Many religious organizations have issued statements declaring that there need not be any conflict between religious faith and the scientific perspective on evolution.1 Furthermore, contrary to stereotype, one certainly doesn't have to be an atheist in order to become a scientist.
Sociological studies (e.g., Ecklundt 2010) have probed the religiousbeliefs of scientists, particularly in the United States. Theyindicate a significant difference in religiosity in scientistscompared to the general population. Surveys such as those conducted bythe Pew forum (Masci and Smith 2016) find that nearly nine in tenadults in the US say they believe in God or a universal spirit, anumber that has only slightly declined in recent decades. Amongyounger adults, the percentage of theists is about 80%. Atheism andagnosticism are widespread among academics, especially among thoseworking in elite institutions. A survey among National Academy ofSciences members (all senior academics, overwhelmingly from elitefaculties) found that the majority disbelieved in God’sexistence (72.2%), with 20.8% being agnostic, and only 7% theists(Larson and Witham 1998). Ecklund and Scheitle (2007) analyzed responsesfrom scientists (working in the social and natural sciences) from 21elite universities in the US. About 31.2% of their participantsself-identified as atheists and a further 31 % as agnostics. Theremaining number believed in a higher power (7%), sometimes believedin God (5.4%), believed in God with some doubts (15.5%), or believedin God without any doubts (9.7%). In contrast to the generalpopulation, the older scientists in this sample did not show higherreligiosity—in fact, they were more likely to say that they didnot believe in God. On the other hand, Gross and Simmons (2009)examined a more heterogeneous sample of scientists from Americancolleges, including community colleges, elite doctoral-grantinginstitutions, non-elite four-year state schools, and small liberalarts colleges. They found that the majority of university professors(full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty) had some theistic beliefs,believing either in God (34.9%), in God with some doubts (16.6%), inGod some of the time (4.3%), or in a higher power (19.2%). Belief inGod was influenced both by type of institution (lower theistic beliefin more prestigious schools) and by discipline (lower theistic beliefin the physical and biological sciences compared to the socialsciences and humanities).
Relationship between religion and science - Wikipedia
Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict betweenreligion and science cannot exist, I must nevertheless qualify this assertiononce again on an essential point, with reference to the actual contentof historical religions. This qualification has to do with the conceptof God. During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution humanfantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of theirwill were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenalworld. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favorby means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught atpresent is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphiccharacter is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the DivineBeing in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.
Albert Einstein: Religion and Science
This entry describes the main tendencies of Enlightenment thought inthe following main sections: (1) The True: Science, Epistemology, andMetaphysics in the Enlightenment; (2) The Good: Political Theory,Ethical Theory and Religion in the Enlightenment; (3) The Beautiful:Aesthetics in the Enlightenment.
Coyne explains why he thinks religion and science are mutually ..
Also, at this point, normally nonscientific emotional factors can lead to divergent pathways. Scientists could be angry at polluters and choose to investigate the effects of pollutants; other scientists could investigate the results of smoking cigarettes on humans because they can earn a living doing this by working for tobacco companies; intuition can be used to suggest different approaches to problems; even dreams can suggest creative solutions to problems. I wish to emphasize, however, that the existence of these frankly widespread nonscientific emotional and cultural influences does compromize the ultimate reliability and objectivity of scientific results, because subsequent steps in the scientific method serve to eliminate these outside factors and allow science to reach reliable and objective conclusions (admittedly it may take some time for subjective and unreliable scientific results to be eliminated). There exists a school of thought today in the humanities (philosophy, history, and sociology) called post-modernism or scientific constructivism, that claims that science is a social and cultural construct, that scientific knowledge inevitably changes as societies and cultures change, and that science has no inherently valid foundation on which to base its knowledge claims of objectivity and reliability. In brief, post-modernists believe that the modern, scientific world of Enlightenment rationality and objectivity must now give way to a post-modern world of relativism, social constructivism, and equality of belief. Almost all scientists who are aware of this school of thought reject it, as do I; post-modernism is considered irrelevant by scientists and has had no impact on the practice of science at all. We will have to leave this interesting topic for a later time, unfortunately, but you may be exposed to these ideas in a humanities class. If you are, remember to think critically!
Comparing Similarities Between Science and Religion
Scientists never claim that a hypothesis is "proved" in a strict sense (but sometimes this is quite legitimately claimed when using popular language), because proof is something found only in mathematics and logic, disciplines in which all logical parameters or constraints can be defined, and something that is not true in the natural world. Scientists prefer to use the word "corroborated" rather than "proved," but the meaning is essentially the same. A highly corroborated hypothesis becomes something else in addition to reliable knowledge--it becomes a scientific fact. This type of reliable knowledge is the closest that humans can come to the "truth" about the universe (I put the word "truth" in quotation marks because there are many different kinds of truth, such as logical truth, emotional truth, religious truth, legal truth, philosophical truth, etc.; it should be clear that this essay deals with scientific truth, which, while certainly not the sole truth, is nevertheless the best truth humans can possess about the natural world).