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Who would have thought that scientists would be religious?

 
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 06:47 am
Quote:
Those in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than researchers in the natural sciences, the study found.

The opposite had been expected.


It seems to me that those people who are in the natural sciences would, because of their adherence to empiricism, would be LESS likely to believe in a God. The social sciences, being more subjective, might very well attract a person of faith.

I am curious as to how the author of the piece came to his erroneous conclusion. It all seems so obvious to me.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 07:01 am
Its a package deal. The aspects that draw people into the natural sciences arethe same things that apply in their everyday lives

Skepticism

data and evidence

ignorance is a great opportunity to do more work

repeatable evidence

present your data in front of a bunch of similar minded folks who will take pleasure at tearing your pet theory into shreds

a belief that "youre really on to something"

Many of these above attributes are inconsistent with a life as a believer.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 08:11 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Quote:
Those in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than researchers in the natural sciences, the study found.

The opposite had been expected.


It seems to me that those people who are in the natural sciences would, because of their adherence to empiricism, would be LESS likely to believe in a God. The social sciences, being more subjective, might very well attract a person of faith.

I am curious as to how the author of the piece came to his erroneous conclusion. It all seems so obvious to me.


Well, I think this biography may help:

Quote:
Elaine Howard Ecklund received her B.S. in Human Development in 1995 from Cornell University. While here she was a member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and upon graduation took a position as InterVarsity staff. After three years she returned to Cornell to begin her doctoral degree in Sociology. She received her M.A. in Sociology in 2001 for her work on feminism and women's leadership in the Catholic Church, and will defend her dissertation, The "Good" American: Religion and Civic Adaptation Among Second-Generation Korean Americans this spring.

Among her many awards she received Sage Fellowships in 1998-1999 and 2001-2002, Teaching Awards in 2001 and 2003, and a 2003 Albert S. Roe Graduate Student Research Award. She was involved in the Pew Mentoring Program from 2000-2003 and continues to be an active member of the Graduate Christian Fellowship.

Source: http://www.chestertonhouse.org/ecklundbio.html


And of course, this one:

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~soci/People/ecklund.htm.

Just look at her research areas, just look at who she was once funded by. Not that I'm saying her work isn't valid. I'm just saying that she doesn't really seem to have much knowledge about scientists to be able to form a good null hypothesis to test.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 08:35 am
I don't see where the contradiction is. Scientists know that the fact that you can't prove something doesn't mean it isn't true, it just means you can't empirically prove it.

As I recall, it was a physicists belief in God that led him to discover magnetic fields. It seems to me that, for certain sciences, it would be hard to study them for any length of time without coming to the conclusion that there must be a god of some sort. Mathematics, for one, I can personally attest to.

But it would be the rare scientist who can't separate his/her beliefs from his/her work and be prepared to accept contradictions of one by the other.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2005 08:41 am
I'm not finding a lot to dispute Ecklund's study and am finding quite a bit to support it. Such as the following (which wasn't restricted to academic scientists only as Ecklund's study was):

Quote:
All Things Considered, April 4, 1997 ยท NPR's David Baron reports that religious faith is not dead in the scientific community. A survey reported this week in the journal "Nature" found 40-percent of scientists believe in God, meaning a personal divinity to whom one can pray for answers. The finding is virtually unchanged from a poll conducted 80-years ago and raises questions about how scientists who believe in God manage to reconcile conflicts between their faith and their work.
LINK


I couldn't access Terry's site to determine the source of the cited study. Nor could I access Wolf's site with Ecklund's biography. A quick Google came up with the same bio information he posted. Her study however has been quoted:

HERE
HERE
and
HERE
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2005 07:03 am
Foxfyre wrote:
I'm not finding a lot to dispute Ecklund's study and am finding quite a bit to support it. Such as the following (which wasn't restricted to academic scientists only as Ecklund's study was):


Nor am I, but then again, I can't even find the original study itself. I'm sure what she's found is reasonably correct and nothing new, but I'd still like to have a look at her methodology.

