science religion

Are science and religion at odds with each other? A majority of the public says science and religion often conflict, with nearly six-in-ten adults (59%) expressing this view in newly released findings from a Pew Research Center survey. The share of the public saying science and religion are often in conflict is up modestly from 55% in 2009, when Pew Research conducted a similar survey on religion and science.

People’s sense that there generally is a conflict between religion and science seems to have less to do with their own religious beliefs than it does with their perceptions of other people’s beliefs. Less than one-third of Americans polled in the new survey (30%) say their personal religious beliefs conflict with science, while fully two-thirds (68%) say there is no conflict between their own beliefs and science.

Moreover, the view that science and religion are often in conflict is particularly common among Americans who are, themselves, not very religiously observant (as measured by frequency of attendance at worship services). Some 73% of adults who seldom or never attend religious services say science and religion are often in conflict. By contrast, among more religiously observant Americans – those who report that they attend religious services on a weekly basis – exactly half (50%) share the view that science and religion frequently conflict.

Of the country’s major religious groups, Hispanic Catholics and white evangelical Protestants are especially likely to say science and religion are mostly compatible; roughly half of both groups take this position. But white evangelical Protestants also are somewhat more likely than members of other large religious groups to see a conflict between science and their own religious beliefs; 40% of white evangelicals say their personal beliefs sometimes conflict with science, while 57% say they do not.

So does science conflict with your faith?  How about other people, does science blow religious explanation away for other people?   More importantly, do you care, ?

Obviously, science is not going to change to suit religion.  We are reminded that Galileo spent the last years of his life under house arrest because he wouldn’t recant his hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun.  The Church didn’t apologize for their treatment of Galileo until the latter part of the 20th century, long after a heliocentric  solar system was established science.

Most of us accept that dinosaurs existed before man, yet there are theme parks in America depicting a different timeline.  I personally saw a book on the shelves at Grand Canyon gift shops telling readers that the earth was only 6,000 years old, based on Biblical teachings, or someone’s biblical teaching.

As a kid, I could never get past Genesis without too many conflicting questions popping up.  My parents weren’t the best at answering my questions either.   I asked in class as a teenager, when I was being confirmed.  Everyone cleared their throats and came up with “some of that is symbolic.”

How do you explain the inconsistencies in your faith and science?  Does your world view lean more towards faith or science?  Afraid I am a science leaner. (I know, no surprise.)



7 Thoughts to “Science vs. Religion”

  1. Ed Myers

    The conflict occurs because religion is always right and science is never sure it is right but frequently it is able to persuasively and arrogantly show that religious leaders are absolutely wrong on the facts.

    Science is God’s revelation through the natural world. Atheists that believe in science are closer to God than the self-proclaimed religious who reject science.

    The Bible is not proscriptive. Instead it describes how people in the past interacted in religious ways; the successes and failures are helpful for us today because the themes are timeless. Oh, and the early chapters of Genesis are a bunch of creative metaphors set up to help oral tradition accurately pass on the spiritual concepts. To pretend that it is science is to ignore the power of a good story.

  2. BSinVA

    How do you explain the inconsistencies in your faith and science? Does your world view lean more towards faith or science?

    Luckily, I am not religious at all. Therefore, science is not a conflict with my personal anything. In my opinion, everyone wants to know how we got here, why we are here and what happens when we die. All religions try to answer these three fundamental questions. Religions developed the answers in terms that earlier humans could understand and were based upon the understanding of things as they were before recorded history. Modern humans are developing a better understanding of how things are through science. Since science has yet to answer all questions, religions will remain to answer those unanswerable questions that still haunt us.

    1. Very insightful explanation, BS.

      I have a minor in the classical studies…not the language but the cultural end of things. I have always been amazed by the parallels in what we call myths and major religions of the world.

  3. BSinVA

    Ed: How about I buy you a beer sometime?

    1. I will vouch for the fact that you are not an axe murderer.

  4. Scout

    This is a false dichotomy that has been hijacked into service by low-grade politicians trying to take advantage of people whose faith is important to them, but who have not had the time or opportunity to explore these matters in any depth. No conflict from either direction. End of story.

  5. Cargosquid

    The usual argument about religion usually concentrates on Christianity.

    Christianity says absolutely nothing about science. Neither the Old or New Testaments address science.

    Science does not address God. It neither proves or disproves or provides evidence either for or against God.

    For the religious, God made the universe, thus examination of reality is the search for God.
    For the non-believer…. it doesn’t matter if God made the universe are not….they do not believe.

    For the other religions….you’d have to do your own research.

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