Representatives of the Templeton Foundation were once again claiming in a “research paper” presented at the AAAS (jesus…..) that religion and science are the same thing, and that religious people love science and scientists love religion—maybe not the elitist scientists, but you know, the everyday ordinary scientists (with the lab in their basement?). We have no idea what data were being presented, since I do not associate with religious people masquerading as scientists nor would I attend the AAAS meetings since I’m just a sociologist. I assume it’s the usual shit data, but probably new, and even shittier! So, just for shits and giggles I took the GSS occupational codes (the 1980 version which is good from 1988-2010 in the GSS) and I classified all of the “regular” scientists (number of scientists or STEM occupations with a college degree is 750 for religious identification, 532 for Bible beliefs, and 330 for beliefs about gods)—including also engineers and physicians. As you can see above, the scientists are significantly and substantially less religious than other people who hold a college degree, and especially from other Americans who do not have a college degree. Notably, people who have a college degree are also less religious than are the majority of Americans who do not have a college degree. Religion hinders educational attainment, and educational attainment reduces religiosity.
Scientists are four times less likely to believe that the bible is the word of god when compared to the majority of uneducated Americans. And, ,they’re nearly half as likely to believe the bible is the word of some god when compared to other college educated Americans. And, scientists are about four times as likely to think the Bible is a book of fables than to think it the word of some god. About a third of scientists don’t believe in a god, compared to about 14% of uneducated Americans and 25% of college educated Americans. Under 9% of scientists identify with sectarian protestant denominations (what Templeton likes to call “evangelicals”), while 29% of uneducated Americans identify with these groups (only 14% of college graduates identify as sectarian). And, scientists are almost twice as likely to reject religious identification when compared to the uneducated.
Science and religion are in conflict, and because of that religious people are hostile to science (more on this soon), and scientists avoid religion, particularly noxious varieties of fundamentalist religion.