A typical argument between an atheist and a theist goes along the following lines:
- ATH: "Modern science and reason are incompatible with a religious world view."
- TH: "That's not true, many scientists, mathematicians and philosophers are also people of faith."
However, with the exception of a few Western intellectuals who gravitated towards Buddhism, almost all scientifically minded/highly educated people who are also religious tend to subscribe to the faith corresponding to their family background: Gödel was Christian, Putnam was Jewish, scientists from Muslim communities tend to be Muslim, scientists from Hindu communities tend to be Hindu, etc....even Einstein, usually provided as the ultimate example of a renowned scientist who was also a theist, believed in Spinoza's God - and both of them came from Jewish backgrounds.
If people who combine a modern scientific and rationalist (in the colloquial sense of the word) mindset with a religious outlook were objectively arriving at this reconciliation, then there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between their faith and their cultural background. It seems that there were would be more diversity and more crossovers. The fact that most people seem to fall back on the faith of their culture of origin seems to speak more to a psychological question of how hard it is to break away from cultural biases than about any coherence between a modern scientific worldview and various religious traditions.
So to restate the question: Does the correlation between cultural background and religious views of those who are both scientifically minded and religious weaken the argument that modern science and a religious world view are compatible?
Have philosophers of religion touched upon this question and the more general issue of how cultural backgrounds seem to be the biggest factor in determining which faith a person subscribes to?