Everything we look at is a pattern and a 3D pattern at that. Whatever we see is a pattern. Without a pattern there is only chaos…. ?
Ok, (although some things are definitely seem more "patterny" than others, but) let's generally assume that "Everything we look at is a pattern and a 3D pattern at that".
But that does not address the “awareness” part of the contingencies, in the study.
Let’s say again, as you have, that we see everything as patterns. The fact remains, does it not?, that we are not always aware of our seeing patterns. This is referred to operationally in the study as “implicit pattern learning”.
They found that persons who tend toward implicit pattern learning (i.e., who are not aware of the patterns) tend to be among the most religious of the persons in the study.
My comment was an attempt to convey, that I suspect that a good number of atheists (iow, maybe not most, but a significant number of them) (ALSO) implicitly recognize patterns (often times).