A family reading the Bible together

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

5-and-6-year old children from public and parochial schools were presented with 3 different types of stories — religious, fantastical and realistic –- to see if they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional. The study found that 66 participants who went to church or attended parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

From Huffington Post:

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.”

According to 2013-2014 Gallup data, roughly 83 percent of Americans report a religious affiliation, and an even larger group — 86 percent — believe in God.

More than a quarter of Americans, 28 percent, also believe the Bible is the actual word of God and should be taken literally, while another 47 percent say the Bible is the inspired word of God.

Clutchettes, at what age (if ever) were you exposed to the bible?

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  • kikibabiidoll

    Ok, So this article was definitely written by an Atheist!! I guess the Dead Sea Scolls were lying too? According to Scientists its like a fossil. ..Proof if you will that Jesus did in fact turn water into wine! To say that the historical record of the bible are bedtime stories to confuse children. Baffled… and that the bible in fact is factual , For the record I’m not at all religious “Im Spiritual” Kevt Hovid was so Awesome in these type of debates! I truly believe that there’s something so wonderful so much bigger then me in this word, Does this thinking make me believe in monster’s No but there is good and evil, it exists!“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. This world will never comprehend the concepts as it pertains to Faith, God and the bible. Because everyone is looking for a sign to believe to only discredit it in there hearts! Oh yea the poor dinosaurs God, said let there be light.. He spoke thats your Big Bang theory..