ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, September 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Faith and Science
1
 

British scientists believe Richard Dawkins misrepresents science

According to a Rice University study, both religious and non-religious scientists criticize the way Dawkins deals with religion.

SOURCES Independent, Rice University AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LONDON 07 NOVEMBER 2016 16:51 h GMT+1
Richard Dawkins

British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is well-known for his criticism of religion, but, what do other scientists think about him?



A new Rice University study called “Responding to Richard: Celebrity and (Mis)representation of Science” has shed light on this question.



The study results appeared in a recent edition of Public Understandings of Science and are part of a larger Religion Among Scientists in International Context (RASIC) study. The RASIC study includes a survey of over 20,000 scientists from eight countries.



In the United Kingdom, 1,581 randomly sampled scientists participated in the survey, and 137 of them also participated in in-depth interviews.



 



“DAWKINS MISREPRESENTS SCIENCE”



Through those in-depth interviews with biologists and physicists at universities in the United Kingdom, this study examines scientists’ perceptions of the role celebrity scientists play in socially contentious public debates.



Although the researchers did not ask questions about Dawkins, 48 of the 137 scientists mentioned him during in-depth interviews without prompting, and nearly 80% of those scientists believe that he misrepresents science and scientists in his books and public engagements, because he conveys the wrong impression about what science can do and the norms that scientists observe in their work..



The remaining 20% of British scientists stand up for the evolutionary biologist, giving positive views. One said that Dawkins has “quite an important place in society because of his criticism of creationism and intelligent design.”



 



“TOO STRONG ABOUT THE WAY HE DENIES RELIGION”



Both religious and non-religious interviewees said Dawkins as a “provocateur” who asserts the cultural authority of science in the public sphere.



Most of them, irrespective of religiosity, criticize Dawkins' very public and aggressive science-based criticism of religion, and would prefer a more moderate approach.



A non-religious physicist said: “He’s much too strong about the way he denies religion. As a scientist, you’ve got to be very open, and I’m open to people’s belief in religion, I don’t think we’re in a position to deny anything unless it’s something which is within the scope of science to deny.”



 



Elaine Howard Ecklund, the study’s principal investigator.



 



“DAWKINS HAS GONE TO A CRUSADE”



Dawkins has “gone on a crusade, basically. Although there is a lot of truth behind what he says, he does it in a way that I think is deliberately designed to alienate religious people”, another professor of biology pointed out.



Although scientists “may even view belief in a deity as irrational, they do not view questions related to the existence of deities or ‘the sacred’ as within the scope of science”, explained David Johnson, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada in Reno and the paper’s lead author.



 



PROMOTION OF SCIENCE OVER SCIENTIST



Elaine Howard Ecklund, the study’s principal investigator and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences at Rice, emphasized that none of the scientists interviewed questioned Dawkins’ integrity as a scientist.



“In general, scientists in interviews emphasized promotion of science over the scientist, diplomacy over derision and dialogue over ideological extremism”, she said.



“The best science communication does not begin with insults and arrogance, It encourages curiosity, open-mindedness and appreciation for science”, Johnson concluded.



 



REACTION TO STUDY



A spokesperson for the Centre for Inquiry, which is currently merging with Dawkins' Foundation for Reason & Science, talked to newspaper Independent about the study.



"It’s certainly not a breathtaking revelation that fewer than 40 scientists out of 137—culled from a pool of over 20,000—might not be fans of Professor Dawkins’ particular approach to science communication”, he stated.



And added: ”It was not so long ago that scientists were decrying the science popularisation of Carl Sagan, and even today there are some who take issue with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and others."


 

 


1
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 

Antoine
28/11/2016
14:48 h
1
 
Too bad the science and faith debate is dominated by noisy extremes, like Dawkins on one side, and Ken Ham on the other.
 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - British scientists believe Richard Dawkins misrepresents science
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.