American audiences more likely to believe in God after watching BBC’s Planet Earth, study shows

Psychological Science (journal)

Psychological Science (journal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WordPress lockout catchup again.  This one from 27th November.  Nature is magnificent, many say “miraculous” but is that evidence of a supernatural power, God, that is the source of creation.  See my other blog earlier this month on the “Poetry of Life”.

 

Awe’s Creator

Do you believe?
See the wonder that is nature
and say there is no masterplan.

Do you believe
the Angel Falls are but God’s tears
in sorrow at the hand of Man?

Do you believe
scirocco sighs are but God’s breath,
soothing balm on Saharan sands?

Do you believe
Himalayan peaks are God’s art,
brush-stroked, deified, artisan?

Do you believe
Amazon wilds are God’s mantle,
theistic fibres in each strand?

Do you believe
the miracles of nature’s awe
reveal God’s homily to Man?

 

 

 

27th November 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “American audiences more likely to believe in God after watching BBC’s Planet Earth, study shows.”  People in the US are more likely to believe in God and the supernatural after watching awe-inspiring nature programmes like the BBC’s Planet Earth, scientists have claimed.  According to research published in the Psychological Science journal, test subjects were more likely to say they had faith in a higher power after watching “jaw-dropping” footage of the Grand Canyon, waterfalls and other natural phenomena.  Those who were asked to watch extracts from the BBC documentary series fronted by Sir David Attenborough gave markedly different responses to a series of questions than a control group which was shown footage from more neutral news reports.  Professor Piercarlo Valdesolo, a psychological scientist from Claremont McKenna College who carried out the studies, said: “Many historical accounts of religious epiphanies and revelations seem to involve the experience of being awe-struck by the beauty, strength or size of a divine being, and these experiences change the way people understand and think about the world.  We wanted to test the exact opposite prediction: It’s not that the presence of the supernatural elicits awe, it’s that awe elicits the perception of the presence of the supernatural”.

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3 thoughts on “American audiences more likely to believe in God after watching BBC’s Planet Earth, study shows

  1. So, I’d wondered if it is possible really for so many living in packed busy cities where there is far too much hustle and bustle and far too little of the simplest of pleasures like a walk near a lake and far too many clubs and so on — to be brief. Nature isn’t like this. People may be acting all sophisticated and in charge, but really, in just a short hour, watching a show that demonstrates the amazing complexity of life, they surely may see that it is people that are making the world seem shallow and senseless.

      • yes, hug a tree, contemplate the clouds, listen to a small stream, watch a chipmunk scurry about, take a hike, or some sort of break from the hustle and the bustle and away from the clubs and parties. Its very refreshing and if wondering about God, its a lot easier to see Him in nature than while riding the packed subway or driving the urban freeways. Even in the cities there are respite areas.
        ~ Eric

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