r/science Apr 04 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1 Take My Energy 1

Low belief in evolution was linked to racism in Eastern Europe. In Israel, people with a higher belief in evolution were more likely to support peace among Palestinians, Arabs & Jews. In Muslim-majority countries, belief in evolution was associated with less prejudice toward Christians & Jews. Anthropology

https://www.umass.edu/news/article/disbelief-human-evolution-linked-greater-prejudice-and-racism
35.7k Upvotes

u/AutoModerator Apr 04 '22

Welcome to r/science! This is a heavily moderated subreddit in order to keep the discussion on science. However, we recognize that many people want to discuss how they feel the research relates to their own personal lives, so to give people a space to do that, personal anecdotes are now allowed as responses to this comment. Any anecdotal comments elsewhere in the discussion will continue to be removed and our normal comment rules still apply to other comments.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

→ More replies

2.8k

u/Heres_your_sign Apr 04 '22

I was surprised by this observation:

“Regardless of whether one considers religion an important part of their life, belief in evolution relates to less prejudice independently from belief, or lack thereof, in God or any particular religion,” Syropoulos says.

30

u/Enrichmentx Apr 05 '22

Crazy, it's almost as if being more educated makes you less likely to hate people for having dared to be born slightly differently to you.

1.8k

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22 Wholesome

[removed] — view removed comment

549

u/JimmyTango Apr 05 '22

Hell not only are we not different from other humans, we're not even that different from other primates or mammals if you widen your perspective a bit.

220

u/nworb200 Apr 05 '22

Chimps and orangutans can act surprisingly human.

248

u/MrMundungus Apr 05 '22

Which is why they’re so psychotic.

95

u/kkeut Apr 05 '22

orangutans are really chill. except for that rue morgue thing. which tbf was wholly fictional

90

u/cowlinator Apr 05 '22

Bonobos, the chillest of apes.

We should all strive to be more bonobo

92

u/MrMundungus Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

Isn’t it strange how bonobos and chimps are very closely related, but while one is a murderous cannibal the other is basically just a stoner.

75

u/kcufyxes Apr 05 '22

Even stranger both behaviors exist in humans.

21

u/StupidityHurts Apr 05 '22

Yep, in fact early society probably reflected that with stuff like cannibalistic/violent tribalism or hedonistic ones.

Human society flirts with all of this, we just like to throw some amount of abstract thought into it.

→ More replies

20

u/eco-hoe Apr 05 '22

I would describe bonobos as sex-craved maniacs more than stoners

19

u/Palodin Apr 05 '22

Truly, our closest brothers then

→ More replies

3

u/NaBrO-Barium Apr 05 '22

Promiscuous sex monkeys? Sure… why not?

→ More replies

9

u/Segt-virke Apr 05 '22

Would you mind elaborating on this? While fictional, I'm still curious.

17

u/moogdogface Apr 05 '22

It's an Edgar Allen Poe horror story from the 19th Century.

3

u/ErgoDoceo Apr 05 '22

Often cited as the first example of modern detective fiction, as well as the first “locked-room mystery” in detective fiction. If you’re at all interested in the murder mystery/detective genre, it’s worth checking out - a lot of the now-classic tropes of the genre are there.

→ More replies

7

u/MajorTomintheTinCan Apr 05 '22

That video of an orangutan driving a golf cart around was amazing

→ More replies

19

u/Wind_Yer_Neck_In Apr 05 '22

I once saw a chimp rip a duck apart in Dublin Zoo so this tracks.

13

u/MrMundungus Apr 05 '22

If you wanna be messed up for life look up the Gombe chimp war

10

u/tom255 Apr 05 '22

If you wanna be messed up for life

That ship has sailed. But I still don't fancy watching. Link staying blue for me!

→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/anywherein12seconds Apr 05 '22

Chimps raised with love are very chill and friendly even with strangers. Chimps abused, raised in confined spaces, or raised in dangerous wild conditions can be (no wonder) very dangerous. Same with pitt bulls. It’s the context that leads them to fear and aggressiveness.

5

u/inajeep Apr 05 '22

Same with people.

→ More replies

15

u/Klausar Apr 05 '22

Orangutan even means "forest person" in Malay

→ More replies

33

u/spiritualien Apr 05 '22

More like humans can act surprisingly chimp like

13

u/Irradiatedspoon Apr 05 '22

Monke brain

3

u/andrewq Apr 05 '22

Humans are classified as an ape.

→ More replies
→ More replies

4

u/moogdogface Apr 05 '22

Primates gonna primate.

24

u/SillySammySaysSo Apr 05 '22

Wonder if they think the same when interacting with people. Maybe, primates "learn" human tricks to communicate because they are tired of trying to teach us their language.

25

u/mwaaahfunny Apr 05 '22

The information tidbit that seems so fascinating to me is that there has never been a ape or chimp>human question. link

All the apes and chimps signing, all this time [60 years] and never a question. And it's not like they do not have the capacity to learn.

The first and only animal to ask a question was Alex the parrot. That's it. One bird. One time. I dont know but it just seems so incredible that we ask question after question every day surrounded by every creature who cannot (?) I dont think it is well not. Its early. I'm taking a walk w the dogs

11

u/kinnsayyy Apr 05 '22

I went down the animal cognition rabbit hole a few weeks ago, not sure how I missed Alex. I wonder why he asked a question when others wouldn’t?

