Pattern recognition influences religious belief, according to new study

Christians and Muslims that pick out unconscious patterns are more likely to believe in a god.

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  • Georgetown researchers found strong implicit pattern learning implies belief in a god.
  • The study included American Christians and Afghani Muslims, representing two different religious and cultural backgrounds.
  • Further research on polytheistic religious believers could provide insights into a cognitive basis of religion.
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Why ‘Christian nationalists’ are less likely to wear masks and social distance

In a recent study, researchers examined how Christian nationalism is affecting the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • A new study used survey data to examine the interplay between Christian nationalism and incautious behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The researchers defined Christian nationalism as "an ideology that idealizes and advocates a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture."
  • The results showed that Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior.
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Churches received up to $10 billion in stimulus funding. They want more.

Apparently the Catholic Church is a small business.

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  • Churches and ministries received up to $10 billion in federal assistance during the first round of stimulus.
  • The Catholic Church exploited a loophole to be considered a "small business" and received up to $3.5 billion in forgivable loans.
  • With stimulus measures ending last week, up to 40 million Americans are in danger of losing their homes.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."
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  • A 2019 study in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found that religious believers are more likely to own dogs than cats.
  • Researchers found that hardcore evangelicals are less likely to own pets than more the progressive religious.
  • Pet ownership also skews political: Democrats prefer cats while Republicans choose dogs.
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