Tuesday, May 26, 2009


A Leg Up

Here's an interesting claim:

Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.

According to Barret:

The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose.

From that, he concludes:

If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God.

While I'd certainly need to see more to accept that claim, it would explain a lot:

Children's normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast, evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe.

It would go a long way to explain how such bad arguments by creationists, of the sort I've been detailing over the last few days, can still be convincing to people who nonetheless manage to feed themselves, find their way to a toilet and learn to use one.

Of course, it doesn't explain how the rest of us manage to accept evolution so easily ...

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