Should scientists challenge religious beliefs? Is religion inevitable in human society? Is religion harmful to society? Can science itself inspire spiritual wonder? Confrontation between science and religion has defined much public debate about religion in recent years, most lately in bestsellers portraying a clash between scientists and religious believers, such as Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and Sam Harris's The End of Faith or Letter to a Christian Nation. But what does this 'us versus them' divide mean for society? This collection of essays gives voice to social scientists, natural scientists and theologians whose experience holds direct relevance on these major issues, and clarifies the position of science in the modern debate.
Includes contributions by Mary Midgley (University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK), Denis Alexander (Cambridge University, UK), Richard Roberts (Lancaster University, UK), Bob Layton (Durham University, UK), Simon Coleman (Sussex University, UK), Michael Shermer (Executive Director of the Sceptics Society and monthly columnist for Scientific American), Lewis Wolpert (University College London, UK), Andrew Newberg (University of Pennsylvania), Timothy Taylor (University of Bradford, UK), Steven Mithen (University of Reading, UK), David Sloan Wilson (Binghamton University), Herbert Maschner (Idaho State University), Ian Reader (University of Manchester, UK), Hiroko Kawanami (Lancaster University, UK), Andrian Kreye (Suddeutsche Zeitung), John Hedley Brooke (Oxford University, UK), Gordy Slack (Author of The Battle Over The Meaning Of Everything), Seth Shostak (Seti Institute), William Calvin (University Of Washington), and David Wilkinson (Durham University, UK).