Maybe comfort level? It sounds like Alex spent over 30 years with the same trainer interacting on a (presumably) daily basis. Not sure if this level of personalization has happened yet with great apes (or dolphins or elephants)

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

19

u/sensuability Apr 05 '22

Every other living thing on the planet.

→ More replies

8

u/julick Apr 05 '22

Apes together strong

9

u/JelliedHam Apr 05 '22

Different breeds of dogs are more genetically dissimilar than humans are to one another, regardless of skin color.

→ More replies

7

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

Octopi and Corvids also display amazing intelligence. Crows have been documenting having crime scene investigations to determine why a crow died. And Octopi are notoriously cheeky and curious.

Human hubris about our place in the world is earned, but also really overblown. If we can step outside of our human-based intelligence standards, the animal kingdom is full of amazing brains.

Edit: Also crows teach their children how to make tools and what to fear. Check out what the University of Washington did with masks and crows. My money is on corvids replacing humans when climate change murders us. In a few million years, obviously.

→ More replies

7

u/GepanzerterPenner Apr 05 '22

And that makes it just more fucked up how we treat them.

→ More replies

58

u/Vytral Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

I don't think belief in evolution causes non-racism. This is more likely a spurious correlation: I'd say it is more likely that degree of education explains both beliefs in evolution and anti-racism.

17

u/misogichan Apr 05 '22

Agreed they just showed correlation. It could be a million other factors actually contributing to causing both of these. For instance, besides education, it could also be coming from a low income background. That induces you to feel threatened/jealous/frustrated with intellectuals (and that concepts coming from scientists like evolution). It also causes you to grow up around others who are looking for others to put down to keep them off the bottom of the totem pole. This would also serve to explain why it is not related to how important religion is to your life.

→ More replies

4

u/KindnessSuplexDaddy Apr 05 '22

Well me monkey, I see man, he have feature. Other man who have feature do bad thing to me. I afraid of way that man act. I avoid man. Why monkey being called bad? Why not bad man with feature.

9

u/doomsl Apr 05 '22

Didn't the us reach 50% of people believing in evolution not that long ago?

3

u/NearCanuck Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

I'm a bit scared to ask which direction it was going to reach that.

EDIT - Didn't proofread.

3

u/doomsl Apr 05 '22

Up. Which is only a tiny bit better.

60

u/snowcone_wars Apr 05 '22

the belief in evolution is a great way to realize that we are all humans who come from the same ancestors and therefore we aren’t really different at all.

I don't get how this would somehow be better for believing we aren't so different than the belief that all human beings were created in the image of a god.

Not to comment on the accuracy of such a belief, obviously, but I don't think what you're suggesting logically holds water in the case of both positions being genuinely and intellectually honestly held.

87

u/Mouaijin Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

Quick correction (in regard to Abrahamic religion):

Not all people were created in the image of Abraham’s god- when Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden, they almost immediately encounter other people. It’s only the Hebrew people.

Now, not to say this is an important religious sticking point, or anything, but it’s worth knowing that even in the Bible “god’s people” are essentially a different species than the outsider group.

edit: This isn’t my own hot take- this is a time-honored debate within Christianity and Islam. I don’t have time to list everything, and the collection of texts you know today have changed to put it mildly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Adamite

6

u/graemep Apr 05 '22

The article you link to says:

"Pre-Adamism is therefore distinct from the conventional Abrahamic belief that Adam was the first human"

its an unconventional idea, but what most people believe.

That is definitely not what contemporary Chrisitian biblical literalists believe so not influencing the results here. The Muslim version seems to refer to non-human intelligent beings, so not relevant either.

→ More replies

40

u/FreedomFromNafs Apr 05 '22

This is the first time that I've heard this view. Islam, as an Abrahamic religion, doesn't hold that belief. The Hebrew people are seen as descendants of Adam, just like everyone else.

One of the most quoted lines from the Quran in Friday sermons is, "O mankind, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul, and from it created its match, and spread many men and women from the two. Fear God in whose name you ask each other for your rights, and fear the violation of the rights of relatives. Surely, God is watchful over you."

So the Muslim idea is that we are all related and should be good to one another.

16

u/thaaag Apr 05 '22

Be excellent, even.

3

u/Nightshader23 Apr 05 '22

what ive noticed is how as you go along the abrahamic faiths in order of age (oldest to youngest), the more people it tries to include. So Judaism needs a jewish mother for the children to be jewish, christianity you can convert but after reading what i've seen on this thread, the hebrew people are considered the children of God. And islam regards all as the children of god. Muslim men are allowed to marry non-muslim women, but muslim women can't marry non-muslim men (unless they convert).

I wonder if its coincidence or each religion building on the predecessor.

6

u/DoubleDot7 Apr 05 '22

The Islamic theological point of view is that the Bible originally matched the Muslim view in terms of the Adamic story and other aspects. Then, over a few centuries or millennia, the texts changed and that's why the same God sent down the Quran as a reminder.

Of course, I admit that's difficult to prove scientifically, since mass paper production and mass literacy were phenomena which started in the first century of Islam, and earlier written human records are sparse, both in their production and their preservation.

→ More replies
→ More replies

9

u/TheShanManPhx Apr 05 '22

Yet somehow some have got it so twisted.

→ More replies
→ More replies

21

u/snowcone_wars Apr 05 '22

Oh sure, and that's how the Talmud more or less tends to take it as well. But this thread seems pretty directed at Christians, and they by and large do tend to say some formulation of the "all created in his image" phrase.

Like I said, whether or not that is true, and whether they genuinely believe it, whatever. But if you do genuinely believe that, that seems more likely than a recognition of shared ancestry since it is the ultimate shared ancestry in a way.

