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Rejecting Darwin and Support for Science Funding

Authors


  • David J. Houston will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study.

Direct correspondence to David Houston, Department of Political Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37916-0410 〈dhouston@utk.edu〉.

Abstract

Objective

Examine variables relating to support for science in the United States to determine whether a rejection of Darwinian evolution is related to support for government funding of science.

Methods

Ordinal logistic regression using questions from the 2006 General Social Survey.

Results

A rejection of human evolution is significantly related to support for science even after controlling for a variety of variables.

Conclusion

Beliefs regarding human evolution have a unique effect on attitudes regarding government support for scientific research that do not merely channel religion and/or politics. Debate today over evolutionary theory revolves around what constitutes good science. Those who reject Darwinian evolution may do so because of the messages critical of scientists and the scientific method. A possible consequence of this controversy is lower support for science.

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