From Christianity Today
"New research suggests scientists are more like neighbors than enemies of the faith. Andy Crouch reviews 'Science vs. Religion
,' by Elaine Ecklund.
True, a whopping 64 percent of these elite scientists are atheists or agnostics (compared with 6 percent of all Americans), while a vanishing 2 percent (roughly three dozen of her 1,700 subjects) are evangelical Christians. But in the middle are many, even among the atheists, who describe themselves as "spiritual," and many more are respectful of religious faith even if they do not share it themselves. Significantly, Ecklund found that the younger scientists are, the more likely they are "to believe in God and to attend religious services"—just the opposite of younger Americans as a whole.
More troubling is that whether friendly, neutral, or hostile, Ecklund's subjects seem woefully inarticulate about religion itself (recalling sociologist Christian Smith's teenage interviewees who could fluently discuss contraception but were tongue-tied about religious doctrine). Some resort to tired stereotypes even when they are trying to be kind. Their own spirituality, meanwhile, is improvisational at best, largely unmoored from tradition and actual congregations.
Equally troubling is a small but notable number who feel compelled to conceal their traditional faith from their colleagues—potential ambassadors who are effectively missing in action. Ecklund identifies a bare handful of "boundary pioneers," like National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, who seek and win a hearing from both sides, but they seem to be as rare as young-earth creationists on a Galapagos cruise."
Ah, I gotta read this book.