Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Children are born with a belief in God

arroba Email

Researchers from Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind have found evidence that children are predisposed to believe in God or a supreme being. This is because of a natural assumption that everything in the world exists for a purpose and was therefore created.

Dr Justin Barrett was reported in the UKs Daily Telegraph as saying that young children appear to have an inherent faith even when it has not been taught to them by family or school. Even children raised on a desert island without any external infuence would start out with a belief in God.

Commenting on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said

“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…if we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God.”

At a lecture at Cambridge University’s Faraday Institute, Barrett cited psychological experiments carried out on children that reveal an instinctive belief in children towards acceptance of design and purpose. This leads to a natural belief in creation rather than evolution, even when they are told differently by parents or teachers. Anthropologists have found that in some cultures children accept belief in God even when specific religious teaching is withheld. He commented;

“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.”

Telegraph – Children are born believers in God
Science and Values

Isaiah-"...and a little child will lead them". How sweet is that? God deserves praise for helping us all out in this way, which is why the scriptures is justified in saying "they ar without excuse", "for knowing God they did not glorify Him as God but grew darkened in their imaginations". And this also helps to explain the sourness of atheists and why they seem so angry , nasty, and ready to burst just beneath the surface. Michael Servetus
Boy C.S. Lewis would have loved this. tragicmishap
So I wonder how this study compares to his earlier more theoretical work. notedscholar
There is another interesting study of this topic, done at a more abstract level, by Justin L. Barret called Why Would Anyone Believe in God? It posits that, given various contemporary assumptions about evolution and cognitive psychology, human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural entities; furthermore, this predisposition is not particularly irrational. NS http://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/ notedscholar
"Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." Anyone with common sense sees this, not only children. It takes whole idelogical machinery to blur this impression. tremor
I am just relaying this: When I was in Saudi Arabia two Muslim clerics told me that every child is born a Muslim, and that all other religions as well as atheism, are learned/ forced upon the child as he/ she grows older. They told me the child is born a Muslim because that is the true religion, and the child is closer to that religion because of that. IOW the child, at the time of birth (and even before) is closer to "God" then at any other time in its life. Joseph
Eccliastes 3:11
It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people's minds. Yet, mortals still can't grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time.
It is simply irresistible. Borne
The book World Religions - From Ancient History to the Present makes this comment: "In the past too many theorists were concerned not simply to describe or explain religion, but to explain it away, feeling that if the early forms were shown to be based upon illusions then the later and higher religions might be undermined." This is why "scientific" investigators of the origin of religion haven't come up with any tenable explanations. Logic tells us that a correct conclusion can be deduced only from a correct premise. Starting with a faulty premise leads to a faulty conclusion. They need to reexamine the premise of their investigations. On this topic, I also recommend the book "The God Gene" by Dean Hamer. Barb

Leave a Reply