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Furthermore, he notes that since evolution made the brain and since the brain can handle both religion and science, there is no natural incompatibility between the concepts at the biological level. Karl Giberson argues that when discussing compatibility, some scientific intellectuals often ignore the viewpoints of intellectual leaders in theology and instead argue against less informed masses, thereby, defining religion by non intellectuals and slanting the debate unjustly. He argues that leaders in science sometimes trump older scientific baggage and that leaders in theology do the same, so once theological intellectuals are taken into account, people who represent extreme positions like Ken Ham and Eugenie Scott will become irrelevant.

The conflict thesis , which holds that religion and science have been in conflict continuously throughout history, was popularized in the 19th century by John William Draper 's and Andrew Dickson White 's accounts. It was in the 19th century that relationship between science and religion became an actual formal topic of discourse, while before this no one had pitted science against religion or vice versa, though occasional complex interactions had been expressed before the 19th century. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule.

Most historians today have moved away from a conflict model, which is based mainly on two historical episodes Galileo and Darwin for a "complexity" model, because religious figures were on both sides of each dispute and there was no overall aim by any party involved to discredit religion. An often cited example of conflict, that has been clarified by historical research in the 20th century, was the Galileo affair, whereby interpretations of the Bible were used to attack ideas by Copernicus on heliocentrism. By Galileo went to Rome to try to persuade Catholic Church authorities not to ban Copernicus' ideas.

In the end, a decree of the Congregation of the Index was issued, declaring that the ideas that the Sun stood still and that the Earth moved were "false" and "altogether contrary to Holy Scripture", and suspending Copernicus's De Revolutionibus until it could be corrected. Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves. He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions. The Church had merely sided with the scientific consensus of the time.

Only the latter was fulfilled by Galileo. Although the preface of his book claims that the character is named after a famous Aristotelian philosopher Simplicius in Latin, Simplicio in Italian , the name "Simplicio" in Italian also has the connotation of "simpleton". Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings.

The actual evidences that finally proved heliocentrism came centuries after Galileo: Grayling , still believes there is competition between science and religions and point to the origin of the universe, the nature of human beings and the possibility of miracles [65]. 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-exist peacefully.

Stace viewed independence from the perspective of the philosophy of religion. Stace felt that science and religion, when each is viewed in its own domain, are both consistent and complete. Science and religion are based on different aspects of human experience. In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Scientifically based observations or experiments that conflict with an explanation eventually must lead to modification or even abandonment of that explanation. Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities.

Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to put science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist. According to Archbishop John Habgood , both science and religion represent distinct ways of approaching experience and these differences are sources of debate.

He views science as descriptive and religion as prescriptive. He stated that if science and mathematics concentrate on what the world ought to be , in the way that religion does, it may lead to improperly ascribing properties to the natural world as happened among the followers of Pythagoras in the sixth century B. Habgood also stated that he believed that the reverse situation, where religion attempts to be descriptive, can also lead to inappropriately assigning properties to the natural world. A notable example is the now defunct belief in the Ptolemaic geocentric planetary model that held sway until changes in scientific and religious thinking were brought about by Galileo and proponents of his views.

According to Ian Barbour , Thomas S. Kuhn asserted that science is made up of paradigms that arise from cultural traditions, which is similar to the secular perspective on religion. Michael Polanyi asserted that it is merely a commitment to universality that protects against subjectivity and has nothing at all to do with personal detachment as found in many conceptions of the scientific method. Polanyi further asserted that all knowledge is personal and therefore the scientist must be performing a very personal if not necessarily subjective role when doing science.

Two physicists, Charles A. Coulson and Harold K. Schilling , both claimed that "the methods of science and religion have much in common. The religion and science community consists of those scholars who involve themselves with what has been called the "religion-and-science dialogue" or the "religion-and-science field. Journals addressing the relationship between science and religion include Theology and Science and Zygon. Eugenie Scott has written that the "science and religion" movement is, overall, composed mainly of theists who have a healthy respect for science and may be beneficial to the public understanding of science.

She contends that the "Christian scholarship" movement is not a problem for science, but that the "Theistic science" movement, which proposes abandoning methodological materialism, does cause problems in understanding of the nature of science. This annual series continues and has included William James , John Dewey , Carl Sagan, and many other professors from various fields. The modern dialogue between religion and science is rooted in Ian Barbour 's book Issues in Science and Religion. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued that there is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and religion, and that there is deep conflict between science and naturalism.

Science, Religion, and Naturalism , heavily contests the linkage of naturalism with science, as conceived by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and like-minded thinkers; while Daniel Dennett thinks that Plantinga stretches science to an unacceptable extent. Barrett , by contrast, reviews the same book and writes that "those most needing to hear Plantinga's message may fail to give it a fair hearing for rhetorical rather than analytical reasons.

