The Economist has an article out this month on the historical tension between faith and science in the United States. The article discusses some of the historical battles between conservative Christians and those in the scientific community (e.g. evolution, stem cell research). Also discussed is the dismissive stance of many Christians towards the larger environmental movement. However, this clear cut distinction between Christians and the science world is not so clear cut after all.
A recent survey conducted by Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund, a sociologist at Rice University, found that most “rank-and-file” scientists (9,000 were polled) “were only a bit less religious that the average American.” This contrasted a 2010 survey conducted by Dr. Ecklund which found that out of 1,700 scientists from elite universities, “About a third were atheists (as opposed to fewer than one-in-20 ordinary Americans), just under a third were agnostics, and the rest reported varying degrees of belief.” The article then asks, “Perhaps Ivy League scientists are ultra-secular because they are Ivy League, not because they are scientists?”