If someone is already pre-disposed to disbelieve scientific conclusions around issues like human evolution, climate change, stem cell research or the Big Bang theory because of their religious or political views, learning more about the subject actually increases their disbelief, a new study finds.
Why it matters: The research flies in the face of commonly held views that more science literacy and greater education around controversial scientific issues will diffuse polarization but supports a growing body of evidence about how our identity forms our views.
For stem cell research, the Big Bang theory and evolution, religious identity overrode science literacy.
Political beliefs surrounding climate change led to polarization.
They found little evidence (yet) of political or religious polarization for nanotechnology and genetically modified food.