Science and Religion Need Not Be at War

David Sloan Wilson: The eminent evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is also an articulate spokesperson for atheism and critic of religion. His most recent statement, “Yes, There is a War Between Science and Religion,” was published in the online magazine The Conversation. I am also an evolutionary biologist who helped to pioneer the study of religion from an evolutionary perspective with my book Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society. I often call myself an atheist, although that depends upon how one defines religion, a point to which I will return. Those who are familiar with both Jerry and me know that we seem to disagree a lot — not just on religion, but on what seems to be the purely scientific topic of Multilevel Selection (MLS) Theory. But that’s not quite right. There is a large zone of agreement between us and staking it out can help to understand the zone of disagreement.

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