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15 Questions About Science And Religion, Answered

Crucifixes in nature.

Last April, I joined more than a dozen cognitive scientists at a workshop called "Breaking New Ground in the Science-Religion Dialogue." The workshop, organized by Cristine Legare at the University of Texas at Austin, aimed to encourage a sophisticated, evidence-based look at the psychology behind science and religion, as well as psychological factors that affect people's perception of believers, atheists and the relationship between science and religion.

In addition to longer presentations, participants were asked to provide brief responses to fundamental questions about science, religion, atheism and belief in God. For instance, I was asked whether scientific and religious explanations are philosophically incompatible — a question I also took up in a blog post following the workshop.

Videos of these responses were just made available on YouTube, and I'm happy to share them here with 13.7's readers. You'll find plenty of food for thought! And if you have your own answers to these questions, please share them in the comments.

Take a look:

Watch: How can evolutionary psychology inform the science and religion dialogue? (Prof. David Buss)

Watch: Why is there so much antagonism in media dialogues between believers and atheists? (Prof. Kelly James Clark)

Watch: Why do people distrust atheists? (Prof. Will Gervais)

Watch: How is the process of acquiring religious and scientific explanations similar? (Prof. Paul Harris)

Watch: Can science ever replace religion? (Prof. Bruce Hood)

Watch: Why haven't more social scientists participated in the popular science discourse about science and religion? (Prof. Tom Lawson)

Watch: How do people reconcile religious and scientific explanations? (Prof. Cristine Legare)

Watch: Are scientific and religious explanations philosophically incompatible? (Prof. Tania Lombrozo)

Watch: How can cognitive science inform the science and religion dialogue? (Prof. Art Markman)

Watch: Why should scientists care about religion? (Prof. Robert McCauley)

Watch: What kind of biases do people have about scientists? (Prof. Bastiaan Rutjens)

Watch: How can evolutionary perspectives on religion inform the science and religion dialogue? (Prof. Azim Shariff)

Watch: What would be the best way to create a more scientifically informed public? (Prof. Andrew Shtulman)

Watch: How can philosophy inform the science and religion dialogue? (Prof. Konrad Talmont-Kaminski)

Watch: Do people become more or less religious with age? (Prof. Jacqueline Woolley)

Tania Lombrozo is a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She writes about psychology, cognitive science and philosophy, with occasional forays into parenting and veganism. You can keep up with more of what she is thinking on Twitter: @TaniaLombrozo

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tania Lombrozo is a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. She is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an affiliate of the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Lombrozo directs the Concepts and Cognition Lab, where she and her students study aspects of human cognition at the intersection of philosophy and psychology, including the drive to explain and its relationship to understanding, various aspects of causal and moral reasoning and all kinds of learning.