7 in 10 Filipinos choose religion over science – global study

Glenda Marie Castro
7 in 10 Filipinos choose religion over science – global study
According to the Wellcome Global Monitor 2018, the Philippines is among 19 countries 'where people most likely have high trust' in scientists

MANILA, Philippines – While the Philippines is among the countries  that have “high trust” in scientists, 7 in 10 Filipinos would choose religion over science if the latter contradicts their religious beliefs, according to a 2018 global study released on Wednesday, June 19.

The Wellcome Global Monitor surveys 140,000 people in over 140 countries to study “how people around the world think and feel about science and major health challenges.” In the Philippines, 1,000 respondents were polled in October last year for the 2018 study.

To the question, “When science disagrees with your religion, do you believe in science,” 74% of Filipino respondents said no, 17% said yes, while the remaining 9% had no answer, according to the Wellcome Global Monitor  2018.

The percentage of those who would choose religion over science was nearly the same across age brackets surveyed, and among men and women.

Most or 60% of the respondents, however, also said that in their case, science did not disagree with the teachings of their religion, while 38% said it did.

Wellcome is a United Kingdom-based independent health and science foundation. The Wellcome Global Monitor 2018,  is part of the Gallup World Poll 2018.

Photo from: Wellcome

Trust in science, scientists

The Philippines ranked 16th among the 19 countries “where people most likely have high trust” in scientists, according to the study, with 32% of Filipino respondents expressing this sentiment.

The study categorized countries with “high trust” in science as those where at least 30% expressed high trust in scientists. They are:

  1. Uzbekistan – 54%
  2. Belgium – 42%
  3. Tajikistan – 42%
  4. Niger – 39%
  5. Spain – 39%
  6. Ireland – 39%
  7. Norway – 38%
  8. United Kingdom – 35%
  9. Finland – 35%
  10. Malta – 34%
  11. Portugal – 34%
  12. The Gambia – 34%
  13. Australia – 33%
  14. Czech Republic – 33%
  15. New Zealand – 32%
  16. Philippines – 32%
  17. Iceland – 32%
  18. Denmark – 31%
  19. Tanzania – 31%

Results also show 78% of Filipinos believe that the works of scientists benefit people.

According to the survey, 91% of Filipinos said they learned science at the primary level, and 73% at the secondary level, and 36% at the college level.

When asked how much they know about science, 50% responded “some” while 28% said “not much.” On whether they want to know more about science, an overwhelming majority or 84% said they do.

Health advice, vaccines

The study showed that 87% of Filipinos trust doctors and nurses, while  83% trust medical and health advice from the national government.

In terms of who they trust when it comes to medical and health advice, 70% chose nurses and doctors in the country more than any sources, including family and friends. This is not far from the average global result of 73%, on the same topic.

Despite the controversy on Dengvaxia and the measles outbreak in 2018, 79% of Filipinos believed that vaccines are safe while 86% believed vaccines are effective, according to the study, (READ: FAST FACTS: DOH’s Expanded Program on Immunization)

During the month of the survey, the Philippine Senate passed Senate Bill No. 1896 or the Universal Health Care for All Filipinos Bill. (READ: Senate approves universal health care bill)

According to Wellcome’s website, this is the first global survey conducted in relation to public attitudes to science.- Rappler.com

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