Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

Front Cover
Prometheus Books - Religion
2 Reviews
With the assistance of Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu...this collection is timely, and welcome. -Skeptical Inquirer...provides a wide ranging overview of a complex and challenging topic of interest to many. -Australian Humanist. . . science and religion have been seeking common ground through ongoing dialogue. . . . this volume provide[s] a dimension to the conversation that has seldom been heard. . . . present[s] important and provocative voices too often drowned out. - Publishers WeeklyIn recent years a noticeable trend toward harmonizing the distinct worldviews of science and religion has become increasingly popular. Despite marked public interest, many leading scientists remain skeptical that there is much common ground between scientific knowledge and religious belief. Indeed, they are often antagonistic. Can an accommodation be reached after centuries of conflict?In this stimulating collection of articles on the subject, Paul Kurtz, with the assistance of Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu, have assembled the thoughts of scientists from various disciplines. Among the distinguished contributors are Sir Arthur C. Clarke (author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and numerous other works of science fiction); Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Weinberg (professor of physics at the University of Texas at Austin); Neil deGrasse Tyson (Princeton University astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium); James Lovelock (creator of the Gaia hypothesis); Kendrick Frazier (editor of the Skeptical Inquirer); Steven Pinker (professor of psychology at MIT); Richard Dawkins (zoologist at Oxford University); Eugenie Scott (physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education); Owen Gingerich (professor of astronomy at Harvard University); Martin Gardner (prolific popular science writer); the late Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize-winning physicist) and Stephen Jay Gould (professor of geology at Harvard University); and many other eminent scientists and scholars.Among the topics discussed are the Big Bang and the origin of the universe, intelligent design and creationism versus evolution, the nature of the soul, near-death experiences, communication with the dead, why people do or do not believe in God, and the relationship between religion and ethics.Paul Kurtz (Amherst, NY), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is president of the International Academy of Humanism and is one of the leading spokespersons for Secular Humanism today. He is the author or editor of over thirty-five books, including Embracing the Power of Humanism (Rowman & Littlefield) and The Courage to Become (Praeger/Greenwood).

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

The author does a good job of describing the controversies between science and religion, but is too quick to dismiss the reality of the disputes, and the difficulty of resolving them. Adopting ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

The author does a good job of describing the controversies between science and religion, but is too quick to dismiss the reality of the disputes, and the difficulty of resolving them. Adopting ... Read full review


An Overview of the Issues
A Designer Universe?
Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose?
From the Anthropic Principle to the Supernatural
Gods Goof and the Universe that Knew We Were Coming
An Astrophysicist Ponders the God Question
Creationism versus Evolution
Skepticisms Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design
There Is a Conflict
Life After Death
AfterDeath Communication Studies
NearDeath Experiences
Does the Soul Exist? From
Efficacy of Prayer
Science versus Shroud Science
Why Do People Believe or Disbelieve?

A Critique of IntelligentDesign
Science and Religion in Historical Perspective
The Galileo Affair
Which Outlook
The Dangerous Quest for Cooperation
A Conversation with My Students
Nonoverlapping Magisteria
Irreconcilable Differences?
Supernatural Power and Cultural Evolution
The Biological Roots of Religion
Whence Religious Belief?
Science and the Unknowable
A Way of Life for Agnostics
Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author

Paul Kurtz was born on December 21, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master's degree and doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the United States Army and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. He was a philosopher who focused on fighting prejudice against people who reject belief in a god and promoting a non-religious stance in life. He wrote or edited more than 50 books on ethics without religion, critiques of religion and the paranormal, and on skepticism, or the challenging of received wisdom. His works include The Transcendental Temptation, Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism, The Courage to Become, Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda, and What is Secular Humanism? He founded the journal Free Inquiry and the secular humanist Center for Inquiry. He also taught at numerous universities including the State University of New York at Buffalo and Vassar. He died on October 20, 2012 at the age of 86.

Bibliographic information