Over at the blog, “epiphenom: the science of religion and non-belief,” there is an interesting post on whether children need to be taught a belief in the supernatural or not. It appears that the research in this area is still developing, but a new study does offer an interesting, possible conclusion.
As Tomas Rees writes, “One of the big questions about our supernatural instincts is to what degree they are innate, and to what degree they are learned. While there is some evidence that kids are born with a instinctive belief in omniscience beings, other evidence suggests the exact opposite.” In a recent study “by Ashley King, a grad student at the University of Arizona. She ran a group of 124 children aged 4-8 through a carefully designed study designed to see whether they understood what supernatural omniscience is.” The conclusion drawn is that the study “supports the earlier studies by Jonathan Lane, which found that only older kids really get the idea of omniscience. Younger kids assume that supernatural beings have more ordinary mental capabilities.”
Read the full article, with more details about the study at epiphenom.