Science scepticism and religion
Faculty of Religion and Theology, VU University Amsterdam
How do you talk about science if the person you’re talking to may be sceptical about the very phenomenon of science itself? A group of researchers at VU University’s Faculty of Religion and Theology show religious groups how a fundamentally scientific and critical attitude can go hand in hand with philosophical beliefs and how the combination can actually generate new insights. With accessible publications, symposia, countless lectures and interviews, they enter into dialogue with religious groups that are critical of the generally accepted results of scientific research.
Initially, the group focused on the Neo‑Darwinian theory of evolution, refuting, for example, flawed alternatives embraced in religious circles, such as creationism and Intelligent Design. More recently, they have focused heavily on climate science because of the various forms of climate scepticism that are (also) found in religious circles. The group has an important bridging function by helping orthodox religious communities – from a participatory stance – to become acquainted with generally accepted scientific research. Studies shows, for example, that in the past few years scepticism in these circles about evolution has decreased.
In recent years, the group has focused on Christian communities, but it seeks to broaden its methodology to include, for example, Muslim and Orthodox Jewish groups. The appreciation and financial support from the Rewarded! Fund will probably help achieve these aims.
Logos – En de aarde bracht voort. Christelijk geloof en evolutie
Trouw – Het briljante ‘Oer’ zou zomaar het beste theologische boek van het jaar kunnen worden
CIP – Prof Gijsbert van den Brink over schepping en evolutie
Gijsbert van den Brink, hoogleraar
Other group members:
Arie Zwiep, universitair hoofddocent
Eva van Urk, promovendus
Rik Peels, universitair hoofddocent
Stefan Paas, hoogleraar