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Does Evolution matter?: a case study in Brazil of the effects of an evolutionary-thinking academic atmosphere in postgraduate students' belief in God/religious belief

DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652012005000023

Keywords: creation-evolution controversy, deism [religiosity], evolutionism, postgraduate students.

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Abstract:

although the theory of evolution is more than 150 years old, a substantial proportion of the world population does not mention it when explaining the origin of human beings. the usual alternative conception is offered by creationism, one of the main obstacles to full acceptance of evolution in many countries. national polls have demonstrated that schooling and religiosity are negatively correlated, with scientists being one of the least religious professionals. herein we analyzed both (1) the profile of 1st semester undergraduate students and (2), thesis and dissertations, concerning religious and evolutionary thoughts from biology and veterinary schools at the largest university of south america. we have shown that students of biology are biased towards evolution before they enter university and also that the presence of an evolutionary-thinking academic atmosphere influences the deism/religiosity beliefs of postgraduate students.

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