With science becoming increasingly more capable at explaining both us and our world, what place is left for religion? After all, as many nonbelievers assert, doesn't the church continue to exist only because of the indoctrination of children, who eventually should grow up and desert their childish beliefs?
However, a recent study entitled "Faith in Flux," conducted by the Pew Forum for on Religion and Public Life has found that most children raised in homes with no affiliated religion later join a religion, while only 14% of those raised Catholics and 13% of those raised Protestants break their ties with religion. It seems, then, that the movement from childhood to adulthood is not away from faith, but towards it.
But how? Don't the facts make belief seem ridiculous? Not at all. As Darrel discussed in his blog on Tuesday, faith in God can withstand the rigorous application of reason and still stand tall; belief can indeed be rational.
Perhaps the facts alone seem unappealing precisely because they are cold and hard. In an editorial published in The New York Times, columnist Charles M. Blow discusses what he calls this "Defecting to Faith." As Blow so wisely asserts, "We are more than cells, synapses and sex drives. We are amazing, mysterious creatures forever in search of something greater than ourselves." Despite all its efforts, science cannot fill that longing for something greater.
This is not to say science has no place in the world, for it most certainly does. As we note time and again in this blog, science can be rewarding and faith affirming. Yet, as its own religion, science seems unable to fulfill our spiritual needs.
The full report of the "Faith in Flux" study can be found at the Pew Forum's website. To read Charles M. Blow's editorial "Defecting to Faith," as well as other featured readings, head to www.biologos.org.