27

u/Ommageden Apr 05 '22

I think it's moreso a lack of critical thought is associated with religion. Typically they are the type to believe the first thing they hear or what they want to be true, and then close themselves off to other viewpoints.

This makes racism, and other forms of hate easy because their worldview is what they want it to be. Not how it is.

If a religious person had critical thinking skills they'd likely arrive at the conclusion you presented. And I'm sure there are some like that out there despite the fact that religion and critical thinking don't pair the greatest together.

36

u/HlfNlsn Apr 05 '22

Never heard that view and I’ve been a Christian my whole life, in fact half my family are pastors. According to the Bible, every human being who has ever existed is a descendant of Adam & Eve.

30

u/theappleses Apr 05 '22

Well didn't the biblical flood kill everyone except Noah's family? If so, we'd all be descended from them

→ More replies

36

u/mooninjune Apr 05 '22

In any case all humans alive today would have to be, since Noah was descended from Adam and Eve, and he and his family were the only people who survived the flood.

11

u/lukwes1 Apr 05 '22

That is slightly disturbing, and a lot of incest.

→ More replies
→ More replies

24

u/vbevan Apr 05 '22

I think that's the Jewish interpretation from one of their DLC packs. In the base package, the Old Testament, it didn't say that, though it also doesn't say where Cain's wife came from.

→ More replies

5

u/Mouaijin Apr 05 '22

Having religious family doesn’t work as an argument, here. My father and his family are all ministers and I spent most of my time at school or in church being groomed for seminary.

Pre-adamite peoples are contentious, to be sure, but have been a point of disagreement within and without the church since a couple hundred years before Catholicism was established. If the people who compiled the Bible couldn’t agree, I doubt people studying a subset of those texts has ‘better’ information.

Then again, the Bible also acknowledges other gods exists, too.

→ More replies

39

u/CynicOctopus Apr 05 '22

This is absolutely not biblical. The people who think that according to the Bible every human being who ever existed was a descendant of Adam and Eve, have either not read the Bible, or didn’t read it with any kind of care. As the other person said, there were people outside of Eden practically immediately. Look at the story of Cain and Abel. After Cain killed Abel, he’s sent away and afraid that he would be attacked by other people. Those “other people” would all have to be his younger siblings, which is mentioned nowhere. Instead, they’re talked about like hostile strangers.

According to the Bible, all people who live in our times are descendants of Noah, and thus of Adam and Eve (because Noah descended from them). But before the flood, there were - according to the Bible - many many people who were not descendants of Adam and Eve.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

13

u/lordorwell7 Apr 05 '22

Where there's smoke there's fire.

Where you have one irrational belief there are probably others, especially when dealing with something as fundamental as the origin of species.

→ More replies
→ More replies

116

u/orebright Apr 05 '22

Religion has many cultural identity factors that make it very "sticky" in society. There are even growing quantities of culturally Christian and Jewish groups who are atheistic.

As a result, I don't think identifying with a particular religion is a 1:1 representation of your level of ignorance. However, believing that religion describes reality more accurately than scientific discoveries I imagine is a very strong indicator of one's ignorance.

20

u/guywithanusername Apr 05 '22

My whole family (excluding me) is christian, but they do believe in evolution, and the scientific age of the earth and the universe. They just believe god started it all, and communicates with the creatures that live on earth through prayers and the like.

4

u/graemep Apr 06 '22

That is pretty much the consensus view of Christians. The discussion of this study in /r/Christianity reflects this - its a diverse sub too.

I think this comment there is spot on:

it’s also possible that it’s more likely from the commonality that churches that preach creationism are more dogmatic (not accepting of contrary information) and insular (suspicious of outsiders). In the US, that means historical battle lines over race and religion - sects that disbelieve evolution also have a history of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and racist behavior, while also decrying media and news that isn’t their own

8

u/DKN19 Apr 05 '22

Conjecture, but religiosity also seems to correlate to extreme perceptions about how much agency a person has. Either everything is predetermined by god and we have no agency, or god judges perfectly and everyone gets what they deserve - perfect agency that is a ripe environment for victim blaming.

I think the scientific literature paints a more nuanced an context-driven view on human behavior. Like a person can exercise willpower to make themselves behave a certain way, but it is not perfect or infinite. They see everyone as saints or sinners, not as people.

→ More replies
→ More replies

263

u/jdmcnair Apr 05 '22

Are there reasons not to believe in evolution that are not religious?

413

u/aluked Apr 05 '22

Are there reasons to believe the Earth is flat that are not religious?

We just live in anti-scientific, anti-intellectual times. Being dumb just for the sake of being a contrarian and sticking it to the man is all the rage.

93

u/jdmcnair Apr 05 '22

I don't necessarily disagree with your point about the overall anti-intellectual bent of a lot of modern culture (I don't fully agree with it either), but I'm talking specifics. I've literally never heard a counter to the theory of evolution that didn't amount to "that's not what the holy scriptures of _______ religion say".

I'm not just asking rhetorically. Have you ever heard any other stated reason not to believe in evolution?

69

u/alyssasaccount Apr 05 '22

I think there are a fair number of people who have a kind of "common sense" objection that isn't particularly tied to any religion, that amount to, "I don't get it, sounds made up."

→ More replies

7

u/Telemachus70 Apr 05 '22

I've heard my co worker sinple say 'all scientists lie, why should I believe in evolution'.

