Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?

Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?
A Templeton Conversation

 John Templeton Foundation


Does science make belief in God obsolete?


This is the third in a series of conversations among leading scientists and scholars about the "Big Questions."  For the previous two questions, click here.
To request a booklet containing all the essays, click here. For a PDF, here.
To view featured debates among the contributors, click here.

 Steven Pinker

Yes, if by...

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the department of psychology at Harvard University. He is the author of seven books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and most recently, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.

Steven PinkerNo, and yes.

Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, O.P., is a Dominican friar, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, a Member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Education of the Roman Catholic Church, and was lead editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

William D. PhillipsAbsolutely not!

William D. Phillips, a Nobel Laureate in physics, is a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute of the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.



Pervez Amirali HoodbhoyNot necessarily.

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is chairman of the department of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and is the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality.

Mary MidgleyOf course not.

Mary Midgley is a philosopher with a special interest in ethics, human nature, and science, and is the author of Evolution as a Religion and Science as Salvation.


Robert SapolskyNo.

Robert Sapolsky is John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University. He is the author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, The Trouble with Testosterone, and A Primate's Memoir.



Christopher HitchensNo, but it should.

Christopher Hitchens is the author of God Is Not Great and the editor of The Portable Atheist.

Keith WardNo.

Keith Ward is a Fellow of the British Academy, an ordained priest in the Church of England, a Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and the author of The Big Questions in Science and Religion, Pascal's Fire: Scientific Faith and Religious Understanding, Is Religion Dangerous?, and Re-Thinking Christianity.

Victor J. StengerYes.

Victor J. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy, University of Hawaii, adjunct professor of philosophy, University of Colorado, and the author of seven books including God: The Failed Hypothesis—How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist.

Jerome Groopman, M.D.No, not at all.

Jerome Groopman is the Recanati Professor of Medicine at Harvard and author of How Doctors Think.

Michael ShermerIt depends.

Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine (, a monthly columnist for Scientific American (, a professor at Claremont Graduate University, and the author of How We Believe, Why Darwin Matters, and The Mind of the Market.

Kenneth MillerOf course not.

Kenneth R. Miller is a professor of biology at Brown University and the author of Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution and of Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul.

Stuart KauffmanNo, but only if...

Stuart Kauffman is the director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics at the University of Calgary and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His most recent book is Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion.



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