The New York Times

What Science Can Learn From Religion

HOSTILITY TOWARD SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS MAY BE HAMPERING EMPIRICAL INQUIRY.

Science and religion seem to be getting ever more tribal in their mutual recriminations, at least among hard-line advocates. While fundamentalist faiths cast science as a misguided or even malicious source of information, polemicizing scientists argue that religion isn’t just wrong or meaningless but also dangerous.

I am no apologist for religion. As a psychologist, I believe that the scientific method provides the best tools with which to unlock the secrets of human nature. But after decades spent trying to understand how our minds work, I’ve begun to worry that the divide between religious and scientific communities might not only be stoking needless hostility; it might also be slowing the process of

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min read
Fear, Anxiety and Hope: What It Means to Be a Minority in Gaming
(Circuits) Five years after “Gamergate,” little seems to have changed in the industry for minorities, women and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. Here are six stories of people trying to change that.
The New York Times7 min read
Ali Wong Is Crossing Lines Again,This Time in a Book
The star of two uproarious Netflix comedy specials is nervous about how people will react to her essay collection. “I hope my siblings don’t get pissed at me,” she says.
The New York Times4 min read
When You Take a Great Photo, Thank the Algorithm in Your Phone
Not too long ago, tech giants like Apple and Samsung raved about the number of megapixels they were cramming into smartphone cameras to make photos look clearer. Nowadays, all the handset-makers are shifting focus to the algorithms, artificial intell