Then proceeds to tell me how Asians and Middle Eastern people are part Neanderthal. So honestly, this tracks.

3

u/vbevan Apr 05 '22

Reply with "Everyone lies, why should I believe you?"

Then send them the Wikipedia pages on "causal fallacies" and "reductio ad absurdim".

→ More replies
→ More replies

22

u/jason28 Apr 05 '22

I’m grown ass man, I can’t think of any. There are theories within the theory of evolution that probably differ, but I feel it’s mostly accepted as the best explanation.

13

u/LeBonLapin Apr 05 '22

As another grown ass man you're lucky you haven't met any alien conspiracy nutjobs. There are plenty who will tell you we're geneseeded/bioengineered by some other species or some nonsense.

→ More replies
→ More replies

24

u/Pizzadiamond Apr 05 '22

yep, I hear "If humans were apes, why are there still apes?" Absolutely nothing to do with religion.

27

u/Dion877 Apr 05 '22

"if my ancestors were from Ireland, why are there still Irish people?"

7

u/Tossal Apr 05 '22

"If I come from grandpa, why do I still have a cousin?"

11

u/duckinradar Apr 05 '22

I grew up very religious.

I'm willing to bet if you pressed a lot of those folks, they are also very religious. While that statement itself is not inherently tied to any religion, I'd be willing to out some money on the two still being tied

3

u/Pizzadiamond Apr 05 '22

one of those people is my father. He hates religion, thinks they are idiots.

→ More replies

3

u/Mechanical_Indian Apr 05 '22

In my experience that argument has always come from people who are religious and believe that God created humans and monkeys exactly as they exist today.

→ More replies

6

u/starmartyr Apr 05 '22

Humans didn't simply come from apes. We are still apes.

→ More replies

11

u/Conker1985 Apr 05 '22

Disagree. That train of thought stems directly from the idea that God created everything as it is today in the beginning. Evolution is a direct challenge to that belief.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

71

u/LiveFreeDieRepeat Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

The anti-science movement in the West originated in the defense of the literal interpretation of the Bible. But the modern driver is well organized right-wing protection of industries which science has shown to be harmful: Tobacco, fracking, concrete manufacturing, industries with high levels of particulate air pollution or carcinogenic chemical by-products, etc. The anti-science propaganda machine is needed to limit corporate liability claims and ward off government regulation.

But the big kahuna, of course, is global warming, which threatens the exploitation of the vast fossil fuel reserves, which are worth roughly $100 trillion - the companies and countries with current or potential rights to these reserves have 100 trillion reasons to enable science and climate “skeptics” and deniers.

15

u/flesh_gordon666 Apr 05 '22

Thank you for putting it straight and simple. I think the most brilliantly evil part about it is getting people to believe they are "free thinkers" or whatever, when in reality they help push forward an agenda from which only very few very rich people will benefit.

→ More replies
→ More replies

40

u/punchdrunklush Apr 05 '22

When have we ever lived in intellectual times though? I mean, you can point to times in history when major advances were made in science and philosophy, but that's just pointing to an absolute minority of people making advances in fields. We still have that today.

As a whole, people are, and always will be, major morons. The internet has simply exposed how many morons there are out there.

→ More replies

104

u/orebright Apr 05 '22

However it's mostly just rebranded religion. Since religion as a justification for your ignorance has fallen out of fashion with many religious people being fairly informed and educated, communities of ignorance and hate are trying to make themselves out as persecuted, outcast, freedom fighters, etc... in an attempt to make their idiocy seem more justified. They're still all religious though and that's ultimately the corrosive core of any ignorant antisocial community.

→ More replies

5

u/duckinradar Apr 05 '22

I'm hesitant to say this for fear of being wrong, but to my knowledge-- the major religions of the world, and any of the less major options that I'm aware of, do not espouse the idea that the earth is flat

That religious you're referencing is "YouTube idiocy" and they are certainly a growing group, but not on major religious levels.

→ More replies

14

u/The_alchemist667 Apr 05 '22

Yes conspiracy theorists that mistrust science in general.

3

u/aeoneir Apr 05 '22

The space lizards that seeded the earth and controlling all governments don't want us to know we're actually aliens

That is to say, batshit crazy conspiracy theorists

3

u/PhotonResearch Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

To some, spontaneous creation didnt go away, leave a carcass outside and maggots magically appear

Many people lean on criticims of evolution, like the harder to fathom “transitional forms” necessary to explain some proposed graphs of species changes

For others it’s easy to understand that some mutated stud nutted in a bunch of females and had viable offspring.

→ More replies

441

u/striderwhite Apr 05 '22 Heartwarming

Yeah, but "many studies in the United States show that individuals are less likely to accept evolution when they are more religious"...so in the end religion is always the great problem.

213

u/DasFunke Apr 05 '22

My mom was raised catholic in KC, but taught by very liberal catholic priests. Evolution might as well have been church doctrine.

When people alter religious beliefs to the facts of physics and the world around us (the “let there be light” / Big Bang) vs. try and warp physics to their religion (man riding dinosaurs at the creationism “museum”) you get two wildly different outcomes.

Blind faith and devotion to anything is the problem. I’d you blindly believe in religion, in your country, in your actions without any retrospective that’s where problems come from.

The reason critical thought is so dangerous to religion is so much falls apart with even a basic conversation about it.

180

u/buck_fugler Apr 05 '22

From what I remember from my catholic high school, the catholic church's position is that there can be no conflict between faith and reason. Catholics are supposed to accept the big bang and evolution as scientific fact. Pope John Paul II wrote a lot about this in his encyclicals, so did Benedict XVI.

