Religion and science in North American education

(Mervin Bitikofer) #1

Here is a shout out to Francis Collins from Rev. Dr. G. Daniel McCall in the Augusta Chronicle. This quote of the late Father Theodore Hesburgh (Notre Dame) caught my eye:

“There is no real conflict between science and religion, just between bad science and bad religion.”

And speaking of Notre Dame … Cardus Religious Schools Initiative published this study about 6 months ago titled “Blinded by Religion? Religious School Graduates and Perceptions of Science in Young Adulthood” which gives comparisons of outlooks from graduates of private, private religious, home-school, and public K-12 institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The presented graph data seems a bit inaccessible short of somebody wading through all the algorithms and statistical processes used to generate it. But a reader can still note the “relative proportions” (adjusted or controlled for certain things) of people in each category according to what they believe about faith and/or science. One conclusion some have drawn of particular interest to me since I teach at one is that EPHS (Evangelical Protestant High Schools) are not the quagmires of scientific obscurantism that critics might think. And Catholic schools actually are ahead of the curve over all. But the Cardus study I link above teases all this apart with all the necessary nuance and caveats.

(Phil) #2

What a great quote! Thanks for sharing.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #3

While I like the symmetry of humility (and pithiness) of the quote, I suppose others could and should elaborate that actually bad religion does manage to conflict itself with good science too. But the symmetry still holds in that some bad science likewise conflicts itself with good religion. Not that we need to maintain some artificial symmetry here as I think real religion, good or otherwise, subsumes all science (and everything else for that matter).

But in the service of clever and useful polemics, I do think the quote accomplishes in few words the same thing I do with many!

(Jay Johnson) #4

And then there is bad science in support of good religion… Thanks for the links! I’m always interested in anything along those lines.

(system) #5

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