U of Rochester Study:
Believers may be less intelligent
We are cautious about too readily swallowing whatever “the latest study reveals.” Even or perhaps especially when it’s something we’d love to think is true. This study is loaded with caveats. That’s appropriate and responsible of the author, for this is an observational and not a controlled study. A big caveat is that the study doesn’t establish causation. For instance, perhaps smarts lead to rejection of religion; but then, perhaps instead they lead to life circumstances that don’t require the reassurance religions offers; or perhaps rejection of religion induces people to think more; or maybe what the good folks in Rochester have stumbled upon is a correlation with no causation, that is, a coincidence.
Still, the study hits home. It brings to mind something that a friend said after reading an early manuscript of “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass. “I don’t want to be rude,” he said, “but it’s incredible to me that anyone could have been so, well, so stupid. I know you, and you’re not stupid.” Joanne leveled her gaze upon him and said, “I was then.”
True enough. If you met Jo now, you too might marvel that this woman, so composed, both feet firmly on the ground, could ever have belonged to a cult. I didn’t know her then, but I can assure you that today she is uncommonly, refreshingly intelligent. And an atheist.