Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds

Josh_R

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#1
http://news.yahoo.com/religious-peo...;_ylg=X3oDMTBhYWM1a2sxBGxhbmcDZW4tVVM-;_ylv=3
Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds
Rob Waugh August 12, 2013Yahoo! News

Religious people are less intelligent than non-believers, according to a new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades.

A team led by Miron Zuckerman of the University of Rochester found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies. Even in extreme old age, intelligent people are less likely to believe, the researchers found - and the reasons why people with high IQs shun religion may not be as simple as previously thought.


Previous studies have tended to assume that intelligent people simply “know better”, the researchers write - but the reasons may be more complex.

Famous atheist Richard Dawkins (ZUMA / Rex Features)



For instance, intelligent people are more likely to be married, and more likely to be successful in life - and this may mean they “need” religion less.

The studies used in Zuckerman's paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children - those with IQs over 135 - in a study which began in 1921 and continues today.

Even at 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population - contrary to the widely held belief that people turn to God as they age. The researchers noted that data was lacking about religious attitudes in old age and say, “Additional research is needed to resolve this issue.”

As early as 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”

A 1916 study quoted in Zuckerman’s paper (Leuba) found that, “58% of randomly selected scientists in the United States expressed disbelief in, or doubt regarding the existence of God; this proportion rose to nearly 70% for the most eminent scientists.”


The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.”

The answer may, however, be more complex. Intelligent people may simply be able to provide themselves with the psychological benefits offered by religion - such as “self-regulation and self-enhancement,” because they are more likely to be successful, and have stable lives.

“Intelligent people typically spend more time in school—a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits,” the researchers write. “More intelligent people get higher level jobs (and better employment (and higher salary) may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.”

“Last, more intelligent people are more likely to get and stay married (greater attachment), though for intelligent people, that too comes later in life. We therefore suggest that as intelligent people move from young adulthood to adulthood and then to middle age, the benefits of intelligence may continue to accrue.”

The researchers suggest that further research on the “function” of religion may reveal more.

“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

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It's mostly about need. Something to latch on to so you can get out of bed in the morning. If you have a job, kids, wife that you care about it, then less need for religion.

The article failed to mention that agnostics have an average IQ in the 200s.
 

Hudson

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It's mostly about need. Something to latch on to so you can get out of bed in the morning. If you have a job, kids, wife that you care about it, then less need for religion.

The article failed to mention that agnostics have an average IQ in the 200s.
Sarcasm doesn't translate well without sarcasm tags sir.
 

somnarium

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#5
Well, yeah. That's like saying the kids who understand science are smarter than the ones who don't.

*commence circle jerk*
 

HandPanzer

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#8
Being agnostic myself, I'm going to ignore the sarcasm and proclaim that this statement could be either true or false.
Naturally you're implying the tautology known as the law of excluded middle. As an agnostic atheist myself I caught your drift.
 

Creasy Bear

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#9
I can't stand atheists... they take religion way too seriously.
 

HandPanzer

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Sooo there might be a God or Gods but you don't believe in them until the proof of their existence?
Atheistic in the sense that I don't believe in any God or Gods but agnostic in the sense that I think any claim of existence of a Deity is unknowable.
 

HandPanzer

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Doesn't saying "agnostic" imply the same?
Well, it's getting into semantics, but the term "agnostic" alone I philosophically reject. I believe atheist is a needed addition due to my worshiping and believing in no Deity.
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
Well, it's getting into semantics, but the term "agnostic" alone I philosophically reject. I believe atheist is a needed addition due to my worshiping and believing in no Deity.
I call myself an atheist-leaning agnostic.
 

HandPanzer

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#18
I guess I should add it so people don't assume I am a dirty agnostic theist.
Pascal's Wager is what they're betting on, which is awesome if there turns out to be a God and meaningless if there isn't one.
 

Creasy Bear

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#19
Well, it's getting into semantics, but the term "agnostic" alone I philosophically reject. I believe atheist is a needed addition due to my worshiping and believing in no Deity.
Do you allow for the possibility that there may be a God? Or maybe there was once a God/creator, but He's gone now?

Because it seems to me that people who firmly deny the existence of a God, are making the same sort of leap of faith that the people who firmly believe in the existence of God are making. They both declare they know the absolute truth about God(or lack thereof) without evidence to support their beliefs.

The only truly logically-sound stance on the God issue is "Beats the fuck out of me." aka agnosticism.
 

Creasy Bear

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#21
Pascal's Wager is what they're betting on, which is awesome if there turns out to be a God and meaningless if there isn't one.
I'm hedging my bets with Odin. Because Muslim God is a homicidal maniac, and Jesus is a boring hippie... and hippies suck.
 

HandPanzer

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#22
Do you allow for the possibility that there may be a God? Or maybe there was once a God/creator, but He's gone now?

Because it seems to me that people who firmly deny the existence of a God, are making the same sort of leap of faith that the people who firmly believe in the existence of God are making. They both declare they know the absolute truth about God(or lack thereof) without evidence to support their beliefs.

The only truly logically-sound stance of the God issue is "Beats the fuck out of me." aka agnosticism.
Precisely, I simply cannot make a declarative statement regarding the existence or non-existence of a Deity.
 

whiskeyguy

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#24
I'm hedging my bets with Odin. Because Muslim God is a homicidal maniac, and Jesus is a boring hippie... and hippies suck.
And really, which afterlife do you want to go to? The Muslim afterlife will be filled with goat-fuckers and black presidents, the Christian one Tim Tebow and members of the Westboro Baptist Church.
 

HandPanzer

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#25
I'm hedging my bets with Odin. Because Muslim God is a homicidal maniac, and Jesus is a boring hippie... and hippies suck.
Yes, Valhalla is truly the best sounding "heaven." Who wants to hang around smelly buskers all day? Not I.