Guest / Limited Access /
Which Scientists Believe
Image: iStock

A new study that 2 million of the nation's 12 million scientists identify as evangelical Christians. In other words, if you were to convene all the evangelical scientists, they could populate the city of Houston.

The finding is the first to be made public from the largest study of American views on science and religion, which sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and her colleagues at Rice University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) wrapped up in early 2014. Seventeen percent of scientists said "evangelical" describes them "somewhat" or "very well," compared to 23 percent of all respondents.

It's a dramatically higher percentage than found in Ecklund's 2010 survey of scientists at top universities: only about 2 percent identified as evangelical. The new survey, by contrast, focused on "rank and file" scientists, including those in health care, life sciences, computers, and engineering.

The new survey also found that the same number of people in the general public perceive hostility by religious people toward science as perceive hostility by scientists toward religion—about 1 in 5. But among evangelical scientists, a strong majority (57 percent) perceive hostility from scientists toward religion. That suggests Christians in scientific fields have negative experiences with fellow scientists in the workplace regarding their faith.

Evangelical scientists are more active in their faith than American evangelicals in general, the survey indicates. They are more likely to consider themselves very religious, to attend religious services weekly, and to read religious texts at least every week.

As scientists at AAAS plan to engage more ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Quest for the Historical Wright
N.T. Wright told us his plans 15 years ago. How they have panned out.
RecommendedBaylor to Fire Head Coach Art Briles, Demote President Ken Starr
Baylor to Fire Head Coach Art Briles, Demote President Ken Starr
UPDATE: Briles, Starr, and athletic director Ian McCaw to face punishment after football player scandal.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickLetters with the Mosque Next Door
Letters with the Mosque Next Door
How a budding friendship between a pastor and an imam brought a community together.
Christianity Today
Which Scientists Believe
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.