“Religious people branded as 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.”
If you are an atheist, you probably already knew this, being intelligent an all (and you were probably aware of at least one of the previous studies). If you are a religious person, you will reject the findings. For me, I’m not quite either, I would add a reason religious people are less intelligent than atheists (and other non-religious people) to those given in the Huffington Post article by the scientists; many religious leaders tell their flock not to question. Questioning engages the brain whereas acceptance without thought just numbs it.
The following was a post here over three years ago (back before the site was taken down by a spammer)
Liberals and atheists are more intelligent than conservatives and the faithful. The theory put forward by Staoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is that anyone can go along with the usual but; the ability to think and reason has helped our species recognize and understand unusual situations and deal with them. This is from a study published in the March 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly.
The following three paragraphs are quoted from Science Daily.
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa’s hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as “very liberal” have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as “very conservative” have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.
Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans’ tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see “the hands of God” at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. “Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid,” says Kanazawa. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. “So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists.”
Young adults who identify themselves as “not at all religious” have an average IQ of 103 during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as “very religious” have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.
If you are an atheist or a liberal or a liberal atheist, you are probably feeling pretty good about yourself about now. I’d suggest that you might consider going even farther than atheism. Atheists have been around a long time even dominating several cultures. Those of us who have minds should continue using them especially as regards beliefs that so dominate the destructive actions of our species.
If you doubt the studies cited consider Republican Bradley Byrne. Poor Bradley knows that the Bible is not literally true but to run for governor of Alabama he has to say that it is. Why does he have to lie and say something really stupid? Because nearly eight out of 10 Republicans in Alabama identify themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians.