Handbook of Biology and Politics
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Handbook of Biology and Politics

Edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

The study of biology and politics (or biopolitics) has gained considerable currency in recent years, as articles on the subject have appeared in mainstream journals and books on the subject have been well received. The literature has increased greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when this specialization first made an appearance. This volume assesses the contributions of biology to political science. Chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. The volume provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
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Chapter 3: Believers and disbelievers in evolution and climate change

Allan Mazur

Abstract

Roughly half of all Americans do not believe that humans evolved from earlier species, while a third or more doubt that human activity is warming the climate, making the United States the most skeptical among industrial nations about these scientific positions. These views underpin the creationist movement and undercut federal policy to control greenhouse gases. There is only slight overlap in these disbeliefs; for the most part, evolution and climate change each has its own constituency of deniers. Low education increases these disbeliefs, but religious or political ideologies have greater effects. Fundamentalist religiosity, the result of family socialization, is the strongest reason for denying evolution. Apart from religion, political conservatives are more likely than liberals to deny both evolution and the science of climate change. In view of the ideological underpinnings of beliefs at odds with science, they are unlikely to be significantly changed by improved science education.

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