New research out of Rice University has found that evangelicals have more skepticism toward evolution than they do climate change.
Published in Environment and Behavior, the study aimed to measure and determine the truth behind the stigma of conservative religious groups like evangelical Christians being “anti-science.”
Titled “Examining Links Between Religion, Evolution Views and Climate-Change Skepticism,” the study used data from national surveys to see what connection existed between one’s religion and their skepticism of evolution and their religion and their skepticism of climate change.
The study found that in general, 20 percent of the United States is skeptical about climate change or the role that human activity plays in it and about 45 percent thinks evolution is “probably or definitely false.” The addition of religion proved to be a strong connector in the way answers changed: 70 percent of those surveyed said that evolution is “probably or definitely false” compared to 28 percent who said climate change is not happening or humans aren’t affecting it.
Study leader, Elaine Howard Ecklund, said, “This is different from the popular account that the people who oppose climate-change research and the people who oppose the teaching of evolution are the same and that evangelical Protestantism is clearly linked to both.”
The researchers plan to continue looking at the the way religion and science interact and how that affects policy decisions.