Much has been speculated about the opinions of naturalists. Now they finally have their word.
The series is in five parts
- Fundamentals: Materialism, reductionism, ontology and epistemology (3.2.2021)
- Temporary Balance and Explanation of Daily Phenomena (8.2.2021)
- Nature, East versus West (February 15, 2021)
- Intermezzo: Do you agree or disagree? (22.2.2021)
- Mysterious psychological and conclusion
The topic didn’t really interest me much. As an agnostic, as someone who stands by his own ignorance, both the theologian and the atheist have at least one unfounded thesis too much for me. (How was that with Moss Okam?) Perhaps, like Sufis, one can have a spiritual experience and meet “the divine” whatever it is. I have never had such an experience. I can’t really say more about that.
But then my students (in Psychology) kept surprising me by choosing the topic “Religion and Science” when I gave them the freedom to choose the topic. So we have dealt with the danger of dogmatism and intolerance, with the importance of the critical point of view and also with the fact that not everything is rosy in science.
In the world of blogging, the so-called blogosphere, after that I met naturalists more than once. Representatives of this doctrine often appeared in an enlightening gesture – what is now called “human interpretation” in feminist debates – and optionally claimed that the natural sciences will someday explain everything and / or that there can be no deity or other spiritual entities. Its pioneers are widespread British or American authors such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris, and are sometimes called “the new atheists”.
Since mid-January, we have had a number of articles on this blog that critically address naturalism and / or the issue of science-religion compatibility. Soon, 1,800 comments indicate a great need for discussion here as well. But not everyone is fair and open in discussions. And some who pretend to be a “scientific point of view” have never looked at the question scientifically.
Over the years, I have worked time and time again that science and religion don’t often conflict for purely rational reasons abilitySimply because they have different subjects (science and religion). This does not seem to leave some at peace. And because they cannot think of a good cause, they choose some nonsense or mistakes that someone makes “in the name of faith.” This is how you build the straw man, a false argument.
Hard experimental data
In the new series on the problem of mind, body, religion and the natural sciences, I remind readers of a study stating that even in the College of Natural Sciences, nearly 40% of students are binomial (Brain or Religion Research: Who is binary here?). This indeed bothers those who claim that science precludes the existence of the soul.
Also apply Only 2% of the world’s population are atheistsFalling Tilt. After all, agnostics are about 10%. Contrary to what some naturalists suggest, the question is far from settled – at least not in its meaning. When I look at how some of the uninformed, dogmatic naturalists have appeared in the blogosphere, I’m not surprised by these numbers.
Thanks to scientific research – here: Social Sciences – we don’t just need to speculate, we can look at specific data. A research team led by a sociology professor Eileen Howard Eklund From Rice University in Houston, Texas, he has interviewed about 22,500 biologists and physicists at various professional levels from eight different countries on the topic. The subtleties of a survey can be researched, as it should be for the sake of good science (Ecklund et al., 2016). What do naturalists themselves say about the compatibility of science and religion?
The results were very bitter for new atheists like Dawkins, Dennett and Harris and their students, who repeat like a prayer wheel that the natural sciences did not allow for supernatural entities such as God in principle. Because nearly 9,500 interactions showed that between 30% (France) and 94% (India) of naturalists are devoted to a religion. Not just at the corporate level, but personally, 16% (France) to 59% (India) found themselves at least somewhat religious. In four of the eight countries – India, Italy, Taiwan, and Turkey – this was true for more than half of naturalists! 5% (France) to 61% (Turkey) said they undoubtedly knew of God’s existence.
Researchers also asked scholars whether they see a conflict between religion and science – or whether they consider these fields to be compatible. From the claims of prominent naturalists and neo-atheists, one can derive the premise that naturalists must see a conflict here. You have already disproved this hypothesis. But data from Eclund and colleagues also contradict this empirically: even in secular France, more than half of naturalists consider regions to be independent of one another. If you summarize the possible “independent” and “cooperation between science and religion” – these contradictions in both the natural hypothesis – the following picture emerges:
The picture could not be more clear: in all countries, the vast majority of naturalists see no conflict between religion and science. 7% (France) to 33% (Turkey) believe inter-regional cooperation is possible. In the end result, we see that the vast majority of the world’s population is not only religious, and the trend is rising – even among naturalists, religious tendencies are prevalent, including the knowledge that there is a god.
What does this tell us about the new naturalists and atheists who have painted a different picture for many years? Once again it turns out that those making their “science” signs are violating even basic scientific principles. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and their students propagated their speculative philosophy and did not test their assumptions critically and empirically. Those who do so risk not overriding their prejudices.
Fortunately, we have scientific research methods for formulating and testing hypotheses – and, when necessary, to correct our views.
Coyle: Eclund, EH et al. (2016). Religion among Scholars in the International Context: A New Study of Scholars in Eight Regions. Socius: the social search for a dynamic world, 1-9.
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