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New survey finds religion and science closer than most Americans think

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A new survey presented by Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Autrey Professor of Sociology and director of Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, presented at the Feb. 16. 2014, session of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that the great gulf affixed between religion and science is not as wide as many Americans believe or desire.

The survey was based on the responses of 10,000 Americans that included scientists and evangelical Protestants.

Howard found that the same percentages of scientists believe in God as the general population and that scientists who consider themselves to be evangelical actually practice their religion by attending worship services and praying daily more often than evangelical Protestants in the general population.

Howard found that half of evangelicals think that science and religion can work together.

Howard also found that the same percentages of the general population think scientists are hostile to religion as the percentage scientists think most religious people are hostile to science.

The support of a great gulf between religion and science does serve the purposes of those in religion who write books in opposition to scientific concepts like evolution and also serves to provide politicians with fodder for attracting religious voters.

One doubts that the gulf between science and religion will be truly breached as long as there is a financial or political impetus to keep the gulf in place.

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