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DonLever

Teenage Pot Smoking May Lower IQ for Life

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Still far better for you than Alcohol, Cigarettes, or Fast Food.

I don't know why people try to demonize marijuana when there are far more dangerous legal and culturally accepted substances out there.

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As I said in the other topic, this is a terrible and inconclusive study that doesn't amount to virtually anything useful, but no surprise not a single person is challenging it.

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Noteable brainiacs Sagan, Shakespeare and Einstein all apparently smoked weed, so perhaps there is no correlation between it's use and lowering IQ and instead it's merely the direction the teenager was already going to take, regardless of it's use.

Esp. in New Zealand. I mean, what did they ever come up with besides Bad Taste!?

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As I said in the other topic, this is a terrible and inconclusive study that doesn't amount to virtually anything useful, but no surprise not a single person is challenging it.

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Pot makes you smart!

Recent study into the effects of pot on IQ reveals that the media are dopes.By Dana Larsen - Friday, July 5 2002

Follow:

A recent study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined whether marijuana lowered intelligence levels in users. The study was largely ignored by US media, while within Canada, the results seemed to depend on which newspaper headline you read.

Most headlines about the study said something like "Potheads become dopes" (Toronto Sun) or "Pot does rot your brain" (Edmonton Sun). Yet a few papers reported the opposite, announcing that "Marijuana Doesn't Make You A Dope" (Calgary Herald) or "Smoking Pot No Risk To IQ" (Globe & Mail).

That a single study could produce such conflicting headlines says more about the integrity of the media than it does about the study itself.

Here's how the study was done: A group of young, middle-class adults was assembled, consisting of non-tokers, light pot smokers, and heavy users. Light users were those who smoked less than five joints a week, heavy users toked an average of 33 joints each week. Researchers used urine samples to confirm marijuana use or abstinence.

Everyone in the study had been subjected to IQ tests between the ages of nine and twelve. They subjected this crew to follow-up IQ tests to see how their lifetime use of marijuana might have affected their IQ. They found that the non-tokers IQ's stayed the same or went up slightly. The light tokers had an average IQ increase of five points, more than the non-tokers. The heavy users had suffered an IQ loss of about four points.

The study further found that after abstaining from weed for three months the differences between the three groups' IQ levels disappeared.

The study was led by Dr Paul Fried at Carleton University in Ottawa, who told the media that they needed to be "very cautious" about the results.

What this study would seem to show is that moderate use of cannabis produces an increase in IQ, while heavy use produces a decrease. Further, the study shows that even heavy, long term use of cannabis produces no permanent harm to IQ scores.

This study refutes most of the prohibitionist propaganda about youth and cannabis use. That the "light users" who toked five joints per week actually saw an increase in IQ scores indicates that cannabis may have enhancing effects on learning and comprehension. That both the benefit to light tokers and the deficit to heavy tokers is temporary is reassuring because it shows that the effects of cannabis on the brain are easily reversed, even among heavy, long-term users.

Meanwhile, a separate US study into marijuana use and cognition found similar results. Led by Dr Constantine Lyketsos of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, the study analyzed test results of over 1300 adults on a test called the Mini-Mental State Examination. They compared two tests given 11 1/2 years apart. In an article published in the April American Journal of Epidemiology, the authors found that the light and heavy toking groups had about the same or less age-related cognitive decline than the non-tokers

Religion Makes Smart People Stupid

The physicist Stephen Weinberg once famously remarked, "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil---that takes religion."

But religion's effects are not limited to making good people do evil; it can also make smart people act stupid.

David Gelernter is an example. He teaches computer science at Yale, and apparently once made some important contributions to parallel programming. Lately, however, he seems to spend most of his time writing essays and books; he's a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

But he's also obsessed with religion. In 1997, he falsely claimed, in an opinion piece in the New York Times, that "the Supreme Court outlawed prayer and Bible reading in the public schools" and refused to issue a correction. (Rather, in Engel v. Vitale, the Court ruled 8-1 that government-sponsored prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Nothing the court said prevents students from praying silently on their own, or reading the Bible during study breaks.) In his anti-AI book The Muse in the Machine, he spends 25 pages on Old Testament commentary. Gelernter once recommended that atheist students, unconstitutionally forced to recite "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, should simply "keep quiet".

And his obsession with religion makes him say some extremely stupid things. Here's an example: the Templeton Foundation, that den of insipid God-talk, recently asked 12 people, "Does the Universe have a purpose?" Here is Gelernter's response:

Consider this question: Do the Earth and mankind have a purpose? If so, then the universe does too, ipso facto.

