Public Perceptions of Incompatibility Between “Science and Religion”

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Narratives of conflict regarding the connections between science and religion receive considerable attention in multiple forums of public discourse. These discussions tend to focus on philosophical, abstract, and/or polemical, rather than empirical issues. Data from a 2007 national survey indicate that a relatively small proportion of American adults perceive incompatibility between science and religion. Those who do are divided evenly into groups privileging science and privileging religion. These groups are markedly different with regard to sociodemographic and religious characteristics. Overall, I advocate a theoretical perspective on “science and religion” that is culturally constructionist, but methodologically empiricist.