Examining Links Between Religion, Evolution Views, and Climate Change Skepticism
Ecklund, Elaine Howard; Scheitle, Christopher P.; Peifer, Jared; Bolger, Daniel
Recent media portrayals link climate change skepticism to evolution skepticism, often as part of a larger “antiscience” tendency related to membership in conservative religious groups. Using national survey data, we examine the link between evolution skepticism and climate change skepticism, and consider religion’s association with both. Our analysis shows a modest association between the two forms of skepticism along with some shared predictors, such as political conservatism, a lack of confidence in science, and lower levels of education. Evangelical Protestants also show more skepticism toward both evolution and climate change compared with the religiously unaffiliated. On the whole, however, religion has a much stronger and clearer association with evolution skepticism than with climate change skepticism. Results contribute to scholarly discussions on how different science issues may or may not interact, the role of religion in shaping perceptions of science, and how science policy makers might better channel their efforts to address environmental care and climate change in particular.
climate change; evolution; religion; evangelicals; skepticism