Why Christians are more Rational than Atheists Last Tuesday, I got off early from work. Since it was too hot (it was apprently the hottest day so far in the metro) and since I needed to kill some time, I went to the Eastwood City Mall. I went to Fully Booked (a bookstore) and browsed through a book of detective stories. One of the short stories there was by Edgar Allan Poe called The Purloined Letter. It was magnificent. I am a mystery novel fanatic and I agree now w/ people who had been saying that Sherlock Holmes was based on the character that Poe created. Poe pioneered the genre. He was able to create a detective story before the word detective was coined. Now what does all of these had to do w/ the title of this article? Well, hehe, let me start w/ an excerpt from The Purloined Letter: I dispute, in particular, the reason educed by mathematical study. The mathematics are the science of form and quantity; mathematical reasoning is merely logic applied to observation upon form and quantity. The great error lies in supposing that even the truths of what is called pure algebra, are abstract or general truths. And this error is so egregious that I am confounded at the universality with which it has been received. Mathematical axioms are not axioms of general truth. What is true of relation --of form and quantity --is often grossly false in regard to morals, for example. In this latter science it is very usually untrue that the aggregated parts are equal to the whole. In chemistry also the axiom falls. In the consideration of motive it falls; for two motives, each of a given value, have not, necessarily, a value when united, equal to the sum of their values apart. There are numerous other mathematical truths which are only truths within the limits of relation. But the mathematician argues, from his finite truths, through habit, as if they were of an absolutely general applicability --as the world indeed imagines them to be. Bryant, in his very learned 'Mythology,' mentions an analogous source of error, when he says that 'although the Pagan fables are not believed, yet we forget ourselves continually, and make inferences from them as existing realities.' With the algebraists, however, who are Pagans themselves, the 'Pagan fables' are believed, and the inferences are made, not so much through lapse of memory, as through an unaccountable addling of the brains. In short, I never yet encountered the mere mathematician who could be trusted out of equal roots, or one who did not clandestinely hold it as a point of his faith that x squared + px was absolutely and unconditionally equal to q. Say to one of these gentlemen, by way of experiment, if you please, that you believe occasions may occur where x squared + px is not altogether equal to q, and, having made him understand what you mean, get out of his reach as speedily as convenient, for, beyond doubt, he will endeavor to knock you down. Haha! Pretty long eh? If you would read the entire story, Poe is actually saying that Poets are smarter than Mathematicians. Ladies and gentlemen, w/ that concept in mind, I would like to propose a theory that Christians are more rational than Atheists. Generally speaking, I concur that there are a lot of atheists that are smart. A lot have very high IQs. Some are geniuses. But not all are rational as they are intelligent. Dr. Keith Stanovich, a cognitive scientist and psychologist wrote a book called What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought which won the 2010 Grawemeyer Award in Education. In here he explained that it is acceptable and even useful to limit the term “intelligence” to the abilities that IQ tests measure, but that in addition to Intelligence Quotient (IQ), a measure of algorithmic thinking, we should also assess Rational Quotient (RQ), a measure of reflective thinking. IQ fails to measure our ability to exercise good judgment and to make good decisions. Smart people often do dumb things. This is because there is almost no correlation between intelligence and our ability to think rationally. Well if you think about it, you can't but agree. Just remember those geeks in highschool who often get teased and laughed at? Obviously they were smart enough to figure out the benefits of having great social skills, hehe But I'm sure they never flunk a math quiz and probably got a high grade in science projects. And when they matured and had excelled in their jobs, some still have problems dealing w/ the most easy dilemmas. I remember in a forum (it was some years back) that I used to frequent, there was a very, very intelligent forumer there who can give out very clear explanations on scientific issues and on some mathematical formulas but after some time when someone described one of his articles as boring, he went nuts! Hahaha! It was hilarious. He was hit hard alright. He retaliates by saying so many unnecessary things to that other person that made him look dumb and unprofessional. I remember one of his very comprehesible post about the basic principles of a laser but he failed in objectively assessing an opinion of a fellow forumer. Now, I'm not a scientist. I'm not that smart. Heck, I might even have a lot of grammatical errors in this article but I think some of you would agree here to Dr. Stanovich's idea that the smartest people are not the most rational. Poe said that mathematics are the science of form and quantity; mathematical reasoning is merely logic applied to observation upon form and quantity. I believe the same applies to the majority of sciences. This is true to several disciplines in science. Some scientists would argue that God doesn't exist. They would argue that all of these (including us) are coincidences. A more rational mind will not and cannot and must not accept this. Dr. Michael Behe, Professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, wrote a beautiful example: Suppose that you and your spouse are hosting another couple one Sunday afternoon for a game of Scrabble. When the game ends, you leave the room for a break. You come back to find the Scrabble letters lying in the box, some face up and some face down. You think nothing of it until you notice that the letters facing up read, “TAKE US OUT TO DINNER CHEAPSKATES.” In this instance you immediately infer design, not even bothering to consider that the wind or an earthquake or your pet cat might have fortuitously turned over the right letters. You infer design because a number of separate components (the letters) are ordered to accomplish a purpose (the message) that none of the components could do by itself. The argument is perfect and is very rational. The "design" concept is enough to convince us the universe, our planet, "us" cannot exist by chance. It is, to a certain level, inconceivable. The bible tells us something that is very true and may I say, very, very rational: From the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse Rom 1:20 Again, I am not a scientist. And I apologize if I'm boring you already (hahaha! ) and if I was not able to give you folks smart theories that will sweep you off your feet. The purpose of this article is simply to introduce to you the notion that just because some atheists are brilliant, it doesn't follow that their reasonings are infallible. That's all folks! Thank you very much for your time and thanks be to God for everything else.