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Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science) 434

Posted by Soulskill
from the Tesla,-hallowed-be-your-name dept.
sciencehabit writes "Nothing, some say, turns an atheist into a believer like the fear of death. 'There are no atheists in foxholes,' the saying goes. But a new study suggests that people in stressful situations don't always turn to a higher power. Sometimes, they turn to science. Both athletes preparing for a big race and students asked to write about their own death showed a 15% stronger belief in science than those under less stressful situations (abstract). 'In stressful situations people are likely to turn to whatever worldviews and beliefs are most meaningful to them,' says study co-author, Anna-Kaisa Newheiser, a psychologist at Yale University. And many people find the scientific worldview more compatible with their own."
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Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

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  • GW (Score:4, Funny)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Friday June 07, 2013 @06:41PM (#43941589)

    Hmm... I guess that means we just haven't been alarmist enough about global warming to bring the deniers over to the science side yet.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday June 07, 2013 @11:14PM (#43943461) Homepage Journal

    I think first you must prove the universe was created. That's going to be a nigh impossible task.

    Actually, it's not and there's some data from gravity wave experiments to indicate that our universe cheats below the atomic scale but way before the Plank length, which may indicate that it's a simulation. The shape of that noise closely matches a simulated universe model where 3d space is a projection from a quantized spherical shell.

    The first question I always ask theists is if their God must be omnipotent in every universe. Our universe could be run by a pimply-faced youth in a high school science class, and he may be omnipotent in our universe but a 98-pound weakling in his. Adolescence may adequately explain his questionable behavior as recorded in the Old Testament.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.