religious belief with higher intelligence. That move is associated with the rise in popularity of atheism the decline in popularity of organized religion and the rise in scientism and reductionism. This history really tells the whole story, it illustrates not only the basis as they show up in the masses, urged on by trends in society, but also the biases of the researchers.

The studies done since Francis (late 90s) are not only badly done but they are also biased toward atheism. Some of these fact in no one of them biasing the Zuckerman study in a major way. Yet there are some red flags. To undrstand this we have to look one of the major researchers of this century: Nyborg, Hamalton, Lynn, and Kanazawa. These have attracted attention for their biases. [12] We will focus on Kanazawa because he's going to have a special relationship to the Zuckerman study. Kanazawa assumes the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis which basically implies that atheism is an evolutionary advance. That assumes there's a gene for atheism and and it's a beneficial mutation. That is not only an extreme idea but one we would hard pressed to find much support for in the ranks of modern science (ironic that the head of the genome project was a Christian). [13] Kanazawa has been roundly attacked for making  racist assumptions, for example by PDF by Belayneh Abate who changes biased data collection.

Data Collection Problem: Kanazawa admits borrowing secondary data from different places. He borrowed the IQ data from Lynn (Northern Ireland) and Vanhanen (Finland) Table-1. According to him, IQ was directly measured only
in eleven Sub-Saharan African Countries and the rest was predicted using prediction methods Kawakawa tried to show that the IQ measurement was valid by analyzing the directly and indirectly measured data separately. It is true that no method of measurement is perfectly accurate or precise. However, one has to ask how the samples were drawn, and how the results of the sample IQ’s were translated in to national average. Whether IQ measures general intelligence
or not is another story. For the moment, let’s assume it does. Most IQ tests include both verbal and written tests. How valid will be the IQ test in Sub-Saharan countries where almost all sense organs of the people are turned dysfunctional
by dictator rulers who are supported by major powers of the world? In addition to that, IQ measurement is not entirely objective. Our daily life proves how people are prejudiced towards one another irrespective of educational status.
Therefore, to what extent should we believe the validity of the IQ measurements of Lynn and Vanhanen? What about the possibility of differential misclassification errors in the IQ measurement?[14]

Kanazawa was fired from Psychology Today for these views (and racist implications that brought charges of racism). He was also disciplined by London School of Economics for these implications.  In the oct 22, 2012 post of this blog I wrote:

Kanazawa is a reader in management at the London School of Economics, he has set him about the task of doing battle with what he calls "political correctness." He bases his theoretical orientation in evolutionary psychology. Meaning, behind his assumptions lurk the dragon of sociolo biology, so we should suspect a link to the "Bell Curve" sort of thinking. LSE has forbade him to publish in non peer reviewed sources for a year as a result of the controversy surrounding his work.(BBC News London, He was fired from Psychology Today for the Blog (which I criticized on Atheistwatch) "psychology today," it was Savanna principle primarily that got him the sack (, changing the color of Democracy June 1, 211).

Unfortuntely Kanazawa plays are more important role than just having his data included as one of 63 studies. He actually performed from some of the statitical analysis that went into the study. A note under "acknowledgements" states:


We thank the investigators who provided additional information about their studies at our request. We are particularly grateful to... Satoshi Kanazawafor performing a number of statistical analyses on his data, andinvariably sending us the results on the same day he received our query.

1. Kanazawa conducted these analyses in response to our request(S. Kanazawa, personal communication, April 2012).2. The formula for correcting
for range restriction is (Sackett &Yang, 2000):
-4 scale); standard deviation

I have not reproduced the data in the example as it doesn't copy accurately. But it is listed no page 23 of the study and one can read the formula. This is one example of what they call "a number of statistical analyses." Not only does this raise a red flag in terms of their findings, but raises questions of bias and the author's own identification with the ideological commitments of Kanazawa. While we must be careful to avoid guilt by association, one can't help but wonder why they would allow him to be the one to contribute that analysis? While that is not proof off any kind of wrong doing, it must raise a caution.

Over all the argument is that the data from before the "humanistic era" of counter culture (60s-70s) and after that era are both suspect. Of course that's  a two edged sword. They might argue that the data from the 60s is biased the other way. It would seem the study methodology is better in that era since Kanazawa didn't get his data originally but used that provided by Nyborg et al. Nyborg's data is suspect (see FN 12 below). Nyborg's data is also criticized most seriously by William T. Dickens and James R. Flynn (Brookings institution). [15] Nyborg quotes Lynn and Lynn uses Hamilton and both use Knazawa and he uses them. It's a citation circle and it's all based upon genetic superiority (echoed in the Psychology today blog with Barber and Kanazawa) and it links genetic superiority to atheism. It's clearly the outlines of a massive ideology based upon some unsavory ideas that represents the basis of IQ/Religion research in the first decade of the century and the Zuckerman study is plugged right into it. It may not mean that Zuckerman is based and I'm certainly not trying to tar him with the same brush in racist terms, but it has to effect his data not only he uses the studies but the guy who did one  of them contributed to his statical analysis.

