Some people say it does (you can probably guess who).
I decided to comb the survey data to find any evidence for or against that hypothesis.
Here are a few excerpts:
Is there any connection between a person’s acceptance of mainstream scientific theories on origins and the strength of their Christian faith?
Indeed, many relationships are possible.
According to some young-earth creation advocates, any acceptance of standard time scales for the age of the earth and universe, and any acceptance of macroevolution, sows doubt in the reliability of Scripture and leads to deconversion and apostasy. Conversely, faith is bolstered by strict adherence to the young-earth paradigm.
Some theistic evolutionists see the mainstream scientific position less as an explanation of how things happened than as a description of how God created. They hold a high view of Scripture and perceive God as taking an active role in the creative process. Evidence of a designer is seen in the fine-tuning of the universe and the origin and complexity of life. They see no conflict between “secular” science and faith.
Other theistic evolutionists take a more deistic position. For them, evolution sufficiently explains the existence of life in all its forms, but God set the whole process in motion in an initial creative event. Evidence of a designer is seen in the universe, but life requires no additional explanation. They feel no tension between science and faith, but squaring the complete evolutionary paradigm with historic Christian theology requires a certain amount of intellectual contortion.
Progressive creationists accept mainstream time scales but are generally more skeptical toward macroevolution, attributing the saltatory nature of the fossil record to more or less discrete creative events. There is some tension between faith and secular science regarding the scope of evolution. Some who hold this view argue that the findings of modern science actually strengthen Biblical reliability.
At least three hypotheses explaining the connection between enduring faith and science should be considered.
Hypothesis #1: Because the Book of Genesis authoritatively teaches a young earth and universe, the earth and universe must, therefore, be young, and any acceptance of mainstream positions undermines trust in Scripture and is harmful to faith.
Hypothesis #2: The Book of Genesis and the Book of Nature can be interpreted in many consistent ways without undermining Biblical authority. Some are compatible with the mainstream scientific position. There is little, if any, connection between one’s view of origins and one’s Christian faith and practice.
Hypothesis #3: Scientific evidence for so-called “deep time” – i.e., billions of years – is irrefutable. If the Bible authoritatively states the earth is young, then it must be in error. Teaching young people the young-earth position potentially undermines Scriptural authority and is harmful to faith.
Hypotheses #1 and #3 are contradictory. The former suggests that accepting geological time scales imperils faith, while the latter suggests that not accepting geological time scales imperils faith. So which is it?
In the article linked below, for your interest, I look at data from Answers in Genesis, Pew Research, Barna Research, The Great Dechurching data, additional sources, and anecdotal data.
What emerges as most surprising was that the data from the AiG survey of 2009 actually undermines their own position:
When asked, “Has secular science dating the earth 6 billion years [sic] caused you to doubt the Bible?” a plurality of 46% answered “yes.” As for the 42% who answered “no,” it could be either because they still believed in a young earth or because they never believed in it and saw no conflict. Those results included both Sunday school attenders and nonattenders.
The subjects were also asked what most caused them to question the Bible. A plurality of 33% responded “nothing.” But the most common reason, given by 25% of respondents, was “Earth not less than 10,000 years old.” This is almost double the rate for the second most common response (“too many rules,” 12.8%).
For hypothesis #1 – that acceptance of “deep time” or evolution imperils faith – there is at least anecdotal evidence that this indeed happens. Some feel forced to choose between Scripture and mainstream science and choose science. But this finding begs the question of why the conflict exists. Does it arise from a faulty interpretation of science – or a faulty interpretation of Scripture?
Hypothesis #2 – there is no conflict between faith and science – seems to describe the vast majority of persons. In most surveys, only a relatively small minority attribute their doubt or skepticism to conflict over origins. Very, very few name it as the primary cause. [Only AiGs Already Gone survey found a stronger effect].
Our third hypothesis was that a conflict between faith and science would be mostly limited to those inculcated in the young-earth interpretation and that young-earth-oriented teaching might be the cause, rather than the cure, for doubt and loss of faith. While none of the studies cited above directly addressed that question, the data does seem to lean in this direction. Pastors, parents, and teachers should be cautious in anchoring Scriptural authority to a view of cosmogony and geology that is easily and inevitably challenged.
Full article here: