You have got to love it when Canadian scientists spend taxpayers money to come up with "science" like this:
PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36880. Epub 2012 May 30.
Mentalizing deficits constrain belief in a personal god.
Norenzayan A, Gervais WM, Trzesniewski KH.
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Abstract: Religious believers intuitively conceptualize deities as intentional agents with mental states who anticipate and respond to human beliefs, desires and concerns. It follows that mentalizing deficits, associated with the autistic spectrum and also commonly found in men more than in women, may undermine this intuitive support and reduce belief in a personal God. Autistic adolescents expressed less belief in God than did matched neuro-typical controls (Study 1). In a Canadian student sample (Study 2), and two American national samples that controlled for demographic characteristics and other correlates of autism and religiosity (Study 3 and 4), the autism spectrum predicted reduced belief in God, and mentalizing mediated this relationship. Systemizing (Studies 2 and 3) and two personality dimensions related to religious belief, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness (Study 3), failed as mediators. Mentalizing also explained the robust and well-known, but theoretically debated, gender gap in religious belief wherein men show reduced religious belief (Studies 2-4).
Wow. What sweeping assumptions!
But then..... if you believe people like Richard Dawkins, then - anyone who believes in the God I believe in, must have a serious mentalizing deficits in the first place. After all, only people with monumental intellectual dysfunction, could possibly believe those "fairy tales" written about in the Bible. It must be an utter mentalizing delusion to even give credence to something stating that Jesus's genetic father was....God. I mean, according to atheists, a belief in Jesus and God, is surely the ultimate schizoid delusion - is it not?
This rationale however, comes from the unparralled superior intellect of people who believe that the big bang happened like this:
A large quantity of nothing packed tightly together, exploded outward forming hydrogen and helium, then sped through frictionless space forming stars, galaxies, planet and moons. Every bird and tree, animal and human came from “nothing”. Hmmmm.
Since when can nothingness pack together? How could it push itself into a pile, or disperse- since vacuum has no density? Therefore, how could nothing become “dense”, then explode? What would cause “nothing” to ignite, if no chemicals existed with which to combust? How can "nothingness" create heat, without any energy source? Particularly in a vast - beyond comprehension outer space which is utterly ..... freezing? How can you expand what is not there? How could an exploding nothingness have changed into protons, neutrons and electrons? How could an empty void change suddenly into matter, which then morphed into ... an intelligent mind? Right then.
And, and don’t get me started on “evolution”, given the principles behind the second law of thermodynamics.
Not that that I mind their opinions about "constraining belief". I consider my delusion, their total loss.
I can think of much better things to "waste" taxpayers money on, than to speculate that "mentalizing deficits" imply that a human is "lacking", or "not quite all there".
That is solely a matter of opinion.