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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Science: Athiests demonstrably more autistic

I distinctly recalled how the screechy monkeys did howl when author Vox Day wrote about this five years ago, quote.....




"It's not just a figment of my imagination, it seems atheists truly are socially autistic by their own report. Asperger's Syndrome is a disorder described as "autistic psychopathy" by its discoverer, Dr. Hans Asperger. Those with the disorder tend to be intelligent, socially awkward and difficult to converse with. They are also likely to be male.

Based on Wired Magazine's observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray, one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger's and atheism. It's by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger's Quotient test of 27.8. And this does not include the two individuals who actually have Asperger's but did not report any test results.

The test notes that "Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger's Syndrome or high-functioning autism". The average male score is 18, the average female score is 15. By way of comparison, I scored 14."




Now, in the Daily Mail, we read that there might be confirmation for this after all...





"People with 'mild' forms of autism are more likely to be atheists, according to a controversial new study - and more likely to shun organised religion in general.

The study, which looked at posts on autism forums, focused on people with high-functioning autism such as Asperger's.

The study, from University of Boston, speculates that common autistic spectrum behaviours such as 'a preference for logical beliefs' and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible.

The study authors, Catherine Caldwell-Harris and Patrick MacNamara studied discussions by 192 different posters on an autism website. They also looked at a survey of 61 people with high-functioning autism, and graphed against results from the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) test.
The results appeared to show that those with high AQ scores were 'more likely' to be atheists.

In the group of high-functionining autistic individuals, 26 per cent were atheists, compared to 16 per cent of 'neurotypical' individuals."


Will the science fetishists now rush out and embrace this new study? Of course, this dosn't translate to all atheists as being autistic, but it gives one paue to consider why a lot of them are. In the test utilized by Day, one of the statements they were asked to evaluate was "Other people frequently tell me that what I've said is impolite, even though I think it is polite." If you are an evagelical atheist and you simply cannot understand why people are so put off by the suggestion (or insistence) that their profoundly held religious beliefs are little more than a 'fairytale', this might be a good time to see if you qualify for the Asperger's test.














39 comments:

GentleSkeptic said...

common autistic spectrum behaviours such as 'a preference for logical beliefs' and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible.

Sounds perfectly reasonable, I don't know why this should be controversial or denied.

The real question is: why would God create a condition that made it less likely for the sufferer to believe in Him?

Speedy G said...

Of course, people who believe in G_d tend to trust their gut instincts as opposed to given "formulaic" solutions... and where better to learn those then from university egghead know-it-alls?

Speedy G said...

Me, I'll put my faith in my transmitter to G_d. ;)

Stormbringer said...

Another study shows that atheists have had poor relationships with, or absentee, fathers. No wonder they're screechy monkeys! And you know how cranky they get when you dare to even question the cornerstone of the atheist religion, evolution.

If I may, I have some examples (cleaned up or specially selected, since they tend to be obscene) of poorly-thinking, unsociable atheism here.

GentleSkeptic said...

Thanks to Speedy for the link that confirms that "gut thinkers" tend to get the answers wrong.

No takers on my question?

GentleSkeptic said...

That's an awesome post, SB! I put together similar ones here, here, here, and here.

Speedy G said...

Thanks to Speedy for the link that confirms that "gut thinkers" tend to get the answers wrong.

lol!

What makes you believe that "reasoned" confabulations are any "righter" than "unreasoned" confabulations? They're only "usually" more "predictive" of future cycles because they take into consideration observations of past cycles. It doesn't mean that what was observed in a past cycle will "necessarily" repeat. It also does not APPLY if no past cycles were ever observed before. And I hate to inform you of this, but not even Adam and Eve were around when Creation was there to be "observed."