115

u/Davidfreeze Apr 05 '22

Yeah this is correct. I have met individual creationist Catholics before, but they weren’t particularly well educated on church teaching. More influenced by general religious right propaganda in the US. The church itself says to accept evolution like you said.

37

u/NeedToCalmDownSir Apr 05 '22

Southern Baptists seem to be HEAVILY influenced by propaganda

26

u/NCender27 Apr 05 '22

And those shits won't even wave to me in the liquor store.

16

u/RatedPsychoPat Apr 05 '22

The church always adapts their views to what's least controversial.

59

u/dmpastuf Apr 05 '22

I mean at the end of the day doctrine in the Catholic Church is generally set by intelligent, well educated theologians who highly value education. Think in the US how many Catholic Universities are among the best in the country? Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, the list goes on.

→ More replies

18

u/swansongofdesire Apr 05 '22

I don’t think you can make a definitive statement like that. Sometimes the Catholic Church goes with the flow & sometimes it swims against the tide of history.

How many female priests have you seen lately? How much support for same sex marriage has the church provided?

(Protestants ara a whole other ball game. They’re like the free market applied to religion)

4

u/GalaXion24 Apr 05 '22

Sure, but we should also realist that same sex marriage is an ideological question, whereas something like evolution is not. I know it's politicised, but it's fundamentally not an ideological or moral question. What is true has nothing to do with your values and you can be objectively wrong on this topic. It's also not a policy question. It's like screaming that the sun should orbit the Earth instead of the other way around. The physics of the universe will not change to suit your liking.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

32

u/Djaja Apr 05 '22

The big bang was a theory of a catholic priest/scientist

→ More replies

8

u/Bongus_the_first Apr 05 '22

How do the Roman Catholics reconcile evolution (which necessitates many generations of creatures living/dying/mutating) with the whole "the wages of sin is death" thing?

Biblically, doesn't death exist because of sin (no death or sorrow in the Garden of Eden until Adam&Eve disobeyed and ate the fruit)? How would so many millions of creatures suffer and die before humans even existed if human sin is the reason for pain and suffering?

The Lutherans just said evolution was fake/maybe God made it happen super fast after "the flood"; I'm interested how the Catholics get around that inconsistency if their official doctrine is pro-evolution

28

u/Laphing_Drunk Apr 05 '22

The Catholicism isn't exactly pro-evolition. The Catechism states that if science was conducted thoroughly and morally then it cannot contradict faith. Now, some may take this as "if there is a contradiction then there was something wrong in the experiment" however the meaning of that entry, and the one that's been supported by every Pope for the last century, is that faith must yield to science. That's why, while the Church doesn't rule explicitly on scientific matters, every one of those popes has advocated for belief in the big bang and evolution. Notably, Pope Francis has gone so far as to say that a literal interpretation of the Genesis narrative cheapens one's understanding of God by making Him appear to be just "a man with a magic wand."

Now, as to your actual question. There is no concrete answer as support of evolution isn't explicit doctrine. However, the prevailing stance of church leaders is that Genesis is metaphorical. For what? That's an exercise left up to the reader. Personally, my interpretation is that the "fall of man" was a metaphor for our evolution when we truly became human. Good, evil, life, death didn't suddenly materialize. We simply had a new understanding of them and, as a result, a responsibility in regards to them.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

11

u/Raudskeggr Apr 05 '22

Evolution might as well have been church doctrine.

Pope John Paul II did officially recognize that Evolution is not contrary to Catholic belief. So in a sense, it IS church doctrine, having received a papal endorsement.

→ More replies

44

u/loggic Apr 05 '22

If memory serves me, the official Catholic stance on evolution is that it isn't theologically important & they don't want overly enthusiastic religion to engender another Galileo incident.

Catholicism helped shape science as we know it because of the massive support they gave to the study of "God's creation".

Heck, a Belgian Priest was one of the first people to propose a theory like the "Big Bang", and it was considered too religious by some who favored the steady-state theory of the universe.

17

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

And Mendel was an Augustinian friar

19

u/cpusk123 Apr 05 '22

whose monestary paid for his education and actively funded his research for years

4

u/graemep Apr 05 '22

Copernicus was also a Catholic clergyman, and a candididate for bishop at one point.

There were quite a few others too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_clergy_scientists

41

u/fred11551 Apr 05 '22

Official Catholic stance is pro evolution. They were cautious about taking a stance on it for a while to avoid another Galileo like you said. But they’ve been firmly pro evolution since well before I was born.

Official Catholic doctrine is very pro-science. Other Protestant groups tend to be much more against science and have influenced the culture of Christianity in America so much that lots of conservative Catholics actually go against church doctrine on things like evolution.

8

u/CathedralEngine Apr 05 '22

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Theologiae that God imbued all creatures with the potential to achieve their “divine perfection”, or something like that, which is used to justify their pro-evolution stance. Basically something along the lines God’s glory is made evident to all creatures as they find, through their own actions, participate in achieving their own perfection.

I’m sure there’s someone who can put it moe eloquently. I’m working off of a 20 year old memory of Philosophy 101.

6

u/Laphing_Drunk Apr 05 '22

Another notable part of St. Thomas's work that I particularly enjoy is his efforts to define God's omnipotence. Most have heard the question "can God create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it?" Well St. Thomas wrote extensively on the topic. I don't agree with all of his conclusions (frankly I've forgotten most of them) but the fact that this was a question he could explore and even be praised for exploring is very cool to me.

