Chapter 3: Science and Religion

Suggested Further Reading: Alvin Plantinga, “Religion and Science,”  (2007) ()

The theory of is reinforced through scientific studies using DNA, genetics and its mutation, the fossil record and the change in earlier species that has been encountered, and the distribution of related species of animals over a broad geographical range.

Stephen Jay Gould has claimed that there is no conflict between science and religion since they "occupy distinct domains or magisteria." However, "historically, religion and philosophy have speculated on questions concerning the origin of Earth, the universe, and humankind, and the nature of matter, space and time. These questions have now been successfully answered by science. Each advance in scientific knowledge has been followed by a retreat on the part of religion, requiring us to continually redraw the line between their respective domains."

This essay dispels many myths about the scientific mind, detailing what scientific methods really are, and how science really gets done, based on a scientific study revealing troubling levels of scientific illiteracy among college students and high school science teachers.

It is also argued that the approach typical of crank science is akin to that of religion.

Traces the history of the conflict between religion and science and argues that in the contemporary era, the opposition of religion and science has been accepted as an absolute by most.

Part VII: Cognitive Science and Religious Belief

This course will survey a variety of issues concerning the relation between science and religion. We will begin by considering some general questions about whether and how scientific truths can conflict with religious truths. We will then consider various issues surrounding the Big Bang, the large-scale structure of the cosmos and what philosophers and other religious thinkers have had to say about the beginning, age and size of the universe. The next part of the course will consider the current controversy between evolutionary theorists and “intelligent design” theorists (i.e., those who claim that organisms and their parts were originally designed by an intelligent being and did not arise through evolution). In addition to the philosophical aspects of this controversy, we will also consider some of the sticky public policy issues it raises. The final part of the course will consider some recently developed theories in the cognitive sciences (e.g., neuroscience, cognitive psychology) that offer explanations of the nature, function and pervasiveness of religious belief.

[tags: Charles Darwin, Science, Religion, Evolution]

Del Ratzsch, “The Religious Roots of Science: What science owes to theology”

"There is something dishonestly self-serving in the tactic of claiming that all religious beliefs are outside the domain of science. On the one hand, miracle stories and the promise of life after death are used to impress simple people, win converts, and swell congregations. It is precisely their scientific power that gives these stories their popular appeal. But at the same time it is considered below the belt to subject the same stories to the ordinary rigors of scientific criticism: these are religious matters and therefore outside the domain of science. But you cannot have it both ways. At least, religious theorists and apologists should not be allowed to get away with having it both ways."

His book, however, reaches beyond the realm of the science text book.

(2010) British Journal of Religious Education, Promoting positive attitudes towards science and religion among sixth-form pupils: dealing with scientism and creationism.


PHI 129: Science and Religion

Barbara Forrest, Southeastern Louisiana University, outlines the political agenda of the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Strategy," exposing it as a scientific failure encumbered by religious ambition and public relations. Forrest articulates clearly the goals, strategies, and political ambitions of the Intelligent Design movement in America today.

PHI 129: Science and Religion - Personal websites at UB

Teaching of the evolution theory have yet to be proven reliable and confirmed by all scientists, thus it should not be taught in schools and should be left for students to wonder and discover by themselves....

“Models for Relating Science and Religion,” The Faraday Papers, no

Talk given by a physicist as part of a panel presentation on "Science and Religion," sponsored by the Philosophy and Religion Club of Truman State University, October 15 2001.

"There is a conflict between science and religion, ..

As soon as Darwin’s theory about the origin of species and evolution appeared, the opposition between this theory and a religious belief, including Judaist, in the almighty God. It is also noteworthy that Darwin was aware of the domination of religious views and he delayed the publishing of his main work “The Origin of Species” until he became aware that Wallace was about to publish similar views. Why was then he so aware? It is logical to presuppose that his ideas would be, and they really were, shocking for people with strong religious beliefs. Not surprisingly, his works are often called as a revolution in science.

Science-and-Religion - Queensborough Community College

"It's often said that people 'need' something more in their lives than just the material world. There is a gap that must be filled. People need to feel a sense of purpose...You don't have to be a scientist - you don't have to play the bunsen burner - in order to understand enough science to overtake your imagined need and fill that fancied gap. Science needs to be released from the lab into the culture."