Science and Religion

March 22, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 12
Can their conflicts be resolved?
By Tom Price


Jack Wu (Getty Images/Kansas City Star/McClatchy-Tribune/Jim Barcus)
Jack Wu, an unsuccessful candidate for the Kansas Board of Education in 2012, calls evolution “satanic lies” that should not be taught in Kansas schools. A majority of Americans — 61 percent — accept the theory of evolution. In recent years, Kansas has repeatedly flip-flopped over permitting the teaching of evolution. (Getty Images/Kansas City Star/McClatchy-Tribune/Jim Barcus)

A century-and-a-half after Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution, scientists and people who read the Bible literally remain locked in conflict. They are divided over a wide range of issues, from evolution and climate change to stem-cell research and homosexuality. But nowhere is the division stronger than in education. Despite court rulings barring public schools from teaching creationism, some authorities continue to promote it alongside evolution or have curbed the way evolution is taught. A controversial group of “New Atheist” scientists stridently advocates the total elimination of religion from society. But other scientists — some religious and others not — argue that condemning religion not only disrespects the majority of Americans who profess a faith but also undermines the public's support for science and ultimately threatens America's economic competitiveness.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Evolution, Science, and Creationism
Mar. 22, 2013  Science and Religion
Jul. 29, 2005  Intelligent Design
Aug. 22, 1997  Evolution Vs. Creationism
Dec. 08, 1971  Origins of the Universe
Aug. 15, 1936  Freedom of Teaching
Religion and Education
Science and Politics