According to a study by the American Sociological Association, higher intelligence correlates to atheism. (Also liberal political ideals, preference for sexual exclusivity in men, nocturnal sleeping habits, and the decision not to have children.) There are actually a plethora of studies that link higher intelligence to atheism:


This is not a question, so maybe I should not post it here? I am brand new to the site, so I am sincerely sorry if I am violating protocol.

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I've been in arguments over these statistics with theists and some have shown me to be wrong.

The studies apparently don't demonstrate any large difference between the intelligence of theists and non-believers.

Some show that the more intelligent do tend towards non-belief if non-belief is an option they have been exposed to, such as at secular universities.

This is why Egypt is upset over university students drifting to non-belief and their efforts to try and drag them back to religion.

Though the real bane for religion is Rational Critical Thinking (RCT), not Intelligence, as even those of average intelligence who develop RCT will likely leave their religion.

In fact, in universities where there is now a high emphasis on RCT, which was pushed into many universities since around 2009, there has been a massive swing of students away from faith based belief systems. 

So, had this blog been about Atheism and Rationality (RCT) then I'd be in full agreement of the correlation between high RCT and high numbers of atheists.

But, Intelligence, itself does not lead them away from religion.

In fact, some studies suggest that highly intelligent children are more easily indoctrinated and more readily become fundamentalists.

Ayatollah Khomeini apparently was a brilliant student and exhibited a high intelligence, yet he was also one of the world's most extreme fundamentalists.

So Intelligence works both ways.

Teach an intelligent person RCT and you can be assured that if they apply RCT to their own lives, voila, you have a non-believer for certain.


Though I agree with the finding that highly intelligent people tend to be nocturnal, I was always the last into bed, I'd often still be up in the early morning, it drove my mother crazy, a disobedient child, she would send me to my room, but I'd never get into bed.

Eventually she gave up trying.

I haven't changed, still up too late, I used to worry about not giving my brain enough rest, and giving it time to clean itself out, but, it is something I cannot seem to curb.

Maybe it has something to do with intellect, but maybe it is more likely just habitual.

Maybe I'll never know????

It'd be nice to think it was intelligence, but that is simply petting my ego!


Yes Patricia, it can be a drag, especially at boarding school where curfew was at 10pm, when my brain was just getting warmed up.  I'd have a cubicle light on and all the rest of the dormitory telling me to turn it off so they can sleep.

Even now I have family telling me to stop making noises and turn lights off because they want to sleep.

My brain starts working its best after 10pm so I miss out on my best work if I retire earlier than that.


The difference isn't large (6 to 11 points), but it IS there, study after study. The studies' conclusions also make it clear that there are dim atheists and bright theists, as you said, but as a general rule, atheists ARE smarter.

Of course atheists have a higher intelligence. If they didn't they might be like the believer and think a bat was a bird like it says in the bible.

But not every atheist is intelligent. You can meet some that do not believe in god and find out they do believe in every supernatural thing that was ever thought about. All of this without any evidence of anything.

You can meet some that do not believe in god and find out they do believe in every supernatural thing that was ever thought about.

I have noticed that, too! I have never really understood it. I don't have much more respect for those people than I do the faithful. It is all magical thinking, without evidence. (If there is one thing I will NEVER argue, it is that Americans tend to be lazy thinkers, even stupid. I mean, 29% can't name the Vice President, so what can we expect?)

I agree totally. Supernateral is supernatural. You are not logica if you do not believe in god but you do believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Yeti. No god but spacemen are popping in.

I agree also.

Americans have it briefly in high school and then forget it totally. Immigrants learn more about government in the tests they have to take for citizenship than what most of us citizens even remember.

I've also never understood how people can believe supernatural things, Jennifer.

Before I came to Atheist Nexus, I belonged to "Life After Mormonism" for 2 or 3 years.  I enjoyed talking with ex-mormons, but finally left that site because there were so many ex-mormons that joined other religions and believed all kinds of supernatural BS, and wanted to talk about their beliefs and convert us to them, that I couldn't stand it anymore.

There aren't many active ex-mormons here that I can communicate with, and I miss that, but  it's worth it because I don't have to be constantly annoyed with supernatural crapolla.

Yes, Patricia, there are lots of different teaching in different places.  It seems to me that the leaders of the church let them teach what they want as long as it keeps the sheep believing, and if anyone challenges a teaching, the leaders say that's not official doctrine.

Yes, Michael, so true.

My son's wife has always claimed herself as an atheist, but now she has taken up being a Wiccan, which means believing in 2 deities so she is not an atheist but a polytheist.

I don't think she understands these concepts at all.

She doesn't understand that the granting of spells is no different to granting of prayers.

Like all religions they claim prayers are granted on a Yes/No/Wait decision by god, which is exactly the same as granting of spells.

I shared a house with three wiccans in the 80s and they all believed their spells worked, because sometimes months later, something similar to their spell appeared to happen, even though I knew it was purely coincident.

Such as one had a crush on a local talent who never really knew them and several months after she put a love spell on him, he noticed, smiled and said 'Hi' to her, so she came running in yelling to her wiccan friends, "My spell is starting to work!"

I often say hi to pretty girls that give me big smiles, no love there.

I don't recall him ever taking any notice of her and he married the woman my housemate put a hex on to make her keep away from him.

Tough luck, another failed spell!

No intellect required for wiccans!




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