Scientific books or religious scriptures?

A Turkish journalist interviewing me pointed out, in a question he asked me, a recent poll published in Turkey. According to this poll, 59% of people who voted for AKP (the moderate Islamist party who won an overwhelming victory in elections in July) said that religious scriptures were more important than scientific books in order to understand the world and the universe.

Not very surprising, even though I have no idea about the quality of the poll, and I’m sure that as always, different ways of wording questions etc. could have led to different results.

Nonetheless, such polls make me appreciate liberal religion more. It’s not because I think liberal supernaturalism makes any more sense, or that it’s OK to have liberal religious influence in scientific matters. It’s just that politically and socially life becomes so much more easier for scientists if large numbers of of people start thinking that religious scriptures are about morality and meaning and all that and decide that consulting science books is a better idea when you want to learn about the universe.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University


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