September 21, 2011
People with ‘mild’ forms of autism are more likely to be atheists, according to a controversial new study – and more likely to shun organised religion in general.
The study, which looked at posts on autism forums, focused on people with high-functioning autism such as Asperger’s.
The study, from University of Boston, speculates that common autistic spectrum behaviours such as ‘a preference for logical beliefs’ and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible.
The study authors, Catherine Caldwell-Harris and Patrick MacNamara studied discussions by 192 different posters on an autism website. They also looked at a survey of 61 people with high-functioning autism, and graphed against results from the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) test. The results appeared to show that those with high AQ scores were ‘more likely’ to be atheists.