Speedy G said...

and ps - Where do those "confabulations" come from, anyway? What are they? As Plato stated in his "Ion",

SOCRATES: I perceive, Ion; and I will proceed to explain to you what I imagine to be the reason of this. The gift which you possess of speaking excellently about Homer is not an art, but, as I was just saying, an inspiration; there is a divinity moving you, like that contained in the stone which Euripides calls a magnet, but which is commonly known as the stone of Heraclea. This stone not only attracts iron rings, but also imparts to them a similar power of attracting other rings; and sometimes you may see a number of pieces of iron and rings suspended from one another so as to form quite a long chain: and all of them derive their power of suspension from the original stone. In like manner the Muse first of all inspires men herself; and from these inspired persons a chain of other persons is suspended, who take the inspiration. For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed. And as the Corybantian revellers when they dance are not in their right mind, so the lyric poets are not in their right mind when they are composing their beautiful strains: but when falling under the power of music and metre they are inspired and possessed; like Bacchic maidens who draw milk and honey from the rivers when they are under the influence of Dionysus but not when they are in their right mind. And the soul of the lyric poet does the same, as they themselves say; for they tell us that they bring songs from honeyed fountains, culling them out of the gardens and dells of the Muses; they, like the bees, winging their way from flower to flower. And this is true. For the poet is a light and winged and holy thing, and there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses, and the mind is no longer in him: when he has not attained to this state, he is powerless and is unable to utter his oracles. Many are the noble words in which poets speak concerning the actions of men; but like yourself when speaking about Homer, they do not speak of them by any rules of art: they are simply inspired to utter that to which the Muse impels them, and that only; and when inspired, one of them will make dithyrambs, another hymns of praise, another choral strains, another epic or iambic verses—and he who is good at one is not good at any other kind of verse: for not by art does the poet sing, but by power divine. Had he learned by rules of art, he would have known how to speak not of one theme only, but of all; and therefore God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know them to be speaking not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God himself is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us. And Tynnichus the Chalcidian affords a striking instance of what I am saying: he wrote nothing that any one would care to remember but the famous paean which is in every one's mouth, one of the finest poems ever written, simply an invention of the Muses, as he himself says. For in this way the God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods by whom they are severally possessed. Was not this the lesson which the God intended to teach when by the mouth of the worst of poets he sang the best of songs? Am I not right, Ion?

GentleSkeptic said...

It doesn't mean that what was observed in a past cycle will "necessarily" repeat.

Unless, of course, it's math.

Next, the participants took a three-question math test with questions such as, "A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

The intuitive answer to that question is 10 cents, since most people's first impulse is to knock $1 off the total. But people who use "reflective" reasoning to question their first impulse are more likely to get the correct answer: 5 cents.

Sure enough, people who went with their intuition on the math test were found to be one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right.


Got nothin' to do with Socrates.

Still no takers on my very serious question?

GentleSkeptic said...

What makes you believe that "reasoned" confabulations are any "righter" than "unreasoned" confabulations? They're only "usually" more "predictive" of future cycles because they take into consideration observations of past cycles.

BTW: I love how you present this truth as though it's actually quite meaningless and insignificant, with no real bearing on the world and what we can claim to know about it. The backbone of empiricism is just a lark! Nothing useful here, aside from a few centuries of scientific progess…

Speedy G said...

Ahhh... but is "usefulness" the same as "truth"?

A lie can be just as useful as any truth. Played at the "right" (opportune) time, perhaps even MORE so.

Nietzsche, WtP 493 (1885)

Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive.

But please, any claim to the "truth"... is just a "gut feeling"...

WtP 534 (1887-1888)

The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.

...and "oh what a feeling" it is.

Speedy G said...

Unless, of course, it's math.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha. Measurement certainly increases the usefulness of a predictive falsehood. But what truth REALLY lies in knowledge of the length of the King Henry I's "foot" and how many such "lengths" lie between the archer and his target?

GentleSkeptic said...

You would be much more persuasive if you presented something other than quotes from philosophers. If predictive utility were so inconsequential then we may as well go back to Aristotle and epicycles.

Unless, of course, you're arguing that in some future 'cycle' .10¢ + $1.10 will equal $1.10.

Has it occurred to you that it's a little ironic that you launched your defense of intuitive thinking with a citation of empirical research?

What makes you believe that "reasoned" confabulations are any "righter" than "unreasoned" confabulations?

Have you ever noticed that intuition seems to improve with age? Why do you suppose this is? (Hint: it relates to observation of 'cycles'.)

Intuition and unreasoned 'confabulations' can be extremely useful. Unless you're paranoid, schizophrenic, depressed, manic, extremely jealous … or autistic.

Why will no-one touch my question? Given that the goal is God-belief in every created human, What is the Intelligently Designed purpose of a naturally-occurring condition that tends to make the created less likely to believe in the Creator?

Speedy G said...

Unless, of course, you're arguing that in some future 'cycle' .10¢ + $1.10 will equal $1.10.

lol!

