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Religion, science, and the eye of the beholder

Religion, science, and the eye of the beholder

A 2014 study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science shows that non-religious people perceive a great divide between religion and science but for religious people, not so much. It also shows that the assumptions about God that most skeptics reject are things that most believers don’t believe about God in the first place.

The Christian Century:

While 59 percent of U.S. adults say they saw science and religion in conflict, that drops to 30 percent when people are asked about their own religious beliefs.

It turns out that the most highly religious were least likely to see conflict.

And those who said they saw the most conflict between the two worldviews in society are people who personally claimed no religious brand, the “nones,” according to the report.

Nick Knisely comments in Entangled States:

…it appears that Rowan Williams response to Richard Dawkins is more true than expected. People are rejecting a God that most religious people don’t believe in either.

The AAAS found more common ground than difference:

The AAAS, mindful of how attitudes toward science can influence society, just finished a three-year “Perceptions Project” through its Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion to engage religious communities, particularly evangelicals, in conversation with scientists.

The perception gap highlighted by the Pew analysis can be addressed by building bridges between both groups so that they don’t rely on “media stereotypes,” said Jennifer Wiseman, an astronomer and program director for DoSer.

“We found that everyone from the least to the most religious seems fundamentally interested and positive about science,” she said.

Although there were “a few areas where people stand apart,” Wiseman said, “we found a lot of shared desire to use science and technology for the betterment of the world and the human condition. There’s a lot of common ground.”


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JC Fisher

This study just speaks to the capture of the word “religion” in the secular mind, by fundamentalist extremists. For many in the secular world, 6Day Creation Quiverfull homophobes are “True Religion”, while the rest of us are just “Religion Lite”. Unless we consistently, publicly denounce Fundamentalists TO the secular world, our silence is taken to be assent.

I’m not joking: denouncing Fundamentalism MUST be Task #1 of any evangelism program that TEC undertakes. Without clearing out the pseudo-Christian garbage, the secular world just doesn’t give a fig about anything w/ might say re the Love of Christ Jesus.

Shirley O'Shea

I agree.

Kurt Hill

I agree as well.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Linda McMillan

There is no great divide between science and religion. I don’t know who made that up and started spreading it around, but it’s not true now, and hasn’t been true in the past either.

Interesting post. Thank you.

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