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Philosophy of Science and Religion

By Globus Press

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The relationship between religion and science has been a focus of the demarcation problem. Somewhat related is the claim that science and religion may pursue knowledge using different methodologies. The scientific method relies on reason and empiricism, religion acknowledges revelation, faith and sacredness. Some scholars say science and religion are separate, as in John William Draper’s conflict thesis and Stephen Jay Gould’s non-overlapping magisteria, while others propose an interconnection. A variety of historical, philosophical, and scientific arguments have been put forth in favour of the idea that science and religion are in conflict. Historical examples of religious individuals or institutions promoting claims that contradict both contemporary and modern scientific consensus include creationism, and more recently, Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 statements claiming that the use of condoms to combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa was ineffective and counterproductive. In the Galileo affair, the acceptance, from 1616 to 1757, of the Greek geocentric model (Ptolemaic system) by the Roman Catholic Church, and its consequent opposition to heliocentrism, was first called into question by the Catholic cleric Copernicus, and subsequently disproved conclusively by Galileo, who was persecuted for his minority view. This text is a one-stop resource for all researchers, teachers, and students involved in this crucial area of study.

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