Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Study shows that exposure to religion renders children unable to differentiate between fact and fiction.

Courtesy of Waking Times: 

A study conducted by researchers led by Kathleen H. Corriveau of Boston University examined how religious exposure affects a child’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. They found that religious exposure at an early age has a surprising effect: it makes children less able to differentiate between reality and fantasy. 

The researchers presented three different types of stories – religious, fantastical and realistic – to a group of 5 and 6-year olds. Religious children were divided into three groups: children exposed to the Christian religion either as churchgoers who attended public school, non-churchgoers who attended parochial school, or churchgoers who attended parochial school. The fourth group of children included non-churchgoing children who attended public school and had no exposure to religion in either church or school. The goal of the research was to find out if religious exposure would affect the child’s ability to identify if the lead character in each of the stories was real or make-believe. 

The study found that children who attended church services and/or were enrolled in a parochial school had a much harder time differentiating between fact and fiction when compared to children of non-religious background. The study, published in the journal Cognitive Science, states: 

“The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”

I am still often puzzled that there are people who do not simply recognize this by casual observation.

There is a reason why scam artists often target deeply religious people, they are the most gullible.

And that is the same reason that politicians invoke god, religion, and the Bible in their speeches.

They know that religious people are predisposed to accept things without the benefit of evidence.

Let's face it, without religious indoctrination there would be NO president Trump.

It requires the dulling of critical thinking skills to convince people to vote for idiots, assholes, and criminals.

And religion serves that purpose quite nicely.

So I stand by my contention that introducing religion to children is in fact a form of child abuse. But will add that in the long run it is also an abuse of our basic human right to use our intellects to protect ourselves as adults.


  1. Anonymous4:28 AM

    Great article and a far better use of my time than reading about the idiotic Palins.

    1. Anonymous8:34 AM

      I love Gryphen's palinstomping!

    2. Anonymous9:48 AM

      WOmen HATERS>

  2. Anonymous4:32 AM

    G you are missing something. Where is the research and so called religion regarding Scientologist? It is a cult, a pretend religion, the "silent majority" that elected trump. Real "Religion" is much different than this real cult. And this very Real cult is what elected trump. Unfortunately today many scientologist belong to thousands of "so called churches" where the real religious members have been unaware of the brainwashing that have infected their fellow man, women and children with the cult and scientologist views. It has silently filtered into their personal life, relationships and faith. How about exposing the real problem. liars, cons, scam artist, The Cult of Scientology, the art of the scam, those connected to trump and stumps and those in FCC communications that helped arrange this evil mess. The truth is simple. Speak up.

    1. Anonymous5:14 AM

      Sounds conspiracy theory to me, that the scientologists elected donnie.

      Sure, Scientology is a cult. It's considered a 'religion'(at least in USA), isn't it? Got the tax-free status.
      I hate to break it to you, but "real religion" and 'cultism' share a LOT of bullet points.
      If you're buying that load of goods that claims a virgin was impregnated in her sleep by a god so that the god could have that virgin give birth to him so he could save his favorite creation from a flaw that the omnipotent god installed in his own system by some elaborate suicide by Romans plan.......well, you're bound to believe anything. And I think you do.

    2. Anonymous5:38 AM

      With such an open clear mind you should welcome the truth and fact in front of your face. There is no other explanation for the acceptance of trump and his behavior and actions. Do your homework 5:14 and quit promoting ignorance to the fact. I will agree that most type religions are a form of cults. And that does not excuse this mess of liars and the harm to America. Resist and Remove them.

    3. Anonymous6:02 AM

      Still waiting on that "truth and fact" storm yer promising, 5:38.

      I can do my own research, and you sound flipside of Alex Jones.
      There are plenty of reasons that an idiot like donnie got elected here. Your "no other explanation" idea is for simpletons who have too much trouble understanding multiple factors and NUANCE.
      You seem to be promoting "ignorance to the fact", not I.
      Ever seen "The Big Lebowski"? What you state is "..just your opinion, man..." without any reference citations to go on. You claim to have all those facts and The Truth, so fire away with 'em...I fully intend to change my mind when presented with facts that hold up to scrutiny.

