A study suggests that the majority of evangelical Christians are not as anti-science, antagonistic to science, or threatened by scientific advancement as they are often seen portrayed as being. This is suggested by a survey presented at a conference organized by AAAS on misconceptions between scientists and members of religious communities.
Professor of sociology and director of Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program Elaine Howard Ecklund says that nearly 70% of evangelical Christians do not view religion and science as being in conflict. Her study also seems to suggest that 21% of the evangelicals surveyed saw science and religion as entirely independent with each operating on separate views of reality; 48% saw them as complementary and thus capable of offering support for each other. However, it also seems that 29% of evangelists view science and religion in conflict and chose to support the side of religion. 60% of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “Scientists should be open to considering miracles in their theories and explanation.”
Ecklund does note that evolution remains a hot button for many evangelicals, a matter of special interest since evangelical Christians make up 25 to 30% of the U.S. population and therefore wield considerable influence on the public’s support for science. Evangelicals are “those who take the Bible seriously and who believe in Jesus Christ as savior and lord,” and pastors are urged to develop a strong, healthy relationship with scientists in their congregations.