In a time when conservative politicians challenge the irrefutability of scientific findings such as climate change, it is more important than ever to understand the conflict at the heart of the “religion vs. science” debates unfolding in the public sphere. In this groundbreaking work, John H. Evans reveals that, with a few limited exceptions, even the most conservative religious Americans accept science’s ability to make factual claims about the world. However, many religious people take issue with the morality implicitly promoted by some forms of science. Using clear and engaging scholarship, Evans upends the prevailing notion that there is a fundamental conflict over the way that scientists and religious people make claims about nature and argues that only by properly understanding moral conflict between contemporary religion and science will we be able contribute to a more productive interaction between these two great institutions.
John H. Evans is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.
"John H. Evans successfully relocates religious concerns about science from the realm of knowledge to that of moral value. He is by far the best (i.e., the most sophisticated) of the sociologists."—Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison
"This is just the kind of volume that academics, journalists, and policymakers who are concerned about the future of science need. Evans argues that contemporary debate around religion and science in the U.S. public sphere assumes that religious people lack knowledge of science. In reality, most everyday Americans (even conservative Protestants) accept and uphold science. The kind of synthetic field-building work that Evans does is needed in this burgeoning area."—Elaine Howard Ecklund, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Rice University