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American Association for the Advancement of Science Southwest and Rocky Mountains Region University of Tulsa March 31, 2012. The Coexistence of Science and Religion: What's in it For Me?. Aaron J. Place Department of Natural Science Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, OK.

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The Coexistence of Science and Religion: What's in it For Me?

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American Association for the Advancement of Science

Southwest and Rocky Mountains Region

University of Tulsa

March 31, 2012

The Coexistence of Science and Religion:What's in it For Me?

Aaron J. Place

Department of Natural Science

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Alva, OK


http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/30/scientific-designs-and-tutorials-that-will-inspire-you/

  • History of the "conflict"

  • Possible relationships between science and religion

  • Benefits of a dialogue between science and religion


Media portrayal of the "conflict"


Religious views in America

According to Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Religious Landscape survey:

  • 71% are certain there is a God

  • 82% say religion is somewhat or very important in their life

  • 46% attend services a few times a year or less

  • Split three ways on literality of holy scripture

  • 68% say there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion

  • Spiritual beliefs are important, but there is flexibility in understanding spiritual matters


  • Perceptions of science in America

    According to a 2009 Pew Research Center for the People and Press survey:

    • 84% say science has had a positive effect on society

      • 52% mostly tied to medical advances

      • range: 6-8% cite space, environment and telecommunications

    • 70% say scientists contribute to the well-being of society

    • 17% say US science advances are best in the world

    • 55% say science is often in conflict with religion

    • 61% say science does not conflict with their religious views

      Overall favorable view, but no data on basic science


    History of the conflict

    • 16th - 19th centuries

      • Initially Science and Religion go hand in hand

        • Galileo, Newton, and others

    • 1890's

      • Andrew Dickson White - A History of Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom

      • William Draper - History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science

    • 1960's

      • The rise of "Radical" Fundamentalism

    • 21st century

      • "New" atheists


    Possible relationships between Science and Religion

    • Conflict

      • "New" atheists - scientism

      • religious fundamentalists - literalism

    • Independence

      • NOMA

    • Dialogue

      • Darwin Weekend and Clergy Letter Project

      • Templeton Foundation projects


    Possible relationships between Science and Religion

    • Integration

      • "one reality, one methodology" Charles Raven

    • Consonance

      • Autonomous but reconcilable

      • Common domains of question asking

    • Assimilation

      • Maximal conceptual merging


    Benefits of a dialogue

    • To Science:

      • Improved public funding funding

      • Freedom to pursue important questions

      • Freedom to teach sound science


    Benefits of a dialogue

    • To Religion

      • Studying and learning about creation brings person closer to God

      • Develop a fuller understanding of God


    Benefits of a dialogue

    • To the Public:

      • Scientifically literate electorate

      • Continued technological advance

      • More complete or fulfilled person


    "Science can purify religion from error and superstition, religion can purify science of idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world... in which both can flourish." --Pope John Paul II


    Acknowledgments

    Rev. J. F. Wickey

    Rev. Judye Pistole

    Rev. Colin Grangaard

    Scientists in Congregations and JTF

    Coleman Teel


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