History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Science a religion?

July 19th, 2011 · No Comments


Is Science a Religion?
by Richard Dawkins
Published in the Humanist, January/February 1997

Accusing science of being a religion is often a gesture of impatience at the point that scientific perspectives take on a kind of dogmatic faith-like bias. We have indulged in this slap in the face here, a number of times. If you wish to quibble your way out of this charge in defense of science, it is not particularly hard. As categories, science and religion are conceptually and historically distinct, quite obviously. But I think that what is really being laid against science is the psychology of conditioned belief, and the overly propagandized promotion of scientism, darwinism, economic theory (as science??), and the success here in paralyzing real thought in the resulting ‘true believers’. Confusion is thus arising between ‘religion’ as a conceptual category (pretty hard to define!) and science in a kind of decay, just like much religion.

Frankly, what is the use of such fanaticism from science defenders if those with this mindset can’t even detect pseudo-science in areas such as Darwinism?

In general, the new atheist attacks on religion are so ignorant as to be genuinely disillusioning about the science cult behind them. Science has to be something more than knee-jerk attacks on the abstraction ‘religion’, and it must be fair about its history, its real history, and its deeper legacy visible in the religions such as Buddhism.

Tags: Science & Religion

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