The Relationship Between Religion and

RELIGION AND SCIENCE The relationship between religion and science has been a focus of the Demarcation problem. Statements about the world made by science and religion rely on different methodologies. Religions rely on revelation while science relies on observable, repeatable experiences. Some scholars say the two are separate, as in John William Draper's conflict thesis and Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlapping magisteria, while others (Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Ken Wilber, et al.) propose an i
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  RELIGION AND SCIENCE  The relationship between religion and science has been a focus of the Demarcationproblem. Statements about the world made by science and religion rely ondifferent methodologies. Religions rely on revelation while science relies onobservable, repeatable experiences. Some scholars say the two are separate, as inJohn William Draper's conflict thesis and Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlappingmagisteria, while others (Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Ken Wilber, et al.)propose an interconnection. The Pew Forum has published data on attitudes toreligion and science.[1] Perspectives on the relationship betweenreligion and science The kinds of interactions that might arise between science and religion have beenclassified using the following typology:[2]Conflict when either discipline threatens to take over the legitimate concerns of the otherFor example, John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White's conflict thesisIndependence treating each as quite separate realms of enquiry.For example, Stephen Jay Gould's Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA)Dialogue suggesting that each field has things to say to each other aboutphenomena in which their interests overlap.For example, William G. Pollard's studies in Physicist and Christian: A dialoguebetween the communitiesIntegration aiming to unify both fields into a single discourse.For example, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's Omega point and Ian Barbour'ssympathy towards process philosophy/process theology[3]  This typology is similar to ones found in Ian Barbour[4] and John Haught [5].More typologies that categorize this relationship can be found among the works of other science and religion scholars such as Arthur Peacocke[6] ConflictConflict thesis The conflict thesis view was popularized in the 19th century by John WilliamDraper and Andrew Dickson White. Most contemporary historians of science nowreject it, considering that the conflict thesis has been superseded by subsequenthistorical research,[7][8]: Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposedhostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown thatChristianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while atother times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts atharmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule. [9] --Gary Ferngren,Science & Religion, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002Today, much of the scholarship in which the conflict thesis was based isconsidered to be inaccurate. For instance, the claim that people of the Middle Ageswidely believed that the Earth was flat was first propagated in the same periodthat srcinated the conflict thesis[10] and is still very common in popular culture.This claim is mistaken, as the contemporary historians of science David C.Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers write: there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know itsapproximate circumference. [10][11] Other misconceptions such as: the Churchprohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages , the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science , and the medieval Christian churchsuppressed the growth of the natural sciences , are all reported by Numbers asexamples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth, even thoughthey are not supported by current historical research. They help maintain thepopular image of the warfare of science and religion .[12]While H. Floris Cohen states that most scholars reject crude articulations of theconflict thesis, such as Andrew D. White's, he also states that milder versions of this thesis still hold some sway. This is because it remains an incontrovertiblefact of history that, to say the least, the new science was accorded a less thanenthusiastic acclaim by many religious authorities at the time. Cohen thereforeconsiders it paradoxical that the rise of early modern science was due at least inpart to developments in Christian thought — in particular, to certain aspects of Protestantism (a thesis first developed as what is now known as the Mertonthesis).[13]A tight review of alternatives to the White/Draper conflict thesis has beencomposed by Ian G. Barbour, Ways of relating science and theology in Physics,philosophy, and theology: a common quest for understanding (Editors: RobertJohn Russell, William R. Stoeger, and George V. Coyne; Vatican City and Notre  Dame Press, 1988).[14] Independence A modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), is that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-existpeacefully.