There we have to ask do they have a way to really fail safe themselves against the possibility of dogmatic bias? They think they do becuase they say the have statistical means of overcoming bias. But can they really do that when the is at such a fundamental level their very definition of religion? Many of the studies going into their analysis are seen as bad. Can they make up for that?
The most recent period of studies (this century) appear to have their biases. Above I alluded to the possibility of bias in the early period (1920's-60s). Now it's time to find examples that might indicate the probability of this bias. Zuckerman and his colleagues quote the first Argyle study (1958), For example,  the first Argyle study found that "intelligent students are much less likely to accept Orthodox beliefs and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes."[16] That could just as easily mean that "Orthodox includes conservative religious ideas but not theologically liberal ones." Does "rather less likely to have pre religious attitudes" equal being atheists? One could self identify as a remember of a religious tradition and have some attitudes that are classified as "not pro religious." I have atheists habitually asserting that liberal theological views are not pro religious. One site on the net where an atheist has argued the IQ issue for a long time, and he makes that assumption. The Inconclusive nature of Argyles findings is born bout by the fact that his second study (with Beit-Hallahmi--1997) draws no conclusion in the matter of the corrolation between intelligence and religous belief, saying "there is no great difference in intelligence between religious and non religious." [17]

How do Zucekrman et al classify that? Do they count the first study as "pro-negative" (correlation between intelligence and religion) and the second as no correlation? What of the implications of the first study in relation to a more liberal understanding of religion? Moreover the Thomas Simington Study (1935) finds that: "There is a constant positive relation in all the groups between liberal religious thinking and mental ability There is also a constant positive relation between liberal scores and intelligence." Thus establishing the link that liberal theological types are high IQ scorers. Oddly enough Zuckeman leaves out this study. Not listed on his bibliography.[18] Thus there is good reason to suspect that they are only using studies that measure the conservative end of belief thus are leaving out the IQ ranges of the more liberal theology inclined. They might also be leaving out the more deeply spiritual as their definition of belief seems to revolve around a more literalistic supernatural "agent" rather than mystical experience. I can't help but remember a statement from one of the studies on mystical experience:

 Overall then we have reason to believe that the studies finding negative correlations has anti-religious biases of the times. They didn't accept liberal theology as religious and sought to compare secular thinking to conservative forms of religion, or they supported the savannah theory genetics and thus see atheism as an advance in human revolution (among other biases). While the 60's studies that tend to find a positive correlation (religion and intelligence) might also have the bias of its own day we would have to examine the specific data to determine its significance.

There is also a point to be made about the numbers of studies and what's being left. Rathi claims that Zuckerman found 53 out of 63 studies with negative correlation. That's overwhelming unless the 63 studies are bad and the other 10 are good. While that's probably not likely we can raise more questions about the quality of the studies used. Another striking feature is the conspicuous absence of studies known to have findings of a positive correlation. Several studies that I know are positive in correlation are not found in the Zuckerman study:no Simington, no pratt, no Rummell, no Corey. All of these are found in the list by Steve Kangus (the atheist list) (see Note 17). Using his list (some of this were put in the wrong category) I have 6 negative (that high IQ not religious) vs. 17 either positive (High IQ are religious) or no correlation. Yet Rathi counts only 10 that dont' support Zuckerman's correlation. That means somewhere seven studies at least are being overlooked. Fancis says in his first study that the  greater number was with the negative. That doesn't mean the quality studies were negative. So even though it may be that the majority of studies find negative correlation, that doesn't prove that this is the answer. The studies left out (I know there are more than 10 that are not in line with the negative) are conspicuous by their absence.

Zuckerman et al says the reason for leaving studies out is:
Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity at the individual level, and if the effect size (Pearson r) of that relation was provided directly or could be computed from other statistics. For several studies, intelligence and religiosity were measured, but the authors did not report the relation between these two variables. Authors of such studies were contacted to obtain the relevant information. If authors did not respond to our first request, two more reminders were sent. When necessary, second and/or third coauthors were also contacted. Studies that examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity indirectly (e.g., comparisons atgroup levels, comparisons between scientists and the general population) were excluded
Simington seems to report it. We can't really know more without actually getting hold of the studies but I think this is enough to raise concerns.

