Another study tells us something we already know

I feel this has already been confirmed so many times it personally bores me: yet another study found people with higher intelligence tend to not believe in God. Professor Lynn at Ulster University in the UK published a study that found the “intellectual elite” seriously devoid of religion when compared to their less educated counter-parts. The study also found since the last time the Royal Society was surveyed for religiosity, belief in God actually went down as well (it wasn’t very high to begin with, as you may have guessed).

Of course, there are those who refuse to acknowledge this obvious fact higher education erodes religious beliefs:

…Professor Gordon Lynch, director of the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society at Birkbeck College, London, said it failed to take account of a complex range of social, economic and historical factors.
“Linking religious belief and intelligence in this way could reflect a dangerous trend, developing a simplistic characterisation of religion as primitive, which – while we are trying to deal with very complex issues of religious and cultural pluralism – is perhaps not the most helpful response,” he said.

Yes, it’s a dangerous trend to be honest, isn’t it?

So religion isn’t primitive, eh? I think your own beliefs betray their ancient origin, my friend. The belief a man was born of a virgin, someone ascended into heaven on a winged horse, or the sun revolved around the earth are all demonstrably false and dumb, and yet billions of people believe in that shit. This survey wasn’t trying to be “helpful” to the delusions of ignorant monkeys; it was trying to determine if religiosity was a matter of education. The conclusion is unmistakable, and for most atheists, completely unsurprising.

Comments (5)

  • avatar

    Magnus L

    Please don’t confuse intelligence with education. Besides, for a man to be born from a virgin is not demonstrably false. Ever heard of in-vitro fertilization?

  • avatar


    Magnus, that’s not really a valid argument; I defy any person alive to point out evidence for fertility clinics two thousand years ago.

  • avatar


    I am always slightly wary of studies like this. At a basic level IQ tests only demonstrate your ability to pass IQ test. They try to quantify your mathematical/logical intelligence and ignore other aspects of intelligence, such as interpersonal or linguistic skills.
    Because of this one can assume that those who would score highly in IQ tests (logical and those who use reason) would indeed be less religious.
    It doesn’t strictly follow that increased intelligence equals less religiosity as it isn’t intelligence being measured here, just IQ.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    The idea that IQ is a way of determining intelligence is flawed of course, but it’s also a study of people who make up distinguished educated institutions. Why do people dismiss the idea that our brightest minds are not believers?

  • avatar


    The idea that the brightest also tend to be non-believers makes sense, however linking this purely to IQ levels does not make quite as clear cut a case as one might hope. My point was that correlating IQ against belief doesn’t actually give as much information as it first seems. Indeed, I would fully expect a strong negative correlation purely by definition (which crops up time and time again).
    However there have been questionnaires asking for a measure of religious belief amongst groups of intelligent people which do show a clear trend as intelligence was defined in a much looser fashion.

    I’d be interested in how these statistics (total population and ‘intelligent’ population) have been changing in time. That would be truly fascinating.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to top