Or does it just attract dumber people? Numerous studies have correlated atheism with higher IQs. What do you think are the reasons for this? Here's one author's opinion: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-barber/why-atheists-have-higher-_b_853414.html I think religion DOES have a dumbing down influence on people. It encourages the acceptance of dogmas and beliefs based on faith in authority, either the authority of their scriptures or the authority of their church. Such a habit of never critically examining one's beliefs has a squelching affect on one's reasoning and analytical abilities imo. If you don't have to think about what you believe religiously, what else do you not have to think about to believe? And a person who rarely thinks is afterall not very intelligent.