Science and Morality


Our next mini-unit will be on the relationship between science and morality. In the 21st century, there are many voices on both sides of the spectrum that disavow the importance of these two areas of study, but is it true that science makes theology obsolete and valueless? What should the relationship between science and theology be?

This is critical in the area of morality, since many take the view that morality and ethics are purely evolutionary mechanisms, and can be explained through the hard sciences of biology, chemistry, and psychology.

This article takes a look at how this view developed, some of the (often bad) dialogues that have happened between scientists and theologians, and offers a solution to moving forward.

For Thursday, please the article (“Can Evolution Explain Morality?” – only read the first article!) and answer the following 5 questions on a separate sheet of paper. Each answer should be a short paragraph, 3-4 sentences with supporting quotations from the reading:

  1. What is evolutionary naturalism? What does it say about religion and theology?
  2. How is Paul Bloom’s study on the morality of babies an example of evolutionary naturalism?
  3. Choose 3 of the theologians and scientists from the section titled “Theological Issues” and give a short explanation of their views on the relationship between science and religion, and the author’s own critique of their view.
  4. Why does the author end by comparing evolution to grammar? What does he mean by this?
  5. In the author’s point of view, are science and theology incompatible areas of inquiry? Why or why not?