I am preparing for a workshop to prepare myself and a colleague to teach a STEM class (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) this coming school year. I was going through the science standards for Ohio to help get an understanding of what kind of projects the kids will be doing, and I found a great grade-level indicator. It is the 11th grade Ways of Knowing Standard, Ethical Practices Indicator:
Recognize that bias affects outcomes. People tend to ignore evidence that challenges their beliefs but accept evidence that supports their beliefs. Scientist attempt to avoid bias in their work.
This is a perfect statement to help understand why people hold on to their religious beliefs.