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Study: Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief
An exhibit of Rodin's "The Thinker."
April 27th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Study: Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief

By Becky Perlow, CNN

(CNN) - When was the last time you sat down and questioned your decision to believe in God?

According to a new study, that simple act could decrease your religious conviction – even if you’re a devout believer.

In the study, published Friday in the journal Science, researchers from Canada’s University of British Columbia used subtle stimuli to encourage analytical thinking. Results from the study found that analytical thinking could decrease religious belief.

“Religious belief is intuitive - and analytical thinking can undermine intuitive thinking,” said Ara Norenzayan, co-author of the study. “So when people are encouraged to think analytically, it can block intuitive thinking.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Some of the more than 650 Canadian and American participants in the study were shown images of artwork that encouraged analytic thinking, while another group was shown images that were not intended to produce such thinking.

One of the images used to trigger analytic thinking was of Rodin’s statue “The Thinker.” A previous study showed that such images improved performance on tests that indicate analytic thinking.

In addition to the artwork images, the religion study used other stimuli to promote analytical thinking.

After exposure to such stimuli, researchers gauged participants’ religious beliefs through a series of questions. Subjects who had performed analytical tasks were more likely to experience a decrease in religious belief than those who were not involved in such tasks. That included devout believers.

“There’s much more instability to religious belief than we recognize,” said Norenzayan, noting that life’s circumstances and experiences, from traumatic events to joyous occasions, can lead people to become more or less religious.

“Religion is such an important part of the world and we have so little understanding of it,” he added. “So regardless of what you think about religion, it’s important to understand it because it’s so important in the world.”

Norenzayan is quick to mention that the experiments did not turn devout believers into total atheists. But he speculated that if people habitually think analytically, like scientists or lawyers do, it would lead to less religious belief in the long run.

Robert McCauley, director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Culture at Emory University, and author of "Why religion is natural and science is not," found the study particularly interesting because he thought it was difficult to make even a minimal change in religious belief.

“It’s not likely you would argue someone out of a religious belief very often because they don’t hold those beliefs on argumentative or reflective grounds in the first place,” said McCauley, who believes religious beliefs rely primarily on intuitive thinking.

Analytical thinking alone does not necessarily lead to a decrease in religious belief, emphasized Norenzayan.

“There’s a combination of factors [as to] why people become believers or nonbelievers - this is only one piece of the puzzle,” Norenzayan said, explaining that his team doesn’t think analytical thinking is superior to intuitive thinking.

“It makes the story we need to tell about religion and religious belief all the more complicated,” said McCauley. “That’s what great scientific research does – ask more interesting questions.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science

soundoff (3,468 Responses)
  1. Jon Matthew

    What a joke! Try reading the Summa by St. Thomas Aquinas if you want real critical thinking! Don't mock what you don't understand! People who bash Christ do not understand Him or His bride the Holy Catholic Church. If you knew you wouldn't scandalize yourselves with such ingornace for the truth...

    April 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • momoya

      Jon, Aquinas was cool but didn't have the knowledge we do today.. God cannot be proved to exist.. No need to bother with belief or disbelief if god can't be proved.. I was a christian for nearly 50 years, btw.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • J Anthony

      Jon,

      You are partially correct. My only concern is that if The Holy Catholic Crurch is the bride of Christ – I do believe the Church is the bride – then Jesus Christ must be one unhappy and disappointed bridegroom because of all of her adulterous affairs.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Jon,

      Speaking of critical thinking, please tell us all about talking serpents, unicorns, and best of all, Noah's Ark.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Ricky L

      momoya

      And my eyes reflect the truth of the faith I waste in search of proof.
      "Why can't I understand?" the mortal rages. RFL 1967

      April 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  2. Muzzleblast

    Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, look up what a belief system is. It seems that you Atheists have no idea what it is....

    April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It seems YOU have no idea what it is, moron.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Eric G

      Muzzleblast, are you still trying that logical fallacy? I thought you realized you were trying to talk above your IQ level when you did not respond to my questions earlier?

      I say again, atheism is a belief like abstinence is a se-xual position.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Bwahahahahaha

    I'm still laughing at this article. It started when I saw the t.itle. And this BS about "intuitive" thinking is utter hogwash.
    It's not "intuitive", it's delusionally biased schizophrenia. There is literally NOTHING to "intuit"!!!!!!

    Confirmation bias is just one of the many forms of biased thinking used by religious people. They also use every form of fallacious reasoning, every form of hallucination, and can only analyze something in a disjointed manner.

    Still chuckling. Thanks CNN for giving me a good laugh. Yes, honest analysis will destroy religious delusions within a person's head, but only if the person can be honest about what is real and what is not.

