Why Creationists Are More Likely to Buy into Conspiracy Theories

Aug 28, 2018

By Kimberly Hickok

When something occurs that’s hard to explain, many people say that “everything happens for a reason” and that the event was “meant to be.”

The thought provides a purpose for what, in reality, was a random, accidental event.

This type of thinking, called teleological thinking, is what gives rise to creationism, which, in this case, refers to the belief that Earth was created by an all-powerful being less than 10,000 years ago. That same kind of reasoning also promotes a belief in conspiracy theories, a new study has found.

“I think the study is a valuable and interesting contribution to work on the ways that our gut intuitions can promote particular non-scientific world views,” said Deborah Kelemen, a developmental cognitive scientist at Boston University, who was not involved in the study.

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3 comments on “Why Creationists Are More Likely to Buy into Conspiracy Theories

  • @OP link – “Cognitive biases — like the teleological bias — develop early and are cross-culturally recurrent,” Kelemen said.
    “Given this, we should probably start intervening earlier if we want to effectively promote scientific literacy and reduce non-scientific mindsets,
    like conspiracy beliefs, that can promote fear and paranoia.”

    Religious indoctrinators have known this for years, so have sought to indoctrinate children before the age of seven, to reinforce cognitive biases and inhibit scientific mindsets, before they reach the teenage stage of formal mental operations involving logic and abstract thought.



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  • @OP – “Given this, we should probably start intervening earlier if we want to effectively promote scientific literacy and reduce non-scientific mindsets,
    like conspiracy beliefs
    , that can promote fear and paranoia.”

    It seems that the Internet services are starting to do just that – with the conspiracy nutters and false-news propagandists, screaming “bias”! “unfair censorship”! conspiracies against their “profound insights”! and playing the martyred hero, as usual!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45442417

    Twitter says it has permanently suspended the accounts of Alex Jones and his Infowars website.

    It made the move after a number of tweets that violated Twitter’s abusive behaviour policy, the company said.

    A number of tech giants, including YouTube and Facebook, deleted the right-wing conspiracy theorist’s content last month, citing hate speech.

    The radio host is best known for spreading unsubstantiated allegations about tragic events, including 9/11.

    He is currently being sued for defamation by the parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which he has repeatedly claimed was a “giant hoax“.
    Twenty children under the age of seven and six adults died in the attack.

    Mr Jones mostly uses his Twitter account to share content and videos from InfoWars with his 850,000 followers, and promotes conspiracy theories against liberals, Muslims and migrants.

    What had Jones said on Twitter?

    In July, he said that Democrats planned to launch a civil war on 4 July or US Independence Day

    Last year, he tweeted that Muslims in England were demanding that the Queen either convert to Islam or leave the country. However, the CNN clip Infowars based its article on dates back to 2009 and features a group led by radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who by 2017 was already serving a five-and-a-half-year sentence for inviting support for the Islamic State group (IS)

    He has previously said that “transgenderism” is a CIA “plan to depopulate humanity” and that the “normalisation of mental illness” is an “evil paedophile plot to sexualise and destroy children”

    In 2013, he described then-President Barack Obama as the “global head of al-Qaeda”, and later accused him of arming IS




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