Zeiger, P.H. / Published 2006 / Article
Citation: Zeiger, P.H. (2006). Toward a rapprochement of religion and science. In K. E. Davis, & R. M Bergner (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol. 8 (pp. 195-225). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.
Abstract: In this article we will explore the domains of religion and science as areas of human activity and understanding. Where are they independent of each other? Where do they overlap, with the resulting opportunity for conflict? How might this conflict, when it occurs, be most productively dealt with, e.g. in ways that benefit both religion and science? The article begins with several currently popular viewpoints on the relationship between religion and science, all mutually (and dramatically) inconsistent. The next major goal will be to make it comprehensible that people living on the same planet could hold all these views, and to do it without putting down the holders of any of those views. Reaching this goal will be facilitated by the resources of Descriptive Psychology (DP), so the exposition will detour through a sketch of what DP is and why it is useful for the task at hand. With the above analysis in hand, the limits of religious pluralism and the overlaps between religion and science will be explored. I hope to convince the reader that (a) the apparent conflict between religion and science, as represented in the popular press, is less serious than might be imagined at first glance, and (b) some of the perceived problems boil down to finding the protocols necessary for co-existing in an atmosphere of religious pluralism -- a problem that stands before us independent of any collisions between religion and science. The article will end with what I believe to be the bottom lines for what scientists and religious people must throw away in order for productive dialog to occur, and what they must keep to maintain their integrity.