As a general view, this holds that while interactions are complex between influences of science, theology, politics, social, and economic concerns, the productive engagements between science and religion throughout history should be duly stressed as the norm. Scientific and theological perspectives often coexist peacefully. Christians and some non-Christian religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas, as in the ancient Egyptian technological mastery applied to monotheistic ends, the flourishing of logic and mathematics under Hinduism and Buddhism , and the scientific advances made by Muslim scholars during the Ottoman empire.

Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality. Principe , the Johns Hopkins University Drew Professor of the Humanities, from a historical perspective this points out that much of the current-day clashes occur between limited extremists—both religious and scientistic fundamentalists—over a very few topics, and that the movement of ideas back and forth between scientific and theological thought has been more usual.

He also admonished that true religion must conform to the conclusions of science. Buddhism and science have been regarded as compatible by numerous authors. For example, Buddhism encourages the impartial investigation of nature an activity referred to as Dhamma-Vicaya in the Pali Canon —the principal object of study being oneself.


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Buddhism and science both show a strong emphasis on causality. However, Buddhism doesn't focus on materialism. Tenzin Gyatso , the 14th Dalai Lama , maintains that empirical scientific evidence supersedes the traditional teachings of Buddhism when the two are in conflict. In his book The Universe in a Single Atom he wrote, "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science, so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation.

Among early Christian teachers, Tertullian c. Earlier attempts at reconciliation of Christianity with Newtonian mechanics appear quite different from later attempts at reconciliation with the newer scientific ideas of evolution or relativity. These ideas were significantly countered by later findings of universal patterns of biological cooperation. According to John Habgood , all man really knows here is that the universe seems to be a mix of good and evil , beauty and pain , and that suffering may somehow be part of the process of creation.

Habgood holds that Christians should not be surprised that suffering may be used creatively by God , given their faith in the symbol of the Cross. Christian philosophers Augustine of Hippo —30 and Thomas Aquinas [96] held that scriptures can have multiple interpretations on certain areas where the matters were far beyond their reach, therefore one should leave room for future findings to shed light on the meanings. The "Handmaiden" tradition, which saw secular studies of the universe as a very important and helpful part of arriving at a better understanding of scripture, was adopted throughout Christian history from early on.

Modern historians of science such as J. Heilbron , [99] Alistair Cameron Crombie , David Lindberg , [] Edward Grant , Thomas Goldstein, [] and Ted Davis have reviewed the popular notion that medieval Christianity was a negative influence in the development of civilization and science. In their views, not only did the monks save and cultivate the remnants of ancient civilization during the barbarian invasions, but the medieval church promoted learning and science through its sponsorship of many universities which, under its leadership, grew rapidly in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries, St.

Thomas Aquinas, the Church's "model theologian", not only argued that reason is in harmony with faith, he even recognized that reason can contribute to understanding revelation, and so encouraged intellectual development. He was not unlike other medieval theologians who sought out reason in the effort to defend his faith. Lindberg states that the widespread popular belief that the Middle Ages was a time of ignorance and superstition due to the Christian church is a "caricature".

According to Lindberg, while there are some portions of the classical tradition which suggest this view, these were exceptional cases. It was common to tolerate and encourage critical thinking about the nature of the world. The relation between Christianity and science is complex and cannot be simplified to either harmony or conflict, according to Lindberg.

There was no warfare between science and the church. 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 therefore humans, can lead to the view that he arranged for humans to know the world. This is 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 a nature that includes an intellect, such a nature is most in the image of God in virtue of being most able to imitate God".

During the Enlightenment , a period "characterized by dramatic revolutions in science" and the rise of Protestant challenges to the authority of the Catholic Church via individual liberty, the authority of Christian scriptures became strongly challenged. As science advanced, acceptance of a literal version of the Bible became "increasingly untenable" and some in that period presented ways of interpreting scripture according to its spirit on its authority and truth. In recent history, the theory of evolution has been at the center of some controversy between Christianity and science.

Later that year, a similar law was passed in Mississippi, and likewise, Arkansas in In , these "anti-monkey" laws were struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States as unconstitutional, "because they established a religious doctrine violating both the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution.

Most scientists have rejected creation science for several reasons, including that its claims do not refer to natural causes and cannot be tested. In , the United States Supreme Court ruled that creationism is religion , not science, and cannot be advocated in public school classrooms. Theistic evolution attempts to reconcile Christian beliefs and science by accepting the scientific understanding of the age of the Earth and the process of evolution. It includes a range of beliefs, including views described as evolutionary creationism , which accepts some findings of modern science but also upholds classical religious teachings about God and creation in Christian context.

