Thanks to DailyWTF for this article.
This is obviously a claim which is going to cause a lot of controversy. I do not think that there is a single religious person on the planet who will not take offense at a statement like this.
In 2003 Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett proposed renaming atheists and skeptics “brights”. This caused a huge uproar and a great deal of public outcry. The religious section of society took offense at what they perceived to be discrimination. The proponents of the “brights” name change claimed that the name implied a questioning attitude towards life and was not intended to label skeptics and atheists as smarter then believers. However this explanation never got off the ground, many of the potential “brights” were also unhappy with the concept and it was sidelined. There is a group of people who refer to themselves as “brights”, but they are in the minority. Most atheists simply do not believe that they are smarter than believers simply because they do not have religious convictions.
I will ask the simplest questions about Lynn’s findings;
1. Who wrote it? Richard Lynn seems to have made a career out of controversy. One of his proposals is that there are racial and gender differences in IQ and he proposes that “incompetent” cultures are phased out. For more on Lynn’s career please read this Wikipedia article.
2. Where is it published? The article I was forwarded is published on the Times Higher Education website, which provides information to University Professionals. The research will be published in the journal Intelligence.
3. Who is the intended audience? From number 2 above it is obvious that this work is aimed at the intellectual elite. Good old boys who can give themselves a pat on the back after having their greatness re-affirmed.
I think it extremely irresponsible for Lynn to stereotype people in such a negative way. I would like to agree that I am an atheist because I am more intelligent than believers, but I simply cannot feel comfortable discriminating against people in such a blatant way.
Thank you Lynn, but No thank you!