I'm not one to believe that $0.05 + $1.05 = $1.10. It's only true if you "believe" it to be true. In reality, no nickle exactly equals another different nickle. In "reality" they are different nickles, and no two nickles (or snowflakes) are alike. In fact, a numismatist will tell you that "some" nickles are worth a LOT more than a nickle.

So much for the "true" relationship between "math" and "reality".

Nietzsche, "Gay Science" 110 - Origins of Knowledge. Throughout immense stretches of time the intellect produced nothing but errors; some of them proved to be useful and preservative of the species: he who fell in with them, or inherited them, waged the battle for himself and his offspring with better success. Those erroneous articles of faith which were successively transmitted by inheritance, and have finally become almost the property and stock of the human species, are, for example, the following: that there are enduring things, that there are equal things, that there are things, substances, and bodies, that a thing is what it appears, that our will is free that what is good for me is also good absolutely. It was only very late that the deniers, doubters of such propositions came forward - it was only very late that truth made its appearance as the most impotent form of knowledge.

And as for your statement, "Given that the goal is God-belief in every created human, What is the Intelligently Designed purpose of a naturally-occurring condition that tends to make the created less likely to believe in the Creator?"

What makes you believe that "G_d-belief" is HIS goal? I suspect it to be something VERY different, else we wouldn't need to spend 80 trips around the Sun learning what it is we're supposed to learn.

Speedy G said...

Intuition and unreasoned 'confabulations' can be extremely useful. Unless you're paranoid, schizophrenic, depressed, manic, extremely jealous … or autistic.

Those experiences can ALSO be useful. I spent some time suffering from paranoid delusions. It helped me to NOT be so "accepting" of many things that I'm sure you "take for granted"... like the efficacy of math, logic, and science.

Speedy G said...

btw - Do you know what the word "refinement" means? To operate from reflex and habit instead of thought? Reason is only half of the equation. You over-value it. In-corp-orated "truth"... THAT is self-knowledge.

Stormbringer said...

GS, I note your "tu quoque" logical fallacy. My posts are from things that I have seen and experienced. You are doing a ridiculous approach that, if I had seen it on Twitter, I would have included it in the list.

GentleSkeptic said...

It's only true if you "believe" it to be true. In reality, no nickle exactly equals another different nickle.

Spoken like a true relativist.

You appear to be eliding value and measurement. Naturally, a nickel in 1980 does not "equal" a nickel in 2011, or a Lucky Nickel, or whatever you're trying to say. I'm referring to math as Ratio (root of ratio-nal) as unequivocal, if isolated, truth. f(x)=y. Geometry and calculus and algebra, where no values are required to make true statements that reflect the observed world.

What makes you believe that "G_d-belief" is HIS goal?

Well, Sir: if it is not, I can assure you that is not I, but a plurality of contemporary Believers, who has misunderstood the Gospel message.

we wouldn't need to spend 80 trips around the Sun learning what it is we're supposed to learn.

Here, we are in full agreement.

I spent some time suffering from paranoid delusions. It helped me to NOT be so "accepting" of many things ... like the efficacy of math, logic, and science.

I rest my case. Why do you refer to them as "delusions" if they moved you toward truth?

Reason is only half of the equation.

This is what I've been saying! (By saying that intuition is only half the equation.) Intuition, tempered and tamed by reason, strikes me as the best path.

Storm: My posts are from things that I have seen and experienced.

Yes, well: personal anecdote pales against thousands upon thousands of real-world incidents of molestation, rape, and pastoral theft, now innit? I invite you to link to my comment for your list.

GentleSkeptic said...

Oh look, another one.

Hamilton pastor turns self in for alleged fraud; authorities seek 2nd suspect

The charges included theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit both, failure to register a security and failure to register as a salesman of same.

That won't surprise those who have followed Himes' public appearances since he landed in the Bitterroot Valley during the past decade. At times brandishing the title of "pastor" and at others that of "attorney," the transplant from California and St. Louis has waged a verbal war against reproductive and gay rights at the state level and against the teaching of evolution at the school district level, a move that led to his defeat in a 2004 bid for a position on the Darby school board.

Speedy G said...

I'm referring to math as Ratio (root of ratio-nal) as unequivocal, if isolated, truth. f(x)=y. Geometry and calculus and algebra, where no values are required to make true statements that reflect the observed world.

