Survey: When science and faith collide, faith usually wins


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  • maclouie Falconer, NY
    May 9, 2014 1:28 p.m.


    Just could not resist commenting on your comment: science is proven right every time.

    That makes me laugh.

    How many theories of the atom were thought up by scientists in the last 100 years? Which theory do you accept for the universe? String or particle? What is the speed of light? etc stc. Science has been wrong more times than it has been right.

    For those that think faithful people believed the world was flat ought to do some research on where that myth came from. It was invented in the 1800's by an American author trying to make religious Europeans look dumb. No one ever believed the earth was flat.

  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    May 7, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    I, too, found this article and some of the comments depressing. You see people saying that fish should magically turn to mammals without more than the tiniest fraction of a percent of the time required for such a process. Maybe they believe in pixies and unicorns, too. In short, all around, you see far too many religious people declare, in word and deed, their utter contempt for the scripture "The glory of God is intelligence, which is light and truth." When so many Christians can't be bothered to look up actual facts but CAN be bothered to utter nonsence in public like it's fact, is it any wonder that atheism is growing? The closeminded, arrogant ignorance of many religious people is driving SO many away from Christianity, and I have trouble blaming the atheists too much. We canot return to the Dark Ages just because some are too ignorant to understand anything from Darwin to DNA, nor can mere scientific fact alone give us the deep truths found in Sacred Writ. Pitting one kind of truth against another is NOT and will NEVER be a part of the Gospel of Christ.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    May 5, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    "When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can’t argue against faith," Duke University biochemist Robert Lefkowitz, who won a Nobel Prize in 2012, told The Associated Press. He called faith "untestable."

    Are you calling 15+ million people liars? People who have tested Moroni's promise, which requires faith, are lying when they share their testimonies of what they know to be true?

    If you think tests require something tangible, you will only get to the tip of the iceberg. Our view of the world is limited and we cannot see all things yet. But the time will come where, if you have faith, you will see what Moses, the brother of Jared, Nephi, and, most importantly, God can see. You will see how everything works, why things happen.

    This is what science is. It is faith and research about how things work in the universe.

    May 3, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    I don't think it's relevant to ask if someone believes in the Big Bang or in Darwinian Evolution. What's the point? Is it some kind of litmus test for the new state religion or something?

    As an engineer, I use science that is useful. I don't have to "believe" in it, I just need to know what works. Newton's laws work fine if I'm designing a bridge, but fail miserably if I'm designing a GPS satellite. That doesn't mean they're right or wrong, it just means they're applicable to specific situations. I expect when we make it to the other side we'll find that we've oversimplified everything scientific, that what we call "fact" and "scientific truth" are nothing more than simplified models that happen to be useful in some circumstances.

    The Big Bang, Darwinian Evolution, and AGW happen to be examples of really poor science. Our grandchildren will laugh at us for having given them so much credence. As for me, I'll reserve what few neurons I have left for the useful stuff and the stuff that makes sense.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 2, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    All I can say.

    What the?...

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 2, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    "To be fair, Roger Bacon was the first to articulate an early form of the scientific method, but it was not fully fleshed out and put to use until around 1600" The scientific method he learned from studying older Islamic texts.

    A really narrow view of science considering a lot of the things they discovered and wrote about are still the basis of today's science. How do you discount their scientific achievements, because the word was not used until the 1800s? Trying to disassociate science from mathematics is a weak argument at best. You can't understand chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, or any other science without understanding mathematics.

    Maybe your argument is why so many people treat science as a religion, because they don't see it having an existence that predates the modern era.

    I'm out.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 2, 2014 5:30 p.m.


    The God of the bible never taught the world was flat.

    The God of the bible never taught that disease was caused by sin or demons. But you certainly can avoid some diseases following his teachings.

    God of the bible never taught that all earthquakes were his wrath, though he has caused then as punishment after warning sinful people.

