A new study has shown a novel idea: Religion is an instinct, and people who rise above those instincts are more intelligent. Study lead author Edward Dutton, a research fellow at the Ulster Institute for Social Research in the United Kingdom, said:
“Intelligence — in rationally solving problems — can be understood as involving overcoming instinct and being intellectually curious and thus open to non-instinctive possibilities.”
Intelligence is associated with atheism because religion is an instinct that can be overcome. Scientists have found that people who are religious have a lower intelligence. Apparently, according to this study, it means that there will be fewer atheists because these hyper-intelligent people will be anti-social and have fewer children.
“It’s true that people who are less intelligent tend to have more children than people who are more intelligent. And intelligence is negatively associated with religiousness. So on that basis, you would expect religiousness to increase.”
“If you have higher intelligence, you’re less instinctive. You’re lower in what you might call ‘evolved instincts’ that have evolved over thousands and thousands of years until the Industrial Revolution, when natural selection slowed down.”
A 2013 study found that the more intelligent a child is, the more likely that child is to turn away from religion as he or she grows up. People are also more likely to turn to religion in times of stress. As Dutton said:
“If religion is indeed an evolved domain — an instinct — then it will become heightened at times of stress, when people are inclined to act instinctively, and there is clear evidence for this,”
“It also means that intelligence allows us to able to pause and reason through the situation and the possible consequences of our actions.”
Many people start turning toward religion and praying in times of stress, so this makes sense. This study was conducted using the data from over 60 other scientific studies.
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