chapter  7
11 Pages

The compatibility of science and religion?

ByFERN ELSDON-BAKER

Over the past few decades, representations of atheistic worldviews have become, to a degree, synonymous with a scientific worldview. This is not entirely surprising given the rhetoric of high-profile ‘new atheist’ commentators and science communicators like Richard Dawkins, who professedly have a foot in both camps. However, while it is one thing to represent atheists as seeking to adopt a scientific way of thinking about the world as part of their broader worldview, it is an entirely different proposition to represent a scientific worldview as being in and of itself a necessarily atheistic position. Unfortunately, this important distinction has become increasingly blurred in public debate, with these two different, but historically dispersed, intellectual traditions becoming inextricably linked in some aspects of recent public commentary. As a result, one could be forgiven for expecting that science must be in some kind of inevitable and ongoing conflict with religion.