Turtles all the way down

Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, according to analysis of scores of scientific studies stretching back over decades

Posted by doctore0 on August 14, 2013

A new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades has concluded that religious people are less intelligent than non-believers.

A piece of University of Rochester analysis, led by Professor Miron Zuckerman, found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies.

According to the study entitled, ‘The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations’, published in the ‘Personality and Social Psychology Review’, even during early years the more intelligent a child is the more likely it would be to turn away from religion.

In old age above average intelligence people are less likely to believe, the researchers also found.

One of the studies used in Zuckerman’s paper was a life-long analysis of the beliefs of 1,500 gifted children with with IQs over 135.

The study began in 1921 and continues today. Even in extreme old age the subjects had much lower levels of religious belief than the average population.

The review, which is the first systematic meta-analysis of the 63 studies conducted in between 1928 and 2012, showed that of the 63 studies, 53 showed a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity, while 10 showed a positive one.
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3 Responses to “Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, according to analysis of scores of scientific studies stretching back over decades”

  1. Mordanicus said

    higher intelligence->more critical thinking->less blind faith->more atheism


  2. Tammy Gardner said

    I have several thoughts about this. One is, was the testing used more scientifically based? If so, the people would be more ill-informed than not intelligent. I would be curious about the details.

    My other thought is this. I have always believed that there are two types of religious people (no matter the faith). There are the less-intelligent who blindly follow and believe with all of their being. Then there are the intelligent who know it’s all bull, but choose to ‘play faithful’ because they know that either they can extort from the less intelligent (enter clergy), or because they know that giving up on their religion would mean losing their family, friends, and support system (can’t fault them for that one).


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