This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/deborah-haarsma-the-presidents-notebook/new-pew-poll-shows-that-strongly-religious-americans-see-less-conflict-with-science
While encouraging, there is some indications that science to strongly religious people is not science as most of us think of it. In other words, I bet that if you ask Ken Ham if science is in conflict with the Bible, he would answer “No.”
I grew up in a conservative evangelical household and was an enthusiastic young-earth creationist for a good part of my childhood (and old-earth/ID for a while, too). Never once did I hear anyone say that science and the Bible were in conflict. In fact, everyone was falling over themselves to say that real science and the Bible were perfectly in harmony. I think this is important because a lot of people think Evangelicals dismiss science as unimportant and untrustworthy, but the real situation is more complex (as the survey indicates).
That’s the interesting thing. AIG thinks that they are doing “good” science and thus there is no conflict between “true” science and their religion. And Brad from an evangelical home would never see a conflict between science and Brad’s family’s religion. I’d say the conflict doesn’t exist in our minds. But we see the conflict in everybody elses’ mind.
Today to say that one is a-science or non-scientific, or anti-science is as bad as one saying that they are a-Christian theist. So how is the conflict resolved? You pick and chose what science you accept and what science you don’t. Sort of like selecting Bible verses to agree with one’s own version of Christianity. AIG is notorious for doing that. They read the same scientific findings and then force the results either to be wrong when they do not fit their views or “prove” that the scientists doing the work are operating from a different worldview. Take climate change, everybody sees the same data and research finding but then interprets the science within their worldview. So I am actually not surprised by the Pew Survey. Everybody else’s science is in conflict with their religion but my science is not in conflict because I make sure that my science and my religion is in harmony.
I think you have drawn a sound conclusion. Evangelicals, like other Christians and probably non-Christians, need good teaching about interpreting the Bible and discerning God’s Word embedded in it. The mission of BioLogos to do this is vital. I was born into an evangelical church and remain in one, despite having broadened my understanding of our Christian faith. I find it providential that our church focus is on embracing and sharing the gospel and following Jesus, and not on culture wars and fundamentalist straight jackets.
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