[ExI] any dispute?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue May 12 13:51:20 UTC 2015

On 12 May 2015 at 11:25, Mirco Romanato wrote:
> The blond kid with 150 IQ is a lot more difficult to exploit than the
> black or Latinos with 80 IQ.
> The leftist white elite (mainly in academia and in the infotainment
> sector) would have a very difficult time to exploit someone with 150 IQ
> whatever be their skin or eye color, sex or ethnicity.
> This is the reason they fear germ-line modification. It make their
> position untenable. They would need to work or fight to keep their jobs
> and social status. What a concept.

Sorry, but I'm afraid that high IQ people have just as many weird
beliefs as other people. They are just better at thinking up
self-justifying reasons.
Always remember that humans are mostly driven by emotion and
prejudice. They are occasionally somewhat rational, but they try to
hastily push that aside and get back to normal.  ;)



Why Smart People Believe Strange Things

As Keith Stanovich (2009) observed, IQ tests do a good job of
assessing how efficiently we process information, but they don't
assess the ability to think scientifically. For example, measures of
confirmation bias, like the Wason selection task (see Chapter 2), are
barely correlated, if at all, with IQ (Stanovich & West, 2008).
Indeed, high levels of intelligence afford no guarantee against
beliefs for which there's scant evidence (Hyman, 2002). People with
high IQs are at least as prone as other people to beliefs in
conspiracy theories, such as the belief that President Kennedy's
assassination was the result of a coordinated plot within the U.S.
government (Goertzel, 1994) or that the Bush administration
orchestrated the September 11 attacks (Molé, 2006). Moreover, the
history of science is replete with examples of brilliant individuals
holding strange beliefs. Two-time Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus
Pauling insisted that high levels of vitamin C can cure cancer,
despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

In many cases, smart people embrace odd beliefs because they're adept
at finding plausible-sounding reasons to bolster their opinions
(Shermer, 2002). IQ is correlated positively with the ability to
defend our positions effectively, but correlated negatively with the
ability to consider alternative positions (Perkins, 1981). High IQ may
be related to the strength of the ideological immune system: our
defences against evidence that contradicts our views (Shermer, 2002;
Snelson, 1993). We've all felt our ideological immune systems kicking
into high gear when a friend challenges our political beliefs (say,
about capital punishment) with evidence we'd prefer not to hear. First
we first feel defensive, and then we frantically search our mental
knowledge banks to find arguments that could refute our friend's
irksome evidence. Our knack for defending our positions against
competing viewpoints can sometimes lead to confirmation bias, blinding
us to information we should take seriously.

Robert Sternberg (2002) suggested that people with high IQs are
especially vulnerable to the sense of omniscience (knowing
everything). Because intelligent people know many things, they
frequently make the mistake of thinking they know just about
everything. For example, the brilliant writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
who invented the character Sherlock Holmes, got taken in by an
embarrassingly obvious photographic prank (Hines, 2003). In the 1917
"Cottingley fairies" hoax, two young British girls insisted that
they'd photographed themselves along with dancing fairies. Brushing
aside the criticisms of doubters, Conan Doyle wrote a book about the
Cottingley fairies and defended the girls against accusations of
trickery. He'd forgotten the basic principle that extraordinary claims
require extraordinary evidence. The girls eventually confessed to
doctoring the photographs after someone discovered they'd cut the
fairies out of a book (Randi, 1982). Conan Doyle, who had a remarkably
sharp mind, may have assumed that he couldn't be duped. Yet none of us
is immune from errors in thinking. When intelligent people neglect the
safeguards afforded by the scientific method, they'll often be fooled.

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