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Since its origination with Andrew Dickson White, the Warfare Metaphor has been used to characterize the relationship between science and religion, specifically orthodox Christianity. Though thoroughly discredited by historians of science, the ideological descendants of Thomas Huxley, who spoke of science in quasi-religious terms, have kept the Warfare Metaphor alive. On the other hand, there are substantial numbers of Christians who at least appear to oppose science given their high-profile opposition to the general theory of evolution. The purpose of the research reported in this paper was to examine this specific question: does anti-science sentiment increase with increasing orthodox Christian belief? Two validated, published instruments were used: the Thinking about Science Survey Instrument and the Christian Fundamentalist Belief Scale. The subjects for the study were 545 preservice elementary teachers. The analysis did not show that anti-science sentiment increases with increasing Christian belief. Subjects with strong Christian beliefs were found to be just as supportive of science, if not more so, that subjects with no Christian beliefs. The study concludes with a caution against projecting attitudes toward science based on attitudes toward evolution.


SLCSP Paper # 151d

Published Citation

Cobern, William W., and Cathleen C. Loving. "Thinking about Science and Christian Orthodox Beliefs: A Survey Study of Preservice Elementary Teachers." The National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Vancouver, Canada: 2004.