What Encourages Belief in God? Amazing Sights of ‘Planet Earth,’ Says New Study
By Morgan Lee, Christian Post, November 27, 2013
Researchers at the Association for Psychological Science have released a new study that suggests that awe—specifically brought on by nature—increases one’s tendency to believe in God.
Psychological scientist Piercarlo Valdesolo of Claremont McKenna College and colleague Jesse Graham of the University of Southern California showed study participants either footage of BBC’s “Planet Earth” nature documentary series or “neutral” news interviews.
After watching the clips, Valdesolo and Graham asked participants “how much awe they felt while watching the video, and whether they believed that worldly events unfold according to some god’s or other non-human entity’s plan.”
The researchers said that the those who had watched “Planet Earth,” a show which includes imagery of earth’s waterfalls, canyons, jungles and mountain peaks, were more likely to believe in God and in more supernatural control than participants who had only watched the news.
"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", said Valdesolo in a statement.