Study: Most Evangelicals Think Science and Religion Are Not at Odds
Long has the perception been that religion and science are enemies. But is there really that much conflict between faith and fact—belief and hard evidence?
According to one study, the answer is no. Perhaps science and the scientific community aren’t so secular.
Sociologist Elaine Ecklund found that seven in 10 self-identified evangelicals don’t see science and religion as being at odds. This is in stark contrast to the perpetual myth that believers are against scientific views of the universe and the evolution of mankind.
Ecklund’s recent report comes from a second round of data pulled from a study she conducted in 2013 that found that most scientists are religious, and not atheists who deny God, as many assume. For the study, she surveyed 10,000 adults in the U.S. More than three quarters of self-identified scientists surveyed said they identified with one religious tradition or another.
Now, Ecklund is focusing on the high percentage of self-proclaimed evangelicals who accept science. Here’s what the study shows:
- 48 percent think religion and science compliment each other.
- 21 percent think religion and science are completely independent of each other.
- 30 percent think religion and science are opposed to each other.
When it came to thinking that the world benefits from science, the numbers were high: 85 percent of Americans think so, as do 84 percent of evangelicals.
One interesting finding from the study, and one that may bother evidence-based scientists, is that 60 percent of evangelicals believed the scientific community should be open to taking miracles into account in their theories.
That leads to an interesting question: What exactly is a miracle? If something cannot be explained by science, is it then considered a miracle? Most of us understand the basics of how a cell phone works. However, the technology would undoubtedly have baffled the brightest minds of 200 years ago.