In September of this year, Stephanie Pappas wrote an article for LiveScience titled, “Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling.” In that article, she explained that researchers from Harvard University recently “discovered” that people who are more apt to trust their first intuitions are more likely to believe in God than those people who stop and reflect on those intuitions. In order to test this idea, the researchers gave participants a math test that consisted of three problems with questions such as: “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” (Pappas, 2011). As Pappas explained, the intuitive answer is 10 cents, but that is wrong. Those who gave answers such as 10 cents, instead of the correct answer of 5 cents for the test were “one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right” (Pappas, emp. added). Using this and other test results, the researchers concluded that intuitive thinkers, or those who follow their gut feelings, are more likely to believe in God than more reflective types. David Rand, one of the researchers, stated: “It’s not that one way is better than the other. Intuitions are important and reflection is important, and you want some balance of the two. Where you are on that spectrum affects how you come out in terms of belief in God” (Pappas).

Now let us take a critical look at what is really going on with this most recent Harvard “study.” First, why do you think LiveScience is reporting on a study about belief in God? Do you think it is because the scientific community has had a sudden change of heart and now believes the concept of God to be one that can be verified scientifically? Of course not. On the contrary, this “study” is in LiveScience in an attempt to reduce belief in God to a function of a certain type of brain chemistry or thought process—and an inferior one at that. Notice that David Rand concludes that “where you are on the spectrum affects how you come out in terms of belief in God.” If it so happens that you are an intuitive thinker, then you do not really control whether you believe in God or not, it is just that your thinking is more open to the possibility. If you are a more “reflective” thinker, then there is a good chance you cannot help your lack of a belief in God; it is just the way you think. In other words, belief in God is a function of your physical chemistry (an ultimately evolution) rather than your God-given ability to rationally make a choice….

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