Seeking Good Debate
Religion, Science, and Conflict
in American Public Life
Rethinking Religion and Science
Is good public debate between religion and science possible? The dominant conflict narrative suggests that the answer is "no". Good debate is deliberative. Good debate happens when people and ideas are in production engagement in public life. Good debate is not possible, the conflict narrative suggests, because religion and science will always be at war with each other.
Outrageous public statements reinforce the impression of conflict. Take, for example, debates over creationism, Intelligent Design (ID), and evolution. When the citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania, voted out their ID-supporting school board, televangelist Pat Robertson responded: "I'd like to say tot he good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your are area, don't turn to God, you just rejected him from your city"...
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