In Reconciling Science and Religion: Bowler argues that in contrast to the conflicts between science and religion in the U. These attempts at reconciliation fell apart in the s due to increased social tensions, moves towards neo-orthodox theology and the acceptance of the modern evolutionary synthesis. While refined and clarified over the centuries, the Roman Catholic position on the relationship between science and religion is one of harmony, and has maintained the teaching of natural law as set forth by Thomas Aquinas.

For example, regarding scientific study such as that of evolution, the church's unofficial position is an example of theistic evolution , stating that faith and scientific findings regarding human evolution are not in conflict, though humans are regarded as a special creation, and that the existence of God is required to explain both monogenism and the spiritual component of human origins. Catholic schools have included all manners of scientific study in their curriculum for many centuries. Galileo once stated "The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.

Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer". According to Andrew Dickson White 's A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom from the 19th century, a biblical world view affected negatively the progress of science through time.

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Dickinson also argues that immediately following the Reformation matters were even worse. The interpretations of Scripture by Luther and Calvin became as sacred to their followers as the Scripture itself. For instance, when Georg Calixtus ventured, in interpreting the Psalms, to question the accepted belief that "the waters above the heavens" were contained in a vast receptacle upheld by a solid vault, he was bitterly denounced as heretical. For instance, the claim that early Christians rejected scientific findings by the Greco-Romans is false, since the "handmaiden" view of secular studies was seen to shed light on theology.

The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality

This view was widely adapted throughout the early medieval period and afterwards by theologians such as Augustine and ultimately resulted in fostering interest in knowledge about nature through time. Modern scholars regard this claim as mistaken, as the contemporary historians of science David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Floris Cohen argued for a biblical Protestant, but not excluding Catholicism, influence on the early development of modern science.

Hooykaas ' argument that a biblical world-view holds all the necessary antidotes for the hubris of Greek rationalism: Oxford historian Peter Harrison is another who has argued that a biblical worldview was significant for the development of modern science. Harrison contends that Protestant approaches to the book of scripture had significant, if largely unintended, consequences for the interpretation of the book of nature. For many of its seventeenth-century practitioners, science was imagined to be a means of restoring a human dominion over nature that had been lost as a consequence of the Fall.

Historian and professor of religion Eugene M. Klaaren holds that "a belief in divine creation" was central to an emergence of science in seventeenth-century England. The philosopher Michael Foster has published analytical philosophy connecting Christian doctrines of creation with empiricism. Ashworth has argued against the historical notion of distinctive mind-sets and the idea of Catholic and Protestant sciences. Jacob and Margaret C. Jacob have argued for a linkage between seventeenth century Anglican intellectual transformations and influential English scientists e. Kaiser have written theological surveys, which also cover additional interactions occurring in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

Though he acknowledges that modern science emerged in a religious framework, that Christianity greatly elevated the importance of science by sanctioning and religiously legitimizing it in the medieval period, and that Christianity created a favorable social context for it to grow; he argues that direct Christian beliefs or doctrines were not primary sources of scientific pursuits by natural philosophers, nor was Christianity, in and of itself, exclusively or directly necessary in developing or practicing modern science.

Oxford University historian and theologian John Hedley Brooke wrote that "when natural philosophers referred to laws of nature, they were not glibly choosing that metaphor. Laws were the result of legislation by an intelligent deity. Numbers stated that this thesis "received a boost" from mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead 's Science and the Modern World Numbers has also argued, "Despite the manifest shortcomings of the claim that Christianity gave birth to science—most glaringly, it ignores or minimizes the contributions of ancient Greeks and medieval Muslims—it too, refuses to succumb to the death it deserves.

Protestantism had an important influence on science. According to the Merton Thesis there was a positive correlation between the rise of Puritanism and Protestant Pietism on the one hand and early experimental science on the other. Firstly, it presents a theory that science changes due to an accumulation of observations and improvement in experimental techniques and methodology ; secondly, it puts forward the argument that the popularity of science in 17th-century England and the religious demography of the Royal Society English scientists of that time were predominantly Puritans or other Protestants can be explained by a correlation between Protestantism and the scientific values.

Merton focused on English Puritanism and German Pietism as having been responsible for the development of the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. Merton explained that the connection between religious affiliation and interest in science was the result of a significant synergy between the ascetic Protestant values and those of modern science. The historical process of Confucianism has largely been antipathic towards scientific discovery.


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However the religio-philosophical system itself is more neutral on the subject than such an analysis might suggest. In his writings On Heaven, Xunzi espoused a proto-scientific world view. Likewise, during the Medieval period, Zhu Xi argued against technical investigation and specialization proposed by Chen Liang. Given the close relationship that Confucianism shares with Buddhism, many of the same arguments used to reconcile Buddhism with science also readily translate to Confucianism.

