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Scientific and Religious Habits of Mind

Irreconcilable Tensions in the Curriculum


Ron Good

The open, inquiring nature of science is fundamentally incompatible with the closed, authoritarian nature of most religious training. Reasons for rejection of personal god concepts by Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Bertrand Russell are used by this author to underline this incompatibility and to show how each of these important scientists came to reject organized religion. Conflicts between scientific and religious habits of mind are described and ideas for education are offered. Common assumptions about our natural environment and human nature are shown to be obstacles to scientific literacy and to a sound liberal education. Research on the nature of the relationship between scientific and religious habits of mind is proposed, recognizing the potential incompatibilities between these important influences in society.