Try applying you "physics formula's" and "math equations" inside a black hole. Then tell me exactly what "truth" they represent. It is only "truth" in an "isolated" (your term) and specific and measured locality within space-time. Useful information, perhaps. But something "transcendental"... well... not "exactly". It's only "useful" in conjunction with other fictions like "time" and "space". On paper, you can make time "stop" (Xeno's Achilles and the Tortoise) or become "infinite". In the "real" world, however....

Speedy G said...

I rest my case. Why do you refer to them as "delusions" if they moved you toward truth

Mass hypnosis and a commonly agreed upon conventions for lying may be what YOU consider to be "truth"... but it isn't what I consider to be the truth. As Nietzsche said, if it makes you "feel" more powerful and "in control"... then it's a "truth" for you. Just don't expect me to share in ALL your delusions and agree with you.

The "imaginary number" i isn't the ONLY imaginary number. They ALL are. And just because you use "sacred geometry" in the designs of all your equations, doesn't make the results from them "holy". Scientists are constantly revising and refining their equations, and each is out to prove his predesessor a "false prophet". "Settled Science" never has, and never WILL exist. And so as a result, neither will your "truth".

As Plato concluded in his "Cratylus"...(and yes Heraclitian "Relativity" IS the world)

SOCRATES: Nor can we reasonably say, Cratylus, that there is knowledge at all, if everything is in a state of transition and there is nothing abiding; for knowledge too cannot continue to be knowledge unless continuing always to abide and exist. But if the very nature of knowledge changes, at the time when the change occurs there will be no knowledge; and if the transition is always going on, there will always be no knowledge, and, according to this view, there will be no one to know and nothing to be known: but if that which knows and that which is known exists ever, and the beautiful and the good and every other thing also exist, then I do not think that they can resemble a process or flux, as we were just now supposing. Whether there is this eternal nature in things, or whether the truth is what Heracleitus and his followers and many others say, is a question hard to determine; and no man of sense will like to put himself or the education of his mind in the power of names: neither will he so far trust names or the givers of names as to be confident in any knowledge which condemns himself and other existences to an unhealthy state of unreality; he will not believe that all things leak like a pot, or imagine that the world is a man who has a running at the nose. This may be true, Cratylus, but is also very likely to be untrue; and therefore I would not have you be too easily persuaded of it. Reflect well and like a man, and do not easily accept such a doctrine; for you are young and of an age to learn. And when you have found the truth, come and tell me.

CRATYLUS: I will do as you say, though I can assure you, Socrates, that I have been considering the matter already, and the result of a great deal of trouble and consideration is that I incline to Heracleitus.

SOCRATES: Then, another day, my friend, when you come back, you shall give me a lesson; but at present, go into the country, as you are intending, and Hermogenes shall set you on your way.

CRATYLUS: Very good, Socrates; I hope, however, that you will continue to think about these things yourself.

Speedy G said...

I rest my case. Why do you refer to them as "delusions" if they moved you toward truth?

Because I know that ALL my thoughts and knowledge are delusions... as did Socrates (Plato, "Apology"), and in like regard, I may have the advantage of you.

Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is,—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another who had still higher pretensions to wisdom, and my conclusion was exactly the same. Whereupon I made another enemy of him, and of many others besides him.

Have I made an enemy of you, yet?

Speedy G said...

Spoken like a true relativist.

What makes you believe that His World is the same as ours? If One is not, then nothing IS (Plato, "Parmenides").

Speedy G said...

Nietzsche, WtP 488 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Psychological derivation of our belief in reason.--The concept "reality", "being", is taken from our feeling of the "subject".
"The subject": interpreted from within ourselves, so that the ego counts as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer.

The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, accident, attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our habit of regarding all our deeds as consequences of our will--so that the ego, as substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of change.--But there is no such thing as will.--

We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a "world in itself" from a "world of appearance." All our categories of reason are of sensual origin: derived from the empirical world. "The soul", "the ego"--the history of these concepts shows that here, too, the oldest distinction ("breath", "life")--

If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. The concept no longer contains anything.

No subject "atoms". The sphere of a subject constantly growing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. No "substance", rather something that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself--).

Speedy G said...

As I've stated before, much to your disbelief,

Nietzsche, WtP 493 (1885)

Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive.

