New J&M up today; Interesting idea. Much as I usually try to steer clear of articles in mainstream media that start with the phrase "scientists say", the cartoon refers to a recent study done at the University of Helsinki (ranked around 100th in the world) involving religious people and autistic people. The idea is that autistic people have a specific condition that makes them tend to view the world as entirely "physical", i.e. they struggle to comprehend the feelings or mental states of other people. Whereas religious believers often have the opposite problem, i.e. often conflating mental and physical entities, for example, believing that inanimate objects like rocks, rivers and mountains have spirits (as per many animistic belief systems) or that hurricanes are sent to punish gay people etc. The objective of the study was to see if there were any real correlation between these groups and their alignment to either physical or mental beliefs, apparently there is.
I do wonder if there is such a thing as a "god belief gene", it would explain a lot; it would certainly help explain why (regardless of culture or environment) there always seems to be a reasonably consistent % of the population that simply doesn't believe whatever the pervasive cult or religion says.