Study finds how people engage with science can promote unbelief or beliefs

The team first surveyed participants about how interested they were in science, how committed they were to logical thinking and how often they felt awe. Reporting a commitment to logic was associated with unbelief. The participants who reported both a strong commitment to logic and having experienced awe, or a feeling of overwhelming wonder that often leads to open-mindedness, were more likely to report believing in God. The most common description of God given by those participants was not what is commonly found in houses of worship: They reported believing in an abstract God described as mystical or limitless.

In another experiment, the research team had the participants engage with science by watching videos. While a lecture about quantum physics led to unbelief or agnosticism, watching a music video about how atoms are both particles and waves led people to report feeling awe. Those who felt awe also were more likely to believe in an abstract God.


A lot of people think science and religion do not go together, but they are thinking about science in too simplistic a way and religion in too simplistic a way," said Adam Cohen, professor of psychology and senior author on the paper. "Science is big enough to accommodate religion, and religion is big enough to accommodate science.

…often leads to open-mindedness…

…as opposed to “freethinking”?

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Freethinking is not a bad thing. I might be a freethinker.


Free from what?

Free from stupid stubbornness?

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There is a positive definition of freedom, and a negative one.
The positive definition is person A is free to do thing x.
The negative definition might go something like Person B is free from outside influence y.

For some reason I think that the person who came up with the term freethinker was thinking about freedom from the shackles of religion. But I could be wrong.

there is also the possibility for a similar confusion with the term open-mindedness. It can refer to a certain openness to ideas, or to gullibility and a tendency towards pseudoscientific nonsense.

So my question stands. What kind of freedom is the best?

It usually connotes, if not denotes, rejection of religion. (Rejection of dogma is a dogma. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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In that case I’m the opposite of a freethinker. Well I do think about things deeply, but I’m also actively seeking out, collecting, categorizing, and extracting the ideas of others. Because a person is so limited in both time space and thinking capacity, it is mouch better to do this, and to collect the ideas of others, rather than to come up with your own, though I do do both. This mentality leads me have those ideas in a form that easily teachable and shareable. It’s not enough to understand an idea, you have to optimize it for transmission. It’s always at the forefront of my mind. It’s also why I don’t necessarily want to debate people. If somebody is wrong, I’ll just not help spread their ideas.

But this is a value judgement, not a fundamental truth of the human condition. Your value judgement is probably different
from mine, and
that’s fine

Chocolate freedom, of course.

I don’t believe it.
… at least until the methods have been examined and the results have been reproduced independently.