A new review of 63 studies of intelligence and religion that span the past 100 years finds on average, non-believers score higher than religious people on intelligence tests, according to the Huffington Post.
Researchers suspect intelligent people might have less of a “need” for religion.
“Intelligence may also lead to greater self-control ability, self-esteem, perceived control over life events, and supportive relationships, obviating some of the benefits that religion sometimes provides,” study co-author Jordan Silberman, a graduate student of neuroeconomics at the University of Rochester, told The Huffington Post in an email.
“I’m sure there are intelligent religious people and unintelligent atheists out there,” Silberman said in the email. “The findings pertain to the average intelligence of religious and non-religious people, but they don’t necessarily apply to any single person. Knowing that a person is religious would not lead me to bet any money on whether or not the person is intelligent.”
The researchers acknowledge the limitations of the meta-analysis. It did not look at type of religion, for example, or at the role culture might play in the interaction between religiosity and intelligence.