Here Gelernter commits one of the classic logical fallacies: the fallacy of composition. In the fallacy of composition, one takes a property of a part of a system and extrapolates that property to the system as a whole. For example, "This cup is made of molecules. Molecules are too light to weigh on a kitchen scale. Therefore, this cup is too light to weigh on a kitchen scale."

As if sensing the silliness of his claim, Gelernter justifies his reasoning with ipso facto. He should have said, caveat emptor.

Could the Universe fail to have a purpose, even if the Earth and mankind do? Of course. Consider a pile of trash that has been assembled by the wind. Inside the pile is a torn page from Gelernter's Ph. D. thesis. Does the page have a purpose? Surely. Does the pile of trash itself have a purpose? No. Gelernter, by the fallacy of composition, would have to insist that the pile does, indeed, have a purpose.

Religion makes smart people stupid.

Gelernter goes on to extol the paradise that Judaism and Christianity have wrought: Humans desire goodness; but until the Judeo-Christian revelation this desire was, at least for Western humanity, vague and unformed.

This claim is incoherent at its root because there wasn't even a notion of "Western humanity" until 400 CE, well after the "Judeo-Christian revelation". What we think of as Western civilization is grounded just as much in Hellenistic philosophy and the Enlightenment as it is in Judaism and Christianity.

Religion makes smart people stupid.

Next, Gelernter goes on to display his deep understanding of biology: When we seek goodness and sanctity, we defy nature. The basic rule of Judeo-Christian ethics is, the strong must support the weak. The basic rule of nature is, the strong live and the weak die.

No, that's not the basic rule of nature. Strength, per se, may not gain you an evolutionary advantage; there are many more earthworms than there are bears. And nature is filled with examples of cooperation, which somehow magically arises without the need for "Judeo-Christian ethics". Gelernter should read some of the work of primatologist Frans de Waal, whose work conclusively shows that the virtues of sympathy, empathy, and cooperation exist in the animal world. Gelernter's "basic rule of nature" is a product of his own imagining, not the way the world works.

Religion makes smart people stupid.

But all of Gelernter's factual errors shouldn't distract from the essential inanity of his vision of the Universe: that our goal should be "goodness". I am reminded of a famous cartoon of Charles Schulz: Linus claims that "We are here to help others"; and Lucy responds "What are the others here for?"

A cosmic Purpose that we are here to be good, and nothing more, fails to capture some really essential things about our humanity: our desire to know and learn, to achieve more than others, to go where others haven't. If "goodness" is our sole Purpose, count me out. And even if "goodness" is our sole Purpose, religion has been remarkably unable to achieve it. Whether it is the 19 Muslim hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or Yigal Amir, who justified his assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on religious grounds, or Eric Rudolph, who bombed and killed people because of his Christian faith, religion is more often the problem than the solution.

Religion makes smart people - like David Gelernter - stupid

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To add a serious reply, measured IQ is inversely proportional to a person's age. So if a person were to complete the same test twice, giving the same responses a year later, their measured IQ would have dropped.

I'd say its pretty common knowledge that use of marijuana causes a decline in personal motivation for most people. So its a pretty safe bet that the majority of people tested in the study were less motivated to apply themselves to learning more new things. Even if it is viewed as just being content with their current skills and knowledge, and not expanding upon those, it will still result in a decrease in measured IQ over time.

It is therefore very difficult to conclude that use of marijuana has a direct effect on IQ and not just an indirect effect as I previously stated.

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There are vast numbers of legal substances that are as, or more, harmful than marijuana. It's stupid and short-sighted to single it out as a pariah and not reap the MANY benefits that would come from legalizing it, not the least of which would be vast tax income and better allocation of law enforcement resources.

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Yeah. Welders make $350k a year. If he had taken that truck driving course hed be up over a million a year right?

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Owns a business, possesses a welding truck and works up north in Alberta. The 350k is his gross income.

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I'm about to do a study of my walk from the kitchen to the bedroom.

I believe that I MAY make it all the way safely.

However I could have a heart attack which MAY be caused by the exertion of walking.

Or I MAY be distracted and stop in the washroom for a bit.

MAY, might, could, seems to be, bla bla f ing bla.

Carlin had it right "It's all guess work in a lab coat".

He also posited that salivia causes cancer but only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.

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We produce THC in our bodies, so I have a difficult time believing that it would cause actual permanent brain damage.

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Yeah. Welders make $350k a year. If he had taken that truck driving course hed be up over a million a year right?

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