Religion and Science in Conflict–Global Warming Denial


Denial and Acceptance of Global Warming by Religious Beliefs: 2006-2010 GSS

I had a great time at Penn State at the religion and stratification conference. I only had to smack one person, and Lisa K. was egging me on to hit him again….The issue of religion and stratification cuts to the core of how cultural factors impact cognition, and how cognition has real consequences. If you believe things that aren’t true–and don’t believe things which are true—your interaction with structural resources (educational, political, occupational, environmental…) will often result in non-optimal outcomes. In a sense, this cuts to the foundational issue of the sources of bounded rationality, and how cultural institutions and understandings can undercut rational action. I managed to weave through the tornadoes on my way back from State College, and got in a couple of long bike rides with the tornado sirens blaring as I rode home. It made me think about my paper with Mike Pease and revising it to update with 2010 data.

Fundamentalist christians, socialized into sectarian religious institutions (or sectarian movements withing less sect-like denominations) tend to doubt the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. Indeed, fundies are more than twice as likely to be deniers when compared to people who believe the bible is a book of fables. But, less strident believers are also more likely to buy into the fossil fuel  industry propaganda—and the results from 2006-2010 show that the propaganda mill is causing more doubt in science–even among seculars. Still, the odds that a fundy is a believer rather than a denier are much lower than the odds for a secular respondent.

So, the fundies who got blown out of their trailers these last few months maybe have to do some thinking. I’m sure they’ll blame it on the gays.


One Response to “Religion and Science in Conflict–Global Warming Denial”

  1. Ignoring Climate Change: Christianity and Anti-environmentalism | Iranianredneck's Weblog Says:

    […] surveys we have remaining. The early GSS question asked whether or not respondents thought that scientists understood global warming. Notably, that’s not the same thing as whether or not respondents believe that climate change […]

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