Anglican Samizdat

November 24, 2008

Born to believe

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 2:29 pm

From the Telegraph

Children are born believers in God, academic claims

Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.

He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God.

“The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God.”

“Children’s normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast, evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe.”

Almost looks like a Divinely planted predisposition, doesn’t it? Richard Dawkins would have to claim that the genetic inclination to believe in God is a product of evolution; in which case, he and Christopher Hitchens must be throwbacks.


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