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The Religious Orientations of American Natural Scientists

Ted R. Vaughan, Douglas H. Smith and Gideon Sjoberg
Social Forces
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Jun., 1966), pp. 519-526
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2575087
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2575087
Page Count: 8
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The Religious Orientations of American Natural Scientists
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Abstract

One means of understanding the relationship between science and religion in contemporary society is to study those persons who are most fully exposed to both systems-scientists themselves. An assessment of the religious practices and beliefs of a representative sample of American natural scientists indicates that they are neo-orthodox in their religious orientation. This pattern is underscored by a rather dramatic shift from the religious affiliations of their parents. Moreover, there is considerable variation in the religious orientation among scientists. Scientists in applied fields and those working outside of major universities are, in contrast to other scientists, somewhat more orthodox in their religious beliefs and practices.

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