Bethany T. Heywood, a graduate student at Queens University Belfast, asked 27 people with Asperger’s syndrome (…) about significant events in their lives. (…) She asked them to speculate about why these important events happened—for instance, why they had gone through an illness or why they met a significant other. As compared with 34 neurotypical people, those with Asperger’s syndrome were significantly less likely to invoke a teleological response—for example, saying the event was meant to unfold in a particular way or explaining that God had a hand in it. They were more likely to invoke a natural cause (such as blaming an illness on a virus they thought they were exposed to) or to give a descriptive response, explaining the event again in a different way.

In a second experiment, Heywood and Bering compared 27 people with Asperger’s with 34 neurotypical people who are atheists. The atheists, as expected, often invoked anti-teleological responses such as “there is no reason why; things just happen.” The people with Asperger’s were significantly less likely to offer such anti-teleological explanations than the atheists, indicating they were not engaged in teleological thinking at all. (The atheists, in contrast, revealed themselves to be reasoning teleologically, but then they rejected those thoughts.)

Kanske ligger det något i Vox Days ständiga snack om en korrelation mellan ateism och aspberger.

It’s not just a figment of my imagination, it seems atheists truly are socially autistic by their own report. Asperger’s Syndrome is a disorder described as ”autistic psychopathy” by its discoverer, Dr. Hans Asperger. Those with the disorder tend to be intelligent, socially awkward and difficult to converse with. They are also likely to be male.

Based on Wired Magazine’s observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray, one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger’s and atheism.