Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism

“People who perceive themselves as more similar to animals are also people who tend to have more pro-social or positive attitudes toward outgroup members or people from stigmatized and marginalized backgrounds,” Syropoulos explains. “In this investigation, we were interested in examining whether belief in evolution would also act in a similar way, because it would reinforce this belief that we are more similar to animals.”

In eight studies involving different areas of the world, the researchers analyzed data from the American General Social Survey (GSS), the Pew Research Center and three online crowdsourced samples. In testing their hypothesis about the associations of different levels of belief in evolution, they accounted for education, political ideology, religiosity, cultural identity and scientific knowledge.

“We found the same results each time, which is basically that believing in evolution relates to less prejudice, regardless of the group you’re in, and controlling for all of these alternative explanations,” Syropoulos says.


I saw this – it’s interesting. It has seemed to me that a large part of the reason creationists are often so eager to connect evolutionary biology with racism is that they know their own people have quite a problem on this score. And that hasn’t been a secret to anyone for a long while – witness Mencken’s references to the “Ku Klux Klergy.”


@moderators: This is a duplicate of a thread I posted here:

… with a link to both the original research paper & the phys.org publicity piece.

You might find this sentence from the paper of interest ( my emphasis):

Darwin’s theory of evolution (1859, 1871) has undoubtably affected the way human beings think about themselves and others. It has particularly influenced the way people think about race, and it has historically been (mis)used to perpetuate racism, prejudice, homophobia, and intergroup violence. For example, the notion of evolution by natural selection leading to the “survival of the fittest” has been morphed to justify and perpetuate social injustices, systemic racism and discrimination, slavery, war, and genocide. It has been utilized by prominent eugenicists (Helfand, 2020) and White supremacists (Kendi, 2017), and was central to the genocidal Nazi ideology (Weikart, 2004, 2009) as well as other prejudicial ideologies (Rose, 2009).

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Only insofar as it contraindicates credence.

Yeah, I did see that, and that’s pretty regrettable. If the authors of the paper weren’t going to do decent background work on the cultural issues, it would have been better to have said nothing at all about it. I think that they may have been fooled into thinking that somehow the result of their study was counterintuitive, when of course the close association of creationism with racism is well known. Certainly the claim about evolutionary theory being central to Nazi ideology is a howler.


Does anyone have full access to the study not just the abstract?

I am curious to the actual percentages in each category. I.e. did the discriminatory beliefs against LGBTQ bias the data in the racial prejudice category?
I am curious if the study was broken down with each category by percentages for each discrimination, and if each nation/culture had their own categories as well to unbias cultural differences from the data.
And what constitutes discrimination: is saying “homosexuality is a sin” discrimination or is saying “homosexuals are a lesser human” the discrimination?

I do not have access to this paper so I am curious on how the data was divided since the abstract lumps it together possibly biasing the results.

As a side note: if this data is not biased, it is good to see evolutionists distance itself from the Eugenics Movements of the 19th and 20th century.