January 23, 2012

A FEELING, NOT A THOUGHT (via The Other Brother):

BELIEF IN EVOLUTION BOILS DOWN TO A GUT FEELING: Intuitive reasoning may help explain why some people are more accepting of evolution than others. (Live Science, Jan 22, 2012)

[R]esearchers recruited 124 pre-service biology teachers at different stages in a standard teacher preparation program at two Korean universities. They chose to look at students in Korea because teacher preparation programs in the country are quite standardized. "In Korea, people all take the same classes over the same time period and are all about the same age, so it takes out a lot of extraneous factors," Haury explained.

Moreover, about half of Koreans don't identify themselves as belonging to any particular religion, he said. In the United States, only about 16 percent of people are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. (Religion can be a reason for not accepting evolution, as some think it goes against a god as a creator.)

The researchers first asked the students a series of questions to measure their overall acceptance of evolution, teasing out whether they generally believed the main concepts and scientific findings that define the theory of evolution. Next, they tested the students on their knowledge of evolutionary science with questions about various processes, such as natural selection. For each question, the students wrote down how certain they felt about the correctness of their answers -- an indicator of their gut feelings.

They found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs. Even students with a greater knowledge of evolutionary facts weren't more likely to accept the theory unless they also had a strong gut feeling about the facts, the results showed.

The study has important implications for the teaching of evolution, the researchers said. Informing students about this conflict between intuition and logic may help them judge ideas on their merits.

The implication is that it can't be taught.  If you think about it you'll recognise the theory is wrong.  The only thing that can make you believe in it is your feelings.  It's not a scientific matter

Posted by at January 23, 2012 6:22 AM
  

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