Quote:
Nor could I access Wolf's site with Ecklund's biography.


Yes, the Rice University pulled her biography down for some strange reason, or changed its URL. However, you could have gone to the Chesterton House one. That's still up.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2005 07:13 am
I did, but didn't find anything as sinister about her as you implied in your post.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2005 12:26 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
I don't see where the contradiction is. Scientists know that the fact that you can't prove something doesn't mean it isn't true, it just means you can't empirically prove it.



Thank you!
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2005 01:32 pm
Mills75 wrote:
Religion and science don't mix and competent scientists who subscribe to a faith don't try. The key word here is faith; faith is believing in something for which there is no proof. Science is based on empiricism. In other words, it relies unequivocally on physical evidence and, to some degree, on extrapolation based on previously discovered laws or principles. Competent scientists of faith simply do what we all do: they separate some aspects of their lives from other aspects.

Many scientists believe in God or a higher power, but they don't allow religious dogma to interfere with their quest for knowledge. No competent physicist or geologist believes in the young Earth idea connected to creationism, there is no debate about the validity of evolution in the scientific community, and few competent scientists really believe Noah built a boat big enough to hold two of every animal. We would decertify the physician who relied on prayer rather than medicine to heal, prosecute the psychologist who counseled a modern day Abraham to do what the voices told him to and sacrifice his son, and fire the physicist whose research conclusion read "Everything is the way it is because God wants it that way.

This is no wake up call and will come as a surprise only to those who are unfamiliar with the scientific community. Scientists of faith simply realize what so many don't--the existence of God is unprovable, and that's okay because it wouldn't be faith otherwise.


WOW.....great post. I wish I could give you a cookie.
0 Replies
 
Ray
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2005 04:51 pm
Newton was a Christian. Was Einstein a pantheist?
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 05:31 am
Foxfyre wrote:
I did, but didn't find anything as sinister about her as you implied in your post.


I didn't intend to imply anything sinister, only that she didn't really have much experience in the physical sciences to begin with and hence probably wouldn't have realised the differences between the two "disciplines".


(I was trying to explain why she had such an erroneous belief that people in the physical sciences would believe in God more, which I have found through no research at all, to be false).

Einstein, I suspect was Jewish, and his belief of God led him to say the erroneous, "God does not play dice" in reference to quantum physics. Well, maybe God doesn't, but the Universe certainly does and he died in the belief that he was right about quantum physics when he was actually wrong.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 05:42 am
I would imagine, however, that her experience is that people in the physical sciences are more likely to be believers than are people in the social sciences. That has been my experience too even among members of my own family. So from my perspective, it was a logical error to make. Especially if you consider medicine to be a physical science.
0 Replies
 
Mills75
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2005 07:40 am
maporsche wrote:
Mills75 wrote:
Religion and science don't mix and competent scientists who subscribe to a faith don't try. The key word here is faith; faith is believing in something for which there is no proof. Science is based on empiricism. In other words, it relies unequivocally on physical evidence and, to some degree, on extrapolation based on previously discovered laws or principles. Competent scientists of faith simply do what we all do: they separate some aspects of their lives from other aspects.

Many scientists believe in God or a higher power, but they don't allow religious dogma to interfere with their quest for knowledge. No competent physicist or geologist believes in the young Earth idea connected to creationism, there is no debate about the validity of evolution in the scientific community, and few competent scientists really believe Noah built a boat big enough to hold two of every animal. We would decertify the physician who relied on prayer rather than medicine to heal, prosecute the psychologist who counseled a modern day Abraham to do what the voices told him to and sacrifice his son, and fire the physicist whose research conclusion read "Everything is the way it is because God wants it that way.

This is no wake up call and will come as a surprise only to those who are unfamiliar with the scientific community. Scientists of faith simply realize what so many don't--the existence of God is unprovable, and that's okay because it wouldn't be faith otherwise.


WOW.....great post. I wish I could give you a cookie.

I wish you could give me a cookie, too. :wink:

(Mmmmm....cookies.....)
0 Replies
 
 

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