My Synthese essay has finally been published [paywall], in which I argue that on the basis of the more realistic notion of rationality devised by Herbert Simon, called “bounded rationality”, certain heuristics are liable to lead people to rationally choose to believe in creationism under the right conditions. It’s a conceptual developmentalist perspective. Here’s the abstract:
Creationism is usually regarded as an irrational set of beliefs. In this paper I propose that the best way to understand why individual learners settle on any mature set of beliefs is to see that as the developmental outcome of a series of ?fast and frugal? boundedly rational inferences rather than as a rejection of reason. This applies to those whose views are opposed to science in general. A bounded rationality model of belief choices both serves to explain the fact that folk traditions tend to converge on ?anti-modernity?, and to act as a default hypothesis, deviations from which we can use to identify other, arational, influences such as social psychological, economic and individual dispositions. I propose some educational and public policy strategies that might decrease the proportion of learners who find creationism and anti-science in general a rational choice.
It’s Online First at Springer for now.