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Are you smarter than the average scientist?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Zelig, Jan 20, 2011.

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Are you smarter than the average scientist?

  1. I am smarter than the average scientist.

    40.3%
  2. I am not smarter than the average scientist.

    59.7%
  1. dido

    dido Prince

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    You know, part of the reason why they are smart is because they apply logic to what they learn

    evolution is experimentally provable, and falsifiable; creation is...well, neither
     
  2. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Deity

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    Maybe not inherently but statistically they are vastly skewed toward atheism. (7% believers in the NAS)

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

    And away from Republicans. (6% Republicans)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/10/only-six-percent-of-scien_n_229382.html

    Gee I wonder why.

    And I am quite a bit "smarter" or at least more successful (at being a scientist) than most scientists.

    And I'm reasonably well paid and stable. There is tenure after all for most scientists doing academic research.
     
  3. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Scienticians are all fools. otherwise they would have studied something useful like business or theology.
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Define 'smarter'.

    I voted no, cause I'm not full of myself.
     
  5. onedreamer

    onedreamer Dragon

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    I am smarter than the average. Average scientist or hairdresser, when a person is average, is average.
     
  6. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Well, no. A scientist with only average intelligence would make a poor scientist. Averages are defined within groups; you're talking about how an average person within the total human population would fare as a scientist, as opposed to the average of the population of scientists. The average scientist has at least a PhD and like 20 years of research experience; that requires an intelligence greater than most people on this forum.
     
  7. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    I have no idea. I'm don't believe I can provide an objective estimation of my intelligence.
     
  8. onedreamer

    onedreamer Dragon

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    I disagree, having a PhD does not make an average person better. You do not need to be above average to complete a doctorate, nor to be a scientist. The idea that a scientist is a superior being is old and anachronistic. Take Einstein, who's considered a genius. If instead of dedicating his life to science and research he would have been an economist or an accountant, do you really want to tell me he would have been below the average in those "groups"?
     
  9. Andvare

    Andvare King

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    I think I am the average scientist.
     
  10. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Oh, I may as well point out, since I usually do in threads like this, that it's possible for most people in a group to be higher than the average of that group, if the average is taken to be the mean. EDIT: Or vice versa.
     
  11. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Research does not require intelligence? What the hell am I reading here?

    To answer the OP questions:
    No, as I have not yet developed the experience and other skills that any full-fledged biologist should have.

    Someone posted a chart a while ago on this thread, but IQ doesn't really capture intelligence fully, does it? Other professions may be smarter for different reasons, such as creativity. The only way to be creative in science (as far as I know) is coming up with new experimental techniques.

    Non-scientists also have a stake in discussions about science issues, as it affects them too and may help focus research on what the public needs. However, they should not twist the science to fit their own purposes. The general public is more likely to not just care though.

    I don't really care about the money. And since I don't seem to see researchers complaining about money, I think they have enough and are content with their compensation.

    Respect isn't really so important as having the public be informed on scientific issues. That, I believe, is a higher priority. As for the how? Scientists could help make research more accessible via open-source publications with simplified summaries. I would also push for science reporters with greater scientific literacy and discourage misrepresentation or exaggeration of the research.
     
  12. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    @People who are saying that there are different types of intelligence -- research has shown that all of those different types of intelligence are strongly correlated. Creativity in science, for example, is no different from creativity in any other profession -- creating mental links between one thing and another is the essence of creativity, and is just as applicable in science as it is anywhere else. Scientists, especially researchers, create novel solutions to problems all the time. You can't do research without the ability to solve problems, and thinking creatively to overcome those problems is no different to thinking creatively to write a novel.

    And, anecdotally, you don't often find people who get As in Maths but Fs in History or Geography.
     
  13. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Is Bill representative of an average scientist? Is so, then no. :(
     
  14. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    As a math major, the only people who did worse in non-math courses than in math courses were foreign students who had difficulty with English.
     
  15. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    The latter has more creativity to it. Most experiments are applications of previously established techniques to newer problems. Occasionally, the methodology may be altered more than usual. Rarely, a completely new technique may emerge. I would think the artist comes up with newer creations at a higher rate than that.

    I must frown on such use of anecdotal evidence. ;)
     
  16. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    "Has more creativity"? Really? What do you mean by that?

    Do you really never have to solve problems in research? :confused: Even just doing a bachelor's degree, there were about a million problems that we had to figure out how to solve... They're not going to lead to revolutionary new techniques, but they do require creativity...

    To put it into a different context, is a computer programmer creative? It's a sad reflection on modern culture that the only people allowed to call themselves "creative" are artists. It's simply not true that problem solving doesn't require creativity. It's the same kind of out-of-the-box thinking, just in a less sexy context.

    Anyway, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_intelligence_factor
     
  17. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Actual research requires constant innovation, coupled with constant self-monitoring in order to make sure that experiments are similar enough to be compared to each other. Technique improvements will propagate through a lab very quickly, because there's a constant drive to save a couple of minutes here or there.

    Additionally, there's a constant need for mathematical thinking, because you need to know if data are important from a variety of perspectives. You need to know statistical relationships at an intuitive level, and how to spot them.

    But peer review always makes you feel like an idiot (which is the genius of the system). People will notice problems that you'd never considered, or new perspectives that were completely alien.

    Individual scientists have a decent enough intelligence (there is a selection process that weeds out people). It's the group intelligence that's amazing.
    (finally, you need to read hard-to-read articles on a regular basis, and figure out what the heck it means in your own model)
     
  18. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Actually, yes. Having taken a rudimentary computer science course, even the basic problems had several approaches. I can imagine how much more potential there is in more complicated programming problems and with more versatile tools at your disposal.

    I wish I could be as creative as that in my natural science labs.
     
  19. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Programming seems to involve a lot of creativity. If I were being facetious, I'd say that that was one of the reasons I stopped taking programming classes. :p
     
  20. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Yeah, well, I don't see a difference between the problem solving needed to be a programmer, and the problem solving needed to solve maths problems, or to do physics research. I've done a little bit of all of those things and I can't see any difference, though admittedly I've never done any of it at an "average scientist/mathemagician/programmer" level.
     

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