Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think

Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think fills a void in our knowledge by examining the religious views of elite scientists from top U.S. research universities. Until now, we have known little about scientists’ religious views.

Science vs. Religion presents the findings from the first systematic study of what scientists actually think and feel about religion. In the course of Elaine’s research, she surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and then interviewed 275 of them. It turns out that most of what we believe about the faith lives of scientists at elite universities is wrong. Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion. And a number of scientists are searching for “boundary pioneers” to cross the picket lines separating science and religion. Only a small minority are actively hostile to religion.

With broad implications for education, science funding, and the thorny ethical questions surrounding stem-cell research, cloning, and other cutting-edge scientific endeavors, Science vs. Religion brings a welcome dose of reality to the science and religion debates.