[15] Gould's view can also be seen as an attitude of neglect towardsreligion. It has been compared with a similar attitude of neglect towardsevolutionary science, which has been seen in the works of theologians Karl Barth(who fails to mention evolution in his major work Church Dogmatics), EmilBrunner, and Hans Kung (whose Theology for the Third Millennium (1988) has achapter on the relationship between religion and science yet never mentionsevolution).[16] Two takes on experience Both science and religion represent distinct ways of approaching experience andthese differences are sources of debate.[17] Science is closely tied tomathematics—a very abstract experience, while religion is more closely tied to theordinary experience of life.[17] As interpretations of experience, science isdescriptive and religion is prescriptive.[17] For science and mathematics toconcentrate on what the world ought to be like in the way that religion does canbe inappropriate and may lead to improperly ascribing properties to the naturalworld as happened among the followers of Pythagoras in the sixth centuryB.C.[17] The reverse situation where religion attempts to be descriptive can alsolead to inappropriately assigning properties to the natural world. A notableexample is the now defunct belief in the Ptolemy planetary model that held swayuntil changes in scientific and religious thinking were brought about by Galileo andproponents of his views.[17] Parallels in method Many language philosophers (e.g., Ludwig Wittgenstein) and religiousexistentialists (e.g., those who ascribe to neo-orthodoxy) accepted Ian Barbourand John Polkinghorne's type II categorization of Independence.[18] On the otherhand, many philosophers of science have thought otherwise. Thomas S. Kuhnasserted that science is made up of paradigms that arise from cultural traditions,which is similar to the secular perspective on religion.[18] Michael Polanyiasserted that it is merely a commitment to universality that protects againstsubjectivity and has nothing at all to do with personal detachment as found inmany conceptions of the scientific method. Polayni further asserted that allknowledge is personal and therefore the scientist must be performing a verypersonal if not necessarily subjective role when doing science.[18] Polanyi addedthat the scientist often merely follows intuitions of intellectual beauty, symmetry,and 'empirical agreement' .[18] Polayni held that science requires moralcommitments similar to those found in religion.[18] Two physicists Charles A.Coulson and Harold K. Schilling both claimed that the methods of science andreligion have much in common. [18] Schilling asserted that both fields—science  and religion—have a threefold structure—of experience, theoreticalinterpretation, and practical application. [18] Coulson asserted that science likereligion advances by creative imagination and not by mere collecting of facts, while stating that religion should and does involve critical reflection onexperience not unlike that which goes on in science. [18] Religious language andscientific language also show parallels (cf. Rhetoric of science). Dialogue A degree of concord between science and religion can be seen in religious belief and empirical science. The belief that God created the world and thereforehumans, can lead to the view that he arranged for humans to know the world. Thisis underwritten by the doctrine of imago dei. In the words of Thomas Aquinas, Since human beings are said to be in the image of God in virtue of their having anature that includes an intellect, such a nature is most in the image of God invirtue of being most able to imitate God .[19]Many well-known historical figures who influenced Western science consideredthemselves Christian such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Boyle. Concerns over the nature of reality Science in the Enlightenment and Colonial eras was conceived as ontologicalinvestigation which uncovered 'facts' about physical nature. This was oftenexplicitly opposed to Christian Theology and the latter's assertions of truth basedon doctrine. This particular perspective on science faded in the early 20th centurywith the decline of Logical Empiricism and the rise of linguistic and sociologicalunderstandings of science. Modern scientists are less concerned with establishinguniversal or ontological truth (which is seen, and dismissed, as the pursuit of philosophy), and more inclined towards the creation of pragmatic, functionalmodels of physical systems. Christian Theology - excluding those fundamentalistchurches whose aim is to reassert doctrinal truths - has likewise softened many of its ontological claims, due to increased exposure to both scientific insights and thecontrasting theological claims of other faiths.Scientific and theological perspectives often coexist peacefully. Non-Christianfaiths have historically integrated well with scientific ideas, as in the ancientEgyptian technological mastery applied to monotheistic ends, the flourishing of logic and mathematics under Hinduism and Buddhism, and the scientific advancesmade by Muslim scholars during the Ottoman empire. Even many 19th centuryChristian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at allconcerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality.[17]

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