Advertisement

Science & Education

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2679–2707 | Cite as

Relating Science and Religion: An Ontology of Taxonomies and Development of a Research Tool for Identifying Individual Views

  • Pratchayapong Yasri
  • Shagufta Arthur
  • Mike U. Smith
  • Rebecca MancyEmail author
Article

Abstract

Understanding how individuals view the relationship between science and religion shows promise for explaining a range of aspects of teaching and learning in science. Several taxonomies, consisting of different views by which people relate science and religion, can be found in the philosophical literature. However, most of the science education literature uses these taxonomies selectively and with limited justification, hindering comparison between existing and future studies. The first aim of this paper is therefore to provide a comprehensive review of the different taxonomies described in the literature and to organise the different views according to their similarities and differences. The second aim of the paper is to present a new research tool developed on the basis of the findings of the literature review. This tool consists of a short questionnaire allowing educational researchers to identify the different viewpoints held by pre-service teachers, undergraduates majoring in biology and school learners. We present the tool itself and demonstrate its usefulness and versatility for future science education research based on three empirical studies covering a range of geographical areas, religious backgrounds, educational levels, age groups and genders.

Keywords

Philosophical Literature Natural Theology Contrast View Educational Literature Religious Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We wish to thank to the Royal Thai Government for the financial support provided to the first author throughout this study and the five anonymous referees for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. We also wish to thank John McColl for helpful conversations about this work.

References

  1. Alexander, D. R. (2007). Models for relating science and religion. Faraday Paper, pp. 1–4. Retrieved from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion website: http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/papers.php.
  2. Barbour, I. G. (1990). Religion in an age of science. London: SCM Press.Google Scholar
  3. Berry, R. (2007). Creation and evolution: Not creation or evolution. Faraday Paper, 12, 1–4. Retrieved from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion website: http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/papers.php.
  4. Billingsley, B., Taber, K., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2012). Secondary school students’ epistemic insight into the relationships between science and religion—a preliminary enquiry. Research in Science Education, pp. 1–18. doi: 10.1007/s11165-012-9317-y.
  5. Brem, S. K., Ranney, M., & Schindel, J. (2003). Perceived consequences of evolution: College students perceive negative personal and social impact in evolutionary theory. Science Education, 87(2), 181–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cho, M.-H., Lankford, D., & Wescott, D. (2011). Exploring the relationships among epistemological beliefs, nature of science, and conceptual change in the learning of evolutionary theory. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 4(2), 313–322. doi: 10.1007/s12052-011-0324-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cioccolanti, S. (2007). From Buddha to Jesus: An insider’s view of Buddhism & Christianity. Oxford: Monarch Books.Google Scholar
  8. Cobern, W. (2000). The nature of science and the role of knowledge and belief. Science & Education, 9(3), 219–246. doi: 10.1023/a:1008747309880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collins, F. (2006). The language of God: A scientist presents evidence for belief. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gauch, H, Jr. (2009). Science, worldviews, and education. In M. Matthews (Ed.), Science, worldviews and education (pp. 27–48). Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Gould, J. (2002). Rock of ages: Science and religion in the fullness of life. New York: Ballantin Books.Google Scholar
  12. Haught, J. F. (1995). Science and religion: From conflict to conversation. New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hokayem, H., & BouJaoude, S. (2008). College students’ perceptions of the theory of evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(4), 395–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ingram, E. L., & Nelson, C. E. (2006). Relationship between achievement and students’ acceptance of evolution or creation in an upper-level evolution course. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(1), 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lederman, N. G. (1995). Suchting on the nature of scientific thought: Are we anchoring curricula in quicksand? Science & Education, 4(4), 371–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lederman, N. G., Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L., & Schwartz, R. S. (2002). Views of nature of science questionnaire: Toward valid and meaningful assessment of learners’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 497–521. doi: 10.1002/tea.10034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lombrozo, T., Thanukos, A., & Weisberg, M. (2008). The importance of understanding the nature of science for accepting evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 1(3), 290–298. doi: 10.1007/s12052-008-0061-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mahner, M., & Bunge, M. (1996). Is religious education compatible with science education? Science & Education, 5(2), 101–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McGrath, A. E. (2010). Science and religion: A new introduction (2nd ed.). Singapore: Willey-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. McKeachie, W., Lin, Y., & Strayer, J. (2002). Creation vs. evolution beliefs: Effects on learning biology. The American Biology Teacher, 64(3), 189–192.Google Scholar
  21. Moore, J. A. (1984). Science as a way of knowing—evolutionary biology. American Zoologist, 24(2), 467–534.Google Scholar
  22. Nord, W. A. (1999). Science, religion, and education. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(1), 28–33.Google Scholar
  23. Paul P. J. II. (1996). Message to the pontifical academy of sciences: On evolution. Retrieved from EWTN Global Catholic Network website: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp961022.htm.
  24. Perry, W. G, Jr. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  25. Polkinghorne, J. C. (1986). One world: The interaction of science and theology. London: SPCK.Google Scholar
  26. Pope Pius XII. (1950). Humani generis (Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine). Retrieved from EWTN Global Catholic Network website: http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P12HUMAN.HTM.
  27. Preston, J., & Epley, N. (2009). Science and God: An automatic opposition between ultimate explanations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 238–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Reich, K. H. (2010). Developing the horizons of the mind: Relational and contextual reasoning and the resolution of cognitive conflict (paperback ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Reiss, M. J. (2009). The relationship between evolutionary biology and religion. Evolution, 63, 1934–1941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Scott, E. C. (2005). Evolution vs creationism: An introduction. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  31. Shipman, H. L., Brickhouse, N. W., Dagher, Z., & Letts, W. J. (2002). Changes in student views of religion and science in a college astronomy course. Science Education, 86(4), 526–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith, M. (2010a). Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: I. Philosophical/epistemological issues. Science & Education, 19(6), 523–538. doi: 10.1007/s11191-009-9215-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith, M. (2010b). Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: II. Pedagogical issues. Science & Education, 19(6), 539–571. doi: 10.1007/s11191-009-9216-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Smith, M., & Scharmann, L. (1999). Defining versus describing the nature of science: A pragmatic analysis for classroom teachers and science educators. Science Education, 83(4), 493–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stolberg, T. L. (2007). The religio-scientific frameworks of pre-service primary teachers: An analysis of their influence on their teaching of science. International Journal of Science Education, 29(7), 909–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Taber, K. S., Billingsley, B., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2011). Secondary students’ responses to perceptions of the relationship between science and religion: Stances identified from an interview study. Science Education, 95(6), 1000–1025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Winslow, M. W., Staver, J. R., & Scharmann, L. C. (2011). Evolution and personal religious belief: Christian university biology-related majors’ search for reconciliation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(9), 1026–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yasri, P., & Mancy, R. (2012). Understanding student approaches to learning evolution in the context of their perceptions of the relationship between science and religion. International Journal of Science Education.,. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2012.715315.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratchayapong Yasri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shagufta Arthur
    • 1
  • Mike U. Smith
    • 3
  • Rebecca Mancy
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland, UK
  2. 2.Institute for Innovative LearningMahidol UniversityNakorn PathomThailand
  3. 3.School of MedicineMercer UniversityMaconUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative MedicineUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland, UK

Personalised recommendations