Compare and Contrast of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins´s Points of View on Science and Religion
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There are different viewpoints on the question “what is the universe made of?” I think that both science and religion offer their own explanation to this topic and they sometimes overlap, which creates contradictions. Therefore, I do not agree with Stephen Jay Gould’s non-overlapping magisterial, which claims that there is a fine line separating science from religion. That being said, I think the conflict between science and religion is only in the study of evolution. It is possible for a scientist to be religious if he is not studying evolution, because science is very broad and it has various studies. In this essay, I will talk about the conflict between religion and science by comparing the arguments from Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins. I argue that science and religion do overlap but only in some area concerning evolution and the cosmic design. Furthermore, when these overlaps are present it means that there are conflicts and one must choose between science and religion.
First, I will demonstrate Stephen Jay Gould’s argument against the overlapping between science and religion, which is as follows:
“The lack of conflict between science and religion arises from a lack of overlap between their respective domains of professional expertise—science in the empirical constitution of the universe, and religion in the search for proper ethical values and the spiritual meaning of our lives. The attainment of wisdom in a full life requires extensive attention to both domains—for a great book tells us that the truth can make us free and that we will live in optimal harmony with our fellows when we learn to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.”
Stephen Jay Gould demonstrates his claim that both religion and science can co-exist;...
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In conclusion, it is possible for science and religion to overlap. Although Gould’s non-overlapping magisterial claims that creationism doesn’t conflict with evolution, it doesn’t hold with a religion that takes the biblical stories literally. Moreover, I defended my thesis, there is some overlap between science and religion and these overlaps cause conflict that make it necessary to reject either science or religion, by using Dawkins’ and Plantinga’s arguments. I said earlier that I agree with Dawkins that both science and religion provide explanation, consolation, and uplift to society. However, there is only conflict when science and religion attempt to explain human existence. Lastly, I use Plantinga’s argument for exclusivists to show that such conflict means that science and religion are not compatible. It demands a rejection t either science or religion.