econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 06 March 2016

How Can Scientists Believe Evolution Is Compatible With Religion?

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Nathan Aaron Kerrigan, Coventry University

Evolution and religion may not be at war after all. True, the two may sometimes seem like incompatible, competing worldviews: evolutionary science is regularly rejected by prominent religious figures, and its teaching in religious schools is often controversial. And yet, many people seem to happily accommodate both. In the US, where more than nine in ten people say they believe in God, 50% believe in some form of evolution.

There's a chance that many of these people don't fully understand the nature of evolution as laid out by science. But most of the scientists who study the topic don't view it in such combative terms either. The American National Academy of Science calls for a warm embrace of both religion and evolution. In a 2010 survey of evolutionary scientists, 87% of respondents said they had found some way to make religion and evolution compatible. A recent (now retracted) paper in the scientific journal PLOS One even controversially referred to human hands as a "proper design by the Creator". How do scientists manage to reconcile these two contrasting ways of explaining our origins?

Incompatible creationism

There is a more widespread acceptance that believing in evolution and creationism is incompatible. Evolution is an idea based on scientific evidence that life developed because of random mutations in genetic material and the process of natural selection. Creationism, on the other hand, requires faith without analysis that life began due to the intervention of a supernatural creator. For this reason, there is a conflict between evolution and creationism that some people say can never be resolved.

For instance, some evolutionary scientists, including Richard Dawkins, see a world where only evolution can exist. Such evolutionists reject the premise of religion on the grounds that there is no evidence for it, instead favouring a naturalist worldview. Naturalism is the belief that only things in the natural world that can be observed and verified with evidence exist. For these scientists, evolution is the only way of explaining the origins of life, as belief in a creator requires faith and faith has no natural basis that can be subjected to experimentation.

One or the other? Shutterstock

Others have argued that this naturalist worldview can itself be seen as a kind of modern religion. For example, Philip Johnson, an advocate of the theory of intelligent design, argues that scientists often place large amounts of faith and belief into Darwin's theory of evolution. He says that evolution easily substitutes traditional religion and provides all the benefits, such as an explanation of where we came from. But those naturalist scientists still reject the idea of evolution being compatible with religion that involves a creator God.

The dualist alternative

Other evolutionists advocate a "dualist" way of looking at the world that gives space to both religion and evolution. Instead of seeing religion as something that comes from God, these scientists see it as a human adaptation to life, where religion has developed because of evolution.

Under this perspective, religion evolved naturally as a way of promoting cooperation. Humans need to cooperate to survive and religion provides a basis for them to do so. Religion can also help shame those who try to reject their group membership in order to make them tow the line and maximise greater chances of survival for the group.

The catch is that this worldview is not actually very kind to traditional theology. It describes religion in a way that is fundamentally atheistic in character, without belief in gods, corporeal spirit or life after death. This is why evolutionary scientists with dualist beliefs don't see a conflict between religion and evolution. They don't hold religious beliefs in the traditional sense. Instead they use evolution to explain the existence of religion.

Ultimately, to accept evolution as scientific fact, scientists (and indeed anyone) have to abandon the tenets of religion and accept there is no higher authority on the most meaningful matters of human existence. And that is what offends most religiously-minded people.

The ConversationNathan Aaron Kerrigan, Research Assistant in Social Psychology/Sociology/Criminology, Coventry University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
The Expected Effects of Petitions to Improve the Monetary System
Energy and Falling Productivity
News Blog
Voters Still Distrust Both Presidential Candidates
What We Read Today 27 September 2016
How To Get People To Exercise
September 2016 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Now At Highest Level Since the Great Recession
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Remains In Contraction In September 2016.
September 2016 Chemical Activity Barometer Continues to Signal Improving Economic Growth
Case-Shiller Home Price Index July 2016 Year-over-Year Rate of Growth Decelerates
Between Geopolitics And Technology
Infographic Of The Day: See Every Single Part Inside An IPhone
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Europa Water Plumes, All About The Debate, Putin Reacts To Debate, Oblivious Students, India Rocket Success, China Profits Surge And More
September 26, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - Not Quite the Camino Real
The Dominant Forces In The U.S. Gun Market
69 Percent Of Americans Have Less Than One Thousand Dollars In Savings
Investing Blog
Monday Morning Call 26 September
We're Back Here We Started
Opinion Blog
Housing Inflation- A Simple Case Of Supply And Demand Exacerbated By Low Rates
Heading For A Fall? With Summer Over, Europe Must Face Up To Its Mounting Crises
Precious Metals Blog
War On Cash Turns To $20, $50, And $100 Bills
Live Markets
27Sep2016 Market Close: US Major Indexes Closed Higher As Commodities Fell, WTI Crude Slipped Three Percent
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved