The Relationship between Science and Religion: Complexity Rules the Day, and Many Windows and Maps Are Needed

Charles J. Kowalski


In a recent paper, Kowalski and Mrdjenovich (2017) advised against indiscriminate dichotomization. We looked at nature vs nurture, reductionism vs holism, and several of the ways the scientific pie could be sliced in two pieces, basic vs applied, physical science vs social science, etc., arguing that focusing on one or the other of two dichotomous choices often deflects attention from a more fertile intermediate ground where more useful answers might be found, and that a better classification scheme than the basic/applied opposition would depend on the nature of the question being asked and the manner in which an answer is sought. We even ventured to include science vs poetry, recognizing that the two are often taken to be the very embodiment of polarity, the cold of rationality vs the heat of emotion. Thus we approached, but did not directly confront the elephant in the room: Science vs Religion. I attend to this now.

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