November 13, 2017

Core Intuitions about Persons Co-Exist and Interfere with Acquired Christian Beliefs about God

Tamsin German, University of California, Santa Barbara

I will discuss research conducted in my lab assessing recent proposals that complex human cultural concepts such as acquired scientific knowledge and religious belief rely on the co-option of early developing psychological mechanisms for representing and reasoning about the world. I will present evidence for this idea from studies showing that a basic intuition that, for example, God is a person, co-exists and interferes with later acquired theological conceptions of God's omniscience and omnipotence. This pattern of results mirrors those found showing the co-existence of and interference between core conceptions of the world and later acquired knowledge in the domain of science.