Science Should Avoid Picking Fights with Religion

Science Should Avoid Picking Fights with Religion
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File

It has long been predicted that religion will wither away as science spreads globally. This prediction has failed to come true, however, as outlined by Peter Harrison, director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities at the University of Queensland, in Aeon (December 7th, 2017). Also, the popular conflict model describing the relationship between science and religion is unsustainable and promoting science in order to replace religion often has the opposite effect.

The fact that Christianity is sharply declining in its European heartland (53 per cent of British adults have no religious affiliation) tends to obscure the fact that religious practice is growing and thriving globally. In 2017, the Pew Research Centre reported the following global religious affiliations (numbers in brackets are percentages of the global population): Christians (31.2 per cent); Muslims (24.1 per cent); Unaffiliated (16 per cent); Hindus (15.1 per cent); Buddhists (6.9 per cent); Folk Religions (5.7 per cent); Other Religions (0.8 per cent); Jews (0.2 per cent).

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