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Study shows how college major and religious faith affect each other

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 01:13 AM

College students who major in the social sciences and humanities are likely to become less religious, while those majoring in education are likely to become more religious.

I honestly did not search for more "religious studies" or anything, this was just posted on a website I visit alot.

But students majoring in biology and physical sciences remain just about as religious as they were when they started college. Those are among key findings of a University of Michigan study on the connection between college attendance, college major and religiosity released this week (July 27) by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, is based on long-term data from the Monitoring the Future Study conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

Jon Templeton Foundation is a religious organization - don't try to tell me this is a "atheist based" study. There's really no "hateful" or negative view of religion in this anyways.

Oddly enough, I figured studying science would lead people away from religious faith - I am admittedly mistaken if this is true.

Education leads people to become more religious? Weird...

"Education majors are clearly safe havens for the religious," said U-M economist Miles Kimball, who co-authored the study. "Highly religious people seem to prefer education majors, tend to stay in that major, and tend to become more religious by the time they graduate."

Why would humanities and social sciences be any different? Why is physical and biological sciences deemed neutral?

For the study, Kimball and colleagues Colter Mitchell, Arland Thornton and Linda Young DeMarco analyzed data on approximately 26,200 individuals who graduated from high school between 1976 and 1996. They reviewed information on religious attitudes and college attendance and major for a period of six years.

It seems like a pretty broad-based study. Definitely really no bias when using 26,000 people.

Among the questions participants were asked: How often do you attend religious services? How important is religion in your life? How good or bad a job is being done for the country as a whole by churches and religious organizations?

"Of those who did not attend college right away, those who were more religious were more likely to attend college eventually. One of the reasons for this might be a "nagging effect" of church friends who ask repeatedly about college attendance plans, the researchers speculate."

Church takes you further in life I guess

For the analysis of impact of college major on religiosity, the researchers used business majors as a reference point. "We wanted a major that was culturally neutral and that attracted a large number of students," Kimball said. "The content of most business courses does not touch on values."

The authors theorize that three powerful streams of thought interact with choice of college majors to amplify the impact on religiosity. These are science, developmentalism (the belief in progress), and postmodernism (the belief that everything is relative). "There are important differences among the college majors in world views and overall philosophies of life," Kimball said. "At the same time, students recognize to some degree the differences among majors and chose a major based, at least in part, on religiosity.

"Our results suggest that it is Postmodernism, not Science, that is the bête noir of religiosity. One reason may be that the key ideas of Postmodernism are newer than the key scientific ideas that challenge religion. For example, religions have had 150 years to develop resistance or tolerance for the late 19th century idea of Evolution, but much less time to develop resistance or tolerance for the key ideas of Postmodernism, which gained great strength over the course of the 20th century."

Funnily enough, the clashing foe of religion is not science, but philosophy, the very thing it supposedly stemmed from.
Odd indeed

here to source (or link)....

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 03:19 AM

Originally posted by makinho21
Funnily enough, the clashing foe of religion is not science, but philosophy, the very thing it supposedly stemmed from.

Religion precedes philosophy in history. The Neanderthals even displayed ideas about religion.

Philosophy and religion (specifically Christianity) have always butted heads.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 03:33 AM
Maybe it's because these areas of study emphasize critical thinking. Since religious beliefs are centered around faith, maybe when certain people start applying critical thinking to their religious beliefs, they find that their faith is not strong enough to overcome the critical thinking.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 03:48 AM
Maybe because the brain is hard wired for unitive experience with God (I've been studying up on a certain type of entheogenic neurotransmitter of late, which upholds this idea), the more educated people become, the more receptive their neurological structure becomes to having an authentic spiritual experience, which they then seek to frame with meaning via religion. That's what I think.
And where "critical thinking" may be regarded as a reductionistic series of distinctions, or the slicing and dicing of reality into a type of machine, the more educated mind may be one which is capable of holding a greater breadth of possibility, including a more unitive and wholistic viewpoint which accompanies spiritual experience or oneness with God.

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