Page ranges should be limited to one or two pages when possible. You can help improve this article by introducing citations that are more precise. October Learn how and when to remove this template message The concepts of "science" and "religion" are a recent invention:
Primer Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Connie Bertka and Dr. It is in recognition of these broad factors that public engagement materials, events, and contributions to the Human Origins web site are being developed by the Broader Social Impacts Committee BSIC to support the exhibition in the David H.
Koch Hall of Human Origins. The committee recognizes the unique opportunity the subject of human origins offers for the exploration of challenging cultural topics, which in turn can inspire greater public interest in, and understanding of, science.
Thus, it is with input from the committee that the co-chairs have prepared this primer. It provides a brief introduction to issues that arise at the crossroads of science and religion, particularly in relation to the scientific accounts of evolution and human origins that are presented in the exhibit.
The primer is organized around two broad topics: A question and answer format is used to highlight common concerns for each of these topics. Cultural divides in the United States over the acceptance of evolution and scientific understandings of human origins make this interchange relevant.
They also offer an opportunity to inspire a positive relationship between science and religion.
Science and Religion Visitors to the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins bring with them many assumptions about science, about religion, and about their relationship. These assumptions may impact, positively or negatively, their willingness and ability to engage the scientific presentation of human origins.
The questions below are offered as a guide to begin thinking about science and religion in the context of the possible interactions of religious worldviews with a scientific account of human evolution and origins.
Science is a way to understand nature by developing explanations for the structures, processes and history of nature that can be tested by observations in laboratories or in the field.
Sometimes such observations are direct, like measuring the chemical composition of a rock. Other times these observations are indirect, like determining the presence of an exoplanet through the wobble of its host star.
An explanation of some aspect of nature that has been well supported by such observations is a theory. Well-substantiated theories are the foundations of human understanding of nature.
The pursuit of such understanding is science. Religion, or more appropriately religions, are cultural phenomena comprised of social institutions, traditions of practice, literatures, sacred texts and stories, and sacred places that identify and convey an understanding of ultimate meaning.
Religions are very diverse. While it is common for religions to identify the ultimate with a deity like the western monotheisms — Judaism, Christianity, Islam or deities, not all do.
There are non-theistic religions, like Buddhism.
What is the difference between science and religion? Although science does not provide proofs, it does provide explanations. Science depends on deliberate, explicit and formal testing in the natural world of explanations for the way the world is, for the processes that led to its present state, and for its possible future.
When scientists see that a proposed explanation has been well confirmed by repeated observations, it serves the scientific community as a reliable theory. Well-supported theories guide future efforts to solve other questions about the natural world. Religions may draw upon scientific explanations of the world, in part, as a reliable way of knowing what the world is like, about which they seek to discern its ultimate meaning.
Religious understanding draws from both subjective insight and traditional authority. However, this is an erroneous judgment.
Virtually all of the historic religions include traditions of rational reflection. How are science and religion similar?
Science and religion both have historical traditions that exhibit development over time. Each has places for individual insight and communal discernment.
Analytic and synthetic reasoning can be found exhibited in both. Science and religion have been and continue to be formative elements shaping an increasingly global human society. Both science and religion have served to jeopardize and contribute to the common human good.
How can science and religion be related? Typical assumptions about this relationship fall into one of three forms: A conflict approach assumes that science and religion are competitors for cultural authority.Teaching or learning about evolutionary theory does not necessitate in changing one personal beliefs, but in changing one's professional knowledge base.
Scientism, and the Nature of Science) helpful for its overview of the types of creationism and origin of the conflict. Watch a video of this activity - from the Affective Massimo ( - Conflict between science and religion has been around way before Charles Darwin’s published book, Origin of the Species, came to be (“The Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design Controversy”).
Strictly defined, creationism is based on a literal reading of the Bible's Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world and all the life in it over a period of six days.
Aguillard, which centered around a Louisiana law requiring that if evolution were taught, "creation science" must be taught alongside it.
5. All eyes on Dover. As creationism lost in court, opponents of evolution turned toward arguing for "intelligent design," the idea that a creator guides the process of evolution.
For many people of different religious beliefs, the theory of evolution does not pose a conflict. However, Christian fundamentalists, in particular, may portray evolution and religion as in opposition to each other.
The creation versus evolution conflict smolders on. Courts and curriculum committees have closed the issue repeatedly at national, state, and community levels, but the embers still glow.
Occasionally, the controversy re-erupts into full flame.