    4. Anonymous6:30 AM

      Well then get busy on that research because it is there. Binders full of associations to trump and friends. Just google a bit or two. And ask the defecto scientologist running out the doors. Ask 4tran and bots. Ask Lisa Remini. How about you help by citing what you find for those like you. Wake up. This aint no conspiracy or fake news. Its real.

    5. Anonymous7:57 AM

      So are you wanting to farm out the research for YOUR scientology conspiracy theory for me to do? I'M supposed to "cite what I find"? I think that is your responsibility, as you're the one the claims originate from.
      What is 4tran? Is it like 4chan, the neo-nazi site?

      I DID google this. The best I could come up with was that drumpf can be compared to L. Ron Hubbard, another looney tunes. I think you're being silly, and I congratulate you on the leg-pulling.

    6. Anonymous1:44 PM

      Ok good. Now check out all of the friends and associates. There is a great chart clarifying how putin connects to this mess and Moscow scientology online.

    7. Anonymous1:46 PM

      Trump is using the same agenda as L hubbard and now the new dangerous leader. Remember this is a tax exempt cult....just like trumpster. wake up and help stop them.

  3. Anonymous4:34 AM

    I still believe that Sarah was swallowed by a whale.

    1. Anonymous6:41 AM

      NO! Sarah swallowed the whale.

  4. Anonymous5:27 AM

    650,000 scientology members in Florida came out for trump. Scientology is in every country, in major usa cities. And sleeps in many other so called churches.
    Yep from the beginning of mankind, man has used religion to enslave his fellow man.

    1. Anonymous8:20 AM

      Agreed. Religion is the opiate of the masses.
      If you can ensnare a person's beliefs, you can lead them to do just about anything.

  5. Anonymous6:19 AM

    Is that the reason for all the lying and cheating that Donald does?

    --A conversation was had yesterday to explain to POTUS he cannot simply decree 4% GDP growth, then bark demands at others to make it happen.

    --Are we the only ones who think the Ides of March would make a great date for a rally in front of WH demanding Flynngate independent council?

    --If anyone organizes an impromptu FB event for Ides of March rally, we'll help put the word out. We can't do it, but feel free to run w/ it.

    --Also worth considering, an Ides of March march, from Capitol to WH. Lobby the Senate to turn against the dictator.

    What Michael Flynn’s silence since resigning over Donald Trump – Russia scandal tells us

    Flynn has never been silent in his life – until now

    In the four days since four Donald Trump campaign advisers were exposed for having colluded with Russian intelligence officers during the election, three of them – Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page – have predictably stepped forward to publicly defend themselves in the Trump Russia scandal with varying degrees of clumsiness. And yet the fourth among the accused, Michael Flynn, who’s in the deepest, hasn’t said a word. So what does this tell us?

    Michael Flynn is known to be many things, most of them disturbing – but quiet isn’t one of them. He was so forceful during his military career that it got him investigated for violating orders in 2010. He was so openly combative during his time at the Defense Intelligence Agency that it got him forced out in 2014. He was so unhinged during his speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016 some wondered if he was all there. And yet, with his reputation now in tatters and his future on the line, Flynn has gone uncharacteristically silent.

    Not only should Michael Flynn seemingly be out there publicly defending himself, he could probably profit from it as well. He’d be a hot interview right now, and could command a good chunk of change from those outlets who pay for such things. And this comes at a time when he’ll have trouble ever working in the government the defense industry again, and probably needs the money. In fact we know Flynn likes an easy paycheck, because as we reported yesterday, he took $40,000 in Russian money back in December of 2015 just to show up to a dinner. And yet we’ve seen and heard nothing from him in the ten days since he resigned. Even Flynn’s “resignation letter” sounded like it was written by Mike Pence’s office, so we’ve heard nothing from Flynn at all. Three distinct explanations come to mind.

    One is that the Russian government, to whom Michael Flynn is clearly partial, has simply told him to keep quiet. Perhaps there’s a job offer waiting for him in Moscow if he survives all this. Another possibility is that he’s simply lawyered up, and that his attorney has given him the usual advice to shut up. But the third possibility is that Michael Flynn has already flipped on Donald Trump.

