Like...I don't even know where to start with people. The ignorance is starting to give me horrible headaches. I know like four people who are atheist. I'm in a deep sea of water and sometimes it feels like I'm drowning. My Facebook...So much fighting.

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Comment by Alan C on May 6, 2013 at 6:13pm

An interesting study:

Science has shown atheists have a higher intelligence than people with a strong religious faith. The difference is 5.8 points according to findings in developmental psychology.

More members of the "intellectual elite" considered themselves atheists than the national average.

Only 7 percent of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God. Whilst only 3.3 percent believed in God in the UK’s Royal Society. 

Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that "those with higher IQ’s tend not to believe in God." 

2. Neuroscientists have conducted the most comprehensive brain mapping to date of the cognitive abilities measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), the most widely used intelligence test in the world.

The results show that the various factors that comprise a high or low IQ score 
depend on particular regions of the brain.

The WAIS test is composed of four indices of intelligence, each consisting of several subtests, which together produce a full-scale IQ score. The four indices are the verbal comprehension index, which represents the ability to understand and to produce speech and use language; the perceptual organization index, which involves visual and spatial processing, such as the ability to perceive complex figures; the working memory index, which represents the ability to hold information temporarily in mind (similar to short-term memory); and the processing speed index.

With the exception of processing speed, which appears scattered throughout the brain, the lesion mapping showed that the other three cognitive indices really do depend on specific brain regions.

For example, lesions in the left frontal cortex were associated with lower scores on the verbal comprehension index; lesions in the left frontal and parietal cortex (located behind the frontal lobe) were associated with lower scores on the working memory index; and lesions in the right parietal cortex were associated with lower scores on the perceptual organization index.

The study also revealed a large amount of overlap in the brain regions responsible for verbal comprehension and working memory, which suggests that these two now-separate measures of cognitive ability may actually represent the same type of intelligence, at least as assessed using the WAIS.

So whether the increased intelligence makes them atheist or being atheist makes them so much more intelligent, it appears their brains are developing faster and better.


Aarhus University
Ulster University

2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
National Institutes of Health
Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
Comment by Stephy on May 6, 2013 at 6:16pm

Sure. It doesn't make generalizing all religious people with a broad stroke of "you must be dumber than me" any more acceptable though.

Comment by Alan C on May 6, 2013 at 6:19pm

And another study:

It seems there is some strong evidence that the more intelligent a person is the less he/she believes in the existence of God. In a study done by the psychology department at the University of Edinburgh last year, Gary J. Lewis, Stuart J. Ritchie, and Timothy C. Bates looked at links between lower levels of intelligence and high levels of religiosity.


Their findings showed that intelligence was significantly and negatively associated with measures of religion, especially fundamentalism. What was demonstrated was that those with greater cognitive skills are able to form more open-minded (antiauthoritarian) attitudes than those with lesser cognitive abilities. In other words, greater intelligence leads to more open mindedness and individualism; resulting in an intellectual conflict with the arguments made by religious scripture and leaders. This is particularly true with fundamentalism’s literalistic interpretation of scripture. 

In another study done three years ago, Average Intelligence Predicts Atheism Rates Across 137 Nations, by Richard Lynn, John Harvey, and Helmuth Nyborg, the authors reviewed evidence pointing to a negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief in the U.S. and Europe. 


The factors included not only evidence pointing to a negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief; but also lower percentages of those who are extremely intelligent holding religious beliefs compared with the general population, a decline of religious belief with age among children and adolescents as their cognitive abilities increase, and the decline of religious belief during the course of the twentieth century as the intelligence of populations has increased.

The authors mention 38 other studies that found a negative correlation between intelligence and religious belief; and a study in the Netherlands that reported agnostics scored 4 IQ points higher than believers. In another study it was demonstrated that those who responded to “not religious at all” had the highest IQ. 

In the 1990s, a study of members of the American National Academy of Sciences reported that seven percent believed in the existence of God, as compared with approximately ninety percent found in the general population. In Britain, it was found that 3.3 percent of Fellow of the Royal Society believed in the existence of God, while 78.8 percent did not believe. 

It seems clear from these studies that intelligence/cognitive abilities determine one’s acceptance of religious mythology.

Comment by Gregg R Thomas on May 7, 2013 at 12:30am

@ Elizabeth Williams ;

When you leaving...I wanna go too. :)

Comment by Gregg R Thomas on May 7, 2013 at 12:40am

P.S. I have an extra towel. :D


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