Wonder Why?

People who are strongly science-minded are often thought of as being too logical for religion—and this may be true to some extent. But according to a study published this week in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, it can also go another way: If awe is part of a person’s love of science, this can actually make people more likely to believe in a god of some description.

Researchers from Arizona State University hypothesized that experiencing a sense of wonder or marvel—at science and at the universe it tries to explain—may be what mediates a connection between science-mindedness and a belief in god, or at least an openness to it.

“There are many ways of thinking about God,” said study author Kathryn Johnson in a statement. “Some see God in DNA, some think of God as the universe, and others think of God in Biblical, personified terms. We wanted to know if scientific engagement influenced beliefs about the existence or nature of God.”

(continue reading)