Courtesy of Mother Jones:
All across the country—most recently, in the state of Texas—local battles over the teaching of evolution are taking on a new complexion. More and more, it isn't just evolution under attack, it's also the teaching of climate science. The National Center for Science Education, the leading group defending the teaching of evolution across the country, has even broadened its portfolio: Now, it protects climate education too.
How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn't a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind.
And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)
And yet clearly there's a relationship between the two issue stances.
Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian "end times" believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming.
And now new research by Yale's Dan Kahan further reaffirms that there's something going on here. More specifically, Kahan showed that there is a correlation (.25, which is weak to modest, but significant) between a person's religiosity and his or her tendency to think that global warming isn't much of a risk. Perhaps even more tellingly, Kahan also found that among highly religious individuals, as their ability to comprehend science increases, so does their denial of the risk posed by global warming.
"I have to say, those effects are bigger than I would have expected," wrote Kahan of his findings. The researcher went on to say that he isn't sure why greater religiosity predicts greater denial of climate change. But in his data—with a representative sample of over 2,000 Americans—it clearly does.
The article goes on to give a couple of reasons as to WHY they think these two seemingly disparate subjects have become connected in the minds of many religious Americans, and in the policies put forward by their conservative representatives in Washington.
However I have to say that the first time that I became aware of it was while watching the movie "Jesus Camp."
Frightening, isn't it? In the minds of these religious conservatives secular education is bad, and is simply an attempt by the non-religious to brainwash their children. And ANYTHING that is stressed as dangerous by scientists MUST, by definition, be false and should be rejected outright.
Besides how can the earth become dangerous for humans when God created it especially for them?