CA49 Science vs. the Supernatural: the Failure of NOMA and the Triumph of Naturalism



The biologist Stephen J. Gould proposed a solution to the apparent friction between religion and science: rather than being in outright conflict, science and religion each preside over distinct, non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA). Science can tell us nothing of the supernatural, and religion can only give us values, meaning, morality, and purpose. We discuss the utter failure of this conciliatory approach and point out the obvious: there is a zero-sum conflict between science and religion. We also discuss Carl Sagan’s garage-dwelling dragon, Bayesian reasoning, the triumph of naturalism, the definition of supernatural, the one-sided function of NOMA, and the inseparability of what is and what matters.

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Emerson’s Blog
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​​Listen to Magic Tricks by Whalers
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​​Sean Carroll – The Case for Naturalism [YouTube]​​
Stephen Jay Gould on NOMA [SJG Archive]​​​​NOMA [Rationalwiki]

NOMA [Conservapedia – the only encyclopedia I trust]

Evolution [Pew]

Evolution II [Pew]

Catholic Church Admits Galileo was Right [New Scientist]

Carl Sagan – The Demon Haunted World [Amazon]

The Dragon in my Garage – Reading [YouTube]

Bart Ehrman – Anachronistic Camels [EhrmanBlog]

The Case for Religious Studies – William Gruen [InsideHigherEd]
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​​Sam Harris – Religions are failed sciences [YouTube]

Jerry Coyne – NOMA [Whyevolutionistrue]
​​Noah Lugeons – NOMA Diatribe [YouTube]

TMM – NOMA [YouTube]


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