People of faith, whether they’re evangelical Christians or atheists, are often accused of denying scientific facts or lying when they argue that their religion should trump the public interest.
But when it comes to the cosmos, religion and science don’t always go hand in hand.
This infographic from the National Institutes of Health shows the top 10 religions, by their adherents, for the number of science teachers and scientists in the U.S. “It’s the science,” says Christian Adams, an assistant professor of history and religion at the University of Georgia.
Adams and other experts point to research that shows religious believers are more likely to be exposed to scientific knowledge than atheists, and less likely to believe that the universe has a beginning.
The top five most popular science beliefs in the United States are: 1.
We know that the earth is 6,000 years old.
Our universe is billions of years old, but the Earth is just 1.4 billion years old (the age of our solar system).
Our sun formed about 3.6 billion years ago.
The earth is the center of the universe.
The universe is a single, omnipotent entity.
It is the science, Adams said.
But it’s also the science that many of us think we know, which is a bit confusing, he added.
Scientists who study religion often say the biggest obstacle to accepting scientific facts is the religious community’s insistence that the science isn’t real.
That can lead to people denying scientific information, the authors of the 2015 study wrote.
For example, the U-Va.
survey found that the majority of people believe that climate change is caused by humans, but a small minority believe that it is caused primarily by natural disasters.
“In general, it’s not the scientific facts that are the problem, but rather the religious beliefs,” Adams said, referring to the people who believe the science.
“The problem is not that they’re wrong, but that they believe in some kind of magical belief system that somehow denies reality.”
The survey also found that religious beliefs are more prevalent among older Americans.
People who were born in the early 1900s were more likely than people born in recent decades to be religious.
People born in 1940 or earlier were also more likely that they believed that God created the universe and that life began in the womb.
While there is no evidence that people in older age groups are less likely than younger generations to be atheists, Adams and others say that can be an obstacle to reaching a broader population of people who are skeptical of the scientific community.
The bottom line: If we want to build bridges between science and faith, we need to understand and respect the science and the religious communities, Adams added.
“Science isn’t going away,” Adams told Business Insider.
“But if we’re going to be honest, we’ll need to be willing to accept the fact that religion has its own set of issues, and that’s something that we have to be mindful of.
For example, when people hear that scientists believe that there’s a single Creator, they’re likely to respond, ‘Who are you kidding?
I don’t think that exists,'” he said.
But scientists aren’t necessarily looking for that kind of response, he said, because scientists know that belief in a single creator can lead us to misunderstand or misrepresent scientific findings.
So how can science help bridge the divide between believers and nonbelievers?
Adams is hopeful that more research will find evidence that the two groups can work together on issues such as climate change and evolution.
In addition, he hopes that the study will help scientists understand what types of questions they’re most likely to answer in research, rather than what they’re least likely to.
“I think this study has been a really important contribution to the dialogue,” he said of the study.
And, he adds, the study offers hope to those who see religion as the only acceptable belief system.
“There’s not really any reason that a religious belief system should be the only option for people who want to make decisions about the way they live their lives,” Adams added, noting that many people may be uncomfortable with religion but would rather do what they can to make the world a better place.
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