Language propelled evolution out of a purely genetic realm, where it still operates, into the realm of culture, Nowak said. “And that’s always funny.”, Science and religion fulfill separate roles, like two languages always searching for the right word. White pastors routinely critique the U.S. We can explain and predict how nature will behave over an extraordinary range of scales. That’s like thinking we can have creation without a creator, God without love, or a firefly without bioluminescent light. Scholar Says Religion And Science Can Co-Exist In the latest installment of Faith Matters, host Michel Martin talks about the realities of science and mystery of faith with Francisco Ayala. Got something to say about what you're reading? They’ve constructed an imaginary wall between religious belief and scientific method, when in fact the two are meant to work together and lead us forward. They rejected the truth that the universe is billions of years old, the Earth is round, and the sun — not our planet — is the center of the solar system. Religion will only slow down science, and take away from science. Science’s discoveries upended those ideas and opened ways for new ones. However, these attributes are given to God in response to the prior belief that he created the universe. Nowak quoted the late British evolutionary biologist J.B.S. For example, for the longest we believed that the earth was flat. Language is as little as 100,000 years old, said Nowak in a March 8 lecture at Harvard Divinity School. The evolution of cooperation lays out common ground for the scientist and the theologian. “Even as a scientist, I am free to assume the best possible world,” said Nowak, who is content with the parallel lexicons of the two realms. “There are no equivalent questions in science.” To illustrate the instability of relying on science alone, he used the analogy of Mr. Spock on “Star Trek.” He was “only a scientist — hyperrational,” said Nowak. It’s a magical experience watching fireflies rise from the ground at dusk and blink their way high into the trees, performing their light show against the night sky. This is like asking whether a fascist, communist, and democrat can live together peacefully while constantly talking about their views. *Science and religion converge in one important way. Then along came human language, an ever-growing repertoire of signals that evolved from adapting ancient regions of the primate brain once only used to decipher sounds and control facial muscles. Mariama White-Hammond , founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester, Mass., offers a sermon on the Genesis creation story and our role in that story. It’s very clear that science “works”. Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. What will the new post-pandemic normal look like? He also writes a weekly blog at Here are research-based ways to have an effective conversation. One of the most significant examples of conflict between religion and science is the global-warming debate, and Coyne takes care to stress the religious roots of the arguments against climate change. In most of the 4 billion years of life on Earth, gene sequences were the only way information was encoded for evolutionary purposes, said Nowak, who is the director of Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. Though a majority of evangelicals don't see science and religion in conflict, many of them still believe in ideas that science doesn't support. Denying either is a barren approach.”, By itself, intellectual (scientific) life is “inherently unstable,” and is unable to answer the kind of questions religion can — like the meaning of life, said Nowak. In mathematical terms, he said, kinship selection and other mechanisms of the evolution of cooperation show a favorable cost-benefit analysis.