Steve Rainwater is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Steve Rainwater is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Templeton Foundation Fund Impartially Questioned

There has been continued tension between science and religion. Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher P. Scheitle wrote a piece in Religion News Service states that the present crop of “New Atheist” have the opinion that religious people are not compatible with science. They use questionable sources, that may have been paid to mention two New Atheists by name: Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

The authors said that the claims by the New Atheists are true for certain religious figures like Ken Ham's Creationist theories and his goal to discredit the Evolution theory. They went on to say that such vocal voices may not represent most Christian or any religious voice at all. To buttress this claim, they have conducted a substantial number of interviews and numerous visits to various churches and similar destinations. The aim of the study was to comprehend the relationship which supposedly links science and religion. The result of all these endeavors: there is no evidence that the religious are hostile, pessimistic, or disinterested concerning science.

Scheitle and Ecklund wrote that when they asked the evangelical respondents of the survey about the relationship existing between science and religion, the oft-repeated answer was that they are collaborative in nature. About 48 percent of evangelicals harbor the view that the two support one another. Approximately 21 percent of the polled evangelicals believe that science and religion are independent. They both refer to the reality's different aspects. It was seen in the survey that support for science among individuals increase when they observe its real-life applications like the alleviation of suffering or serving others.

Critics of such a study point out that a number of religious people believe that their beliefs do not oppose science when they actually do so. To give an example, conservative Christians express disbelief in climate change or believe evolution to be a hoax.

This study was conducted with funding from The Templeton Foundation. This organization has the known agenda of always trying to portray that religion and science are compatible with each other. The organization's reputation in this regard has compelled Dawkins himself to condemn the well-known “Templeton Prize.” He said that the money from the group is generally used to corrupt science.

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