Topics Issues

Science & Bioethics

Religion and Science

Explore the relationship between religion and science in the U.S., polling on the issue, and scientists’ religious beliefs.


Stem Cell Research Package

Explore the debate over embryonic stem cell research, public opinion on the issue, religious groups' views and the status of stem cell research in other countries.

Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views
Many Americans continue to say their religious beliefs have been highly influential in shaping their views about social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage. But far fewer cite religion as a top influence on their opinions about several other social and political issues, including how the government should deal with immigration, the environment and poverty.
GOP Seen as Friendlier To Religion Than Democrats
The number of Americans describing the Democratic Party as friendly toward religion returned to levels similar to those seen in 2005 through 2007, according to a recent survey report. The Obama administration, however, is seen as friendly toward religion by more people (37%) than the Democratic Party as a whole (29%).
An Overview of Religion and Science in the United States
Surveys repeatedly show that most Americans respect science and the benefits it brings to society, such as new technologies and medical treatments. Nevertheless, strong religious convictions can affect some Americans' willingness to accept certain scientific theories and discoveries.
Religion and Science: Conflict or Harmony?
Leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2009 for the Pew Forum's Faith Angle Conference. Francis S. Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project, discussed why he believes religion and science are compatible and why the current conflict over evolution vs. faith is unnecessary.
Obama, Catholics and the Notre Dame Commencement
Most Catholics who have heard about the issue support Notre Dame's decision to invite President Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement even though he supports abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research. But a poll finds a deep division on this issue between the most-observant Catholics and those who are less observant.
Religious Groups' Views on Global Warming
An analysis by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life of a 2008 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press examines views on global warming among major religious traditions in the U.S. 
Overview: The Conflict Between Religion and Evolution
Almost 150 years after Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Americans are still fighting over evolution.
The Social and Legal Dimensions of the Evolution Debate in the U.S.
As with many social and political controversies in the United States, the battle over evolution has been largely fought in courtrooms.
Darwin and His Theory of Evolution
At first glance, Charles Darwin seems an unlikely revolutionary. Growing up a shy and unassuming member of a wealthy British family, he appeared, at least to his father, to be idle and directionless. But even as a child, Darwin expressed an interest in nature.
Religious Groups' Views on Evolution
A breakdown of 13 major religious groups' views on the issue. 
Evolution: A Timeline
This timeline highlights key events in the debate surrounding evolution. 
Religious Differences on the Question of Evolution
The Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that views on evolution differ widely across religious groups.
Fighting Over Darwin, State by State
In recent years, voters, educators and policymakers in a number of states have become involved in the debate over whether - or how - public school students should learn about evolution and the origins of life.
Stem Cell Research at the Crossroads of Religion and Politics
Embryonic stem cell research, which uses special cells found in three- to five-day-old human embryos to seek cures for a host of chronic diseases, has sparked a major moral and political debate in the United States.
The Science Behind Stem Cell Research
For decades, stem cells have attracted the attention of medical researchers and others because they have the capacity to develop into specialized cells that make up a variety of organ and other tissues.
Declining Majority of Americans Favor Embryonic Stem Cell Research
While a majority of the American public still favors embryonic stem cell research, surveys by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press show that the size of this majority has declined somewhat in recent years.
Stem Cell Research Around the World
The United States is only one of many countries playing an important role in stem cell research. In the last decade, several European and Asian countries have become leading centers for the study of stem cells and their possible therapeutic uses.
Religious Groups' Official Positions on Stem Cell Research
Where 17 religious groups stand on the issue of stem cell research.
Quotes on Stem Cell Research
Quotes on stem cell research from political, religious and other prominent figures.
The Case For Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Interview with Jonathan Moreno
University of Pennsylvania professor Jonathan Moreno discusses the ethical and moral grounds for supporting embryonic stem cell research.
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