Can science and religion work together? A new study conducted by Rice University says Yes, if you are an evangelical! Surprisingly most of the doubting Thomas’s come from the general population. In fact 27 percent believe that science and religion are in direct conflict with each other.
The public’s view that science and religion can’t work in collaboration is a misconception that stunts progress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans, scientists and evangelical Protestants. The study by Rice University also found that scientists and the general public are surprisingly similar in their religious practices. Elaine Howard Ecklund.
The study, “Religious Understandings of Science (RUS),” was conducted by sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and presented today in Chicago during the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference. Ecklund is the Autrey Professor of Sociology and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program.
“We found that nearly 50 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support one another,” Ecklund said.
“That’s in contrast to the fact that only 38 percent of Americans feel that science and religion can work in collaboration.”
The study also found that 18 percent of scientists attended weekly religious services, compared with 20 percent of the general U.S. population; 15 percent consider themselves very religious (versus 19 percent of the general U.S. population); 13.5 percent read religious texts weekly (compared with 17 percent of the U.S. population); and 19 percent pray several times a day (versus 26 percent of the U.S. population).
“This is a hopeful message for science policymakers and educators, because the two groups don’t have to approach religion with an attitude of combat,” Ecklund said. “Rather, they should approach it with collaboration in mind.”
Read the complete article about science and religion at Rice University.
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