The Experience of Awe in Nature Leads to Religious Beliefs
The experience of awe — in the form of mountains, canyons and outer space — makes one more apt to believe that the universe was constructed "according to God’s or some other nonhuman entity’s plan."
It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. The fear of death will make even the most hardened skeptic a believer. According to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science, the experience of awe — in the form of mountains, canyons and outer space — makes one more apt to believe that the universe was constructed "according to God’s or some other nonhuman entity’s plan."
While viewing stunning video images of nature didn't move the needle that much for the most ardent believers and atheists, those who fall more in the middle of the Dawkins Test tended to be affected.
The explanation, according to the study's authors, is that experiences of awe contain an element of fear that we seek an explanation for, in order to feel reassured.
Read more here.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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