When do you automatically assume that a person is stupid?
Often times they are one-in-the-same, in my experience. Normally, these are people who deny science because an uneducated pundit told them that they should. I have yet to hear a compelling argument that uses facts, logic and science that actually denies science. The arguments against scientific facts are almost always based on anecdotes or some fallacious bumper sticker statement they saw on someone's truck.
The truth is, the US is the only developed country where science is something people argue about, and more-often-than-not, the people on the science denial end have never set foot in a college classroom, and do not understand the undeniable evidence used in science, nor do they understand the scientific method.
I have a friend who denied that the greenhouse effect is real because it was "just a theory." He thought that because it was "merely" a theory, it was still up for debate. He did not understand that what he thought a theory was, is actually a hypothesis.
You must admit though, it is incredibly arrogant for an uneducated person to implicitly state that they know more about science than the most brilliant scientists around the world, including those at NASA.
I don't. I make my assessment after stupidity has been demonstrated, and even then I'll cut a little slack for things lack bad days or lack of opportunity to be educated as a youth. I also recognize that people have strengths and weaknesses. A lot of people consider me fairly above average in intelligence, but I do dumb things all the time, and I suck horribly at math.
The people that bother me are those who have apparent disdain for knowledge, intellectual achievement, etc.
Every individual does not have to be a genius, but as a species, our cognitive abilities are one of the only things keeping us at the top of the food chain, and we should respect that and encourage the growth of knowledge. In other words, dumb people aren't really the problem, its the people who are dumb on purpose.
When no matter what the facts they continue to deny them. Such as making statements like there are not major race discrimination in the united states solely because there is a black president. Or that blacks commit more crimes than whites just because there is a false perception that blacks commit more crimes. or that police treat african americans the same as whites because blacks are more violent than whites which is just a bald faced lie. Stupid is holding a nations progress hostage by blocking virtually everything that the president suggests solely because he (the president) suggests it. Stupid is blinded by ignorant ideologies with no goals in mind for a better nation,a better world.
crime stats by race (www.fbi.gov)
I don't determine that "automatically" nor "assume" people are stupid, I determine how intelligent a person is by the evidence they give me. If someone behaves like an idiot I start to think of them as an idiot at least in some way or another... I do some pretty idiotic stuff myself though so, I can't say much...