    "intuitive" LOL

    April 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • DAVE

      THERE WAS A STRONG SMELL OF FISH IN THE GIRLS LOCKER ROOM

      April 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  4. b4bigbang

    @momoya: You said "Ricky, I was a strong believer for almost 50 years."

    Wasn't it you that said a couple weeks ago that you were raised by Independent Baptists, and that you couldn't tolerate their fundamentalist extremism, and that you were only too happy to finally become old enough to get out on your own?

    If so, then what's up with "I was a strong believer for almost 50 years."?
    Care to elaborate?

    April 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If he does, it'll be out of pity for you, bigfart. Who would care about your understanding of anything, you retarded tribble?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • momoya

      No, I never said anything of the kind.. At one point other people were impersonating me, so I have no idea if another "momoya" did write that, but I know that I didn't.. (Could you point me to the thread where you saw it, please?)

      April 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    DeeCee1000,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.,.,,..

    Analytical thinking is but an anal-lyitical depositorium for fractured members of maniacal contrivences such as guns but not roses! Truth be told fully, an analytical mind is beyond the passivities of the common hybrids in today's allotted and upcoming generations! One needs to be of stupidity in these days wherein all one thinks about are numbered pleasentries! I say lower the marriage age to when one comes into being pubescent! Oh, I keep forgetting people are too young to have such ongoing manifestations of the lewed kind!

    The town fryers are beside themselves and do so need to re-think their being role-modeled as the diasperium compendium of analytics' consortiums! Free-thought does ever degrade the general populace of teeny wieners until they become fluential whiners! The treasuries of the richly engulfed portionalities want only for their namesakes to be but tally whackers of indescent exposures duplicities of varagated compliancies! All Trees need to be shaken ever so violently in aired' timeliness and when wantoness befalls all generations to justify all allotments to be the distiliants' amalgumations!

    I see God's eyes whenever I look into the eyes of the homeless! I see His eyes ever looking back at me whenever I know I can't help due my own living arrangements! He sees me whenever I look upon the faces of indignations! He knows my faults and infidelities! I see God's eyes whenever my brother asks me take him to the store for his liquor! I see God's eyes whenever I look at anyone who has problems and they are having a hard time! In God's mercies does God allow us all to live Life as one is capable of doing so! I saw God the other day in passing! He still does Love the lot of us and He ever will!

    DeeCee1000, wrote me on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm, "Really? So when we see real human beings suffering, we should think about your "god"? I thought your "god" was supposedly in "heaven". Does your "god" actually suffer what millions of starving babies suffer on a daily basis? Or is your "god" in his heavenly bliss? Which is it? Inquiring minds wanna know!"

    I see God suffering in His residency, the buildings which are our bodies! I see in other's faces of forlornments, God's heartaches! I see in your words the bitterness of your living a life unworthy for Godliness Beings! I know well my brother's needs for alcohol and yet I am his ride to the liquor store! I cry in repentence for my sins mostly all the Time I am alone and in silence to I tell our God to be merciful to me and my soul when I become deadened to this world! I am torn between the matters of humanists and matters of Godliness issues! Yes "our" God does very much suffer as we do when millions of starving babies suffer the dues of their country or nation! In Life's fairness does mankind commit the unmentionable sins!

    April 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • please

      STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Jill

      Proclivities are leading to onions on the ramparts. We want justice for the trip to the moon. Then!

      April 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Denise

      I'm not sure whose post makes more sense, Jill's or PoD's.

      LOL at onions on the ramparts tho.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Denise

      Nah, Jill's makes way more sense.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • dodgeball1963

      Well said! (and to 'please', your intellect is established, fantastic choice of words.....)

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Plain,

      If there is a God, he must know the sincerity in your heart and spending all your time crying is not going to convince God of what he already knows. Think about the fact that God might prefer that you spend your time exploring the wonderful world that you believe he gave to you to use. It's hard to believe that God would enjoy watching you so upset.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • bodofinglok

      Eek... You should curtail the pseudo-intellectual-sounding (doesn't matter if you fully captured your meaning) 'wordiness', and write for the audience. You SOUND like you are simply impressed with your towering intellect, and your point was utterly lost on me because I was busy being annoyed with your apparent condescending tone/sheer arrogance. I'm not saying you ARE these things, I am simply saying that you should take a step back and re-read that mass of artful babble once and think about how you could have revised it in a way that makes it tolerable for others to even read.

