Science And Religion Thesis Statement

We should be interested in what is correct and incorrect, and the arguments for either side, not the particular beliefs of certain individuals.(Likewise, if science and religion were compatible, the existence of thousands of irreligious scientists wouldn’t matter either.) The reason why science and religion are actually incompatible is that, in the real world, they reach incompatible conclusions.

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Seriously, there are billions of people who actually believe things like this; I’m not making it up.

Religions have always made claims about the natural world, from how it was created to the importance of supernatural interventions in it.

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He’s come out swinging in the science/religion debates, taking a hard line against “accomodationism” — the rhetorical strategy on the part of some pro-science people and organizations to paper over conflicts between science and religion so that religious believers can be more comfortable accepting the truth of evolution and other scientific ideas.

That would be a silly claim to make, and if someone pretends that it must be what is meant by “science and religion are incompatible” you can be sure they are setting up straw men.

There is no problem at all with individual scientists holding all sorts of incorrect beliefs, including about science.That would be the strategy adopted, for example, by Stephen Jay Gould with his principle of Non-Overlapping Magisteria, the subject of yesterday’s allegory.It’s not until page 55 of his (short) book that Gould gets around to explaining what he means by the “magisterium of religion”: These questions address moral issues about the value and meaning of life, both in human form and more widely construed.There are scientists who believe in the Steady State model of cosmology, or that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, or that sunspots are the primary agent of climate change.The mere fact that such positions are held by some scientists doesn’t make them good scientific positions.But these are human endeavors, and it makes sense to look at the actual practices and beliefs of people who define themselves as religious.And when we do, we find religion making all sorts of claims about the natural world, including those mentioned above — Jesus died and was resurrected, etc.The problem is, unlike the non-intuitive claims of relativity or quantum mechanics or evolution, which are forced on us by a careful confrontation with data, the purported compatibility of “science” and “religion” is simply a claim about the meaning of those two words.The favored method of those who would claim that science and religion are compatible — really, the only method available — is to twist the definition of either “science” or “religion” well out of the form in which most people would recognize it. Of course, it’s very difficult to agree on a single definition of “religion” (and not that much easier for “science”), so deciding when a particular definition has been twisted beyond usefulness is a tricky business.And these claims are often very important to the religions who make them; ask Galileo or Giordano Bruno if you don’t believe me.But the progress of science over the last few centuries has increasingly shown these claims to be straightforwardly incorrect.


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