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  1. #21
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I think it's a lot of work for the average person who is NOT involved in some sort of STEM or healthcare field to make sense of a lot of concepts. And, for people in those fields, it takes a lot of effort to understand the nuances of studies and ideas outside of their area of expertise.
    QFT, and not just outside of the STEM crowd.

    I've been meaning to read up on a few salient topics, including climate change and global warming, because I want to understand them better. But when I get done with my engineering classes, doing my engineering homework, studying for my next engineering quiz, and running down my daily to-do list, the last thing I want to do is delve into yet another thought-intensive endeavor. Usually all I want to do is play a few hands of Hearthstone and then go to sleep.

    Somehow I don't see that changing much after I graduate, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    I'm speculating here, but I think the reason for the stronger extremes in more scientific literate individuals is because of the increased confidence in onesself when it comes to being an expert in something. EJCC talked about this earlier and reminded me of the phenomon known as the dunning-kruger effect. I think what were seeing might be that in action in a number of individuals in some form. I'm not sure if it exactly fits, but it's at least inflated self confidence. Some justified, some not.
    I think you're onto something here. There are some personalities especially that, when combined with competence in one area, seem to assume generalized competence.
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  2. #22
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Nobody is born competent. They work at it.
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  3. #23
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    It also irks me when people say something is over their head. It is not over your head. If you don't know about it that's fine, just say you don't know. If you don't have the time to learn about it, that's fine too.

    But don't paint yourself as stupid because you are most probably not. You are not stupid and knowledge is not magical, it takes work and there's a high probability that you either can't or won't put in the work. And there's nothing wrong with that but I won't accept this "I'm not smart enough" excuse. It's sad.
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  4. #24
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    I've heard that excuse. The problem with it is that there are other open systems which would appear to violate thermodynamics by their reasoning - e.g. their refrigerators. Where is the outcry that refrigerators are a lie?
    If it's an open system, garden variety thermodynamics does not apply.
    Read up on Carnot cycles, OK?
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  5. #25
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    If it's an open system, garden variety thermodynamics does not apply.
    That was my point. It doesn't matter if they knew whether animals are an open system or not because the reasoning they were using is faulty. And how about you don't patronize me.
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  6. #26
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post


    Never heard that one. That's also a problem: people accumulate just enough scientific knowledge to get themselves into trouble. It reminds me a lot of those "freemen-on-the-land" who use as much legal jargon as they can to obfuscate their rationale for not paying taxes, squatting in other people's homes, etc..


    EDIT: I decided to satiate my curiosity and google "evolution second law of thermodynamics" to find out precisely how "creation scientists" have determined that evolution violates the second law.

    Oh boy. The pseudo-scientific claptrap makes my head hurt. It's more akin to the freemen movement than I thought...
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #27
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What does that even mean, aside from "half the people are under the average intelligence of all the people?" It's inherent in the definition of the process, isn't it? Actually, that's not right on my part, it's the median:



    Anyway, that's rather a side note. The question I'm left with asking is more this: "Is the scientific process something that can be understood and practiced even by people who are below an IQ100?" [and apparently 2/3 of the population is within 15 points on either side of 100, so... let's say "can people with an IQ85 still practice a scientific process?"] Where's the point where a certain level of intelligence is incapable of understanding the scientifice process of information weighting and evaluation? That could be below the 50% mark, it could be higher than the 50% mark.

