Turns Out, Science and Religion Get Along Just Fine

Most people say science and religion are not at odds with each other. So why does the media present it that way?

National Journal
Brian Resnick
See more stories about...
Brian Resnick
Feb. 20, 2014, 7:29 a.m.

If it ac­com­plished any­thing at all, the re­cent evol­u­tion-versus-cre­ation de­bate between Bill Nye (sci­ence guy) and Ken Ham (cre­ation­ist guy) re­in­forced this idea: that sci­ence and re­li­gion are im­possib­ley at odds, that Nye and Ham are speak­ers of two dif­fer­ent lan­guages, in­com­pre­hens­ible to one an­oth­er. 

But that im­pres­sion — that the pop­u­la­tion is stub­bornly sor­ted in­to sci­ence people and re­li­gious/cre­ation people — is not ac­cur­ate. 

re­cent sur­vey of 10,000 in­di­vidu­als of many re­li­gious back­grounds found that only 27 per­cent felt sci­ence and re­li­gion were at odds with each oth­er. Fur­ther­more, 48 per­cent of re­spond­ents who iden­ti­fied as evan­gel­ic­als said that sci­ence and re­li­gion can col­lab­or­ate with one an­oth­er. Pew Re­search found sim­il­ar res­ults in 2009. “Only 48 per­cent of those who at­tend re­li­gious ser­vices at least once a week see a con­flict,” that study noted.

The chart be­low is ad­ap­ted from the sur­vey. No­tice that more than half of those who iden­ti­fied as “Evan­gel­ic­al Prot­est­ant” hold a be­lief that meshes sci­ence and re­li­gion on the ques­tion of hu­man ori­gins.

The stick­ing points for evan­gel­ic­al cre­ation­ists, though, are par­tic­u­larly sticky. For in­stance, 42 per­cent of evan­gel­ic­als strongly be­lieve cre­ation­ism should be taught in­stead of evol­u­tion in schools. An ad­di­tion­al 25 per­cent say it should be taught along­side it. 

But the bot­tom line is this: Fram­ing the de­bate between sci­ence and re­li­gion as bin­ary is not right. It’s more of a con­tinuum of be­lief. “The em­phas­is on hu­man ori­gins has nar­rowed the con­ver­sa­tion,” the sur­vey con­cludes.  

“It would serve us well to re­mem­ber the top­ics on which there is great­er agree­ment or open­ness to col­lab­or­a­tion, such that a frame­work of trust and mu­tu­al re­spect might de­vel­op between these two com­munit­ies,” the au­thors write.

Cre­ate In­fograph­ics
What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×