Science Vs. Religion: Where’s The Cosmic Connection? look for answers at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IllinoisWe’ve had hundreds of new readers join us this week, thanks to links from the university community to this week’s series. You’ll find our earlier 4 articles about “Science Vs. Religion” via the “Recent Posts” links listed in the right margin. This is the last part of this week’s series, so I want to leave you with …

The Big Question: Where’s the Cosmic Connection between science and religion?

In other words, how do we foster a healthy, ongoing, widespread dialogue? Stereotypes on both sides reinforce the science vs. religion divide. Many secular scientists pigeonhole people of faith as anti-science fanatics. Many religious people believe all scientists—especially those who are atheists—are outright hostile to religion.

The reality, as we’ve seen this week, is more complex. Although they are a minority, many scientists are religious and try to reconcile science and faith. These scientists are often the Boundary Pioneers who bridge the science/faith divide. But even the majority of atheist scientists are not hostile to religion, Elaine Howard Ecklund reports in “Science vs. Religion.”

What do you think? Is there a case to be made for why all scientists should care about religion? There are many answers to this question. Here is one: Religion isn’t going away, at least not in America. Americans are an exceptionally religious people. Many students sitting in the academic halls of our top universities are religious. If scientists care about reaching them—and the general public’s knowledge of and support of science—then they have to confront this fact. “Religion and (more important) the intersection between religion and science cannot be ignored by scientists who care about the public’s knowledge of science and its propagators,” concludes Ecklund. “These scientists should set forth an agenda for dialogue and bringing discussions about religion out of private confines and into the open, an agenda that emphasizes a more nuanced view of religion and a more realistic view of the limits of science.”

What do you think of her proposal? Would you support an agenda for more dialogue across the science vs. religion chasm?

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