Materialist theories of mind are disturbing for those who endorse the idea that an immortal soul is distinct from the material body. Many argue for a uniqueness of the human spirit that transcends bodily qualities. The present research focuses on the rejection of human evolution from the perspective of disgust, which has both a physical (body) and moral (soul) component and is elicited by objects that remind us of both death and animals. Study 1 asked whether those primed to feel disgusted would show an implicit preference for creationism over evolution on an Implicit Associations Test but failed to find significance. Studies 2 and 3 found that disgust motivates a preference for the view that humans are unique from animals but failed to disambiguate the disgust emotion from an overall negative affect. Implications for the broader role of disgust as a body-soul emotion, especially as it relates to rejecting evolution and scientific reductionism, are discussed.
Gottlieb, Sara G., "You and Me Baby Ain't Nothing but Mammals: Disgust, Evolution, and the Transcendence of an Immaterial Soul" (2010). Honors Projects. Paper 20.
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