by, Steve Williams | The Examiner
Have you ever heard the claim “all smart people are atheists”, or maybe its inverse: “people who believe in God are dumb”? It’s quite a pervasive urban legend, and one which I’ve known is false for a long time, but I didn’t realize just how false until the other day. I recently decided to do a quick cataloging of the ten highest IQ’s on earth, and discovered that it’s nearly the exact opposite of the truth!
Before reading the list, however, I want to remind you of the caveat that IQ test results are not in any sense the measure of a person’s worth. They tend to favor folks who are good at hard “knowledge” things like mathematics and chess, and I think we all know very valuable people who are good at none of these. Moreover, I think the attribute of “wisdom” (valuing attributes like ethics and foresight) is a far better measure of whether or not a person will be happy. I’m not aware of any standardized test for measuring wisdom, however.
Another important point is that there are competing ideas on which tests most accurately measure intelligence. Not everyone takes the same IQ test, and there are enough claims, counterclaims, and disputes in this subject to drive a researcher bananas! All I could do was read everything I could find on it, and rank the candidates based both upon their scores and on who seemed to be the most unanimously agreed upon as worthy (ignoring many “fan clubs” along the way).
An additional challenge I had to grapple with is that minors’ scores are adjusted upwards to compensate for their age. The younger they are, the higher the relative adjustment. In surveying evidence for this article, I noticed a tendency for the adjusted scores to be less and less believable (too high!) the younger the subject is. This is obviously a very imperfect scoring system, so in the list below, I “weighted” the scores achieved as adults a bit higher than those achieved at younger ages, and those achieved at the very youngest ages as the most dubious.
That being said, with the noble goal of shattering a “stronghold” of low-information thinking, let the comparisons begin:
Evangelos Katsioulis – has apparently scored a 198 as an adult. Katsioulis is a Greek Doctor/Psychiatrist/Philosopher who has publicly referred to his belief in human souls several times. For example, he did a lecture in 2008 called “BODY AND SOUL“, and made clear that he wasn’t speaking metaphorically in it with lines like: “The soul is not the body. It is not the flesh. It is the spirit.” He is apparently a follower of a strand of Christianity influenced by Teilhard de Chardin.
Mislav Predavec – has apparently scored a 192 as an adult. [Update – I initially had the wrong quote linked here]. His Christianity can easily be confirmed by a beautiful response he wrote to a friend who had become a Christian in one of the groups he belongs to and which was posted online:
“David, I am so glad hearing good news about your convalescence, and more about your enlightenment, you are aware now that your suffer and pain, your giftedness and sense are a part of plan. Truly, all this can´t exist without being leading it intentionally. Atheistic explanation that everything is accidental progress is full of holes. Stay well my friend.
Kenneth Ferrell – has apparently scored a 190 as an adult. If I have located the right Kenneth Ferrell online, it’s abundantly clear from his own words that he’s a Christian. Since I’m not sure, I didn’t include him in my count of believers.
So you can see that the brightest of the bright have not foreclosed on the possibility of the existence of an Intelligent Designer. Juxtaposed with the fact that most Scientists are not atheists, I’d say that the Appeal to Authority on which atheist debators have long relied has dissolved.
Ian McCormack interview on CBN detailing his experience of dying and experiencing hell, heaven and God.
Ian was stung by 5 deadly box jellyfish and was an atheist up until this experience. After the out of body experience and his visitation into the Spiritual dimension he returned a believer.
Part I of II:
Part II of II:
‘..the Christians giveth and the atheists taketh away..’
by, WLTX News | Poor Richard’s News | h/t Blazing Cat Fur & I Own the World
Yet another spineless public school official is caving under pressure from atheist bullies. East Point Academy, a public elementary charter school in Cayce, South Carolina, has participated in a Christmas toy drive for needy children for the past several years with no complaints from students or parents. This year, an outside group is threatening to sue the school if it continues it’s Christmas charity.
Here’s video of the local news report:
Cayce, South Carolina: An elementary school in Cayce is canceling a Christmas toy drive after a threat of legal action.
East Point Academy is a public-funded charter school under the South Carolina Public Charter School District. About 360 students attend.
For the past three years, the school has participated in “Operation Christmas Child.” Under the program, kids collect toys, pencils and other small items, pack them into shoe boxes, and donate to needy children.
That now has to stop after the school received a letter Monday from the American Humanist Association, a national nonprofit organization with over 20,000 members and 125,000 supporters across the country, according to the letter.
The mission of American Humanist Association’s legal center, according to the letter, is “to protect one of the most fundamental principles of (American) democracy: the Constitutional mandate requiring separation of church and state.”
The letter called the school’s involvement in Operation Christmas Child “unconstitutional.”
“The letter was very explicit that there would be litigation against us if we did not stop,” said school East Point Academy’s principal, Renee Mathews.
Mathews said that of the two full years the school has participated, before the practice was stopped with the letter, about 100 families participated each year.
The letter came as a shock to her and others at the school because she hasn’t had many issues from the local community.
“We have parents that ask questions, but in this case, it’s not really a parent. It’s an outside group,” she said.
The letter was sent on behalf of a parent at the school. It points to the fact that Operation Christmas Child is part of “Samaritan’s Purse,” an international Christian based organization led by Franklin Graham, son of Evangelist Billy Graham.
“There’s no religious literature tied with it,” Mathews said. “There’s no speakers who come. There’s no religious affiliation at all.”
The school’s principal says there are a number of parents who’ve told her they already prepared boxes. She’s encouraging them to donate those items to a charity of their choosing.
