Survey: When Science And Faith Collide, Faith Usually Wins

May 5, 2014 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2014, (by Cathy Lynn Grossman, RNS):

Believers don’t buy the Big Bang, God-less evolution or a human responsibility for global warming. Actually, neither do many Americans. But a new survey by The Associated Press found that religious identity — particularly evangelical Protestant — was one of the sharpest indicators of skepticism toward key issues in science.

The survey presented a series of statements that several prize-winning scientist say are facts. However, the research shows that confidence in their correctness varies sharply among U.S. adults. It found:

* 51 percent of U.S. adults overall (including 77 percent of people who say they are born-again or evangelical) have little or no confidence that “the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang.”
* 42 percent overall (76 percent of evangelicals) doubt that “life on Earth, including human beings, evolved through a process of natural selection.”
* 37 percent overall (58 percent of evangelicals) doubt that the Earth’s temperature is rising “mostly because of man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”
* 36 percent overall (56 percent of evangelicals) doubt “the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.”

On the flip side, most people are pretty sure the “universe is so complex, there must be a supreme being guiding its creation” — 54 percent of all Americans, and 87 percent of evangelicals. Nobel Prize-winning scientists expressed dismay at the findings. “When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can’t argue against faith,” Duke University biochemist Robert Lefkowitz, who won a Nobel Prize in 2012, told The Associated Press. He called faith “untestable.”

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