Research found those with higher IQs more likely to dismiss religion.
Atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people, according to a US study.
Researchers found that those with high IQs had greater self-control and were able to do more for themselves - so did not need the benefits that religion provides.
They also have better self esteem and built more supportive relationships, the study authors said.
The University of Rochester psychologists behind the study defined religion as involvement in some or all parts of a belief.
They defined intelligence as the ‘ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience’.
In their conclusions, they said: ‘Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme - the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who ‘know better’.
‘Intelligent people typically spend more time in school - a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits.
It's a self-evident truth. The more you know, the less is the appeal of religion.