For the last 50 years or so, atheists in the United States and Europe have declared that they are smarter across the board than are the various groups of "simple folks" who follow one god or another. When interviewed, if an atheist is pinned down by a good question, his response will almost always be some variation of, "We are just smarter."
The National Institute of Mental Health recently decided to put this theory to the test. The NIMH, which is made up largely of atheistic psychiatrists, wanted to prove, once and for all, that atheists are more intelligent than theists.
In order to perform this study, the NIMH reportedly interviewed over 10,000 people. The interviewees fell into two main groups: those who claim to believe in no god, and those who believe in any god. The second group was further subdivided among Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Wiccans. All 10,000 people were asked a series of 200 questions related to vocabulary, history, music, literature, current events, etc. They were also asked to complete several nonverbal puzzles. Finally, they were asked several intrusive questions to see how they would respond emotionally.
The results of the study were, according to the NIMH, "Quite surprising." When all the interview results were tabulated, the clear conclusion regarding intelligence was that atheists and theists are equally smart. There were no significant differences among any of the groups or subgroups.
The only significant finding was one that was not expected. The results showed that atheists are significantly angrier than are theists. This was a consistent finding across all the questions of the lengthy interview. For example, atheists are angrier about their family situations, their jobs, their social standing, and especially the state of the country. As for the subgroups among the theists, while the Hindus and Buddhists were least angry, the Muslims were angriest.
Immediately after the publication of the study, an atheist group based out of Seattle, WA responded. The group, named More Atheist Dogma (MAD), said in a statement, "These results are ridiculous! They are just stupid! It must be that the leadership of the NIMH is made up of right-wing Christians and Jews! We are not angry, and even if we were it would only be because of the oppression we face every day! But we're not mad!"