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Rejection of Darwinian Evolution Among Churchgoers in England: The Effects of Psychological Type


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Rejection of Darwinian evolution (implying rejection of the common origin of all species, including humans) was assessed among 1,100 churchgoers from a range of Christian denominations in England. The main predictors of rejecting evolution were denominational affiliation and attendance. Individuals from Pentecostal or evangelical denominations were twice as likely to reject evolution compared with those from Anglican or Methodist churches. In all denominations, higher attendance was associated with greater rejection of evolution. Education in general, and theological education in particular, had some effect on reducing rejection, but this was not dependent on having specifically scientific or biological educational qualifications. Psychological type preferences for sensing over intuition and for thinking over feeling also predicted greater rejection, after allowing for the association of type preferences and general religiosity. Reasons for the association between psychological type and rejection of evolution are discussed in the light of the known characteristics of different function preferences.

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