Books that make you dumb :)

Virgil Griffith analyzed the top 10 books listed on Facebook by students in a college versus the average SAT scores for the school and the results are hilarious!

The students in the schools with average SAT scores of 800-950 loved The Holy Bible and erotic titles like Zane. Students in the schools with average SAT scores above 1250 loved 100 Years of Solitude, Lolita, Crime and Punishment and Freakonomics.

Funny how the SAT scores of those who refer to the Bible as “The Holy Bible” is 150 points lower than those who refer to it as “The Bible” 🙂

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  • Fair but I hope you save the same condescending attitude for those who practice the religion of Man Made Global Warming. Anyone with a good engineering eye spots the con immediately. And to me these mmgw adherents appear every bit as bible thumping ( be it the Book of the Holy Green ) as christians. ( disclaimer: I am athiest…totally atheist….but ragging on religion seems to be a secondary cause to me when the church of mmgw wants to tax every single activity on earth )

  • I think that regardless of whether or not you believe in G-d, to take a literal interpretation of anything that was written two thousand years ago and has been translated as many times as the Bible has by people with various political agendas cannot be called anything but dumb. Even if you believe that the Bible was originally handed down by a divine being, to believe the version you’re getting today is the same thing is nothing but naive. (We can’t even accept gravity at face value – turns out it’s all due to the curvature of the universe, and maybe not even that if you buy into string theory).

    I do think the pattern in Virgil’s data has a few interesting interpretations other than “people who believe in G-d are stupid” (although as mentioned above, I think that people who believe the Bible is some Holy word passed from on high are probably smoking something):

    1. Is it possible that religious communities have biases against education that would prevent even their most intellegent for appropriately prepping for the SATs or going to colleges with higher average SAT scores?
    2. Is it possible that religious communities have lower average incomes (chicken or the egg as to which is cause vs. effect) that prevent said SAT prep?
    3. Is it possible that the Bible has extremely wide exposure, and therefore everyone has read it, it’s just that dumb people aren’t smart enough to have read anything else? (e.g., I would rate the Bible the same as someone dumb on an absolute scale, but having also read Lolita I would rate Nabakov higher on the relative scale)
    4. Is it possible that atheism is just an intellectual fad, a flavor-of-the-week like global warming? (I met Al Gore about a year ago and tried to convince him that since we’re never going to reduce carbon emissions, he should focus money and energy on mitigation factors for when the ice caps do melt instead – he didn’t like that – it’s very hard to win an Oscar for movies about mitigation)

  • PS – I got a 1570 on my SATs and totally believe in G-d. I don’t interpret ANYTHING literally though, and cannot imagine selecting the Bible as one of my favorite books – it’s SO boring – who cares who begot whom or how many lambs I’m supposed to slaughter at what temple?