Why Scientists Shouldn't Cast Stones

European visitors to the United States often remark on the surprising power and influence of religion in this country. Religion in Europe is largely a private and individual activity. In the U.S., in contrast, religion continually overflows into politics and other aspects of daily life. We recently had a serious presidential candidate who claimed that God told himto run for office. And strong, vocal groups have been calling for such practices as school prayer and the teaching of Biblical crea

Murray Saffran
Sep 4, 1988

European visitors to the United States often remark on the surprising power and influence of religion in this country. Religion in Europe is largely a private and individual activity. In the U.S., in contrast, religion continually overflows into politics and other aspects of daily life. We recently had a serious presidential candidate who claimed that God told himto run for office. And strong, vocal groups have been calling for such practices as school prayer and the teaching of Biblical creationism in science classes. All of this is well and good in a country where freedom of religion is a constitutional right And no one would dream of suggesting that scientists should not worship as they see fit. But it was during the well-publicized attempts to enact laws requiring “equal time” for creationism in public schools that I began to wonder just how often scientists themselves hold religious beliefs or positions...

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