East Point Academy says they will continue to take part in other Christmas related programs, such as Toys for Tots.
Let’s be very clear about the law here: nothing that the school is doing is unconstitutional. The school principal even seems to understand this, but rather than take a stand and fight, she’s caving to the pressure.
Here’s part of her letter to parents of children at the school:
America, this will continue to happen until brave men and women are willing to stand up to the bullies. Celebrating Christmas is not a crime. It is not unconstitutional. The parents at this school need to raise a ruckus and put this principal in her place. Who cares about the bullies? Are we really going to let a few kill joys steal the joy of charity and Christmas? They will continue to do so until we begin to stand and fight back.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
This is completely outrageous. And in the most disgraceful, disgusting and despicable way. Atheists around the world should be ashamed.
That being said, I have an idea that just might benefit all. Especially the needy children that deserve this project to go through as planned.
Would it not be a very kind gesture if the American Humanist Association dropped the lawsuit and acknowledged that ‘perhaps’ they have went too far on this particular issue?
Would it not be even more kind if the American Humanist Association decided to work together with the other volunteers on this toy drive, for the benefit of the children?
Below I am placing the contact information for the atheist organization responsible for this.
Furthermore, I am requesting that you contact them and let them know what you think about this situation. I am not suggesting being mean. I do not believe that will benefit the children in the end. Perhaps you could let them know that you think what they have done is mean and ask them to ‘..Please remove the lawsuit and would you work together with the organizers to collect and distribute the toys for the children..’ Thank you.
Additionally, if you are an atheist and you agree that the legal action taken by the American Humanist Association to end the toy drive for the children has crossed over the line, I ask that you please contact the ‘AHA’ and let them know that. If “you” would like to see them work together with the project organizers to ensure that the children receive their gifts, then please let the AHA know. Thank you.
I will be contacting the AHA, the project organizers and the school district to see if “WE” can make a concerted effort to make this happen.
And let me close by saying, if the American Humanist Association and any other atheist individuals and/or organizations assist us in making this happen, I will write an article on this site that will be a glowing review for them. I assure you, it will be an article that will not only make every atheist proud, but will be one they will all want to save for their archives.
Contact information for:
American Humanist Association
1777 T Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009-7125
Phone: (202) 238-9088
Toll free: (800) 837-3792
Fax: (202) 238-9003
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – –
East Point Academy
1340 Knox Abbott Dr, Cayce, SC 29033
Hours: 7am-5pm /EST. Monday-Friday
Atheist Bible? I suppose they lack the ‘creativity’ to formulate a unique name for their own book, so they just steal the name from the Christians.
Just as they have stolen the name “church” and the idea of services on Sunday morning. Well, they can have Sunday..because the Christians got that one wrong.
Although, the atheist “un-holy” book is only for appearances. There is just one page inside and it is blank.
Here is how the secular Websters dictionary defines a lack of belief in God:
adjective: unholy; comparative adjective: unholier; superlative adjective: unholiest
1. Sinful; Wicked.
It’s just a shame the atheists lack the evidence to support their beliefs.
by, Alabama Newscast
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.
Dozens of gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.
On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted more than 400 attendees, all bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.
The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek “40 Dates, 40 Nights” tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch dozens of Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world.
They don’t bash believers but want to find a new way to meet likeminded people, engage in the community and make their presence more visible in a landscape dominated by faith.
Jones got the first inkling for the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago.
“There was so much about it that I loved, but it’s a shame because at the heart of it, it’s something I don’t believe in,” Jones said. “If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?”
The movement dovetails with new studies showing an increasing number of Americans are drifting from any religious affiliation.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a study last year that found 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Pew researchers stressed, however, that the category also encompassed majorities of people who said they believed in God but had no ties with organized religion and people who consider themselves “spiritual” but not “religious.”
Sunday Assembly — whose motto is Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More — taps into that universe of people who left their faith but now miss the community church provided, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont.
It also plays into a feeling among some atheists that they should make themselves more visible. For example, last December, an atheist in Santa Monica created an uproar — and triggered a lawsuit — when he set up a godless display amid Christian nativity scenes that were part of a beloved, decades-old tradition.
“In the U.S., there’s a little bit of a feeling that if you’re not religious, you’re not patriotic. I think a lot of secular people say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We are charitable, we are good people, we’re good parents and we are just as good citizens as you and we’re going to start a church to prove it,” said Zuckerman. “It’s still a minority, but there’s enough of them now.”
That impulse, however, has raised the ire of those who have spent years pushing back against the idea that atheism itself is a religion.
“The idea that you’re building an entire organization based on what you don’t believe, to me, sounds like an offense against sensibility,” said Michael Luciano, a self-described atheist who was raised Roman Catholic but left when he became disillusioned.
“There’s something not OK with appropriating all of this religious language, imagery and ritual for atheism.”
That sentiment didn’t seem to detract from the excitement Sunday at the inaugural meeting in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection and an “inspirational talk, ” and some stand-up comedy by Jones, the movement’s co-founder.
During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on Me,” ”Here Comes the Sun” and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.
At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor.
For atheist Elijah Senn, the morning was perfect.
“I think the image that we have put forward in a lot of ways has been a scary, mean, we want to tear down the walls, we want to do destructive things kind of image is what a lot of people have of us,” he said. “I’m really excited to be able to come together and show that it’s not about destruction. It’s about making things and making things better.”
– – – – – – – – –
Never forget: God does not exist because we believe.. but rather, we believe because we know God exists.