According to a respected 1991 poll on religion by the Graduate School of the City University of New York, more than 86 percent of Americans profess to be Christian, and only 7.5 percent claimed "no religion" (A.L. Goldman, New York Times, April 10, 1991, page A1). The percentage of believers is higher in the United States than in any other developed country.

Whether the percentage of scientists who are also believers is equally high is undetermined; I know of no reliable polls dealing with the question. But science in the U.S. has to operate in a society in which religion is taken very, very seriously.

In the American context, then, the question "are science and religion compatible?" generally means "are science and Christian religion compatible?" The answer is "yes, with some compromises."

The potential for incompatibility between these ways of looking at the world can be seen in the questions...

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