However, modern scholars have also attempted to define the relationship between science and Confucianism on Confucianism's own terms and the results have usually led to the conclusion that Confucianism and science are fundamentally compatible. In Hinduism , the dividing line between objective sciences and spiritual knowledge adhyatma vidya is a linguistic paradox. In , English was made the primary language for teaching in higher education in India, exposing Hindu scholars to Western secular ideas; this started a renaissance regarding religious and philosophical thought.

For instance, Hindu views on the development of life include a range of viewpoints in regards to evolution , creationism , and the origin of life within the traditions of Hinduism. For instance, it has been suggested that Wallace-Darwininan evolutionary thought was a part of Hindu thought centuries before modern times.

These two distinct groups argued among each other's philosophies because of their sacred texts, not the idea of evolution. Samkhya , the oldest school of Hindu philosophy prescribes a particular method to analyze knowledge. According to Samkhya, all knowledge is possible through three means of valid knowledge [] [] —. The accounts of the emergence of life within the universe vary in description, but classically the deity called Brahma , from a Trimurti of three deities also including Vishnu and Shiva , is described as performing the act of 'creation', or more specifically of 'propagating life within the universe' with the other two deities being responsible for 'preservation' and 'destruction' of the universe respectively.

Some Hindus find support for, or foreshadowing of evolutionary ideas in scriptures , namely the Vedas. The incarnations of Vishnu Dashavatara is almost identical to the scientific explanation of the sequence of biological evolution of man and animals. As per Vedas , another explanation for the creation is based on the five elements: The Hindu religion traces its beginnings to the sacred Vedas.

Everything that is established in the Hindu faith such as the gods and goddesses, doctrines, chants, spiritual insights, etc. The Vedas offer an honor to the sun and moon, water and wind, and to the order in Nature that is universal. This naturalism is the beginning of what further becomes the connection between Hinduism and science. From an Islamic standpoint, science, the study of nature , is considered to be linked to the concept of Tawhid the Oneness of God , as are all other branches of knowledge. The Islamic view of science and nature is continuous with that of religion and God.

This link implies a sacred aspect to the pursuit of scientific knowledge by Muslims, as nature itself is viewed in the Qur'an as a compilation of signs pointing to the Divine. I constantly sought knowledge and truth, and it became my belief that for gaining access to the effulgence and closeness to God, there is no better way than that of searching for truth and knowledge.

With the decline of Islamic Civilizations in the late Middle Ages and the rise of Europe, the Islamic scientific tradition shifted into a new period. Institutions that had existed for centuries in the Muslim world looked to the new scientific institutions of European powers. The Ahmadiyya movement emphasize that "there is no contradiction between Islam and science ". Over the course of several decades the movement has issued various publications in support of the scientific concepts behind the process of evolution, and frequently engages in promoting how religious scriptures, such as the Qur'an, supports the concept.

The Holy Quran directs attention towards science, time and again, rather than evoking prejudice against it. The Quran has never advised against studying science, lest the reader should become a non-believer; because it has no such fear or concern. The Holy Quran is not worried that if people will learn the laws of nature its spell will break.

The Quran has not prevented people from science, rather it states, "Say, 'Reflect on what is happening in the heavens and the earth. Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents — soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion have always existed a static universe similar to that of Epicureanism and steady state cosmological model. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws. It is not possible to create matter out of nothing and hence the sum total of matter in the universe remains the same similar to law of conservation of mass.

Similarly, the soul of each living being is unique and uncreated and has existed since beginningless time. The Jain theory of causation holds that a cause and its effect are always identical in nature and hence a conscious and immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like the universe. Furthermore, according to the Jain concept of divinity, any soul who destroys its karmas and desires, achieves liberation.

Darwin, Evolution, Morality and Religion

A soul who destroys all its passions and desires has no desire to interfere in the working of the universe. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos ; a self-regulating mechanism whereby the individual reaps the fruits of his own actions through the workings of the karmas. Through the ages, Jain philosophers have adamantly rejected and opposed the concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism being labeled as nastika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival religious philosophies.

The theme of non-creationism and absence of omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology , karma , moksa and its moral code of conduct. Jainism asserts a religious and virtuous life is possible without the idea of a creator god. In the 17th century, founders of the Royal Society largely held conventional and orthodox religious views, and a number of them were prominent Churchmen. Albert Einstein supported the compatibility of some interpretations of religion with science. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.

They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect. If one conceives of religion and science according to these definitions then a conflict between them appears impossible. For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: According to this interpretation the well-known conflicts between religion and science in the past must all be ascribed to a misapprehension of the situation which has been described.

Einstein thus expresses views of ethical non-naturalism contrasted to ethical naturalism. Prominent modern scientists who are atheists include evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Nobel Prize—winning physicist Steven Weinberg. Between and , Laureates belonged to 28 different religions. Many studies have been conducted in the United States and have generally found that scientists are less likely to believe in God than are the rest of the population.

