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Surprising Science

Where Science and Religion Disagree

"Can—and should—science and religion avoid each other's turf?" Susan Jacoby insists we mustn't shirk from moments when science and religion offer opposing viewpoints.

“By now, nearly everyone with a passing interest in science or religion is familiar with Stephen Jay Gould’s description of the two disciplines as ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ with separate domains—science in the physical universe and religion in the moral realm. … I know both scientists and religious believers for whom the idea of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) has become an unexamined fiction designed to skirt the culture wars. It is clear, however, that NOMA (a term Gould adapted from Catholic theology; the “Magisterium” is the Church’s term for its teaching authority) is not only a fiction but a useless fiction—from the standpoint of both religion and science.”


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