Monday, April 4, 2011

Death and Evolution

An interesting study at Ars (ignore the stuff about bottomonium, or not, I guess):
"Have an undergrad ponder death and, suddenly, anything they learned in intro to bio doesn't look so hot; they'll feel less inclined to accept evolution (or want to hear about it from Richard Dawkins), and more prone to find intelligent design appealing. The same held true in a random population recruited over the Internet. This didn't hold true for students in a natural sciences program, though.

The authors went on to show that it was possible to reverse this effect with a dose of Sagan (an experiment controlled with what the authors termed a "no Sagan" group). Have people read a passage from Carl Sagan in which he celebrates the wonder of the natural world, and the appeal of intelligent design faded into the background."

So thinking about death is protection against evolution - very interesting!

Also, those in the natural sciences have in some way had their consciences seared (or something).

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