Richard Dawkins in Ireland

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midgard

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« on: December 19, 2006, 07:51:45 AM »
For those of you that like Richard Dawkins, here he is in Ireland.

Videos

The first one is one the Late Late Show and is painful (and yet amusing) to watch. I think the funniest part is at the end when the person debating for the existence of God thinks he's made a point when he says something along the lines of:

"You state that there's a strong possibility of extra terrastrial life, that's based on faith and yet you're calling us deluded."

The funny thing is that most of the crowd cheer as if he actually did make a point.

The second is the Panel - haven't seen it yet.

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Nomad

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2006, 08:14:22 AM »
The first one is no longer available.  The second one is pretty good, though.
Nomad is a superhero.

8/30 NEVAR FORGET

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midgard

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2006, 08:17:24 AM »
Still haven't seen the second one. I watched the first one live and it was so painful. As I was watching it I came to the conclusion: Richard Dawkins has balls - there were people there ready for his blood.

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dysfunction

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Re: Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2006, 08:30:14 AM »
Quote from: "midgard"
"You state that there's a strong possibility of extra terrastrial life, that's based on faith and yet you're calling us deluded."


That's moronic. Dawkins has never stated that aliens exist. He has stated it is something he hopes to be true, but not something he definitely believes is true.
the cake is a lie

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midgard

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Re: Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 08:46:05 AM »
Quote from: "dysfunction"
That's moronic. Dawkins has never stated that aliens exist. He has stated it is something he hopes to be true, but not something he definitely believes is true.


I haven't read his books but Dawkins refuted the argument by saying that he accepts there's a chance that aliens don't exist. The other bloke didn't bother changing his argument and just kept repeating himself.

The thing that was annoying was the whole crowd thought it was a big point.

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beast

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2006, 02:17:35 PM »
Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the connection between intelligence and religion - 39 found there to be an inverse relationship and 4 found there to be no relationship.  That is to say that people who are intelligent are less likely to be religious than people who are less intelligent.  Obviously we're talking about statistics here and there is bound to be the odd anomaly.  Still it would explain why a religious crowd would think that that comment about aliens was a point for religion.

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skeptical scientist

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 07:48:12 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the connection between intelligence and religion - 39 found there to be an inverse relationship and 4 found there to be no relationship.  That is to say that people who are intelligent are less likely to be religious than people who are less intelligent.  Obviously we're talking about statistics here and there is bound to be the odd anomaly.  Still it would explain why a religious crowd would think that that comment about aliens was a point for religion.

How did these studies measure "intelligence" and to what extent is measured "intelligence" actually a result of education and not natural ability? What I'm getting at is: is it possible that what the studies really measured was an inverse relationship between education and religious belief? Also, "intelligence" is commonly regarded to be a multidimensional quality with many aspects, which are often but not always related. I don't think it's fair to say that intelligence causes one to be less religious - it may be that education causes one to be less religious and also to be tested as more intelligent, and it may also be that intelligence is correlated with some other property such as skepticism or an aversion to taking things on faith, which might cause one to be less religious. It's certainly very clear from anecdotal evidence that it is possible to be both very intelligent and very religious. I would also wonder to what extent these results are true only in modern culture - there are a lot of famous thinkers from the middle ages who were also clergy (because at that time, clergy were usually much better educated than the general public), so perhaps if the same studies were conducted in the middle ages, they would find the opposite correlation.
-David
E pur si muove!

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beast

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 07:58:20 AM »
I don't know the details.  Richard Dawkins brings it up in The God Delusion.  The actual study he brings up was a study by Mensa on studies about the relationship between intelligence and religion - so a meta study.  I'm sure google is your friend.

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dysfunction

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2006, 09:23:51 AM »
Intelligence tests do not measure intelligence. They measure a value that very loosely correlates with intelligence, but they do not measure intelligence itself. Education, and crystallized intelligence in general, play too large a role to consider these tests of intelligence. However, it certainly doesn't help religion's case much to say that 'the more educated and knowledgeable you are, the less likely you are to be religious', as opposed to 'the more intelligent you are, the less likely to be religious'.
the cake is a lie

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2006, 11:59:03 AM »
Quote from: "dysfunction"
Intelligence tests do not measure intelligence. They measure a value that very loosely correlates with intelligence, but they do not measure intelligence itself. Education, and crystallized intelligence in general, play too large a role to consider these tests of intelligence.

This is my understanding as well, and why I raised the point.

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However, it certainly doesn't help religion's case much to say that 'the more educated and knowledgeable you are, the less likely you are to be religious', as opposed to 'the more intelligent you are, the less likely to be religious'.

Perhaps, but as I mentioned before, how do we know this isn't just a product of modern society, and not a causal relationship between education and placing less importance on religion? There's a big step between showing correlation and showing causation, and I haven't seen any evidence that's shown any causation. As it is, it strikes me more as an intresting bit of trivia than a case against religion. In the past, education was highly correlated with being a member of the clergy, since the only types of people who were educated were clergy and nobility. Does it help the case of religion that in centuries past, the more educated you were, the more likely you were to be a priest? I think if you can draw any conclusions at all from these studies, they would be conclusions about the society we live in, and how it is structures, and not about whether one should hold religious beliefs.
-David
E pur si muove!

Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2006, 02:39:20 PM »
Theres a lot of possibility for error in that. I imagine if you conducted an experiment in America comparing religiousness to skin colour, youd find that white people are more religious (that may well be wrong, just an example). Obviously the corrolation would be merely coincidental.
In the same way, MOST people are stupid, and in America MOST people are religious, so it is probably coincidental.
ny Conspiricy without a secret society more than 1000 years old isn't worth thinking about

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beast

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2006, 03:46:46 PM »
I think when you're talking about a study of studies, rather than a single study, and when the results are as comprehensive as those results, it seems most probable that there is a relationship.

When you consider that of the most eminent scientists in America, those elected into the National Academy of Sciences - only 7% believe in God and of American scientists not elected into the Academy - only 40% believe in God (compared with the astounding 90% national figure) and when you consider that of the equivalent organisation in the UK - the Royal Society - only 5% believe in God, I think it's clear that there is a relationship between intelligence and belief in God - at least the socially accepted definition of intelligence.  Consider this, there have been 43 studies into the relationship.  39 have found that the higher the intelligence the lower the chance of believing in God.  4 have found no relationship.  The vast majority of scientists in the top scientific fellowships of the US and the UK also do not believe in God.  While this is not conclusive evidence, there seems to be only one conclusion that can be drawn from this.


"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."  Seneca the Younger 4 b.c.- 65 a.d.

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2006, 09:07:37 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
I think when you're talking about a study of studies, rather than a single study, and when the results are as comprehensive as those results, it seems most probable that there is a relationship.

I never said there wasn't - clearly there is a correlation. I just don't think that there is any evidence of a causal relationship - a corellation could be present for any number of other reasons, without assuming that intelligence is the cause of the decreased importance placed on religion.

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The vast majority of scientists in the top scientific fellowships of the US and the UK also do not believe in God.  While this is not conclusive evidence, there seems to be only one conclusion that can be drawn from this.

Why is there only one conclusion that can be drawn? Just because A and B are corellated doesn't mean that A causes B - it might be that there is some unknown third factor C which causes both A and B. People in the sciences tend to be less religious than the general public - is this because scientific education causes one to be less religious, or because the type of people who question their faith also tend to be the type of people who like to go into science, or because the religious communities value science less than the secular communities, or some other reason entirely? Without knowing why the correlation exists, it would be unwise to use it as an argument against being religious - just because scientists tend to be less religious doesn't mean you should be less religious too.
-David
E pur si muove!

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beast

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2006, 11:28:22 PM »
I would have said that the obvious conclusion is that there is an inverse relationship between intelligence and religious belief.  Which factor influences the other?  I don't know.  It seems most likely that more intelligent people are less likely to become religious, as opposed to becoming religious makes you less intelligent but that would be more of an assumption without evidence.

This was never an argument of why you should be an atheist.  I was just commenting on the fact that:

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That's moronic. Dawkins has never stated that aliens exist. He has stated it is something he hopes to be true, but not something he definitely believes is true.


I was facetiously suggesting that the reason why the God believers thought that a strong point had been made against Dawkins when it's clear that it hadn't is because they're religious and therefor less intelligent.  Maybe it was cheap shot, it certainly wasn't an argument to convince people who believe in God to become atheists so that they look more intelligent.

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2006, 12:29:20 AM »
Quote from: "beast"
I would have said that the obvious conclusion is that there is an inverse relationship between intelligence and religious belief.  Which factor influences the other?  I don't know.  It seems most likely that more intelligent people are less likely to become religious, as opposed to becoming religious makes you less intelligent but that would be more of an assumption without evidence.

You are still making an assumption that either A causes B or B causes A, but it is also possible that there is some third unkown factor C which causes both, which is the reason for the corellation. Two factors can be positively (negatively) correlated for other reasons than one of them positively (negatively) influencing the other.

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This was never an argument of why you should be an atheist.  I was just commenting on the fact that:

Quote
That's moronic. Dawkins has never stated that aliens exist. He has stated it is something he hopes to be true, but not something he definitely believes is true.


I was facetiously suggesting that the reason why the God believers thought that a strong point had been made against Dawkins when it's clear that it hadn't is because they're religious and therefor less intelligent.

This is fair enough, as long as you aren't using the fact that non-religious people tend to be more intelligent (in the US and UK at least, at least in the present) as a reason to be non-religious.
-David
E pur si muove!

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midgard

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2006, 02:42:37 AM »
Face it, beast just wants to believe that he's smarter because he's an atheist.

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Ubuntu

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2006, 04:46:16 PM »
Skept, that would be a very poor reason to be nonreligious.

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skeptical scientist

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2006, 08:05:49 PM »
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Skept, that would be a very poor reason to be nonreligious.

I meant "tend to be more intelligent". It's fixed now.
-David
E pur si muove!

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Rick_James

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Richard Dawkins in Ireland
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2006, 11:59:42 PM »
Quote from: "midgard"
Face it, beast just wants to believe that he's smarter because he's an atheist.


Wants to believe, or is forced to believe in the face of undeniable evidence?