According to Wikipedia, the Barna Group is a polling firm run by evangelical Christians. Their self-stated “ultimate aim” is “to partner with Christian ministries and individuals to be a catalyst in moral and spiritual transformation in the United States. It accomplishes these outcomes by providing vision, information, evaluation and resources through a network of intimate partnerships.”
And the Barna group carried out a five-year project to determine why so many young people are leaving Christian churces. The preceding link gives the results:
Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.
Five of the reasons involve the church being overprotective, affording young people only a “shallow” Christian experience, being too simplistic and judgmental in sexual matters, being intolerant of other faiths, and being unfriendly to doubters. These are all good reasons to abandon faith completely, and bode well for secularism. But the most interesting reason is this one:
Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.
Of course, this is all the fault of atheists and scientists themselves. As accommodationists always tell us, we’re the ones who turn the faithful away from science with our stridency and unfriendliness toward faith. Clearly, the “anti-science” attitudes of Christian churches are simply a reaction to atheism . . .