Summary: four arguments have been made to the effect that the Zuckerman study may have some problems that bear scrutiny.

I. Studies reflect bias of their times.
II. Direct influence from biased soruces.
III. View of religion used is too conservative
IV. Study doesn't include several known studies with counter findings.

First, that in examining the history of the topic study findings seem to move with the biases of the times. Secondly, for the latter period the studies may be tainted by the biases of a extremist view of life and even perhaps racism. Thirdly, too conservative view of religion and leaving out of liberal religious views biases the findings. Fourthly, that too many positive correlated studies are left out and this raises questions about bias. The authors claim to have used statistical methods to control for bias that can only work to the extent that one includes all the relevant studies. If the biases of the studies use for too fundamental to the assumptions and if the person doing analysis shares the bias then it's not goign to help.

There are even more devastating arguments in part 2. In that section I move form study inducement to counter arguments, that arguments that seek to disprove the relationship between intelligence and atheism or seek to disprove the conclusions atheists might draw from Zuckerman.


[1] Miron Zuckerman, Jordon Silberman, and Judith Hall, "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations." Personality and Social Psychology Review. Sage Publications (August 6, 2013 online first version of record). URL:

accessed 8/13/13.

totally unfair the Zuckerman study has been removed. Accessed to it can be purchased here.

[2] Ashat Rathi, "New Meta Analysis Checks the Correlation Between Intelligence and Faith," ars technia: Scientific Method,Science/Exploration (April 11, 2013) on line  accessed 8/13/13.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Zuckerman, et al, op. cit.

[5] Ibid, abstract. 1.

[6] Ibid. 1.

[7] Empirical Supernatural article

[8] Rathi, op. cit.

[9] Zuckerman, et al, op cit, 2.

[10] find

[11] Zuckerman, op cit, 2.

[12] "Atheist IQ Scam, Bad Science and Atheist Assumptions: Kanazawa, Nyborg, Lynn, and Hamilton.
Atheist Watch, (Jan 22, 2012) blog,
 accessed 8/12/13.

[13] Atheist Watch, "Atheism's Psychology Today Scam," (Oct 3, 2010) accessed 8/12/13

[14] Belayneh Abate "Poisoned with defective theories, Kanazawa Insults Others “Mentally Retarded”pdf (10/10/2006) accessed 8/12/13

[15] Willam T. Dickens and James R. Flynn, "common Ground and Differences," pdf  accessed 8/12/13.

see also Denyse O'Leary, "Does Religion Rot Teenager's Brains?" MercatorNet, (July, 25, 2011)
Monday, 25 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011 accessed 8/12/13

 Ron Unz, "Unz on Race/IQ--Response to Lynn and Nyborg." The American Conservative
(August 4, 2012)
accessed 8/12/13
I also quote Brown in the American Guardian, just in case people want to make something out of quoting form the American Conservative.

Lynn's data was criticized: "The positive correlation between intelligence and atheism was a strong one, but the study came under criticism from Gordon Lynch of Birkbeck College, because it did not account for complex social, economical, and historical factors." See Rathi above. Lynn is important and could be considered one of the top researchers but he's also known for supporting the idea that IQ is racial.

[16] Zuckerman, Op. Cit., 2 (from first Argyle study, 96).

[17] Steve Kangus, editor, Liberalism Resurgent,  (accessed 8/12/13) this is a page combatting the myth that religious people are more intelligent. The site apparently sees religious belief and scinece as oppossies and as opponents, mutually exclusive.

The IQ argument is found here: (accessed 8/12/13) my rebuttal is here: In "who is smarter" on Doxa: Christian Thought in the 21st century.  I feel I rather put the matter to rest.

[18] The Simington study was originally listed on the original website I was rebutting (see previous note). that was years ago and the site has changed its list over time. He now includes studies that show no correlation as though that proves his point. It is actually a disproof as he is trying to that atheists are smarter. No correlation means there's no link bewteen intelligence and beilef. The list still includes Simington.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I have two posts for today. Read the Orwellian Atheism post just below. Tune in monday for the unveiling of my answer to the new major study on IQ and Atheism just released this summer.

 This is a major study becuase it brings all the best studies done, or so it seems and uses a statistical meta analysis to control of biases and produce over overarching finding, supposedly that atheists have higher IQs than believers.

The Study is done by a professor named Zuckerman, not that Zuckerman (not Phil) but Miron out of Rochester New York. This is a interesting and challenging study becuase it's larger in scope than any that's ever been done. The credentials of the researchers are beyond reproach, their statistical method is fine, they just happen to be wrong in certain crucial ways.

check back Monday.