      I apologize for sounding like a jerk myself, but again... it was YOUR writing that made me act like this. Food for ....whatever type of thought you like.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • momoya

      Hey Dreamer, are you that guy that overdosed on JWH 018?.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  6. mrdifficult

    If only you could get bible-bangers to rub to brain cells together. . .

    April 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • JA

      And science bangers?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • dodgeball1963

      2 is spelled two....

      April 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  7. JA

    Sound science here. Show images that are calculated to elicit a negative response, show images that are calculated to elicit a null response. Neglect images that are calculated to elicit a positive response. Pretend all bases have bee covered. Call it science. Ta da!

    April 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    What moronic dreck some of you lot post. B4hecame is one of the worst offenders, but he's hardly the only one.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Muzzleblast

    Chuckles, name calling serves no purpose but to degrade you to the level of a troll. What I am saying is that humans, by default, must have a belief system in order to prevent self destruction. By denying religion or any other belief system higher than yourself is creating a belief system nevertheless. If not, then I must be talking to a ghost....

    April 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be doing so, then, you dolt. There is no evidence that those who believe in some invisible being are more moral than those who don't. If you can prove otherwise with cites, get off your azz and do so, you lazy sod.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Ricky L

      And the choices are rather limited.

      1-Believe in yourself (or another human being).
      2-Believe in something larger that yourself (an idea, the planet, the universe).
      3-Believe in nothing.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes, because atheism has been responsible for so many wars......

      You are wrong, but probably not bright enough to figure out why. Somehow I doubt you would even qualify for Mensa. And if you do qualify, it is probably just barely.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There's no "if" about it. The cretin wouldn't qualify for anything much other than membership in the National Geographic Society. Along with b4Igrewat it.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • momoya

      @Ricky, why not believe in all (except nothing–how would you believe in nothing?!?!?)

      April 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • lols

      Constantine the Great ruined the world but the interwebs will heal it.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Momoya

      If you believe in 1....it precludes 2.

      If you believe in 2....it includes 1.

      If you believe in 3 (and I agree it's a hard concept) you're probably going to end up an alcoholic, an addict or a suicide.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      And the choices are rather limited.

      1-Believe in yourself (or another human being).
      2-Believe in something larger that yourself (an idea, the planet, the universe) – based on scientifically verifiable facts.
      3-Believe in nothing.
      4. Believe in a God or Gods or other supernatural being.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @Tom Tom: where did Muzzleblast mention morals? He mentioned self-destruction – NOT moral decay. In fact, he then went on to say that most everyone has some sort of belief system.

      Reading comprenhension can be your friend!

      April 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Yeah right Dan, why have war when genocide is so much easier. What are the figures of genocide under communist rule? Maoist and Stalinist regimes have killed between 100-250 million people. I'd rather my chances with the religious fanatics thanks.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • duh

      Both the russians and the germans under stalin and hitler were overwhelmingly christian.......
      imbecile...............

      April 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      tnfreethinker, you forgot. . .believe in ancient creation myths.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Duh indeed. What was Stalins position with regard to Russian Christians? Weren't they the ones who were being killed and starved for being Christians? You realize that atheism was a requirement under these regimes.

      Not that I mentioned Hitler in the first place, but are you really suggesting that this was a religious war? Do you not think that his fascist ideologies with regard to the supreme race were based more on popular theories of eugenics and certain interpretations of evolution theory (inasmuch as the genocide was about ideology alone)? And the English and Americans who were the most committed enemies of Hitler's campaign were what: non-Christians you say?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  10. Armani

    is this surprising? faith is wishful thinking, believing in something without proof. So when you use logic and critical thinking, you don't need religious faith

    April 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Do you believe in justice?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Denise

      False analogy, Ricky.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Maybe to you, Denise....but Martin Luther King and Ghandi (to name two) gave their lives and died for their faith in its inevitability.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Denise

      They were murdered, and their death proves nothing about the substance of their beliefs, regardless of their sincerity in believing in them. Get over yourself, stupid.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Wrong, Denise....both were murdered because of their faith, as demonstrated in their lifes' work, in eventual justice for all.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Jon Matthew

      You also believe in something you can't prove! Prove too me that God doesn't exist! You can't!!! Emphasis mine!!!

      April 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • momoya

      The person making the claim must provide proof, not the person disbelieving the claim.. It's pretty much why you have lawyers help you buy your house and that sort of thing, so you people really shouldn't be this stupid about the concept.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Not so, momoya.

      Faith is NOT proof.....it exists in spite of the absence of proof.

      If there was proof there would be no need for faith.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • momoya

      Duh.. That's why it's completely useless.. You can use it for any idea no matter how absolutely bat sh1t crazy.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Not all faiths are equal, momoya.

