Monday, March 10, 2014

Should Scientists Believe in Miracles?


A massive new study shows that believers are open to science, but think science should also be open to miracles. But that misunderstands the entire point of scientific inquiry.
A provocative new study sure to get attention over the next few weeks was presented at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) . Elaine Ecklund, director of Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, and author of the groundbreaking, controversial Science vs. Religion:What Scientists Really Think, presented the study. Titled  “Religious Understandings of Science (RUS),” Ecklund’s study looked at public perceptions of science and religion from a number of angles. More than 10,000 Americans were interviewed, including many scientists and evangelical Protestants.

Consistent with Eklund’s early work, the study found that the religious beliefs and practices of scientists were similar to those of the general public. It also found that nearly half of America’s evangelicals believe that “science and religion can work together and support one another.” Eklund is optimistic that this provides a “hopeful message for science policymakers and educators, because the two groups don’t have to approach religion with an attitude of combat.”

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