Teleogical views predict not just creationism, but conspiracy theories

Why Evolution Is True

I’ll be brief here because the paper itself, just published in Current Biology (reference below, access free, pdf here) is short: just over a page of text.

After finding evidence in a small survey (N = 157) that teleology  (“the tendency to ascribe function and final cause to nonintentional natural facts and events”) was significantly (albeit moderately) correlated with belief in conspiracy theories, the authors used a much larger French sample (N = 1252) to see if teleological views were correlated with both creationism and conspiracy-theory views. They used two types of teleology, and one or both were correlated with both belief in creationism and conspiracies (my emphases in all below).

Following Kaiser-Guttman criteria (eigenvalues > 1), we retained a two-factor solution. We called the first factor ‘animism’, as it clusters measures involving attribution of consciousness and agency to nonliving entities. The second factor, ‘finalism’, tapped instead into…

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