Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are those of higher intelligence less likely to believe in intelligent

  1. Jan 31, 2010 #1
    Are those of higher intelligence less likely to believe in intelligent design?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2010 #2
    Re: Omniscience

    I'm pretty sure a study was done on this and the answer is yes. Of course the term 'higher intelligence' is completely subjective, maybe to me having higher intelligence is actually having the courage to have blind faith in something...
     
  4. Jan 31, 2010 #3
    Re: Omniscience

    Higher intelligence or higher knowledge? I can imagine some intelligent theists, but a knowledgeable theist? To be a theist you have to forgo certain bits of information.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2010 #4
  6. Jan 31, 2010 #5
    Re: Omniscience

    Of course, as a simple matter of professional jealosy.
     
  7. Jan 31, 2010 #6
    Re: Omniscience

    Then you'd be making up a completely new definition of intelligence.

    Maybe to me, intelligence as the ability to say "Chubby Bunny" with 9 large marshmallows in your mouth, but that doesn't mean my definition is valid.
     
  8. Jan 31, 2010 #7

    f95toli

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    I think it is also depends on what you mean by "believe". I suspect quite a few people who say they believe in ID do so because it e.g. happens to be the official position of their faith (or at least their church); not because they have actually studied the evidence or even given the subject any serious thought. So it is not always a case of thinking about it and drawing the wrong conclusion.

    Hence, I don't think there is a simple correlation. There are plenty of intelligent people who believe in all sort of strange things, usually because of strong religious convictions or simply because they can't be bothered to actually look at the evidence.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2010 #8
    Re: Omniscience

    If you mean intelligent design as ID creationist movement, then yes, only ignorant people will believe them
     
  10. Jan 31, 2010 #9
    Re: Omniscience

    Yea, I know smart people who are also devout Christians. One of the guys that is in charge of mapping the human genome was a strong Christian.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2010 #10
    Re: Omniscience

    I believe there are beings 'out there' with a lot higher intelligence than us---they helped design their own civilizations---


    did they intelligently design the universe? maybe the parts that they interacted with
     
  12. Jan 31, 2010 #11
    Re: Omniscience

    an intelligent person realizes it's not something you can either prove or disprove
     
  13. Jan 31, 2010 #12

    ideasrule

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Re: Omniscience

    An intelligent person realizes that statement applies to everything and does not consider it useful.
     
  14. Jan 31, 2010 #13

    G01

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    I've met PhD's in physics who are devout Catholics, and Muslims. They are good physicists who publish quality research. One of the best Math professors I ever had was a Jesuit priest.
     
  15. Jan 31, 2010 #14
    Re: Omniscience

    Does not change the average.
     
  16. Jan 31, 2010 #15
    Re: Omniscience

    I think it's more a matter of knowledge and information than intelligence. I know some very intelligent people who believe in intelligent design. A lot of those people possess strong analytic reasoning abilities, but don't have a graduate level education in the sciences, and thus aren't aware of the problems with ID. I know a few such people in my physics department, but even these people, when pressed, will admit that there are serious issues with ID that make it pseudoscience.

    A big problem with ID is that it's ill-defined. For any definition of ID that you propose, you'll see plenty of ID proponents who'll tell you that this definition is wrong. For some, ID is six-day creationism. For others, it's theistic evolution. Unfortunately, the ID movement thrives in part because it obfuscates its own platform, and this makes counterarguments difficult. But ultimately, I would hope that highly intelligent people who believe in ID will reverse their positions when confronted with scientific truth.

    It's worth pointing out that the vast majority of the world believes in a deity of some sort. I recently read a fascinating book called "Did Man Create God?" by a medical doctor named David Comings. I personally don't share his atheistic beliefs (which come off pretty strongly in the book), but he claims that belief in God is hardwired into the human brain. Therefore, he says, it's unrealistic for atheists to require theists to give up their religious beliefs, and attention should instead be focused on putting these beliefs into practice in a peaceful manner. If you believe his conclusion, it also removes any ground for atheistic elitism, and makes it much more difficult to argue that theism is the result of some kind of foolishness. It would also explain the existence of religious people who are also competent and scientists. Anyway, it's worth looking into if you've got some spare time.

    This is true, but Dr. Francis Collins also rejects intelligent design and believes in biological evolution. He's actually an excellent example of an intelligent person who can hold a fairly strong religious belief without experiencing cognitive dissonance due to his scientific understanding. Many here seem to be equating theism with belief in pseudoscience. But I think that comparison isn't accurate. A distinction should be made between theism and pseudoscientific beliefs like intelligent design or creationism.
     
