TITLE

The Relationships Between Paranormal Belief, Creationism, Intelligent Design and Evolution at Secondary Schools in Vienna (Austria)

AUTHOR(S)
Eder, Erich; Turic, Katharina; Milasowszky, Norbert; Van Adzin, Katherine; Hergovich, Andreas
PUB. DATE
May 2011
SOURCE
Science & Education;May2011, Vol. 20 Issue 5/6, p517
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The present study is the first to investigate the relationships between a multiple set of paranormal beliefs and the acceptance of evolution, creationism, and intelligent design, respectively, in Europe. Using a questionnaire, 2,129 students at secondary schools in Vienna (Austria) answered the 26 statements of the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (R-PBS) and three statements about naturalistic evolution, creationism and intelligent design (ID). The investigated Austrian students showed an average R-PBS score of 82.08, more than 50% of them agreed with naturalistic evolution, 28% with creationism, and more than a third agreed with ID, the latter two closely correlated with each other. Females generally showed higher belief scores in the paranormal, creationism and ID. The agreement with naturalistic evolution correlated negatively with religious belief, but not with other paranormal beliefs, whereas the two non-scientific alternatives to evolution significantly correlated with both traditional and paranormal beliefs. Religious belief showed a significant positive correlation with other paranormal beliefs. All subscales of paranormal belief decreased during the eight grades of secondary school, as did acceptance of creationism and ID. However, the acceptance of naturalistic evolution did not correlate with age or grade. Possible reasons and implications for science education and the biology curriculum at Austrian secondary schools are discussed.
ACCESSION #
60116937

 

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