      It helps to be moral, cautious and inclusive in your choices.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • momoya

      Don't equivocate.. That's using the term "faith" with a different definition than what we have been talking about.. It's basically fancy lying..

      No, religions are different; the faith enacted to invigorate the believer is all the same.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  11. chuck

    yeah, I gotta admit, I don't believe in magic

    April 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • shelda

      magic is part of science

      April 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  12. Rod C. Venger

    Interesting that this blasphemy was written by "The Editors" of CNN's belief Blog, yet when you click the link to "The Editors" you don't get a list of names...just more articles. So I gather that this piece is CNN's official editorial policy regarding religion, that religion can be "cured" if you just think about it hard enough.

    Fascinating.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Ting

      It can be. Have faith.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Denise

      Rod, re "religion can be "cured" if you just think about it hard enough.", almost. You need to be smart enough, too.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Which requirement eliminates most of the cretins who post here.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Observer

      "Official editorial policy"? So much for critical thinking.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Whah? ? ? This article mostly just states the outcome of a series of experiments. Wait. Don't tell me. You're one of the religious folk who believes that analytical thinking or anything that questions the bible is evil. Am I right? See? I knew it ! ! !

      April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  13. Ricky L

    Ask me questions, Perry, I'll answer each and every one......just keep them short.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • momoya

      What does faith do for you that it won't also do for the muslim or hindu?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Nothing.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • momoya

      So then you agree that it is not useful except in that it is functioning belief?. Any god idea will do, yes?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Not for me.

      There are evil gods and good gods.

      That which unites is good....that which divides is evil (speaking in metaphysical and allegorical terms).

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Good gods and bad gods"? Why did your all power "good god" create bad ones to begin with?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Ricky L

      DeeCee....have I once called God "all powerful"?

      I'll make it easy for you......NOPE.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  14. Ting

    Who gave you the ability to think and question your faith?

    God did. That's just how sick and twisted he is.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Yes, God gave us free will. How horrible of Him to have done such a thing.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Blame it on the apple.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Ting

      So that he can torture you for eternity because he loves you.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • momoya

      @Blackadder

      That's not much consolation to those who wind up in god's eternal torture pit.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ting nails it in one. God, according to most of you lot, is nothing more than a hunter hanging bait and hoping to ensnare souls in sin in order to consign them to hell.

      Great. As if I'd bow down to such a hateful being.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Rush Limbaugh

      "Blame it on the apple."

      It's that woman's fault.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Hell is the state of your soul (and eventually your resurrected body) without God. Fire and torture are the best descriptions for that state of existence. So we blame God for not giving us what He has given us?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • momoya

      Mike, there's really nothing you can't claim about god because there's no way for anybody to ever know if you're right or wrong.. What you don't yet get is that it's nothing but your own ego.. It's why you get so offended when somebody rejects your god–they're actually rejecting you–or so you believe subconsciously.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, the difference here is that I am arguing from Catholic doctrine, so your claim that I am making up stuff to serve my own ego just doesn't hold up. You, on the other hand, may be 'free' to say and think whatever you like, so who stands to have injury to their ego?

      Note: not to say that my own ego has no part in the things that I say or do – including comments on this blog. I'm not that much of a hypocrite that I would believe otherwise.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • momoya

      It doesn't matter what "doctrine" you're using, what matters is how you approach your belief/faith.. What religion/god would you believe had you been born 4,000 years ago in the Arctic circle?. What religion/god would you believe had you been born in Saudi Arabia? You see, it's your approach that your ego drives and dominates–you are you're own god.. That's why you think he's so swell without a single bit of evidence that you'd require if it were any other part of your life..

      April 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Ofcourse

    “Religious belief is intuitive – and analytical thinking can undermine intuitive thinking,” said Ara Norenzayan, co-author of the study.

    So much of what is called 'intuition' is just emotionalism and wishful thinking. That's why–of course!–critical thinking can undermine the impact of intuition. When one's intuitive beliefs are measured against reality, either one discards the beliefs based on intuition or chooses to ignore reality and continue to pretend belief. Also, religious belief is not necessarily intuitive–and in most cases probably is not. It's simply handed down and socially reinforced.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  16. WKass

    Dear Dana, are you serious about "ostensably."? Or am I missing the humor? Please check you spell checker or a dictionary.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  17. momoya

    FOR RICKY L.

    You are correct that we all have beliefs; the more important difference is our principles.. Your god does nothing for you that another belief would not do for you just as well.. It's the mental model you're addicted to, not an actual being.. Yes, we all have emotional crutches.. Some people need the god crutch to much to let it go.. Sometimes it doesn't make much difference..

