Write a summary about the conflict between religion and science with reference to John H. Evan's article "Epistemological and Moral Conflict Between Religion and Science."

According to John H. Evans in his article "Epistemological and Moral Conflict Between Religion and Science," the conflict between religion and science is not related to knowledge. He argues that most religious people do not object to the epistemology, or the way of seeing the world, represented by science. The debate between science and religion is rather a moral debate and is more related to the actions of science-minded people than a difference in how we understand the world.

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In his book Morals Not Knowledge: Recasting the Contemporary US Conflict Between Religion and Science, John H. Evans, a sociologist of religion, argues that there is not a "foundational conflict" between the "ways of knowing" about the world according to science and religion. He claims that even fundamentalist religious believers accept "science's ability to make factual claims about the world."

He acknowledges that the differences between science and religion have been a major trope in Western society since the seventeenth century, and he does not deny that differences in worldview exist. However, Evans claims that these differences are related to morals, not epistemology. He is especially concerned to point out that the fact that religious people (especially Protestant fundamentalists) object to one aspect of science (evolution, for example) does not mean that they do not accept others (like climate change).

This belief has been popularized by people on both sides of the perceived divide between religion and science, but Evans believes it is in error. He sees the fundamental divide between religion and science as moral in nature. Religious people do not necessarily reject the principles or the epistemology of science. Rather, they object to the moral dimensions of what they think science leads to.

Opposition to stem cell research on the part of religious fundamentalists is one example of this divide. This is a moral question, not a scientific one. The distinction may feel like a small one, but Evans claims that it has enormous implications for the actions of people in public policy debates about these issues. There is not a fundamental, irreconcilable difference in worldview between religion and science.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 22, 2020
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