By Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today.
Half of Americans who attend religious services weekly said science and religion are often in conflict, less than the 54 percent who attend monthly or yearly, and far less than the 73 percent who seldom or never attend.
“It is the least religiously observant Americans who are most likely to perceive conflict between science and religion,” stated lead author Cary Funk in today’s report.
White evangelicals are especially likely to say that science is compatible with faith: almost half (49%) agree, compared with 38 percent of all US adults. About three in ten (31%) black Protestants (two-thirds of whom identify as evangelical according to past Pew research), also said science and religion are mostly compatible.
But while almost 60 percent of Americans think science and religion often conflict, only 30 percent think science conflicts with their own religious beliefs, down from 36 percent in 2009. The drop was driven by the religiously affiliated, which fell from 41 percent to 34 percent; the religiously unaffiliated, or so-called “nones,” stayed constant at 16 percent.
“People’s sense that there generally is a conflict between religion and science seems to have less to do with their own religious beliefs than it does with their perceptions of other people’s beliefs,” Pew stated.
Evangelicals experience more personal conflict than the general public: 4 in 10 said their own beliefs sometimes conflicted with science. But even that number has decreased from 52 percent in 2009.