Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think 1st Edition
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"...a valuable foundation for conversations about religion in public life, both within the university and with a broader audience. The authors balance accessible prose and well-documented quantitative data, such that material from this book may be well-suited as an introductory text for courses on religion and science, survey methods in the study of religion, or for readers outside of higher education." -- Journal of Religion
"It is essential reading for all scholars, scientists, and religious people interested in the current relationship between religion and science and the possibilities of where it can go in the future." -- Antony Alumkal, Iliff School of Theology, Sociology of Religion
"It clearly demonstrates that we must move beyond general statements, to a nuanced view of questions around religious attitudes toward science ... The book's prose is clear, coherent, and succinct. The size is manageable and the scope broad enough to maintain the interest of the general reader ... For students of social science, it will provide a grounding in contemporary thinking, and methodological considerations, in studying religion and science. For communicators and educators, the book's lesson is clear: familiarity and dialogue fosters engagement and understanding." -- James Riley, Science and Education
"Essential reading for all scholars, scientists, and religious people interested in the current relationship between religion and science and the possibilities of where it can go in the future" -- Antony Alumkal, Sociology of Religion
"this volume offers cogent insight, most especially for readers interested in one of the goals of this journal: engaging the intersections of science and religion as they function in the lives of individuals and in societies." -- Christopher Hrynkow, Zygon
"One of the things I found most rewarding about reading Religion vs. Science" -- David Andrew Gilland , Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"[B]y overturning stereotypes and providing a positive impetus toward better communication and cooperation, Religion vs. Science comes as highly recommended reading for anyone interested and everyone involved in the dialogue between science and religion."--David Andrew Gilland, JAAR
"Throughout the book, Ecklund and Sheitle are able to use nationally-representative survey data to give a broad overview of the views of religious Americans, while using quotations from in-depth interviews to explain and elaborate on their statistical findings. Their research methods are carefully outlined in multiple appendices, but the authors also discuss their statistical research in the main text in a way that is readily accessible. The authors do an admirable job of explaining how they are able to include other factors in their analyses, such as demographics, in order to understand if a difference between groups is due to religion or some other cause Religion vs. Science provides a thorough and accessible overview of this topic in America and can serve as a springboard for further research on this topic."--Emily McKendry-Smith, Reading Religion
"The great thing about this book is not only the massive empirical evidence it brings to the question of what religious people think about science, but also its insistent refusal to endorse - or simplistically refute - the idea that religion and science are locked inevitably in conflict. It is the rich details that matter as Ecklund and Scheitle break down the religious population into specific traditions and as they address such controversial topics as creationism, evolution, climate change, and reproductive genetic technologies. Scientists and religious people alike should read this engagingly insightful book."--Robert Wuthnow, Director, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University
"Religion Vs. Science is for the scientist at church and the believer in the laboratory, and for all who want our convictions heard and want to know what others think. Ecklund and Scheitle explore today's collaborations and controversies with expansive research and concise explanations. A fascinating book for inquisitive minds."--Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals
"Ecklund and Scheitle expertly identify the wide range of myths held by the public about religion and science. This book synthesizes the scattered, specialized knowledge in the sociology of religion and science into one comprehensive, accessible, integrated presentation - complete with new data. I strongly recommend this book for everyone interested in the nuanced relationship between religion and science in the contemporary U.S."--John H. Evans, Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego
"Readers interested in knowing 'how the other half thinks' and who enjoy an elegant discussion of statistical data analysis will appreciates this volume."--Publishers Weekly
"Religion vs. Science presents a nuanced picture of the American religious landscape. By showing that religious people generally like science, it provides an alternative to the bipolar maps of the past. By acknowledging the lingering tensions between science and faith, it suggests that the potential for conflict remains." -- John Schmalzbauer, JSSR
About the Author
Elaine Howard Ecklund is Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Rice University. She is a sociologist whose research addresses religion in public life, particularly how individuals use race, gender, and religious identities to bring changes to religious and scientific institutions. She is the author of over sixty peer-reviewed articles, two books with Oxford University Press (including Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think). She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Christopher P. Scheitle is Assistant Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University. He has published over thirty peer-reviewed articles, two books, and has been awarded two grants by the National Science Foundation.
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There is, however, consensus among Christian Fundamentalists regarding science: absolute antipathy. This sizable minority of Christians demands that followers read the Bible literally. The Young Earth subset claims the Earth is less than ten thousand years old. That means that those believers must reject the portion of sciences that are involved in radiometric age dating which puts the Earth’s age at slightly more than 4.5 billion years. The Old Earth subset accepts the older age, but they and the Young Earth subset agree that the original plant and animal life, including man, were created in a six-day period a few thousand years ago. This rules out accepting anthropology, paleontology, historical geology, and portions of biology, among others. And of course, the cursed neo-Darwinian Evolution.
It would be bad enough if the Christian Fundamentalists only required its followers to believe all this.
But no, they want everyone to believe this. They want it taught in public schools. They want legislation at local, state and federal levels to accommodate these beliefs. They have restated those religious beliefs as their political beliefs and have the support of the GOP in pushing such legislation.
Ecklund and Scheitle tackled a pot-hole sized problem. If they really want to help, they should attack the foregoing black-hole sized problem.
Top international reviews
The research demonstrates that the situation is nowhere near as black and white as the media would lead us to believe and it is most enlightening. It seems that, for those folks who are not at the 'talk to the hand' stage of hating science for its own sake, the issue is all to do with "the perceived role of God in the world or the perceived sacredness of humanity" and it is an issue by issue discussion - from the fossil record to evolution and even to the environment. Yes this book is academic research, but it is very readable - its findings are really worth exploring.
The idea behind this research was to look beyond the myths that Christians (in particular, but people of faith in general) are closed minded to science and that there is no common ground for these two branches of human thought to coexist. The results are surprising but helpful, showing that pro-science groups present people of faith by exaggerated stereotypes and that pro-faith groups often make the same errors about scientists. There have been a number of works trying to bridge the gap between these mountains in recent years but this is the first i have seen that quantifies their height and suggest safe routes across them.
It discusses he myths that religious people do not like science or scientists, do not become scientists, are all young earth creationists and climate change deniers and are against the advance of technology. All their answers are based on hard data and lead you on an interesting journey to a final discussion of a way forward together. Recognising each others priorities and values is a real step in the right direction and this book fills a gap in the literature that has been there too long.
Whatever your position, this is a good read and a welcome academic piece that will be a great resource in the years to come in many undergraduate and post-graduate essays.
So the book goes on a journey to discover what do we really know about how scientists think about morality, spirituality and faith?
It's sort of philosophical but much more accessible than L'impossible dialogue : Sciences et religions
I particularly liked one of the later chapters in which they discussed that there is a 'myth that religious people do not like technology, whether it is the Internet, social media, or medical technologies. In fact, religious people’s concerns with many technologies mirror those of non-religious people.'
It concludes that both groups should recognize their assumptions about the other and how those assumptions are often incorrect or lack nuance.
I have to say though that to say 'two groups' is a little misleading for me. As I've met quite a few scientists that have a strong faith.
The only real draw back in this text is that it is written from an American context, which does not necessarily translate to a UK one, that said this is an interesting, intelligent and well written book.