However, in the study, scientists who had experienced limited exposure to religion tended to perceive conflict. Some of the reasons for doing so are their scientific identity wishing to expose their children to all sources of knowledge so they can make up their own minds , spousal influence, and desire for community.

The survey also found younger scientists to be "substantially more likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God". Among the surveyed fields, chemists were the most likely to say they believe in God. Elaine Ecklund conducted a study from to involving the general US population, including rank and file scientists, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS.

Religious beliefs of US professors were examined using a nationally representative sample of more than 1, professors. They found that in the social sciences: Out of the natural sciences: Overall, out of the whole study: He helped author a study that "found that 76 percent of doctors believe in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife. Furthermore, the term "secularism" is understood to have diverse and simultaneous meanings among Indian scientists: According to Renny Thomas' study on Indian scientists, atheistic scientists in India called themselves atheists even while accepting that their lifestyle is very much a part of tradition and religion.

Thus, they differ from Western atheists in that for them following the lifestyle of a religion is not antithetical to atheism. Over time, scientists and historians have moved away from the conflict thesis and toward compatibility theses either the integration thesis or non-overlapping magisteria. Many experts have now adopted a "complexity thesis" that combines several other models, [] further at the expense of the conflict thesis. Global studies which have pooled data on religion and science from —, have noted that countries with high religiosity also have stronger faith in science, while less religious countries have more skepticism of the impact of science and technology.

Other research cites the National Science Foundation 's finding that America has more favorable public attitudes towards science than Europe, Russia, and Japan despite differences in levels of religiosity in these cultures. A study conducted on adolescents from Christian schools in Northern Ireland, noted a positive relationship between attitudes towards Christianity and science once attitudes towards scientism and creationism were accounted for.

A study on people from Sweden concludes that though the Swedes are among the most non-religious, paranormal beliefs are prevalent among both the young and adult populations. This is likely due to a loss of confidence in institutions such as the Church and Science. Concerning specific topics like creationism, it is not an exclusively American phenomenon. According to a Pew Research Center Study on the public perceptions on science, people's perceptions on conflict with science have more to do with their perceptions of other people's beliefs than their own personal beliefs.

The MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins examined the views of religious people in America on origins science topics like evolution, the Big Bang, and perceptions of conflicts between science and religion. The fact that the gap between personal and official beliefs of their religions is so large suggests that part of the problem, might be defused by people learning more about their own religious doctrine and the science it endorses, thereby bridging this belief gap. The study concluded that "mainstream religion and mainstream science are neither attacking one another nor perceiving a conflict.

A study collecting data from to on the general public, with focus on evangelicals and evangelical scientists was done in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS. Other lines of research on perceptions of science among the American public conclude that most religious groups see no general epistemological conflict with science and they have no differences with nonreligious groups in the propensity of seeking out scientific knowledge, although there may be subtle epistemic or moral conflicts when scientists make counterclaims to religious tenets.

According to a poll by the Pew Forum , "while large majorities of Americans respect science and scientists, they are not always willing to accept scientific findings that squarely contradict their religious beliefs. A study from the Pew Research Center on Americans perceptions of science, showed a broad consensus that most Americans, including most religious Americans, hold scientific research and scientists themselves in high regard.

The study concluded that the majority of undergraduates in both the natural and social sciences do not see conflict between science and religion. Another finding in the study was that it is more likely for students to move away from a conflict perspective to an independence or collaboration perspective than towards a conflict view.

In the US, people who had no religious affiliation were no more likely than the religious population to have New Age beliefs and practices. Edit this page Read in another language Relationship between religion and science. This section cites its sources but its page references ranges are too broad. 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. Catholic Church and evolution and Catholic Church and science. Hindu views on evolution , List of numbers in Hindu scriptures , Hindu cosmology , Hindu units of time , Indian astronomy , Hindu calendar , Indian mathematics , and List of Indian inventions and discoveries.

Science in the medieval Islamic world. Ahmadiyya views on evolution. History Edit Further information: List of Jewish scientists and philosophers , List of Christian thinkers in science , List of Muslim scientists , and List of atheists science and technology. Conflict thesis Continuity thesis Deep ecology Demarcation problem Faith and rationality Issues in Science and Religion List of scholars on the relationship between religion and science Merton thesis Natural theology Philosophy of science Politicization of science Religious skepticism Psychology of religion Scientific method and religion Theistic evolution By tradition: The Territories of Science and Religion.

University of Chicago Press. From Omens to Science. A History of a Modern Concept. From Natural Philosophy to the Sciences: Writing the History of Nineteenth-Century Science. How to Relate Science and Religion: Recognizing that science and religion are essentially social practices always performed by people living in certain cultural and historical situations should alert us to the fact that religion and science change over time.

