"The whole idea behind acceptance of evolution has been the assumption that if people understood it, if they really knew it, they would see the logic and accept it," study co-author David Haury, an associate professor of education at Ohio State University, said in a statement.
The Researchers (Haury and his colleagues) found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs. Even students with a greater knowledge of evolutionary facts weren't more likely to accept the theory unless they also had a strong gut feeling about the facts, the results showed.
The study has important implications for the teaching of evolution, the researchers said. Informing students about this conflict between intuition and logic may help them judge ideas on their merits.
"Educationally, we think that's a place to start," Haury said. "It's a concrete way to show them, 'Look, you can be fooled and make a bad decision, because you just can't deny your gut.'"
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