a recent study shows… Atheists tend to have a higher IQ and fewer self esteem issues..
Psychologists from the University of Rochester define intelligence as ‘ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience’. They go on to define religion as some sort of involvement in part or all of the aspects of a belief process.
A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. 53 from the 63 studies displayed a ‘reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity’, in 10 of the 63 studies that relationship positive.
Three possible interpretations were discussed.
First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma.
Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs.
Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence.
Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.
In their conclusions, they said: ‘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’. ‘Intelligent people typically spend more time in school – a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits. ‘More intelligent people getting higher level jobs and better employment and higher salary may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.’