    All the things the faithless people say that is negative about religion, do not come from the God of the bible.
    But from men who are ignorant or who have an agenda.
    Science may have propose evolution as an explanation but it is a very bad explanation.

    Not based on hard science,

    but on the science of assumption and suppositions, weaving fantastic stories based solely on just possibilities (may haves, might have, possibly could haves), invented and imagined relationships. It's all very creative, but not hard science.

    With evolution everything is possible, but nothing is actually provable.

    Very clever, but very deceptive.

    Science is NOT opposition to faith,

    True religion and faith is not in opposition to science,

    men are in opposition to faith and science,

    Science and faith are just different side s of the coin of truth.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 2, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    @jsf – “Yes science is only 400 years old. Really.”

    Yes, really…

    Again, we’re talking about the difference between the scientific method - which ignores tradition in favor of logical methods, observation, experimentation, testable hypotheses, and verification - and speculations coupled with crude observations. All of those guys you mention (and others) were smart, admirable and important but none were scientists in the modern sense of the word.

    Prior to modern science these speculations most often relied on tradition and authority (which was often church authority) which is why many of Aristotle’s speculations about the natural world – and Aristotle was considered THE unquestioned authority for centuries – were easily toppled once modern science was applied… around 400 years ago.

    To be fair, Roger Bacon was the first to articulate an early form of the scientific method, but it was not fully fleshed out and put to use until around 1600 – coincidentally, around the same time the church stopped burning “heretics” for challenging authority (church, Aristotle, the Bible, etc…).

    And let’s not confuse the issue by bring in math (deduction) as science (induction).

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 2, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    @mcclark "Galileo, among many others, would dispute what you have to say."
    You mean he would dispute the idea the church and the consensus of scientist were trying to censor him.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 2, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    The major difference is that science is an inherent natural element of the universe while religion is a man organized institution to help man cope with his fears of the unknown and provide collective reassurance .

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 2, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    Thales (640-546 BC), dubbed the "father of science
    Pythagoras was the first to postulate that the Earth is spherical.
    A concrete instance of Pythagoras' law was recorded, as early as the 18th century BC:
    Leucippus (5th century BC) introduced atomism, the theory that all matter is made of indivisible, imperishable units called atoms.
    Kiddinu's value for the solar year is in use for today's calendars.
    According to the historian A. Aaboe, all subsequent endeavour in the exact sciences—depend upon Babylonian astronomy in decisive and fundamental ways.
    Ancient Egypt made significant advances in astronomy, mathematics and medicine.
    The Edwin Smith papyrus is one of the first medical documents and still might be seen as the very beginnings of modern neuroscience.
    Leucippus (5th century BC) introduced atomism, the theory that all matter is made of indivisible, imperishable units called atoms.
    Archimedes used the method of exhaustion to approximate the value of π.
    Aristarchus was the first known person to propose a heliocentric model of the solar system,
    Eratosthenes accurately calculated the circumference of the Earth.
    Yes science is only 400 years old. Really.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 2, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    Hopefully, God is more like Reed Richards than Sheldon Cooper.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    JSK I think Galileo, among many others, would dispute what you have to say.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    May 2, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    "an we believe he will yet reveal many great and important truths pertaining...."

    There are such things as absolute truths. Some that might even appear to contradict with each other. Our understanding of them continues to grow each day.

    I like proven scientific principles but I would not accept that they will prove that there is no God. It will be our understanding of science and God that will allow us to say "so that is how it was done.

    For those faith believers who are inflexible and limit knowledge to a strict interpretation of the bible (world created in six 24 hour days) rather than accept interpretations / symbylisms that allow science and the bible to agree ( world created in distinctive creative periods) make it harder to show the logic that faith in God includes.

    I do not believe we are only highly evolved cockroaches or apes and when we learn how science fits into the creation narrative,we will be glad to say, Oh, so that is how he did it. And since it was God how did it that way, however it happened it will be good and right.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 2, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    @jsf – “these were the observations of the scientists of those days. The church had concurred with the consensus of the scientific body”

    Except there were no scientists until about 400 years ago…

    What they were doing prior to that was mostly speculation (with a smattering of crude observation) and the speculations that agreed with religious dogma were considered knowledge, and were the only speculations supported by the church & state (which used to be synonymous).

