Intuitive thinking about evolution: feelings win

For students to accept the theory of evolution, an intuitive “gut feeling” may be just as important as understanding the facts, according to a new study.
“The whole idea behind acceptance of evolution has been the assumption that if people understood it — if they really knew it — they would see the logic and accept it,” said David Haury, co-author of the new study and associate professor of education at Ohio State University.
Haury and his colleagues tapped into cognitive science research showing that our brains don’t just process ideas logically — we also rely on how true something feels when judging an idea. “Research in neuroscience has shown that when there’s a conflict between facts and feeling in the brain, feeling wins,” he says.
These results also provide a useful way of looking at the perceived conflict between religion and science when it comes to teaching evolution, according to Haury. “Intuitive cognition not only opens a new door to approach the issue,” he said, “it also gives us a way of addressing that issue without directly questioning religious views.”
Source: Science Daily
This study was done in Korea because the authors note they could not find a suitable sample group in the U.S. This makes this study questionable to apply to American students because of the strong degree of religiosity here as compared to Korea. While the authors note that perhaps it suggests we can avoid direct questioning of religious views, I don’t think that will work. Religious views are so strongly ingrained in the U.S. that these results may be swamped by that overwhelming social factor. Intuitiveness of ideas don’t work as influence when you are strong-armed by your environment into not thinking about or questioning the idea at all.

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