What is the value of "religion" for life? It's at LEAST as valuable as "science". ;)

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." --Albert Einstein

Speedy G said...

btw - How many time do you intend to send Theuth into your gut and return with a result acceptable to Thamus? As many times as Athena Parthenos might send Nike into the upper divisions of the Parthenon... or as many times as she might send her "shielded" single snake into the lower? Like Legion, you Lefties are such Medusa worshippers... exorcising your many demons would appear to be a full-time job.

jes' wondrin'....

GentleSkeptic said...

"Settled Science" never has, and never WILL exist.

And therein lies its strength. The rejection of dogma, and the capacity for "refinement," as you say, and self-correction are the method's greatest assets.

And so as a result, neither will your "truth".

Says the relativist. Proximity to truth, however, only increases with time.

As Nietzsche said, if it makes you "feel" more powerful and "in control"

It also makes predictions, and gets results, and can be refined, and leads to things like, say, the WorldWide Web, where people can ignore all of that and make silly arguments about black holes.

Because I know that ALL my thoughts and knowledge are delusions

There are times.

There are times on the internet when one puts it together. The screen-name, the history of paranoid delusion, the disjointed, cryptic line of argumentation, the obsessive/compulsive pasting … and one realizes that one may well be 'debating' with a (recovering) meth abuser.

Peace be with you.

Speedy G said...

Proximity to truth, however, only increases with time.

A "progressive" true believer to the end.

Nietzsche, "Gay Science"

We say it is "explanation "; but it is only in "description" that we are in advance of the older stages of knowledge and science. We describe better, we explain just as little as our predecessors. We have discovered a manifold succession where the naive man and investigator of older cultures saw only two things, "cause" and "effect,"as it was said; we have perfected the conception of becoming, but have not got a knowledge of what is above and behind the conception. The series of "causes" stands before us much more complete in every case; we conclude that this and that must first precede in order that that other may follow - but we have not grasped anything thereby. The peculiarity, for example, in every chemical process seems a "miracle," the same as before, just like all locomotion; nobody has "explained" impulse. How could we ever explain? We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces - how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a conception, our conception? It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanizing of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions. Cause and effect: there is probably never any such duality; in fact there is a continuum before us, from which we isolate a few portions - just as we always observe a motion as isolated points, and therefore do not properly see it, but infer it. The abruptness with which many effects take place leads us into error; it is however only an abruptness for us. There is an infinite multitude of processes in that abrupt moment which escape us. An intellect which could see cause and effect as a continuum, which could see the flux of events not according to our mode of perception, as things arbitrarily separated and broken - would throw aside the conception of cause and effect, and would deny all conditionality.

GentleSkeptic said...

It's OK, Speedy: all your thoughts and knowledge are delusions.

Speedy G said...

...and all your thoughts and knowledge are delusions only thought to be "true".

At least my thoughts are open to new ideas and subject to constant "refinement".... whilst yours rot and decay a "closed" mind that resembles an aviary that has already "captured" all the pairs of birds its' ever going to get (Plato, Theaetetus).

Speedy G said...

Ooooops, who closed the cage door, GS? Did you???

JD Curtis said...

And therein lies its strength. The rejection of dogma, and the capacity for "refinement," as you say, and self-correction are the method's greatest assets

The rejection of dogma? Really? Exactly what competeing theories to common descent have been offered and how were they tested?

(This might come through as a double post. I think blogger ate the earlier one))

Speedy G said...

Well JD, I suspect that this pretty well sums up what he means... but unfortunately, GS doesn't care to practice what HE preaches either, for he's even MORE closed minded.

Speedy G said...

Whereas YOU can accept the efficacy of "knowledge", he cannot that of "right opinion". (Plato, "Meno"). And so he has closed the door to his aviary.

Speedy G said...

For example, NASA still uses Newton's equations to calculate orbits and trajectories despite the fact that Einstein proved them "flawed". But then, "close enough for government work" is never a level of "exactitude" that most "skeptics" are willing to accept.

Speedy G said...

...at least NOT in an "internet debate," for THEY believe themselves to be in possession of "actual knowledge."

Speedy G said...

Epimetheus always did believe himself to be the smarter brother. That's why Zeus gave Pandora to HIM.

Speedy G said...

Faith trumps Knowledge... for it understands its' own limits.

GentleSkeptic said...

Delusional and OCD. Damn.

Definitely a tweaker.