    And yes, science is often superseded by better science, but what is key to note here is that science is never superseded by religion (i.e., name one fact about the natural world for which we once had a scientific explanation but now have a better religious one).

    @Sasha Pachev – “If we cannot do it in a lab we are in a weak position to argue that this happened randomly.”

    Not sure how that’s possible without altering the time constant by a factor of about a million. That said, without evolution life on earth is an utter mystery – with evolution it’s very explainable.

    Anyway… I find this article incredibly depressing.

  • J.D. Aurora, CO
    May 2, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    Yeah sometimes we just have to re-evaluate our conclusions about what we believed. I was struggling with the BOM,but Bro. Terryl Givens spoke at one of our firesides and said you do not have to believe in a literal BOM to be a faithful member. This was a great peace for me as I never bought into the whole historic validity.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 2, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    I think we would do well to divide the science into two parts - "We think we understand it and we can make it work" vs just "We think we understand it". The real hard science you do not argue with should be the first kind. The second kind should be considered a scientific candidate and remain in that state until there is at least a working example of some sort. So our knowledge about electromagnetic waves, gravity, and the shape of the earth for example would be in the category of hard science. Evolution has not yet earned the right to be there. We should not call it hard science until we at the very least are able to artificially create a primitive living organism out of raw elements or via genetic engineering make one species evolve into another significantly different, e.g fish to mammal. If we cannot do it in a lab we are in a weak position to argue that this happened randomly.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 2, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Faith usually wins, and it shows. In our production of engineers. In our school results versus other countries. In our day to day thought process and conversation. We've given up holding ourselves to a standard that requires proof or thought.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 2, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    "Where to start, the world is round, not flat, the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. I could go on an on,"

    Note, these were the observations of the scientists of those days. The church had concurred with the consensus of the scientific body. When individuals dared to disagree, the scientific consensus and the church sought to censor them. So it is a false argument to claim that just the church was disproved. It was both science and the church.

    Just like when science stated the atoms where the basic building blocks, no wait electrons, protons, and neutrons were the basic building blocks, no wait, still looking for the god particle which is the basic building block.

    Science is often disproved as new information becomes available.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 2, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    Another pointless article trying to divide us as "rational" vs. "faith-based" human beings. We're more complex than that, people. I encourage and teach my kids to learn all they can about science AND religion. For me, the abundant life is a rich combination of both. Both bring me great intellectual and spiritual satisfaction and help me understand the world around me and the people in it and inform how I want to live and treat others, as well as my respect and awe for the universe. To me, we are making an artificial divide.

    We live in this life by faith. When we die and faith is no longer necessary, we will view these arguments as something just for this time. I want to keep learning and finding out how everything works.

    Personally, I believe in man-made global warming, evolution as a part of creation, and that neither Science nor Religion can completely explain everything, but together, they aid our pursuit of truth and knowledge.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 2, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Science seeks to find natural causes for things that happen in our world. Religion sought and still seeks to explain certain phenomena with supernatural causes. In the long history of the world every time a religion used a supernatural explanation for something scientific examination found that there were in fact only natural causes. There has not been a single event in all of history where people believed something had a natural cause and then after investigation found a supernatural one instead. The record is literally billions to zero.

    I realize people still believe in a supernatural being despite this fact but for the life of me I can't understand why. This is why I can't believe Badgerbadger's comment was serious. Every time religion has ever proposed a supernatural explanation for anything natural ones were found. God is continually shrinking, he has become the god of the gaps and those gaps get smaller everyday. God explanations for events have lost every single time to actual investigation and I'm betting that record will continue.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 2, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    I'm not at all surprised by the response to the survey. Faith has the easy answers. Science is more complicated. Too many people just don't have the patience for complicated answers.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Badgerbager Where to start, the world is round, not flat, the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. I could go on an on, but what you said is 180 degrees wrong. Science has been proven right every time.

