Majority of scientists willing to criticise religion: Survey

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Hyderabad, Jul 2 (UNI) More than 40 per cent of the scientists were willing to criticise and confront religion when they feel they are contradicting accepted scientific theories in India, according to a study conducted by the Centre For Enquiry (CFI).

Disclosing the survey report at a press conference here, CFI member Chandana Chakravarthy said, ''44 per cent of the scientists think that scientific organisations should confront religious practices if they contradict accepted scientific theories. However, 23 per cent of the scientists do not accept 'science versus religion' theory and 33 per cent support the confrontation sometimes only.'' The survey revealed that 26 per cent of the scientific community believed that God really exist, 12 per cent do not believe in God, 30 per cent do not believe in personal Gods and in a higher power and 13 per cent scientists said they do not know whether there was God.

When it came to traditional beliefs, 29 per cent of the scientists believed in Karma (sins and deeds of past life), 26 per cent believe in life after death and 20 per cent believe in 'reincarnation'. Most of the scientists reject the idea of divine or human ability to perform miracles. However, the level of support for 'Supernatural' human agency (24 per cent) was noteworthy.

Ms Chakravarthy said the survey was conducted on 1,100 scientists, Professors and lecturers working in universities and research organisations, out of which 138 were women. About 46 per cent of them were aged between 40 and 54 years, 27 per cent aged at 55 and above and 22 per cent respondents were less than 40 years.

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