Science Before the Greeks On changes in science here ". The Beginnings of Western Science: A Life of Roger Bacon". Johns Hopkins University Press. In the late Victorian period it was common to write about the 'warfare between science and religion' and to presume that the two bodies of culture must always have been in conflict.

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However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science. In its traditional forms, the conflict thesis has been largely discredited. Science, Evolution and Creationism. National Academy of Sciences. The Invention of Religion in Japan. When Science and Christianity Meet. A History of Natural Philosophy: From the Ancient World to the Nineteenth Century. Introduction to the science of religion.

The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality

Pulling a trigger is not in itself a moral action; it becomes so by virtue of its relevant consequences. My action has an ethical dimension only if I do anticipate these consequences. This ability to establish the connection between means and their ends requires the ability to anticipate the future and to form mental images of realities not present or not yet in existence. The ability to establish the connection between means and ends happens to be the fundamental intellectual capacity that has made possible the development of human culture and technology.

An evolutionary scenario, seemingly the best hypothesis available, proposes that the remote evolutionary roots of this capacity to connect means with ends may be found in the evolution of bipedalism, which transformed the anterior limbs of our ancestors from organs of locomotion into organs of manipulation. The hands thereby gradually became organs adept for the construction and use of objects for hunting and other activities that improved survival and reproduction, that is, which increased the reproductive fitness of their carriers.

The construction of tools depends not only on manual dexterity, but on perceiving them precisely as tools, as objects that help to perform certain actions, that is, as means that serve certain ends or purposes: According to this evolutionary scenario, natural selection promoted the intellectual capacity of our bipedal ancestors because increased intelligence facilitated the perception of tools as tools, and therefore their construction and use, with the ensuing improvement of biological survival and reproduction.

The development of the intellectual abilities of our ancestors took place over several million years, gradually increasing the ability to connect means with their ends and, hence, the possibility of making ever-more complex tools serving more diverse and remote purposes. According to the hypothesis, the ability to anticipate the future, essential for ethical behavior, is therefore closely associated with the development of the ability to construct tools, an ability that has produced the advanced technologies of modern societies and that is largely responsible for the success of humans as a biological species.

The second condition for the existence of ethical behavior is the ability to advance value judgments, to perceive certain objects or deeds as more desirable than others. Only if I can see the death of my enemy as preferable to his survival or vice versa can the action leading to his demise be thought of as moral. If the consequences of alternative actions are neutral with respect to value, an action cannot be characterized as ethical.

Values are of many sorts: But in all cases, the ability to make value judgments depends on the capacity for abstraction, that is, on the capacity to perceive actions or objects as members of general classes. This makes it possible to compare objects or actions with one another and to perceive some as more desirable than others. The capacity for abstraction requires an advanced intelligence such as it exists in humans and apparently in them alone. I will note at this point that the model that I am advancing here does not necessarily imply the ethical theory known as utilitarianism or, more generally, consequentialism.

I am proposing that the morality of an action depends on our ability i to anticipate the consequences of our actions, and ii to make value judgments. But I am not asserting that the morality of actions is exclusively measured in terms of how beneficial their consequences will be to others. The third condition necessary for ethical behavior is the ability to choose between alternative courses of actions. Pulling the trigger can be a moral action only if you have the option not to pull it. A necessary action beyond conscious control is not a moral action: Whether there is free will is a question much discussed by philosophers, and the arguments are long and involved [e.

Here, I will advance two considerations that are commonsense evidence of the existence of free will.


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One is personal experience, which indicates that the possibility to choose between alternatives is genuine rather than only apparent. The second consideration is that when we confront a given situation that requires action on our part, we are able mentally to explore alternative courses of action, thereby extending the field within which we can exercise our free will. In any case, if there were no free will, there would be no ethical behavior; morality would only be an illusion.

A point to be made, however, is that free will is dependent on the existence of a well-developed intelligence, which makes it possible to explore alternative courses of action and to choose one or another in view of the anticipated consequences Fig. Theodosius Dobzhansky — , a principal author of the modern theory of evolution. I will now consider explicitly two issues that are largely implicit in the previous section. The moral sense, as I have proposed, emerges as a necessary implication of our high intellectual powers, which allow us to anticipate the consequences of our actions, to evaluate such consequences, and to choose accordingly how to act.

But is it the case that the moral sense may have been promoted by natural selection in itself and not only indirectly as a necessary consequence of our exalted intelligence? The question in evolutionary terms is whether the moral sense is an adaptation or, rather, an exaptation. Evolutionary biologists define exaptations as features of organisms that evolved because they served some function but are later co-opted to serve an additional or different function, which was not originally the target of natural selection.

