By Sandra Birungi
A controversial research has shown that people who do not believe in God, Atheists, are more intelligent that those who actually in Him.
The research is based on a new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades. The research was conducted by a team led by Miron Zuckerman of the University of Rochester. It found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies adding that even in old age, intelligent people are less likely to believe in God.
According to previous studies, intelligent people simply “know better”. The studies used in Zuckerman’s paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children – those with IQs over 135 – in a study which began in 1921 and continues today. At 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population.
In 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”
A 1916 study quoted in Zuckerman’s paper (Leuba) found that, “58% of randomly selected scientists in the United States expressed disbelief in, or doubt regarding the existence of God; this proportion rose to nearly 70% for the most eminent scientists.”
The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, 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,” the researchers write. “More intelligent people get higher level jobs (and better employment (and higher salary) may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs. Last, more intelligent people are more likely to get and stay married (greater attachment), though for intelligent people, that too comes later in life. We therefore suggest that as intelligent people move from young adulthood to adulthood and then to middle age, the benefits of intelligence may continue to accrue.”
“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.