I guess Abe beat me to this one, but I’ll join the party a little late.
Rebecca is looking at a study that found…
“…low belief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes, and support for discriminatory behaviors against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ), Blacks, and immigrants in the United States (Study 1), with higher ingroup biases, prejudicial attitudes toward outgroups, and less support for conflict resolution in samples collected from 19 Eastern European countries (Study 2), 25 Muslim countries (Study 3), and Israel (Study 4). Further, among Americans, lower belief in evolution was associated with greater prejudice and militaristic attitudes toward political outgroups (Study 5).”
That’s an observation that accords well with what I’ve seen, anecdotally. My most religious family members are also the most racist…or is it that my most racist relatives are the most religious? I don’t really know which direction the arrow of causality is facing.
But also, as someone who has associated more with atheists than theists, we all know that the atheist movement split over precisely this kind of issue. There are lots of self-declared evolutionists who also rail against immigration, who claim that there are differences in intelligence that split along racial lines, and who are confident that women are inferior to men. I’m looking at the study and thinking that maybe this result is an artifact of the godless being swamped out by the numbers of the godly.
But then, they controlled for religion.
“Finally, perceived similarity to animals (a construct distinct from belief in evolution, Study 6) partially mediated the link between belief in evolution and prejudice (Studies 7 and 8), even when controlling for religious beliefs, political views, and other demographic variables, and were also observed for nondominant groups (i.e., religious and racial minorities). ”
Now that’s more believable, and narrows the cause of the effect significantly. It’s not just religion, it’s having beliefs that encourage categorizing some living things as meaningless and subject to murder. That’s a metric that clearly suggests that the most egalitarian and benevolent people are those who even love spiders. (OK, respecting the right to life for fruit flies might be even better, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to that level of enlightenment yet.)
Now I want to see a comparison of NRA members to the general public. People who buy great big guns so they can slaughter large warmbloods might be the worst of them all.