Two major institutions of human inquiry are religion and science. Traditionally, scholars have thought that religion and science have conflicting methods for making claims about the natural world, and are therefore in a state of perpetual conflict. While that may be somewhat true for societal elites, Evans has pioneered research showing that this is generally not true for ordinary Americans after the 1960s. In fact, it appears that any conflict between religion and science is over moral values, not facts about nature.
This research agenda has been developed through a series of articles and a capstone book. With Elaine Ecklund of Rice University Evans co-founded and co-leads the Network for the Social Scientific Study of Science and Religion. In addition, Evans and Ecklund also co-directed a 2.9 million dollar re-granting project, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, dedicated to research in this area. Evans is an elected fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.