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 Times8 min read
36 Hours in Naples, Italy
A city of glorious but tattered beauty, known for its vibrancy and, yes, a frisson of menace, Naples is now humming with visitors. In this Mediterranean capital watched over by the still-kicking Vesuvius volcano, tourist numbers have more than double
The New York Times5 min read
There Is No Single, Best Policy for Drug Prices
A majority of Americans prefer greater regulation of prescription drug prices, meaning government intervention to lower them. But don’t count on a single policy to address a nuanced problem. “All low-priced drugs are alike; all high-priced drugs are
The New York Times2 min read
A David Bowie Barbie: Mattel Unveils Ziggy Stardust Doll
On Thursday, the world learned that Barbie is a Bowie fan. With its release of a doll dressed as David Bowie’s glittering alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Mattel said it was celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Space Oddity,” released in 1969. The new Barbi