Paper on NOMA...Finally

So, this paper took a strange turn, and ended up being delayed, and I had to think about it a lot more. At first I thought, well I believe in both and think both worlds should be intertwined. How can I call myself a scientist and a christian, and not mix both worlds. Then, however I really started to change my mind, and start to seriously think about NOMA. In case you don't know NOMA stands for non-overlapping magisteria. This simply means that science and religion should be kept completely separate. This theory was introduced by Stephen J. Gould.

Views on Non-overlapping Magisteria

Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of non-overlapping magisteria is a perfect solution for someone like me. I am both a spiritual person and a scientist. In the past I have always found it difficult to separate both disciplines. With NOMA it is easier (in most instances) to find a way to keep them separated. Personally, I think it is impossible to keep religion and science completely separate. There are too many instances, such as Adam and Eve, where science and religion come together. Or, as Gould says, the two magisteria bump together. However, NOMA does offer a way to not overlap the two groups too often. From this moment on, when debating religious and scientific matters I will think more about whether the conflict is actually relevant. There, of course, will always be moments when science can help explain religion, and religion can help explain science. For example, using forensic tests (using science) to verify biblical stories. Also, using religion to add meaning to things science cannot explain.

Personally, I believe that if you are truly a Christian then religion should encompass all aspects of your life. But since I am also a scientist this may not always be a practical option for me. I like the principal of NOMA, but I do not think it is realistic to follow it exactly.

So that is a very brief version of my paper, but you get the general idea.

I hope you enjoy, and please comment whether you agree or disagree!


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