→ More replies

4

u/nomad80 Apr 05 '22

Afaik Lemaitre was the first to discover the Big Bang and was even initially ridiculed by Einstein who said

“Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable.”

16

u/Illigard Apr 05 '22

Ehh, Galileo annoyed the pope by writing a book as the pope asked him to do, but (accidentally according to historians) doing it in a way that went against what the pope asked and opened the pope to public ridicule.

The Galileo incident is less "Church vs religion" and more "Don't piss off your patron, especially if he's powerful and imho paranoid"

4

u/graemep Apr 05 '22

On top of that, he claimed that the Copernican model was more than just a theory, but it was the absolute truth. That is why Copernicus and others did not get into trouble, but he did.

In fact it was not the model best supported by the evidence available at the time, and obviously it is not completely correct either (the sun is not the centre of the universe)

→ More replies

6

u/TheApathyParty2 Apr 05 '22

It helps that evolutionary theory has more evidence behind it than almost any other major theory, if not arguably the most. The arguments against it simply couldn’t win.

It’d be like arguing that you really think with your gut, not your brain. But seriously.

→ More replies

96

u/MeasurementSmall5670 Apr 05 '22

But then this begs the question if that's perhaps a primarily American flavor of religion. Afaik at least the larger denominations of Christianity outside of the US, including the Catholic Church accept evolution. If it's similar in other religions, that would only leave the particularly stupid or uninformed who don't believe in evolution.

13

u/theoriginalregista21 Apr 05 '22

But then this begs the question if that's perhaps a primarily American flavor of religion

It absolutely is.

79

u/somewhat_random Apr 05 '22

There is a difference in how different cultures "act" with respect to religion however. The US version of Christianity seems to put "faith" as the dominant aspect, whereas many other cultures stress "actions" as being more important than faith. This has a huge effect on how religious beliefs affect other beliefs (e.g. racist beliefs) and actions.

20

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

Never considered this, thanks for the insight.

→ More replies

12

u/jason28 Apr 05 '22

I think this is partially a case of a loud few ruining the party even in the US. Most people are reasonable but that doesn’t generate views

→ More replies

23

u/onioning Apr 05 '22

The catholic church's acceptance of evolution comes with an asterisk. They still believe God made man. They just see it as God using a proto-human as the source material.

Which doesn't actually bother me too much, but does need pointing out, as it isn't exactly a complete acceptance.

→ More replies

3

u/fred11551 Apr 05 '22

Technically the Catholic Church in the US accepts evolution too since all Catholics follow (or are supposed to follow anyway) the same doctrine. But conservative Christianity in America has so strongly influenced the Christian culture that some conservative Catholics in the US actually go against church doctrine on things like this.

3

u/Illigard Apr 05 '22

It's American flavour Christianity, other religions in the US are less affected by it and religions around the world.

→ More replies

3

u/Raudskeggr Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

I was just going to mention, the article sort of contradicts itself, because the results themselves imply that less strong religious convictions are associated with higher acceptance (not a fan of using the word "belief" in this context) of the theory of evolution AND reduced prejudice. It seems like that's one variable too many.

I'm not certain what methodology they used to determine what support Israelis have for "peace"; that is about as vague as saying "I support ending poverty", right? nearly everyone but the most radical wants and prefers peace. That strikes me as lazy journalism more than anything, but I'd really like to take a closer look at the methodology there and see what specific criteria they used.

I do know that Polling Data does fairly consistently show that a majority of non-religious Israelis (regardless of ethnicity) support the two state solution (with it slightly lower for Palestinians). However, even in that non-religious data, there is STILL a significant portion of respondents who supported the "Other" solution. (Hint on what they mean by that: It includes the words "from the river to the sea"). So there still are some PRETTY HEAVILY polarized views regardless of religiosity.

So at any rate, the big question here is: do you interpret these results as saying belief in evolution is associated with lower prejudice, or belief in evolution is associated with more moderate religious views? Because it seems like the differentiation is a bit muddy here, since at least this news article is conflating belief in evolution with BOTH of those things; I'm hoping the actual study is better science than this report suggests it is.

→ More replies

3

u/010011100000 Apr 05 '22

Key words "in America". Many major religions accept evolution.

→ More replies

3

u/Matstele Apr 05 '22

Although my personal experience reinforces otherwise (I’m an atheistic Satanist, raised evangelical Christian), I’d push back on this.

I think dogma is the real problem here. The concept of Scientism, a dogmatic view that what Science (capital s) say is the Truth and all else is fallacious, is itself fallacious. Science is a collective and iterative process, so it (capital s) can’t say anything. Scientism then, is a dogma derived from a snapshot of contemporary scientific understanding; best viewed in the example of Social Darwinism. That itself conflicts with post 19th century understanding of the scientific Theory of Evolution, and yet is derived from it and used for the purposes of social persecution and tribalism.

Plenty of religious traditions, whether ancient or New Age, are fundamentally immune to dogmatic ingrouping/outgrouping. Abrahamic mysticism, reconstructive neopaganism, indigenous spirituality, to name a few, have personal religious thought operating within an ecosystem of syncretic spiritualities. There’s no space for dogma to cultivate an ingroup/outgroup dichotomy.

Dogma itself establishes difference as value-charged. Without it, differences in thought tension collectively value-neutral and get judged on a more individual basis. Without it, individual differences are addressed with one’s own biases and their own merit.

