BY TANIA LOMBROZO
Stephen Jay Gould famously described the relationship between science and religion as one of “non-overlapping magisteria,” with science restricted to facts and theories about the empirical universe, and religion to questions of moral meaning and value.
This is one way to understand the relationship between science and religion: two compartments with a solid wall between them, fixed and non-porous.
But it’s by no means the only, or even the most popular, approach.
A common alternative is to regard science and religion as partners in a shared enterprise — collaborative and ultimately compatible. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and a devout Christian, is a well-known proponent of a view along these lines. In a 2006 debate arranged by TIME, he argued that “Gould sets up an artificial wall between the two worldviews.” Collins went on to explain that because he believes that God created everything in the first place, “studying the natural world is an opportunity to observe the majesty, the elegance, the intricacy of God’s creation.”