3 Major Stumbling Blocks in the Science and Religion Debate

The Root Cause of Science and Religion Conflict: Wrong Theology!

The Root Cause of Science and Religion Conflict: Wrong Theology!

Huff Post: by Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman —

Why is the discourse about science and religion so utterly unproductive?

Almost every day, we hear about school boards fighting against scientific literacy, or screeds about how religion brainwashes our children. Why is it so hard for us to talk about religion and science in any meaningful and constructive way?

I’d suggest that there are three major  stumbling blocks that are making a conversation surrounding religion and science unproductive.

1. We create a false dichotomy

This is, far and away, the biggest problem in creating a constructive conversation about science and religion — it’s often presented as “science versus religion,” assuming that when anyone talks about religion and science, we have to pick one or the other.

But for most people, the question is presenting a false dichotomy. If you were to ask religious people who are not fundamentalist, “Do you accept science or do you accept religion?” the answer you would likely hear is “yes.”

That’s why people like Professor Michael Zimmerman have created organizations such as “The Clergy Letter Project.” Currently, over 13,000 religious leaders have publicly stated:

We…believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.

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1 reply

  1. The article is useful and informative in many ways but puts all religions in one basket and in that way is stereotyping religion.

    All religions are not born equal, some may be further from scientific understanding of universe and biology of humans.

    For example, the conventional Biblical wisdom is that Jesus drove out demons, who were haunting people. Our understanding of science and biology does not allow for demons any more. So, a religion, which does approve of demons is not the same as main stream Christianity, especially Catholicism, which offers Exorcism as an institution.

    Another are of my interest is biological evolution and that in my opinion offers useful yard stick or matrix to pick up true religion or at least truer understanding of any religion:

    Darwinian Evolution: Islam or Christianity?

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