New study shows religion, not party ID, at issue in accepting science

Political orientation can certainly have an effect on whether or not Americans accept science. But a new study shows it’s another specific belief system that causes the most anti-science skepticism. Take a wild guess what it is …

WaPo — The ‘direct effect’ of liberal-conservative orientation is spurious once the distinct belief systems that underlie those identifications are accounted for,” wrote Gauchat.

Which belief systems? In particular, being a biblical literalist — endorsing the statement, “The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word” — was a much bigger factor than liberalism or conservatism in explaining why some people disagreed with the use of science in “concrete government policy decisions,” and also why they were against federal science funding.

BTW, the same study supported prior findings that the more scientific info a skeptic is exposed to, the more skeptical they become of science. That’s a promising glitch for the future, huh?


  1. nemistenem says

    Having been a non-believer for quite some time now, and having spent a lot of time studying religion/faith, etc, I still struggle to understand why anyone considers faith a virtue! To believe literally in something so easily shown to be wrong as the bible being the literal word of a perfect god is mind boggling to me. However, when I am asked if I have faith in anything, my stock answer has long been something like, ” I have faith in the ability of humanity to overcome our biggest challenges.” Studies such as this leave me feeling empty – really people – the more evidence (scientific info) you hear, the LESS you believe it? That really sucks. My last hope I suppose is the rapid decrease in people identifying with a specific religion, ie the rapid growth of the “nones’ category. That must however lead past that criterion to the ability to think critically and accept evidence, something that is also sorely lacking even among many who may not believe in a specific god. You know – the “you gotta believe in something ” crowd. My last bastion of faith is fading fast…

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