Science and Religion: Ontologically Different Epistemologies?

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Contribution to Books

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According to a 2007 Gallup poll, less than 20% of U.S. adults accepted without doubt the scientific explanation of human origins based in evolutionary biology (Newport, 2008). A much larger percentage of Americans (78%) accept that non-human animals have undergone biological change over time, if the word "evolution" is not included in the question (Miller, Scott, & Okamoto, 2006). These numbers have remained relatively stable for decades despite considerable progress in scientists' understanding of evolution (Miller et al., 2006). It is important to acknowledge that the numbers do shift depending on how the question is phrased, but the general trend is remarkably consistent. When Gallup put this question to the American public in May 2007, "Do you, personally, believe in evolution or not?" it was a statistic dead heat, with 49% responding yes, 48% responding no, and 2% reported no opinion (Newport, 2008).