The new function may replace the older function or coexist together with it. Feathers seem to have evolved first for conserving temperature, but were later co-opted in birds for flying. The beating of the human heart is an exaptation used by doctors to diagnose the state of health, although this is not why it evolved in our ancestors. The issue at hand is whether moral behavior was directly promoted by natural selection or rather it is simply a consequence of our exalted intelligence, which was the target of natural selection because it made possible the construction of better tools. Art, literature, religion, and many human cultural activities might also be seen as exaptations that came about as consequences of the evolution of high intelligence.

The second issue is whether some animals, apes or other nonhuman primates, for example, may have a moral sense, however incipient, either as directly promoted by natural selection or as a consequence of their own intelligence. The position that I will argue here is that the human moral sense is an exaptation, not an adaptation.

The moral sense consists of judging certain actions as either right or wrong, not of choosing and carrying out some actions rather than others. It seems unlikely that making moral judgments would promote the reproductive fitness of those judging an action as good or evil; acting in one way or another might be of consequence in promoting fitness, but passing judgment by itself would seem unlikely to increase or decrease adaptive fitness.

The three necessary conditions for there being ethical behavior are manifestations of advanced intellectual abilities. It, indeed, rather seems that the target of natural selection was the development, which happened mostly through the Pleistocene, of advanced intellectual capacities. This was favored by natural selection because the construction and use of tools, made possible by advanced intelligence, improved the strategic position of our biped ancestors.

In the account I am advancing here, once bipedalism evolved and after tool-using and tool-making became practiced, those individuals more effective in these functions had a greater probability of biological success. The biological advantage provided by the design and use of tools persisted long enough so that intellectual abilities continued to increase, eventually yielding the eminent development of intelligence that is characteristic of H.

A related question is whether morality would benefit a social group within which it is practiced and, indirectly, would also benefit individuals who are members of the group. This seems likely to be the case, if indeed moral judgment would influence individuals to behave in ways that increase cooperation, or benefit the welfare of the social group in some way, for example, by reducing crime or protecting private property. That is, the moral sense that had evolved as an exaptation associated with high intelligence could eventually become an adaptation, by favoring beneficial behaviors.

I have asserted that patterns of actions beneficial to the tribe or social group might, in humans, be favored by natural selection. Altruistic behavior within an animal population would benefit the population itself, so that a population consisting of altruists would do better than a population consisting of selfish individuals. This would be group selection: But this state of affairs is not evolutionarily stable in an animal population. The reason is that mutations that favor selfish over altruistic behavior will be favored by natural selection, because the behavior of an altruistic individual implies a cost.

The altruistic individual as well as the rest of the population will benefit from the behavior of the altruist. A selfish individual also benefits from the behavior of the altruist, but the selfish individual does not incur the cost implied by the altruistic behavior. Thus, selfish behavior will be favored within the population. Natural selection will thus eliminate genetically determined altruistic behaviors. Of course, it is admitted that it might be the case that populations with a preponderance of altruistic alleles would survive and spread better than populations consisting of selfish alleles.

This would be group selection.

Darwin’s Theory of the Origin of Morality - Oxford Scholarship

But typically there are many more individual organisms than there are populations; and individuals are born, procreate, and die at rates much higher than populations. Thus, the rate of multiplication of selfish individuals over altruists in a given population is likely to be much higher than the rate at which altruistic populations multiply relative to predominantly selfish populations.

There is, however, an important difference between animals and humans that is relevant in this respect. Namely, the fitness advantage of selfish over altruistic behavior does not necessarily apply to humans, because humans can understand the benefits of altruistic behavior it benefits the group but indirectly it benefits them as well and thus adopt altruism and protect it, by laws or otherwise, against selfish behavior that harms the social group.

As Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man: The theory of sociobiology advances a ready answer to the second question raised above, whether morality occurs in other animals, even if only as a rudiment. The theory of kin selection, they argue, explains altruistic behavior, to the extent that it exists in other animals as well as in humans. I will propose, however, that moral behavior does not exist, even incipiently, in nonhuman animals. The reason is that the three conditions required for ethical behavior depend on an advanced intelligence—which includes the capacities for free will, abstract thought, and anticipation of the future—such as it exists in H.

It is the case that certain animals exhibit behaviors analogous with those resulting from ethical actions in humans, such as the loyalty of dogs or the appearance of compunction when they are punished. But such behaviors are either genetically determined or elicited by training conditioned responses. Genetic determination and not moral evaluation is also what is involved in the altruistic behavior of social insects and other animals. Biological altruism altruism b and moral altruism altruism m have disparate causes: The capacity for ethics is an outcome of gradual evolution, but it is an attribute that only exists when the underlying attributes i.

