According to results from 63 studies, 53 of those showed that non-religious people (overall) are smarter than religious people.
While there were 10 studies that showed that religious people were more intelligent, only two of those were significant.
“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,’” (researcher Miron) Zuckerman wrote in a paper published this month.
Source: Medical Daily
Before attacking the messenger, this in no way says that religious people are necessarily stupid (although Kim Davis certainly doesn’t help the cause), but if you think about the nature of religion compared to reason, it’s easy to see why more intelligent people would be attracted to reason. Intelligent people question everything. Little is taken at face value, and they seek evidence before drawing a conclusion.
Researchers put it a little differently, though. They credit the fact that intelligent people tend to seek higher education and higher employment, giving them more personal power over their own lives.
The good news, if you’re young and religious, is that there appears to be no correlation between your religious beliefs and intelligence.
Other factors such as sex or education made no difference in the correlation between intelligence and religiosity, although some variance was seen with age. The association of lower intelligence with religiousness was weakest among teenagers in the “pre-college population,” however.
Yet, a lifelong association between higher intelligence and atheism, or naturalistic worldview, remains constant in a continuing study — begun in 1928 — of 1,500 gifted children with intelligence quotients (IQs) over 135. Even in extreme old age and closer to death (and some would say God), these children remained steady in their beliefs, or non-belief.
Now, there were some flaws in the studies. The most blatant one is that they mostly addressed Protestants. Jewish people, for one, are reputed to be intelligent, likely because Judaism values education and high career aspirations. While there are likely millions of intelligent Protestants, it’s still true that with the exception of the most liberal Protestant churches, Protestantism still rejects the most basic aspects of education, including science.
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