Friday, July 25, 2014

Children Who Believe In God And The Bible Have Difficulty Telling Fact From Fiction

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Are you a Christian or Muslim, training your child from birth in the way the good books say they should grow? Then be aware that you are affecting their ability to understand what is real and what is not.

A new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science claims that "young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction."

The study found that children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

Does this study make you question giving your children a religious background, or teaching them to believe in the bible and in God?

In the study,

Researchers presented the 66 participants, [5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools] with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.

By relating seemingly impossible religious events achieved through divine intervention (e.g., Jesus transforming water into wine) to fictional narratives, religious children would more heavily rely on religion to justify their false categorizations.

“In both studies, [children exposed to religion] were less likely to judge the characters in the fantastical stories as pretend, and in line with this equivocation, they made more appeals to reality and fewer appeals to impossibility than did secular children,” the study concluded.

Refuting previous hypotheses claiming that children are “born believers,” the authors suggest that “religious teaching, especially exposure to miracle stories, leads children to a more generic receptivity toward the impossible, that is, a more wide-ranging acceptance that the impossible can happen in defiance of ordinary causal relations.”

Read More - HuffPo

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