  17. Jan 31, 2010 #16
    Re: Omniscience

    yes that would be francis collins

    Yes I completely agree, and add "intellectual deception" to cognitive dissonance = Dembski,Behe,Tipler's ID
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  18. Jan 31, 2010 #17
    Re: Omniscience

    The scientific answer to ID: It's not falsifiable, and it's false.
     
  19. Jan 31, 2010 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    Loren, why would you start a thread like this? You do realize that it just opens the door to religion bashing, right? If you want an answer, look it up. You are opening the door to opinions, which can be completely subjective, and are generally hostile towards this subject.

    I think one also has to allow for personality types. My personal theory is that scientists and engineers often have a need to believe that they understand the the world. This worldview does not tend to be compatible with matters of faith. My view here is partly motivated by six years of moderating S&D. Many particpants almost seem fearful that some things might still exist that we just can't explain. When I took over S&D it soon became clear that many debunkers needed debunking as much as the fringe groups. And there still tends to be the assumption that any prosaic explanation for an unusual claim is valid, whether it speaks to the facts or not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  20. Jan 31, 2010 #19
    Re: Omniscience

    Why does it matter if one person believes in a higher being and another doesn't? Why does it matter if one person believes in intelligent design and another doesn't? As Ivan said, this seems like the start of a religious bashing thread, and from what I have seen, the church is far out numbered here.

    Why does it matter if a great scientist believes in intelligent design? Does that make his work any less credible? Is the Cartesian coordinate system any less useful because Descartes was a Catholic?
     
  21. Jan 31, 2010 #20

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    ID and belief in God are apples and oranges.

    ID is an attempt to rationally deduce the existence of a designer. It attempts to use the language and tools of a rational, logical person, but does so badly. Its arguments are weak and easy to refute. An intelligent person would not be convinced of ID.

    Not true of the concept of God. It is based on faith. It does not require rational deduction. Intelligent people are as capable as the next person of choosing to believe something when the arguments for or against are difficult to refute.

    In this sense, in the pecking order of sceptics' acceptance, ID falls well below God.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  22. Jan 31, 2010 #21
    Re: Omniscience

    Thank you, Ivan, for pointing out the possibility for prejudice here. I personally try to resolve my "cognitive dissonance" from being a physicist and theist. As a physicist, I have been exposed to - in my passive opinion - hostile atheism, and as a theist have been bombarded with a lot of what I consider, also passively, to be feel-good myths.

    As has been mentioned in this thread, there is some middle ground. I encourage those who believe in creation by an Intelligent Designer to recognize beauty reciprocally with those who believe in the same beautiful, physically infinite universe. Intelligence is in the eye of the beholder, and I believe this subject (albeit worded differently) needs to be addressed by science and religion alike.
     
  23. Feb 1, 2010 #22
    Re: Omniscience

    ID is a political tool. No rational person needs to find a conflict between their religion and physics. You can ALWAYS believe that beyond all observational limits there is a god, or not.

    Personally most people I know who are in this and related fields consider the question to be of academic interest only; a god would be beyond human comprehension unless it wanted to make itself known... which it presumably could. Barring that, life goes on, ends, and what comes after is a mystery we'll unravel when we die, or not.

    That's the kind of agnostic I am... no reason to believe, no reason not to.

    EDIT: Like Loren I am TIRED of people of "faith" (Atheists and Theists) being... pushy. The behaviour must be hardwired.
     
  24. Feb 1, 2010 #23

    f95toli

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    In my view yes. There is HUGE difference between being religious and being a proponent of ID. There are plenty of good scientists that also happen to be religious. But ID is -as has already been pointed out- not about "faith", it is an attempt to use use misleading arguments to create a conflict where there is no need for one, to fool the general public that scientific arguments that were settled over 100 years ago are still open to debate, and to push a religious -often political- agenda.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  25. Feb 1, 2010 #24

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Omniscience

    If a scientist gave serious (as opposed to merely whimsical) time and energy to the existence of the Easter Bunny, yes I would say it calls his credibility into question.
     
  26. Feb 1, 2010 #25
    Re: Omniscience

    Einstein, Neils Bohr, Louis Pasteur, Mendel and lots of the other fathers believed in a God of some sort. Some of them claimed that their belief in God encouraged them to do science.

    I cant think of a major scientific discovery that helped mankind discovered by an atheist. (I would love to be told I am wrong at this point, my memory just fails me.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook