Belief doesn’t have to be superstitious or irrational to give us comfort. e! Science News reports:
A faith in the explanatory and revealing power of science increases in the face of stress or anxiety, a study by Oxford University psychologists suggests. The researchers argue that a ‘belief in science’ may help non-religious people deal with adversity by offering comfort and reassurance, as has been reported previously for religious belief.
‘It’s not just believing in God that is important for gaining these psychological benefits, it is belief in general,’ says Dr. Farias. ‘It may be that we as humans are just prone to have belief, and even atheists will hold non-supernatural beliefs that are reassuring and comforting.’
The researchers say their findings are consistent with the idea that belief in science increases when secular individuals are placed in threatening situations. They go on to suggest that a belief in science may help non-religious people deal with adverse conditions.