© 2019 by Joel Thiessen. All rights reserved.

Where is the Evidence? Privileging Science over Religion

December 8, 2015

In May 2015 I was invited to participate in a two-day workshop in Toronto, Ontario with a group of thirty scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds across Europe, the United States, and Canada. The task was to embark on a conversation and research study (Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum) that seeks to build an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of public perceptions of the relationship between ‘science’ and ‘religion’ across all faiths and none.

At this event I presented some findings from my recent book (The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age), but also material that is not covered in this book. In this blog I summarize that research, including how and why the perceived tension between science and religion facilitated some to diminish their involvement in a religious group; the belief among some that scientific authority ought to trump religious authority; the perception that religious groups shelter members from thinking scientifically; and how some are unlikely to pursue greater involvement in a religious group unless religious claims are proven true scientifically.

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JOEL THIESSEN, PhD
sociologist