Religion Plays A Bigger Role In Evolution Skepticism Than Climate Change Denial, Study Finds

Dec 22, 2016

By Antonia Blumberg

Religion drives American attitudes toward evolution, according to a new study, but that’s not necessarily the case for climate change.

A recent study set out to discover whether religion factors into anti-science attitudes across the board. It found that while religious views drive Americans’ skepticism of evolution, climate change denial is more dependent on conservative political views and a lack of confidence in the scientific community.

The study, published by Rice sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and several other researchers, found that about 20 percent of U.S. adults are skeptical that climate change is occurring or that humans play a role in it. Roughly 45 percent of the U.S. population believes evolution to be false.


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One comment on “Religion Plays A Bigger Role In Evolution Skepticism Than Climate Change Denial, Study Finds”

  • @OP – A recent study set out to discover whether religion factors into anti-science attitudes across the board. It found that while religious views drive Americans’ skepticism of evolution, climate change denial is more dependent on conservative political views and a lack of confidence in the scientific community.

    It should be obvious that faith-thinking (belief without evidence or proof) is in direct conflict with empirical scientific methodology!

    Religious exhortations to “faith-thinking” are in direct conflict with scientific methodology, so scientific evidence of evolution is rejected on the basis of “faith”, while “a lack of confidence in the scientific community”, is essentially the same sort of ideology-based lack of acceptance of scientific methodology, – although there could also be aspects of suspected human failings of scientists involved.
    More likely in both cases is the psychological projection of their own flawed, fallacious or circular thought processes, on to science and scientists, while religious and/or political ideology is used as a starting point for circular thinking which is in conflict with the science.

    There is of course the conflation of the definition of the terminology in “common skepticism” – which is simply doubt or incredulity, with “scientific scepticism”.

    In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (UK)

    an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;

    the doctrine that true knowledge or some particular knowledge is uncertain; or

    the method of suspended judgement, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism#Scientific_skepticism

    Scientific Scepticism
    A scientific (or empirical) skeptic is one who questions beliefs on the basis of scientific understanding.

    Most scientists, being scientific skeptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some form of the scientific method.[17]

    As a result, a number of claims are considered “pseudoscience” if they are found to improperly apply or ignore the fundamental aspects of the scientific method.

    Scientific skepticism may discard beliefs pertaining to things outside perceivable observation and thus outside the realm of systematic, empirical falsifiability/testability.

    As with the difference in definition between vernacular “theory” and “scientific theory”, the appropriate term should be used in discussing scientific issues when clarity is required!

    Pseudo-scientists love shuffling ambiguous meanings of words!

    The study, published by Rice sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and several other researchers, found that about 20 percent of U.S. adults are skeptical that climate change is occurring or that humans play a role in it. Roughly 45 percent of the U.S. population believes evolution to be false.

    These “social scientists” really should not be using the vernacular term “skeptical” in relation to deniers of the scientific theory of evolution, or deniers of climate science.
    People who are presenting scientific reports they expect to be taken seriously, – purporting to be on people’s understanding of scientific concepts, – should be able to get the basic precise scientific terminology unambiguously right”!



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