Saturday, January 28, 2012

70 percent of scientists believe religion and science are sometimes in conflict

"They interviewed a scientifically selected sample of 275 participants, pulled from a survey of 2,198 tenured and tenure-track faculty in the natural and social sciences at 21 elite U.S. research universities. Only 15 percent of those surveyed said they view religion and science as always in conflict. Another 15 percent said the two are never in conflict, while 70 percent said they believe religion and science are only sometimes in conflict.


The study was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation with additional funding from Rice University.


Many of those surveyed cited issues in the public realm (teaching of creationism versus evolution, stem cell research) as reasons for believing there is conflict between the two. The study showed that these individuals generally have a particular kind of religion in mind (and religious people and institutions) when they say that religion and science are in conflict.

Other findings in the study:

    Scientists as a whole are substantially different from the American public in how they view teaching “intelligent design” in public schools. Nearly all of the scientists – religious and nonreligious alike – have a negative impression of the theory of intelligent design.

    Sixty-eight percent of scientists surveyed consider themselves spiritual to some degree.

    Scientists who view themselves as spiritual/religious are less likely to see religion and science in conflict."

Beliefnet, September 23, 2011
I've seen this survey cited in a number of places and nearly all of them has a headline indicating that science and religion are not in conflict, while the numbers clearly state that 70 per cent thinks religion and science are sometimes in conflict. Only 15 per cent thinks religion and science are never in conflict.

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