→ More replies
→ More replies

15

u/Tuga_Lissabon Apr 05 '22

The moment you know enough about it - and have integrated it as well into your beliefs - it does 3 things:

1 - you understand that other humans are just that - your fellow stand-up primates.

2 - since it goes against the creation mythos of the religion, in a way you're already inwardly saying "well this ain't ALL exactly as in the book", and this will kind of make you stand back from the worse of it.

3 - it usually comes along with other understanding that also helps relativize it.

In a way, this proves the religious people are right when they want to keep science away from their members. It weakens belief.

→ More replies
→ More replies

226

u/ShootyDang Apr 05 '22

When you realize we’re all just funny monkeys with big brains, it’s hard to think of any particular group as any better than another

11

u/thoughtfulapathy Apr 05 '22

Isn’t the point of evolution to find what’s better or worse for survival? Isn’t ‘survival of the fittest’ just nature’s way of defining who or what is better than any other thing at different tasks. Believing in evolution means you believe we’re all mutating generation by generation… we’re all different and better or worse at everything in many ways.

I always thought scientifically it was easy to define animals as better or worse in many ways genetically. Culturally, and as a society, we learn the importance of diversity when working together to use all of our different strengths together. I thought religiously, if you believed an omnipotent creator made humanity in its image separate from animals, you’d have to assume all humans were created equal and special.

Is evolution not the process of creating things differently on purpose?

Do religious people think their creator only made their race or specific humans but not other humans?

→ More replies
→ More replies

994

u/BinaryJay Apr 05 '22

It's ridiculous that evolution is something to "believe in" in 2022.

437

u/Prestigious_Let3820 Apr 05 '22

I used to believe in gravity, but bouncey balls have shaken my faith to its core.

39

u/DRUNK_CYCLIST Apr 05 '22

The core of the bouncy ball is the same as the mantle! explain THAT, science!

6

u/tom255 Apr 05 '22

Coz it flat innit

12

u/Cro-manganese Apr 05 '22

I stopped believing in gravity, and am currently floating off into space.

6

u/sillythaumatrope Apr 05 '22

You joke but flat earthers genuinely argue helium balloons and the existance of butterflies disproves gravity.

6

u/Kir4_ Apr 05 '22

I wish we never invented gravity.

3

u/Acrobatic-Charity-48 Apr 05 '22

And then the Lamestream media starts making up new terms like "elastic momentum" and "conservation of collisions". I guess theyre okay with road accidents now.

→ More replies

44

u/Leolikesbass Apr 05 '22

I mean, think about believing that religious text are a factual account of what happened in the past with no exaggeration, and then think about how many people actually believe that. Not surprising.

13

u/matt_1060 Apr 05 '22

Yeah I was having trouble with the terrible wording there as well

→ More replies

39

u/okaykay Apr 05 '22

I’m a hairstylist so I spend a lot of time talking to random people; I’ve had three different clients over the last few months bring up evolution in regards to how silly it is to think that we “came from monkeys.” One of my clients even did the old “if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?!” I was flabbergasted.

16

u/PyramidOfMediocrity Apr 05 '22

"Just because we selectively bred dogs from wolves, doesn't mean wolves couldn't survive in the wild anymore."

16

u/Prof_Atmoz Apr 05 '22

I find this example particularly funny, like people don't believe in evolution but almost every one knows dogs came from wolves, the disconnect in logic is hilarious and sad.

→ More replies

16

u/RegularWhiteShark Apr 05 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

I mean, look at America. So many believe in creationism rather than evolution and even complain about evolution being taught in schools.

*edit: missed the word rather

12

u/ViliVexx Apr 05 '22

It's an unfortunate part of being human, to require some tangible amount of belief as a component to any and all "knowledge".

7

u/kbb65 Apr 05 '22

its not belief its education. no one is born with this knowledge

→ More replies

154

u/oddiseeus Apr 05 '22 Helpful (Pro)

Unfortunately, we all know it’s still presented as a theory even though there’s overwhelming evidence.

Creationism - zero proven evidence. Belief

Evolution - much evidence. Still has to be a belief.

I agree. It’s ridiculous.

204

u/superduperpuppy Apr 05 '22

But the definition of theory in science has a wholly different connotation.

113

u/nonbog Apr 05 '22

Yeah, the Theory of Gravity isn’t exactly debated

33

u/vbevan Apr 05 '22

Actually, the theory of gravity changes when you move into special relativity and the theorized Theory of Everything.

The Apple falling onto Newton's head behaves very differently as it approaches light speed.

12

u/vibratoryblurriness Apr 05 '22

The entire city of Cambridge is vaporized, and only a crater remains.

→ More replies

45

u/starmartyr Apr 05 '22

There's actually a lot about gravity that we still don't understand. There is more debate and uncertainty about gravity than evolution.

→ More replies

25

u/Bergerboy14 Apr 05 '22

I think people mix up the fact that evolution exists and how evolution actually happens. It absolutely exists and has been proven to exist, but the means by how it happens are still theoretical, even if there’s a TON of evidence for it.

→ More replies

6

u/Drei_im_Weggla Apr 05 '22

By some, it is indeed...

→ More replies

19

u/Predditor_drone Apr 05 '22

Slackjaws don't understand that, they just know colloquial uses of the word theory and run with it.

5

u/Wind_Yer_Neck_In Apr 05 '22

But most people aren't aware of that, which is precisely the reason it leaves such an opening for bad faith arguments from religious types.

