Can evangelicals and scientists co-exist? Better yet, can evangelicals and scientists find common ground?
The National Association of Evangelicals believes the answer is an astounding, “Yes.”[dropcap]T[/dropcap] he NAE just released an important resource for evangelicals on questions that arise at the intersection of faith and science. The booklet “When God and Science Meet” is a collections of 10 essays from leading evangelicals and scientists exploring topics such as:
The History of Science and Christianity
Genetics, Medicine and the Image of God
The Competencies and Limitations of Science
Science as a Christian Calling
Technology, Creation Care, among other topics
The NAE is releasing this resource in response to a couple of surveys that revealed a perceived clash between scientists and evangelicals. In 2010 Rice University Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund surveyed 1,700 natural and social scientists at elite universities and found that only about two percent identified as evangelical. The results which also found that only a small minority of scientists were actively hostile to religion, were published in her book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Believe.
In 2014, Ecklund and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conducted the largest study of American views on science and religion. Among the 574 self-identified scientists, 17% defined themselves as evangelical. And among the more than 2,000 self-identified evangelical Christians surveyed, nearly 70 percent of them do not view religion and science as being in conflict. *The 2014 survey focused on “rank and file” scientists including those in health care, life sciences, computers, and engineering.[message type=”simple”][one_half]17% of 574 self-identified scientists defined themselves as evangelical[/one_half] [one_half_last]70% of evangelical Christians did not see a conflict between science and religion[/one_half_last][/message]
But now the NAE has partnered with the AAAS and Rice University on a three-year project that investigates the perceptions members of these communities have about one another, with a goal to increase understanding and foster dialogue about science and faith.
As pastors we often keep silent on science, because we don’t know what to say or because we don’t want to engage or escalate unwanted debates.
The booklet does not answer all the questions, but it unites the conversation in a way that values and respects both faith and science.
“When God and Science Meet: Surprising Discoveries of Agreement” is available free of charge for download here.
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