Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Professor Sirvent

Reader 2

Professor Douglass-Jaimes


Belief in anthropogenic climate is varied and this remains a problem for those trying to combat its negative effects. Of the many studied causes for lack of belief in climate change none have addressed early scientific education. Because evolution is often one of the first scientific theories children are exposed to it shapes trust in scientific knowledge and its production, so it promotes scientific literacy. Thus, children who are taught creationism learn to distrust science and should be less scientifically literate than those who are taught evolutionary science. Through reverse intergenerational learning children then instill their beliefs and attitudes in their parents and a whole community’s attitudes toward science issues are affected. Accordingly, it is hypothesized that where students are taught creationism there will be less belief in anthropogenic climate change than where they are taught evolution. Two neighboring and demographically matched Texas State counties were selected based on the presence or absence of charter schools that teach creationism. The percentage of the population that believed climate change to be human caused was measured and it showed that the county teaching creationism had greater belief in anthropogenic climate change than the county that taught evolutionary science.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.