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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 12:11 PM

 

Atheists use science like believers use faith in times of stress, says study [View all]

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/08/atheists-use-science-like-believers-use-faith-in-times-of-stress-says-study/

A new study suggests that science performs the same function in some people’s lives as faith does in the lives of religious believers. According to Science magazine, individuals placed under stress turned to science as a means of coping with feelings of stress and anxiety in a study which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Scientists in the study questioned members of competitive rowing teams and recruited 100 of them, mostly in their 20s, who said that they lacked strong religious beliefs. The rowers were divided into two groups, one set of whom were about to race in a regatta, and a second group facing a much less stressful competition.

Group members were then asked whether they agree or disagree with statements like, “We can only rationally believe in what is scientifically provable,” and “All the tasks human beings face are soluble by science,” and “The scientific method is the only reliable path to knowledge.”

Athletes who were preparing to compete were, predictably, under more stress than athletes who were under less pressure. In addition, they were statistically more likely to express a strong belief in scientific principles, 15 percent more than their less stressed counterparts.

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Scientific thinking and religious thinking derive from very different bases, said the study’s authors. Science is based in “analytical thinking, rational inquiry and an objective weighing of evidence.” Religious thought is “founded on intuition, inner experience, and a valuing of historical revelation.” Both, however, help people make sense of the world around them and gives them a sense of belonging.

“In stressful situations people are likely to turn to whatever worldviews and beliefs are most meaningful to them,” study co-author and Yale University psychologist Anna-Kaisa Newheiser told Science.

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Reply Atheists use science like believers use faith in times of stress, says study [View all]
Phillip McCleod Jun 2013 OP
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Dawson Leery Jun 2013 #6
Phillip McCleod Jun 2013 #19
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