As I’m away from home a fair bit, and don’t always keep up with the news, I subscribe to a fantastic little magazine called ‘The Week’, which is effectively a summary of the last week’s events from around the world.
Last week’s had this amazing little piece in, from the Daily Telegraph, and article by Sean Thomas (www.telegraph.co.uk), as good and well-read newspaper as any (well, almost!)….
‘Atheists are smarter than those who believe in God. At any rate, a couple of surveys suggest they tend to have higher IQs. (Paul: is that because many Christians kiss their brains goodbye at the door of the church??!). But when it comes to who lives a healthier and more fulfilled life, says Sean Thomas, the advantages are all on the side of religious folk. There is now a vast body of research showing that belief confers remarkable health benefits: in 2006, researchers at the University of Texas found that the more often people went to church, the longer they tended to live; a Duke University study found churchgoers tend to have lower blood pressure and stronger immune systems. Other recent studies show that believers recover faster from surgery than their heathen peers, and have better outcomes from breast cancer and coronary disease, even after adjusting for the fact that they tend to smoke and drink less, and take fewer drugs. They enjoy better mental health, too, as a UCLA study of college students has found. To top it all, believers are nicer: they give more to charity than atheists, “who, according to the very latest survey, are the meanest of all”. Atheists smarter? I don’t think so.’
Pretty amazing, eh, to have something SO positive about us in a mainstream British national newspaper??