    I do agree that a major part of the problem is that people are people. I know even wanting to be objective, I regularly have to remind myself to take a step back and reconsider. It's pretty natural for human beings to put together the way "something works" and then treat it as a fixed point on which to build other knowledge, and it can be uncomfortable and/or confusing to constantly look at something you thought was established and say, "Oh, that might not be right, let me reexamine that, then fix EVERYTHING ELSE that it was supporting." But that's the process is: If you come up with new information that doesn't seem to mesh, you explore it further to see if you need to change what you thought you knew or whether it can still mesh with what you thought you knew.
    Something this thread reminded me of is that a person with a higher IQ isn't necessarily going to be more reliable here, either. Not only are people with higher educations more polarized, I'll bet people with higher IQs are, too. This is related to correlation between IQ and belief in conspiracy theories and paranormal activity. IQ reflects skills, or a set of mental tools, that you have. There are lots of details about how you use those tools that IQ says nothing about. I've often pointed out (though I've seen no actual study any it's a challenge to think of how to execute such a study) that IQ seems to have little relation to critical thought or lateral thought. It certainly tells us nothing about a propensity for cognitive bias. As such, a person with a high IQ may still not be able to step back from their own beliefs any re-evaluated them, but through their IQ, possess even better means for concocting arguments in favor of what they already believe.

    So even saying that people have access to the information but aren't smart enough for it isn't necessarily true. At least, it's not if we go by some of those more rigid, conventional measures of intelligence, like IQ.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #28
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Something this thread reminded me of is that a person with a higher IQ isn't necessarily going to be more reliable here, either. Not only are people with higher educations more polarized, I'll bet people with higher IQs are, too. This is related to correlation between IQ and belief in conspiracy theories and paranormal activity. IQ reflects skills, or a set of mental tools, that you have. There are lots of details about how you use those tools that IQ says nothing about. I've often pointed out (though I've seen no actual study any it's a challenge to think of how to execute such a study) that IQ seems to have little relation to critical thought or lateral thought. It certainly tells us nothing about a propensity for cognitive bias. As such, a person with a high IQ may still not be able to step back from their own beliefs any re-evaluated them, but through their IQ, possess even better means for concocting arguments in favor of what they already believe.

    So even saying that people have access to the information but aren't smart enough for it isn't necessarily true. At least, it's not if we go by some of those more rigid, conventional measures of intelligence, like IQ.
    Bill Gaede is a prime example. He's an engineer who worked at AMD and Intel (and stole processor technology and sold it to communists) and the man isn't stupid by any means - he is simply out of his mind.

  9. #29
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This is related to correlation between IQ and belief in conspiracy theories and paranormal activity.
    This is a bit off topic, but could you elaborate on this a bit more? For two reasons: A. I have never heard of this before, and B. This sorta makes sense. My mother (who has an IQ of 147, according to her anyway. It doesn't feel right, but considering my own it's likely to be valid), is super into conspiricy theories. Thinks the illuminati are a real thing controling the worlds money in castles in Switzerland, is super anti-vaccine, super anti-gmo, in recent years has paradoxically become anti-climate change, is paranoid about flouride, chem trails, modern medicine, also believes in tarot cards, ghosts, spirits, astrology, and all kinds of other new age beliefs. She's essentially created her own religion. It's boggles my mind how someone who is so intelligent (though in atypical, less show-y ways), is so lost, and so BAD at critical thinking.
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  10. #30
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    This is a bit off topic, but could you elaborate on this a bit more? For two reasons: A. I have never heard of this before, and B. This sorta makes sense. My mother (who has an IQ of 147, according to her anyway. It doesn't feel right, but considering my own it's likely to be valid), is super into conspiricy theories. Thinks the illuminati are a real thing controling the worlds money in castles in Switzerland, is super anti-vaccine, super anti-gmo, in recent years has paradoxically become anti-climate change, is paranoid about flouride, chem trails, modern medicine, also believes in tarot cards, ghosts, spirits, astrology, and all kinds of other new age beliefs. She's essentially created her own religion. It's boggles my mind how someone who is so intelligent (though in atypical, less show-y ways), is so lost, and so BAD at critical thinking.
    Imagining elaborate stuff takes a form of intelligence.

    Critical thinking is a metacognitive skill which is less about intelligence and more about introspective positions. One can be incredibly intelligent - a famous genius - and yet may lack critical thinking in some form or other because they were incidentally directed towards an acceptable bias in such a way that their lack of critical thinking is not entirely apparent. Or in other words, everyone agrees with them. Because they are 'smart.'

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