This is one of the stupidest fucking things I have ever read. Take it from the top:
Atheists like to think of themselves as free thinkers whose take on the world is more intelligent than that of those who are religious. Often they hold up sketchy studies as proof that their skepticism of a higher power has somehow made them smarter than the paranoid idiots who believe there might be something beyond themselves.
“Often” we hold up sketchy studies. As soon as I saw this, I knew what she was referring to, so let’s scroll down a bit and…yep. That is indeed what she’s talking about:
Yet just a few weeks ago when Professor Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics announced research showing those identified as atheists had higher IQs, atheists smugly held up the data as proof positive that people not confined by the dogmatic structure of a religion are best able to soar intellectually. Never mind that the differences in IQ were too small to draw sweeping conclusions.
Given that she started off this essay making broad, unsupported claims about what atheists supposedly think, I must say that I’m even a little more suspicious now that she doesn’t name or link to any of these atheists crowing about this study, because one of the most famous ones I know of had this to say about it:
Show me the error bars on those measurements. Show me the reliability of IQ as a measure of actual, you know, intelligence. Show me that a 6 point IQ difference matters at all in your interactions with other people, even if it were real. And then to claim that these differences are not only heritable, but evolutionarily significant…jebus, people, you can just glance at it and see that it is complete crap.
And then look at the source: Satoshi Kanazawa, the Fenimore Cooper of Sociobiology, the professional fantasist of Psychology Today. He’s like the poster boy for the stupidity and groundlessness of freakishly fact-free evolutionary psychology. Just ignore anything with Kanazawa’s name on it.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. So unless Ms. Emling can cite someone more influential than a commenter on a blog somewhere or the voices at the bottom of a bottle, I’m going to have to conclude that even if these arrogant atheists in love with their I.Q. tests didn’t exist, she would invent them.
And back to her earlier non-sequitur: like every atheist I’ve ever known, I have no problem accepting that there is “something beyond” myself. There’s a helluva lotta “something” beyond myself, in fact! It’s just that none of it is a personal, loving, anthropomorphic deity who cares about you and your petty wants and needs and your favorite sports teams, which is really the only kind of “God” anyone cares to believe in, or else Deism would have never died out. Methinks she’s confusing – and probably not by accident – atheism and solipsism. In fact, I’m really beginning to doubt that she is operating in intellectual good faith here! But let’s move on:
I’m no religious zealot, but I do like the idea of atheists being introduced to another perspective. After all, there are plenty of smart people who also are religious. And there also are plenty of highly acclaimed scientists – Francis Collins, to name just one – who have found faith after achieving great academic success and who are outspoken defenders of the compatibility of science and religion.
While you’re at PZ’s blog checking out the post I linked to, you can do a search for Francis Collins and see what he’s already had to say about his “high acclaim”. I’ll just concentrate on what she apparently thinks is some counterintuitive insight, that atheists should spend time getting acquainted with what the other side thinks.