Over at The Panda’s Thumb you can read about an article in Science magazine that purports to show how stupid and childlike it is to to believe things based solely on authority, rather than empirical fact. Well, not quite.
Their thesis is that it is stupid and childlike to believe things based solely on parental or religious authority, rather than scientific authority. Moreover, it is also childlike to believe things based on personal experience rather than scientific authority. On top of that, it is childlike to believe things based on “old” Baconian or Aristotelian scientific viewpoints rather than modern scientific authority. Because, you know, modern scientific authority is monolithic and absolutely correct about everything that ever happened anywhere, at any time.
They go further and point out how childlike it is to believe in mind-body dualism, even though this idea is reliably attributed to Descartes (1596-1650), a fixture of Enlightenment rationality and science. Descartes is held responsible for discrediting the ancient intuitive beliefs about the unity of mind and body, which are still widely held in shamanistic and pantheistic cultures.
Not surprisingly, other cultures outside the technological backwater of America are found to be more likely to accept evolutionary theory, and all of this resistance to science stems from the early 19th-century belief in biblical inerrancy, when the typical American was still grubbing with sticks and running around throwing voodoo dust on their enemies. Well, maybe not.
I try not to engage in childish name-calling, but I would say that this “study” is a pile of stinky poop.