Aug 5, 2009
Last year, Physics World asked its readers which of four statements best reflects their views on science and religion and came up with some statistics:
- 23 percent said they are atheists who see no place at all for religion in the universe
- 30 percent said they are nonbelievers, but think religion and science can coexist because they each deal with separate aspects of the universe
- 16 percent said they are religious and think science and religion can coexist because they each deal with separate aspects of the universe
- 18 percent said they are religious and think that science and religion are different ways of looking at the same thing. Their faith enhances their appreciation of science
The rest—13 percent—said none of the statements matched their views on science and religion. That image above? Robert Crease, chair of the philosophy department at Stony Brook University and a historian at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, looked over the comments that came in with the answers and found he could roughly place them all in a 2-by-2 matrix. Each quadrent represents a different way of conceiving science and religion—and the relationship between them that results.