    Sound reasoning pretty much dictates agnostic atheism, so the real questions are do you want to examine beliefs of another god with the same energy and focus as you do your own, and do you want to critically evaluate your beliefs of god with the same severity and reasoning you would examine another god belief?

    April 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Momoya: Could you please lay out this "mental model" for us?
      Also below:
      "Yes, we all have emotional crutches.. Some people need the god crutch to much to let it go.. Sometimes it doesn't make much difference.."
      You say we all have emotional crutches, then mention a 'letting go'.
      Do you mean every one should let go of all emotional crutches? Is love of spouse or children an emotional crutch? If so, do you think it's a bad thing?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @bigfuckup: what good would it do? You aren't capable of critical thought. Any effort at such would be a waste of time and effort.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • momoya

      @b4

      lol, I don't know if the mental model could be "imaged" on some sort of scanning machine or not, though certainly we can observe very specific sections of the brain light up during religious ritual and such..

      We have "emotional crutches" all over the place.. We are constantly adjusting our hold on them and continually developing new ones and dropping older, less useful ones.. No, we should not let go of "every one of our crutches" because that's too stark an existence to do anybody any good.. Emotional crutches are like anything else; some are good/healthy, some are bad/unhealthy, but most are in between.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Ricky L

      @ momoya.

      Until you understand the God I believe in, you should probably reserve your judgements.

      It ain't the Christian version in and of itself, that much I can tell you.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow, that's really... pretty much worthless.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • momoya

      Sure, Ricky, you just go ahead and believe anything you want.. Don't you get it?. Everybody's doing that!. Use whatever holy book and god you feel like picking out of the bin and sit down and start interpreting.. Good for you.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • momoya

      Ricky, I was a strong believer for almost 50 years.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Ricky L

      Assumptions are deadly, momoya. First you gotta admit that you know nothing about my beliefs.

      I repeat.....reserve your judgements until you know what you're disagreeing with.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • momoya

      Thanks, but I'll stick with my assessment of you.. I've read enough.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Ricky L

      That's called faith, momoya.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • momoya

      No, it's called hypothesizing.. I know what I'm doing. 😉

      April 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  18. Iworry

    Dear Kentuckyscience,
    I do believe that math has been used to prove science but science is not a proof to math. Math proofs are proved with math or have I been too long out of school?

    April 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Armani

      only mathematical equations require proof,..science doesn't prove anything.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  19. Festivus cards

    "Some of the more than 650 Canadian and American participants in the study were shown images of artwork that encouraged analytic thinking,"

    We should put this artwork on Festivus Cards to send to our religious friends!!!! 😀

    April 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Well yeah. . .they could either denounce their religion and be tortured or be sent to prison or go along with the rest of the crowd back then. What would YOU do?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Oops sorry. . .that first comment of mine was meant for the post below this one. Sorreeeeeeeeee.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Ah, but please consider that some of the greatest analytical thinkers were religious men and women. Isaac Newton, Galilleo, Copernicus, Gregor Mendel, al-Khwārizmī, and others were deeply religious, and no one can accuse them of not being analytical thinkers. By the way, al-Khwārizmī is the father of Algebra.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • tripme

      He should have had a vasectomy

      April 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • UrbanEyes

      And lets not forget Galileo was imprisoned by the church for observing the earth rotated around the sun.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Well yeah. . .they could either denounce their religion and be tortured or be sent to prison or go along with the rest of the crowd back then. What would YOU do?

      April 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      DeeCee...sadly, not much different these days. Only no prison (at least here in the US) and the torture comes in the form of discrimination and proselitizing.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Sandra

      And many of those European critical/analytical thinkers, regardless of their faith, were declared heretics, threatened with death. So, was their public devoutness just a method to avoid being horribly murdered by the religious powers in charge? More than likely.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Al

      "He should have had a vasectomy"

      Have not heard that one. Hilarious!!!

      April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Maani

      UrbanEyes:

      Yet even throughout and after hisordeal, Galilei remained a devout Catholic. And no, DeeCee, it was not because they had no choice. That's historically incorrect. So is the notion that the Catholic Church was somehow "opposed" to science. Not so. In fact, the Catholic Church funded a great deal of the science being done by people like Bacon (who gave us the scientific method), Newton, et al. This is because both the Church and the scientists doing the work believed that science "revealed the glory of God's universe"; i.e., that since God "created" science, then it was "part" of God's plan. Yes, there were a few insitances in which the discoveries of science "contradicted" Church teaching, and those are the few instances we all know. But they were actually few and far between.

      Peace.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.