The necessary conditions for ethical behavior only come about after the crossing of an evolutionary threshold. The approach is gradual, but the conditions only appear when a degree of intelligence is reached such that the formation of abstract concepts and the anticipation of the future are possible, even though we may not be able to determine when the threshold was crossed. Thresholds occur in other evolutionary developments—for example, in the origins of life, multicellularity, and sexual reproduction—as well as in the evolution of abstract thinking and self-awareness.

Surely, human intellectual capacities came about by gradual evolution. Yet, when looking at the world of life as it exists today, it would seem that there is a radical breach between human intelligence and that of other animals. The rudimentary cultures that exist in chimpanzees Whiten et al. It is assumed that cultural variation among tribes in patriotism, fidelity, sympathy, and other moralizing behaviors may have occurred incipiently in early hominid populations, starting at least with H. This cultural variation may have, in turn, selected for genes that endowed early humans with primitive moral emotions.

Primitive moral emotions would in turn have facilitated the evolution of more advanced cultural codes of morality. Repeated rounds of gene—cultural coevolution would have gradually increased both the moral sense itself and the systems of moral norms. That is, the evolution of morality would have been directly promoted by natural selection in a process whereby the moral sense and the moral norms would have coevolved.

The gene—culture coevolution account of the evolution of morality is, of course, radically different from the theory I am advancing here, in which moral behavior evolved not because it increased fitness but as a consequence of advanced intelligence, which allowed humans to see the benefits that adherence to moral norms bring to society and to its members.

The extreme variation in moral codes among recent human populations and the rapid evolution of moral norms over short time spans would seem to favor the explanation I am proposing. Gene—culture coevolution would rather lead to a more nearly universal system of morality, which would have come about gradually as our hominid ancestors gradually evolved toward becoming H. Empathy, or the predisposition to mentally assimilate the feelings of other individuals, has recently been extensively discussed in the context of altruistic or moral behavior.

Incipient forms of empathy seem to be present in other animals. In humans, increasing evidence indicates that we automatically simulate the experiences of other humans Gazzaniga, , chap. Empathy is a common human phenomenon, surely associated with our advanced intelligence, which allows us to understand the harms or benefits that impact other humans, as well as their associated feelings. Empathic humans may consequently choose to behave according to how their behavior will impact those for whom we feel empathy.

That is, human empathy occurs because of our advanced intelligence. Humans may then choose to behave altruistically, or not, that is, morally, or not, in terms of the anticipated consequences of their actions to others. The question remains, when did morality emerge in the human lineage? What about the Neandertals, Homo neanderthalensis? When in hominid evolution morality emerged is difficult to determine. It may very well be that the advanced degree of rationality required for moral behavior may only have been reached at the time when creative language came about, and perhaps in dependence with the development of creative language.

When creative language may have come about in human evolution is discussed in Cela-Conde and Ayala I have distinguished between moral behavior judging some actions as good, others as evil and moral codes the precepts or norms according to which actions are judged. Moral behavior, I have proposed, is a biological attribute of H.

But moral codes, I argue, are not products of biological evolution but rather of cultural evolution. It must, first, be stated that moral codes, like any other cultural systems, cannot survive for long if they prevailingly run in outright conflict with our biology. The norms of morality must be by and large consistent with human biological nature, because ethics can only exist in human individuals and in human societies.

One might therefore also expect, and it is the case, that accepted norms of morality will often, or at least occasionally, promote behaviors that increase the biological fitness of those who behave according to them, such as child care. But the correlation between moral norms and biological fitness is neither necessary nor indeed always the case: How do moral codes come about? The short answer is, as already stated, that moral codes are products of cultural evolution, a distinctive human mode of evolution that has surpassed the biological mode, because it is a more effective form of adaptation: Cultural evolution is based on cultural heredity, which is Lamarckian, rather than Mendelian, so that acquired characteristics are transmitted.

Most important, cultural heredity does not depend on biological inheritance, from parents to children, but is transmitted also horizontally and without biological bounds. A cultural mutation, an invention think of the laptop computer, the cell phone, or rock music can be extended to millions and millions of individuals in less than one generation.

There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase. Darwin is making two important assertions.

First, that morality may contribute to the success of some tribes over others, which is natural selection in the form of group selection. Second, Darwin is asserting a position of moral optimism, namely that the standards of morality will tend to improve over human history precisely on grounds of group selection, because the higher the moral standards of a tribe, the more likely the success of the tribe.

If the higher standards are defined by their contribution to the success of the tribe, then the assertion is circular. But Darwin asserts that there are some particular standards that, in his view, would contribute to tribal success: Parental care is a behavior generally favored by natural selection that may be present in virtually all codes of morality, from primitive to more advanced societies. There are other human behaviors sanctioned by moral norms that have biological correlates favored by natural selection. One example is monogamy, which occurs in some animal species but not in many others.