The center third of Education, a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany, located at Yale University. It depicts religion and science in harmony. Funny thing: it was created in 1890, just as the conflict thesis was gaining traction. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
One more nail in the coffin of the conflict thesis.
Last week the results of an AAAS survey were released. They confirm what we at psnt.net have long believed: most people reject the idea that science and religion are naturally opposed.
Only 27% of Americans believe that science and religion are in conflict. Surely most of these are members of creationism-friendly churches; the number of scientifically-motivated atheists is far smaller.
So 3 in 4 Americans occupy the broad middle ground between the extremists. These middle-dwellers are a sundry lot: evangelical Christians, nones, Catholics, Buddhists, mainliners, New Age spiritualists, Muslims, Jews, quantum mystics, Hindus, Pentecostals, agnostics, etc., and even a handful of atheists who remind us that there are reasons for disbelief that have nothing to do with science. The middle is where all the interesting stuff is happening.
True believers will believe, however. The Huffington Post caught up with physicist Lawrence Krauss and asked him what he thought of the survey. “Irrelevant” is what he thought of it: “Science itself is incompatible with the scriptures and doctrines of all the world’s religions… It is all well and good to say that scientists and evangelicals can work together toward common goals, like preserving the planet etc., but ultimately those goals… should rationally lead to a world where religious myths disappear.”
Sure, Krauss can wait around for that. In the meantime, if you think science and religion can get along, join the party. It’s a big one.