Science and Religion

en español

by Peter M. J. Hess, Director, Religious Community Outreach

In public discussions of evolution and creationism, we are sometimes told by creationists and opponents of religion alike that we must choose between belief in creation and acceptance of the theory of evolution, between religion and science. Is this a fair demand? Is the choice that stark? Can one believe in God and accept evolution? Can one both accept what science teaches and engage in religious belief and practice?

These are complex issues, and deserve thoughtful consideration before a decision is made. Theologians, clergy, scientists, and others belonging to many religious traditions have concluded that their religious views are compatible with evolution, and are even enhanced by the knowledge of nature that science provides. Just as vigorously, other theologians, clergy, and members of other religious traditions reject evolution as contradictory to and thus incompatible with their faith positions. And some nonbelievers argue that the methodology and findings of science are philosophically incompatible with any meaningful form of faith. Passions often run high on all sides.

This section of our website offers resources for exploring a wide array of religious perspectives on scientific questions, and scientific perspectives on topics of interest to various religious groups. We also provide resources for anyone interested in a general exploration of the relationship between science, especially the evolutionary sciences, and religion. One goal of this section of the website is to make the public aware that the dichotomous view represented by creationists and antireligious atheists leaves out a large range of more moderate religious views. We hope that you find these materials useful in considering these important issues.

For resources elsewhere on the Internet, see this compilation.

Last Rev. 22 June 2012