My newest piece is up at The Huffington Post (“Research Shows Acceptance of Evolution Requires a Gut Feeling“). This is the first post that I’ve written just for the new science section. What interests me about the research is that it gets at the difficulties people have between assessing facts and their gut feeling. According to the research, the latter is often what keeps us from moving on to ideas that make better sense of the world.
This blog is about considering new ideas and what they might do to change one’s perspective on the world. Old ideas that no longer make sense are discarded for newer, more substantiated ideas. What does it mean if what our brain knows to be true based on the facts is pushed away because we feel uneasy about the change? How many people can truly be honest about what drives their decisions? I imagine many would argue that they only reason through things, and that a gut feeling has nothing to do with it, being entirely unaware of the back story that is informing their worldviews. Yet there are plenty of people who accept a conclusion partially because of a rational reason, but also because of something they are reacting against or because of fear.
The research I discuss in this article indicates that emotional reactions dominate the process of accepting or embracing an idea. It doesn’t get at the inner-drive of the gut reaction and that is where more research will be required.
In a recent study at The Ohio State University, facts alone were not enough for one to accept the theory of evolution…. Researchers studying pre-service biology teachers at two South Korean universities, all with an adequate understanding of the science behind evolution, discovered that facts had to correspond to one’s gut feeling for the theory to be accepted. Read the full article at The Huffington Post.