Put not thy trust in IQ

Not that it is likely to, but the results of the IQ tests performed by an American Army psychologist at the Nuremberg Trials should put at least a slight damper on the often-heard atheist appeals to intelligence. Especially since at 121.72, the average IQs of the National Socialist leadership was more than a standard deviation higher than the 103.09 mean IQ reported for atheists:

IQ of Nazi leaders, cited from: Gilbert, G. M.: Nuremberg Diary. New York: Signet Book 1947, p. 34; Wechsler-Bellevue

Hjalmar Schacht, Reich Minister of Economics: IQ 143
Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Foreign Minister of Germany: IQ 141
Hermann Göring, President of the Reichstag and Reich Minister of Aviation: IQ 138
Karl Dönitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine: IQ 138
Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and War Production: IQ 128
Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht: IQ 127
Alfred Rosenberg, Commissar for Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Education of the German National Socialist Workers Party: IQ 127
Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer: IQ 120

In other words, if we are to take seriously the idea that the reported 5.95-point IQ advantage enjoyed by the “not-at-all religious” over the “very religious” means that we should be inclined to reject the theistic perspective, then surely the 18.63 advantage of the National Socialists proves we should all convert to Nazi atheism.

The statistical utility of suicide

This report certainly won’t surprise the socionomists:

Suicide rates in the U.S. tend to rise during recessions and fall amid economic booms, according to study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicides reached a record high of 22 people per 100,000 in 1932 during the Great Depression, CDC officials said in a report published online today in the American Journal of Public Health. That was double the rates seen in 2000, when 10 people per 100,000 took their lives as the economy prospered, the study found.

What I’m wondering is if this might make for an effective check on the, shall we say, heavily massaged government statistics. If GDP is reportedly up in tandem with the suicide rate, then one would tend to suspect that the economy was not actually growing despite the statistically reported growth. For example, it is interesting to note that the suicide rate has been on the rise since 2000.

The six-year analysis found that the U.S. suicide rate rose 5 percent, from 10.5 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 11 per 100,000 people in 2005.

This suggests that if the economy is still in a contraction, as I have been insisting, then the suicide rates should still be rising from 2008 through 2011.

Further abusing an expired equine

Edward Feser praises Common Sense Atheism for having the good sense to abandon a disproven aphorism:

[T]he Common Sense Atheism blog used to proclaim proudly on its masthead: When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

I see that that blog has now removed this one-liner, which is perhaps a sign that intellectual progress is possible even among New Atheist types. Because while your average “Internet Infidel” seems to regard the “one god further” objection as devastatingly clever, it is in fact embarrassingly inept, a sign of the extreme decadence into which secularist “thought” has fallen in the Age of Dawkins.

Suppose someone skeptical about Euclidean geometry said:

When you understand why you regard all the particular triangles you’ve observed as having sides that are less than perfectly straight, you will understand why I regard Euclidean plane triangles as such to have sides that are less than perfectly straight.

Or suppose a critic of Platonism said:

When you understand why you regard the things of ordinary experience as in various ways imperfect or less than fully good instances of their kinds, you will understand why I regard Plato’s Form of the Good as being less than fully good.

Would these count as devastating objections to Euclidean geometry and Platonism? Would they serve as fitting mottos for blogs devoted to “Common Sense Anti-Euclideanism” or “Common Sense Anti-Platonism”? Obviously not. They would demonstrate only that the speaker didn’t have the slightest clue what the hell he was talking about.

Feser took a different tact than I did in addressing Sam Harris’s use of this aphorism in TIA, but the fact that the statement can be demolished from multiple angles is a good indication that it is a remarkably stupid statement. I leave it to you to decide which method is more effective, but I certainly can’t argue with his conclusion.

Anyhow, it’s good to see that atheists have abandoned this and the ridiculous Red State argument. Hopefully it won’t be long before they give up on the ludicrous “One Less God” assertion, the ahistorical “religion causes war” meme, and the dishonest “No True Atheist” defense as well.