Many Scientifically Inclined Prefer Certain Religious Accounts

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Many Scientifically Inclined Prefer Certain Religious Accounts
Many Scientifically Inclined Prefer Certain Religious Accounts

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Perspectives on science and religion are complex, with many scientifically inclined individuals preferring certain religious accounts, according to an article published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

Timothy L. O'Brien, Ph.D., from the University of Evansville in Indiana, and Shiri Noy, Ph.D., from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, examined perspectives on science and religion in the United States.

The researchers identified three groups based on knowledge and attitudes about science and religiosity. The traditional perspective (43 percent) was characterized by a preference for religion versus science; the modern perspective (36 percent) favored science over religion; and the post-secular perspective (21 percent) viewed science and religion favorably. Post-seculars generally based their views in religion rather than science when faced with competing accounts of events, such as creation and evolution. Perspectives on science and religion were not found to reflect other denominational or ideological differences. Religious and scientific perspectives shaped attitudes relating to political issues that diverge between scientific and religious communities, such as abortion and stem cell research. Although most individuals favored either science or religious ways of understanding, certain religious accounts were preferred by many scientifically inclined individuals.

"This article underscores the complexity of the boundary between reason and faith and highlights the roots of political conflict in perspectives on science and religion in the United States," the authors write.

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