Science & Education

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 49–67

When Science Studies Religion: Six Philosophy Lessons for Science Classes


DOI: 10.1007/s11191-011-9355-2

Cite this article as:
Pigliucci, M. Sci & Educ (2013) 22: 49. doi:10.1007/s11191-011-9355-2


It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naiveté of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philosophers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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