Writing for Springer’s journal of Evolutionary Psychological Science, the authors – who are based at the Ulster Institute for Social Research and Rotterdam University respectively – explained their model is based on the ideas of evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa.Mr Kanazawa's 'Savanna-IQ Principles' suggest human behaviour will always be guided by the environment in which their ancestors developed.Mr Dutton and Mr van der Linden argue in keeping with this that religion should be considered an 'evolved domain' — or instinct.

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“[Men faced in this real life scenario] distanced themselves more from her, tended to rate her as less attractive, and showed less desire to exchange contact information or plan a date with her”.

While the authors behind the study caution that more experimentation may be needed to confirm the conclusion, they do believe that “feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them.” Who knew masculinity could be so fragile?

A 2013 analysis by University of Rochester found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 historic studies.

A negative correlation between intelligence and religion makes sense if religion is considered an instinct, and intelligence the ability to rise above one's instincts, say researchers Edward Dutton and Dimitri van der Linden in their new paper published today.

The findings, to be published in the November edition of ‘Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin’, concluded that men find the propect of dating intelligent women intimidating.