    1. Anonymous6:38 AM

      Rachel Maddow: Why hasn’t Jill Stein said anything about the Trump-Russia scandal?

      MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called out Jill Stein for her silence on the widening Russia scandal engulfing the Trump administration.

      Maddow appeared last week on Viceland’s “Desus and Mero” program, where she brought up a photo showing Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, sitting with Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn, reported DeadState.

      Flynn resigned earlier this month as national security adviser for misleading the vice president about his communications with the Russian ambassador, and other Trump advisers are under investigation for their ties to Russia.

      The photo was taken in 2015, when Stein and Flynn were invited to Moscow for the 10th anniversary banquet for RT — Russia’s state-owned news network aimed at English-speaking countries.

      Maddow cast suspicion on Stein’s silence over alleged Russian attempts to interfere with the election to benefit Donald Trump, who she claimed during her own campaign would govern no differently than Hillary Clinton.

      “So everybody’s like, ‘Wow, how come this like super, super aggressive opposition that we saw from these third-party candidates — how come they haven’t said anything since this scandal has broken?’” Maddow said.

      “I don’t know, Jill — I can’t pronounce it in Russian,” Maddow said, with apparent sarcasm. “Hope you’re really psyched about your Wisconsin vote totals.”

      It’s not clear who paid for Stein’s trip to Russia in December 2015, although a former British spy claims in the infamous “golden showers” memo that the Kremlin did so indirectly.

    2. Anonymous7:05 AM

      Flood the white House with Postcards March 15th
      Prepare for March 15th, 2017, a day hereafter to be known as #TheIdesOfTrump

      Write one postcard. Write a dozen! Take a picture and post it on social media tagged with #TheIdesOfTrump ! Spread the word! Everyone on Earth should let Donnie know how he’s doing. They can’t build a wall high enough to stop the mail.

      Then, on March 15th, mail your messages to:
      President (for now) Donald J. Trump
      The White House
      1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
      Washington, DC 20500

      It might just be enough to make him crack.

      I'm sending them ALL WEEK....

    3. Anonymous5:04 PM

      Give Flynn time, he was just fired last week. But don'the put much stock in the Palmer report.

  6. Anonymous6:27 AM

    Please do not paint all Christians with the same brush. I was raised in the church, I still attend church, and I voted for Clinton.

    1. Anonymous6:46 AM

      Are you a Methodist?

    2. These terms are mostly a measure of interpersonal distance, as in:
      I belong to a church.
      You belong to a sect.
      They belong to a cult.

    3. Anonymous9:53 AM

      I call bullshit on that study's conclusion. It does not take into account the age at which children develop the ability to reason; nor does it take into account the fact that as children grow up, they develop their own ideas and conclusions -- based on their own life experiences -- and often rebel against the ideas on which they were raised. All that study proves is that 5-6 year olds are still trusting of the adults around them and, in general, believe what they are told by those they trust and depend on.

    4. Anonymous10:17 AM

      BUt if children never encounter different views (and many religious households prevent that by banning certain books, people, films, etc) then they never encounter other modes of thinking. Then, religion just becomes the wallpaper of their lives. ANd you know how any challenge to changing it goes..."but, but it would kill me, I can't bear to think of it any other way..."

    5. Anonymous10:45 AM

      Of course it is a bullshit study, but it fits with Gryphen's narrow personal agenda and fits his narrow perception of people, so it is all good here. Non-religious here BTW, but this kind of push blogging is a joke.

    6. Anonymous 9:53 AM wrote: I call bullshit on that study's conclusion.

      The stated conclusion was: it makes children less able to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

      Your "rebuttal" concedes that in the age range of the study ("5 and 6-year olds") the subjects have limited or no ability to reason. This helps explain the conclusion; it does not negate it.

      You point out that "as children grow up" (i.e. emerge from childhood) "they develop their own ideas and conclusions". Yes indeed, but the stated conclusion was about them while they were still children. (Though, sadly, some people never do "grow up".)

      You concede that "5-6 year olds are still trusting of the adults around them and, in general, believe what they are told by those they trust and depend on." Again, this helps explain the conclusion; it does not negate it.

      What, exactly, was your point?

