Science news at the speed of thought

Religion reduces science literacy in America

December 6, 2011

It’s palpably obvious that acceptance of evolution is impeded by religion. The data are many, including surveys of different denominations, a strong negative correlation among countries between their degree of religiosity and their inhabitants’ acceptance of evolution, the statements of religious people themselves to the effect that evolution threatens their view of scripture, morality, or self-worth, and the fact that creationism throughout the world is always connected with religion. And then there’s this, from an analysis by David Masci at the Pew Forum in 2007:

When asked what they would do if scientists were to disprove a particular religious belief, nearly two-thirds (64%) of people say they would continue to hold to what their religion teaches rather than accept the contrary scientific finding, according to the results of an October 2006 Time magazine poll. Indeed, in a May 2007 Gallup poll, only 14% of those who say they do not believe in evolution cite lack of evidence as the main reason underpinning their views; more people cite their belief in Jesus (19%), God (16%) or religion generally (16%) as their reason for rejecting Darwin’s theory.

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