So academic elite types claim in a recent study:
A disbelief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes and support of discriminatory behavior against Blacks, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in the U.S., according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Similarly, across the globe — in 19 Eastern European countries, 25 Muslim countries and in Israel — low belief in evolution was linked to higher biases within a person’s group, prejudicial attitudes toward people in different groups and less support for conflict resolution…
“People who perceive themselves as more similar to animals are also people who tend to have more pro-social or positive attitudes toward outgroup members or people from stigmatized and marginalized backgrounds,” Syropoulos explains. “In this investigation, we were interested in examining whether belief in evolution would also act in a similar way, because it would reinforce this belief that we are more similar to animals.”University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism” at ScienceDaily (April 4, 2022)
The paper requires a fee or subscription.
A friend who has read the paper kindly writes to say,
I think this study is a prime example of the temptation to make the correlation equals causation fallacy. What this paper is measuring has nothing to do with evolution or belief in it. It is measuring parochial attitudes among people in insulated groups who don’t have much contact with the outside world. These people tend to be prejudiced against other races and also have little contact with evolution so they are skeptical. It just shows that isolation breeds prejudice against the other.
The principle that isolation breeds prejudice against the “other” is a truism. And you could find evidence supporting this truism from very different groups. If you surveyed attitudes of ivory tower types you’d find similar prejudice against conservative religious groups, you’d find similar discriminatory attitudes. Why? Because those evolutionary secular academic types who accept human evolution have very little contact with conservative religious people.
So what’s interesting isn’t the finding of this paper. What’s interesting is why they chose to study isolated people who happen to be religious and defined prejudice as attitudes towards certain privileged groups in society (eg LGBTQ). Why not study prejudice of secular types who accept human evolution towards religious consevatives? You’d find analogous prejudices. But the researchers weren’t interested in studying that…because they are evolutionary secularists with an agenda to make religious conservatives look bad.
Come to think of it, if you are here anyway, you may also wish to read: E. O. Wilson and racism: The smoking gun is found. Some have dismissed the findings but others say they fit a pattern. From Schulson’s story: “I don’t really care that Wilson had racist ideas, because I know pretty much all of the people that I dealt with, when I was coming up through the science system, had racist ideas,” said [evolutionary biologist Joseph] Graves, who in 1988 became the first Black American to receive a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. “Wilson was just one of many.” Oh.
And remember, Wilson was supposed to be the second Darwin. Funny no one talks about that now.