How do people perceive the relationship between science and religion? : The role of epistemic cognition, ontological confusions, and social importance judgments

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201912114105
Title: How do people perceive the relationship between science and religion? : The role of epistemic cognition, ontological confusions, and social importance judgments
Author: Marin, Pinja
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201912114105
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308273
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: Objective. The way science and religion relate is a topic of lasting debate and discussion but little research. Thus, people's perceptions of the science-religion relationship remain poorly understood. Yet, the way people relate science and religion to each other seem to be connected to their opinions, attitudes, and choices. The aim of this study was to examine how epistemic cognition, ontological confusions of core knowledge, and the perceived social importance of science and religion predict agreement with four science-religion perspectives: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. Method. Participants (N=2256) were adult Finns who had, in an online survey, given their view on whether science and religion are in conflict. The sample was largely nonreligious with 67.2% not belonging to any religious denomination. Three logistic regressions were used to predict the likelihood to hold the conflict, dialogue and integration views, and an ordinal logistic regression was used to examine agreement with the independence view. Age, gender and education were controlled in all analyses. Results. Intuitive thinking style, core ontological confusions, and the perceived social importance of religion decreased the likelihood to hold the conflict view whereas a simple view of knowledge and importance of science increased it. Regarding the three non-conflict views, core ontological confusions increased the likelihood to hold the dialogue and integration views, but decreased the likelihood to hold the independence view. In addition, intuitive thinking style increased the odds to agree with the dialogue and integration views. Moreover, importance of religion increased the likelihood to hold the dialogue and integration views while importance of science increased the likelihood to agree with the independence view. Discussion. Differences in epistemic cognition, core ontological confusions, and the perceived social importance of science and religion affected agreement with the four science-religion perspectives. Therefore, it is likely that the ways people perceive the relation between science and religion could be better understood through further examination of thinking styles, views of knowledge and knowing, category errors, and attitudes.
Subject: science
religion
thinking styles
epistemic cognition
core knowledge
ontological confusions
attitudes


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