    7. Anonymous5:11 PM

      My conclusion is that 66 children is not a statistically significant sample size. And how did the researchers control for other factors? What definition of religion was used? Junk science maybe.

  7. Anonymous7:14 AM


  8. Bush the Dumber7:28 AM

    Like we said when we ended The War for Iraq's Oil- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

  9. Anonymous7:33 AM

    "this self-evident TRUTH: We can Never Go Back to Before."

    "I’m patient because, perhaps too many of us, too desperate for anything too normal, were too easily distracted by tea stained birthers, too obstructionist to stomach anything orchestrated by a Hawaiian president – who was better at ending war than Nixon, better at waging war than Cheney and better at negotiating global climate change effort and peaceful coexistence "Trump reminds the world
    (and WE the People) of, The Ugly American, I thank him for inspiring LIBERAL reform, for a more perfect union to realign its humanity"<THAT is a GOAL NOW.
    "America glimpses this bit of perspective: Trump is the product of our ignored civic responsibilities, because being oblivious to the obvious is not blissful, but haunting…"
    "Let’s regain our Good Samaritan spirit, reclaim our Out of Many One motto and rejoin our better angels in flight – instead of fright – agreeing to disagree without being deplorable, and to refrain from hero worshiping the demagogue du Jour."

  10. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Religion is (and always has been) the opiate of the masses. No need for critical thinking when you are dozed out.

  11. Anonymous10:58 AM

    I entirely agree. I couldn’t bring myself to expose my children to faith-based thinking as children. It seemed entirely wrong to encourage them to accept a fantasy and then be told if they chose to not believe they were destined for hell and eternal damnation from a "loving god". It makes no sense.

    1. Anonymous5:21 PM

      I grew up in a religious family and was never taught any fear of eternal damnation. My parents weren't fundamentalists. They understood metaphor and hyperbole in the Bible. I was just taught God is love. Some Christians are weird like that.

  12. So glad I grew up religion-free.

  13. Those must be children that are never read to.

    My parents read me fairy tales and bed time stories before I ever attended church. I figured out the fiction of the tooth fairy, easter bunny and Santa Claus at a very young age.

    The religious indoctrination didn't stick either.

  14. Anonymous12:19 PM

    "renders children unable to differentiate between fact and fiction"

    So does current day news reporting.


    The link above provides some more scientific and nuanced views of the study conclusions than this post would lead you to believe.

    Gryphen views all things religious through a glass darkly. It's his blog and he's free to air his prejudices, but they're not empirically persuasive. Common sense, critical thinking, and a bit of research are the best antidotes to what one wag called Gryphen's "Bible butt-hurt."

    1. Anonymous5:32 AM

      Oh sweet jeezuz your last paragraph, baby....Jude, you xtian, you, do you have ANY sense of irony?
      Of course Uncle G's not "empirically persuasive" to you. Why do you even bother, or are you simply that bored?
      Go evangelize somewhere else more conducive for you to finally get that adoring congregation and that sweet, sweet 501-3-C munnie.

  16. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I had 14 years of Catholic school, and I had and have no problem differentiating fact from fiction. Religion was just one class, and science was fully taught - no creationism or crazy bible theories. I saw each class as a different lens through which to view the world and our experience of life within it. And I loved going to Catholic school, and especially to my very liberal Catholic parish with my liberal,deeply spiritual and Celtic Irish priest and dear family friend. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
    I was lucky to have very smart teachers who were dedicated to teaching their subjects fully - religion was saved for religion class. And my pastor taught me that questioning everything is fine, and I took away from his masses that love is the way to become more fully human and alive, and to open yourself up to something greater than yourself.

    So I don't know what kind of schools these kids go to, but when I was growing up, we knew, for example, that science is a rigorous and replicatable lens on the world, while religion is just one way of spiritually experiencing life this Earth. Science didn't cancel out spiritual views from the Bible, especially if you believe them to be metaphorical, and to be very old stories from an oral tradition going back many many centuries before it was written down. In the spiritual realm of human existence, God seems to have thousands of faces, depending on the people seeking God. And for those not seeking God, there is no face. At its best, religion is a way to something deeply divine and sacred in us. Indoctrinating people and children especially is not religion at its finest.


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