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    May 2, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    I think that scientists and creationists alike are going to be shocked when they realize that God is a scientist, not a magician.

    May 2, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Science seeks to explain and define the natural world around us. It is focused on observable, repeatable phenomena.

    Faith is concerned with much larger issues, such as our origin, the purpose of life, etc. These are all things science cannot address.

    Science cannot prove Faith wrong, just as Faith cannot prove Science wrong. They are not concerned with the same thing. One is of the natural world, the other is of the eternal realm...

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 2, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    I believe that scientific observation works to the extent that instruments can measure. God works through natural laws, but He is quite capable of occasionally superceding them.

    Where faith and science differ is that some scientists believe that there can be no God. I suggest that their instruments are not yet up to the task of making this observation.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 2, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    "The story of the cosmos and the Big Bang of creation is not inconsistent with the message of Genesis 1,”

    I absolutely agree. In fact, the more I know about cosmology (the science of the beginning of the universe -- or should I say the 'creation' of the universe) the more I understand that science is not able to prove or disprove God being present in a parallel universe which is a part of the bigger multiverse.

    The best theory I have heard for why the gravity force is so incredibly weak relative to other funamental forces, - electricity, magnetism, the weak and strong nuclear force is that gravity is leaking in from a parallel universe. So that opens up the idea of the other universes where the force constants are different. So then the bronze age idea of visions and spirits, may be bronze age ways of talking about parallel universes where the force constants are different and things, like gravity for example, are leaking into our universe.

    An evangelical who does not believe in the Big Bang is not more faithful or pious. He/she is just not good at science, that's all.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    May 2, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    If you don't think science works then step away from your computer. It and everything else around you are the result of science.

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    May 2, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    @Badgerbadger What science and history books are you reading?!

    To the believers credit, I don't recall God explicitly dictating any scientific laws. However, not believing in science simply because of a "I don't want it to be true because that makes me believing in my religion harder" mentality is quite simply foolish.

    Separate your religion from science if you need to, but don't discredit science simply because of what was written in a book a couple thousand years ago. Humanity didn't even have telescopes back then!

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    May 2, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    A few thoughts. PI is not equal to 3.0. There is no physical evidence of Noah's flood (and that the animals unique to Australia are still there is evidence against it). If the Creator is still guiding things today, He was also guiding things during the 140 million years of the dinosaurs (and what a bloody time that was). With Google Earth, one should (Bibically speaking) be able to find the Garden Of Eden. It seems to be missing.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Faith may be more popular, but in no way is it winning. That the world was flat, that disease was caused by demons or sin, that earthquakes were the wrath of God, those things were based on faith. Science lets you talk to someone on the other side of the world, cures polio, and sends people into outer space. The latest Pew study shows the "nones' are growing. Those are the atheists or those with no religious affiliation. It is my hope that within 50 years current religious dogma will be viewed the same way as Zeus, Thor, Ra, Odin, Quetzalcoatl, and Baal.

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
    ― Isaac Asimov

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    May 2, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    -When global temperature data is missing, dummied up, or fabricated from "computer modeling"
    -When scientists are demanded by the IPCC to rewrite their assessments or they will not be included in the final paper;
    -When the so-called scientists assert the debate is over despite considerable disagreement within the scientific community and the very basis for scientific inquiry demands continuous questioning of the current consensus;
    -When Nobel prizes are awarded based on the "potential" for progress, as in Obamama's "Peace Prize;
    it's no wonder people have more confidence in their ministers than in their magistrates.
    AGW is not science; it is a religion.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    May 2, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Oh what fun!

    History shows us repeatedly that when science makes conclusions which oppose God's teachings, down the road we find out science was wrong.

    No one has proved God is wrong, ever.

    Happy to know there are still a lot of smart people in this country.

    BTW I am not hostile to science. I love science, but it doesn't trump God.