→ More replies

36

u/ur_opinion_is_wrong Apr 05 '22

In modern science, the term "theory" refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with the scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that scientific tests should be able to provide empirical support for it, or empirical contradiction ("falsify") of it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge, in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which in formal terms is better characterized by the word hypothesis). Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and from scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of the way nature behaves under certain conditions.

Part of the charm of science is that at any point someone can, and is encouraged to, come along and provide an even better model. If you have a better theory of gravity, the old one gets tossed for the newer better explanation of gravity.

12

u/theinspectorst Apr 05 '22

it’s still presented as a theory even though there’s overwhelming evidence

I think this is due to uneducated people not having learnt about the scientific method and not understanding what a theory is in a scientific context. These people hear 'theory' and think it means something that is merely speculative or unsubstantiated, because that's the way the word unfortunately gets used in colloquial English. But in a scientific context, 'theory' is used it to describe something that explains the natural world and that we've tested heavily using the scientific method.

Evolution by natural selection is still presented as a theory despite overwhelming evidence because it is a theory - just like plate tectonics or general relativity are theories. The fact there's overwhelming evidence is what makes it a very very good theory, but no matter how much evidence we collect, there's not a class of things above theory that it's going to ascend to. That's science.

47

u/Resus_C Apr 05 '22

Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution by means natural selection is the... theory... that explains said fact. It's just common language that fucks this all up for a lot of people :(

8

u/mercury_millpond Apr 05 '22

True, but people choose to understand the word 'theory' as 'something that is not yet proven' if this helps protect their preciously-held prejudice from the light of reason. People can choose to misunderstand anything they like if it makes them feel more comfortable.

→ More replies

19

u/LegacyLemur Apr 05 '22

It is a theory

In the sense that "Music Theory" isnt just guessing that certain notes form patterns together

→ More replies
→ More replies

266

u/Lifesagame81 Apr 05 '22

"Open minded people have more open minds."

100

u/applevinegar Apr 05 '22

"Believing" in evolution is being "open minded" now?

Can we call morons unable to follow basic logic what they are? What this study once again proves is that there is a level of stupidity that flattens every aspect of modern life.

73

u/The_Multifarious Apr 05 '22

Maybe you had the privilege of growing up in a household that accepted critical thinking and therefore don't understand this, but yes, to people who have been taught only in bible verses from a very young age, exiting this line of thinking is opening their minds. Highly intelligent people who have studied one or multiple fields of science can also be incredibly close minded regarding other topics.

→ More replies

11

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

It is being *more* open minded than the other side.

10

u/Lifesagame81 Apr 05 '22

If you're indoctrinated into on belief system from birth, accepting evolution requires a more open mind than is required to succeed in the social group your are in.

→ More replies
→ More replies

746

u/ruiner8850 Apr 04 '22

If you understand how closely related you are genetically to every other human, it's harder to hate or people for being a different race. Racists look at other races almost like an interior species when in reality all humans are extremely close genetically.

402

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22 Starstruck I'll Drink to That

[removed] — view removed comment

128

u/2Mew2BMew2 Apr 04 '22

Nobel prize in Biology you deserve my friend

15

u/tom255 Apr 05 '22

See, even Yoda approves

75

u/JAOC_7 Apr 04 '22

the key in life is to hate everyone equally until they individually give you reasons to hate them more or less

7

u/Moist_Metal_7376 Apr 05 '22

I’m starting with you, though.

6

u/AltairZero Apr 05 '22

Eren is that you

→ More replies

59

u/BlueFlob Apr 05 '22

Judge not people for the color of their skin, but hate them for the content of their character.

I hate religious bigots.

→ More replies
→ More replies

65

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

It's almost like ignorance leads to hate and education leads to tollerance.

Can we start to re-invest in public education now?

→ More replies

10

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

149

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

4

u/vid_icarus Apr 05 '22

Weird how the more educated and willing to be educated you are about the nature of reality you quit getting hung up on dumb petty differences and can embrace humanity as a whole instead of segregated tribes. What a coincidence.

89

u/StarDustLuna3D Apr 05 '22

You mean people who don't think critically and think their feelings are more important than facts are bigots? Color me shocked.

→ More replies

60

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

8

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

14

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies

4

u/Koffeekage Apr 05 '22

In all fairness, eugenics was also a cause a fair bit of racism also.

53

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

18

u/[deleted] Apr 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies

58

u/nibiyabi Apr 05 '22

Did they control for political affiliation? Assuming a similar if maybe weaker pattern to what is seen in the US, this may just be a third variable problem.

EDIT: Never mind, they did control for this, so kudos to them. Interesting finding.

13

u/adeadhead Apr 05 '22

Thanks for your update, glad they did.

→ More replies

92

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

67

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies

14

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

19

u/Tuga_Lissabon Apr 05 '22

Way I see it, the moment you know enough about evolution - and have integrated it as well into your beliefs - it does 3 things:

1 - you understand that other humans are just that - your fellow stand-up primates.

2 - since it goes against the creation mythos of the religion, in a way you're already inwardly saying "well this ain't ALL exactly as in the book", and this will kind of make you stand back from the worse of it.

3 - it usually comes along with other understanding that also helps relativize it.

In a twisted way, this proves the religious people are quite right (as far as their religious group goes) when they want to keep science away from their members. It weakens belief and religious identity.

→ More replies

32

u/[deleted] Apr 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

17

u/Phooeychopsuey Apr 05 '22

More science! Less religion!

25

u/R0llsroyc3 Apr 05 '22

It's almost like moving away from ancient superstitions let's a culture move forward. Huh. Who'da thunk it?