In Christian communities, science news on COVID-19 arrives in a landscape already shaped by tricky contours, including not only broader societal skepticism toward science but also unique concerns about whether science conflicts with faith. Within that context, the science and faith engagement organization BioLogos, in conjunction with Christianity Today, hosted a livestream event aimed at providing Christians with a trustworthy source on the coronavirus pandemic: Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health and an outspoken Christian. Collins addressed several questions on Monday, ranging from research on potential treatments and vaccines to ethics around triage and the origins of this new virus.
Since information proliferates through varying mediums and newsgathering methods can create conflicting narratives, the event centered on common questions arising among the general public. Though scientists have refuted it, many still question whether the new coronavirus could have originated in a lab. After all, there is a virology lab in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged. It turns out this idea holds more plausibility with Christians than with the general US population, according to a recent Pew Research poll.
About 36 percent of both white evangelicals and black Protestants believe that the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was made in a lab, either intentionally or accidentally, according to the March poll. Only 29 percent of all US adults surveyed agreed. Atheists are least likely to think the current strain was manufactured. Further, younger respondents believed this at higher rates than older respondents, as did Republicans or those more conservative politically.
Collins, who founded BioLogos ...1
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