Religious Are Less Intelligent Than Atheists In New Study

Started by stromboli, July 26, 2014, 11:16:52 AM

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QuoteAre religious people less intelligent than atheists?

That's the provocative conclusion of a new review of 63 studies of intelligence and religion that span the past century. The meta-analysis showed that in 53 of the studies, conducted between 1928 to 2012, there was an inverse relation between religiosity -- having religious beliefs, or performing religious rituals -- and intelligence. That is, on average, non-believers scored higher than religious people on intelligence tests.

What might explain the effect?

Scientists behind studies included in the review most often suggested that "religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who 'know better.'”

But the researchers who conducted the new meta-analysis say the answer is a bit more complicated. They suspect intelligent people might have less of a "need" for religion.

"Intelligence may also lead to greater self-control ability, self-esteem, perceived control over life events, and supportive relationships, obviating some of the benefits that religion sometimes provides," study co-author Jordan Silberman, a graduate student of neuroeconomics at the University of Rochester, told The Huffington Post in an email.

So if you're a believer, does this mean you're a dope?

"I'm sure there are intelligent religious people and unintelligent atheists out there," Silberman said in the email. "The findings pertain to the average intelligence of religious and non-religious people, but they don't necessarily apply to any single person. Knowing that a person is religious would not lead me to bet any money on whether or not the person is intelligent."

The researchers acknowledge the limitations of the meta-analysis. It did not look at type of religion, for example, or at the role culture might play in the interaction between religiosity and intelligence.

In addition, The Independent pointed out that the researchers used a narrow definition of intelligence. In the paper, intelligence is defined as “the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience." This excludes other forms of intelligence, like creative and emotional intelligence.

The meta-analysis was published in Personality and Social Psychology Review.

I agree, especially the last part- with the exclusion of creative and emotional intelligence. It has been my experience that religious people are far more inclined to approach issues from an emotional end rather than a logical one. Also, atheists seem to be more likely to pick an argument apart rather than buy it wholesale, strictly from an emotional viewpoint.

I have known a lot of very intelligent religious people, including a Bishop that was a professor of English at Harvard. But there is a difference in approach to analysis and argument; I have always been one to analyze and examine with a more clinical attitude than otherwise. I can't think of very many religious "moments" that didn't involve strictly emotion.

Hijiri Byakuren

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Green Bottle

Its always puzzled me why so many supposed intelligent people on this planet believe in God, the Bible, Heaven and Hell etc,  id love to slap them all into awareness so i would.
God doesnt exist, but if he did id tell him to ''Fuck Off''


To believe in superstitious nonsense with magical thinking is childish and dumb, I don't care how knowledgeable a person is, period! Solitary
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This study is n
Quote from: Green Bottle on July 26, 2014, 11:52:36 AM
Its always puzzled me why so many supposed intelligent people on this planet believe in God, the Bible, Heaven and Hell etc,  id love to slap them all into awareness so i would.
Not so strange when you consider that they may be a product of their upbringing, indoctrinated into faith, and their intelligence, ironically enough, being that much more effective at deceiving themselves into strengthening their faith.

I don't like how these studies are taken out of context and used by atheists in a completely douchebag way to rub them in the faces of theists. Being born in poverty isn't a choice anyone makes, and being poor drives a lot of things, such as lack of access to a balanced nutrition which leads to cognitive development issues, which then lead to issues linked to intelligence (or lack thereof). Then there are socio-economic factors, such as little to no access to a proper education.
So my heart goes out to, say, poor African kids, but I will mock the adults from the bible belt that VOLUNTARILY stay ignorant and indoctrinated.


Mad cow's not just for cows, or the mad!


There's very likely no completely unbiased studies here. Nearly every study we see anymore are paid for by some foundation with an agenda.
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