Talk:Non-overlapping magisteria

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Michał Heller[edit]

What about a Polish philosopher (professor of philosophy and Catholic priest) Michal Heller? He is one of those who discussed the overlapping or non-overlapping of _The Magisteria_ (ie. Science and Religion). His work has been awarded with the Templeton Prize. A wiki page about him is here: Is there anybody well-read in his works to take on his philosophy? Critto (talk) 00:03, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was move. Jafeluv (talk) 20:04, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Non-Overlapping MagisteriaNon-overlapping magisteria — MOS:CAPS, google books suggests that both are acceptable but the latter is in keeping with the manual of style — WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 12:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Because the above template didn't let me, here are the results for the google books search - there seems to be both caps and lowercase used, the more "serious" books (including Gould's own) seem to use lower case. I can't think of a reason to use lower upper case, except It Makes It Look Important. The original essay seems to use lower case (and no hyphen). WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The move looks a good idea to me. In your above comment you probably mean "can't think of a reason to use upper case". There are several incoming links to be cleaned up, whether the move takes place or not. Johnuniq (talk) 23:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Oops :) If the page moves, I have no problem correcting incoming links (thank you popups!) WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 00:19, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Move makes sense to me. ChildofMidnight (talk) 03:55, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Right. It should be lower case. Without the hyphen in the original, with the hyphen in subsequent editions. Best, Miguel Chavez (talk) 04:10, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
No strong opinion. But WP:MOS does not really support the move. It's somewhat silent on title capitalization, but all the examples in WP:MOSTITLE and WP:LOW seem to use title case.'s not a title, but just a concept. I'm OK with the move. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Lack of reference for a Dawkins claim[edit]

I am not able to find any reference for Dawkins claiming that "if DNA evidence proved that Jesus had no earthly father, Dawkins claims that the argument of non-overlapping magisteria would be quickly dropped", this looks like 'original research' to me - i.e. somebody is paraphrasing Dawkinses general position to put words into his mouth. Paraphrases don't bother me, but there is a quite idiosyncratic logic to this argument that does not actually sound like Dawkinsian philosophy to me at all (Would Dawkins really claim that finding that Jesus didn't have a father would convince him that religion had been proven correct? I don't think he would). But I could be wrong - people who are more avid readers of Dawkins might know where it is that he says this exact thing. Thoughts?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 22 January 2010 (UTC) 

This argument is Dawkins' and is from The God Delusion. Dawkins' argument is that religious claims for NOMA would be dropped were scientific evidence supporting religious claims to be found.

It's on page 59: --quote-- To dramatize the point, imagine, by some remarkable set of circumstances, that forensic archaeologists unearthed DNA evidence to show that Jesus really did lack a biological father. Can you imagine religious apologists shrugging their shoulders and saying anything remotely like the following? 'Who cares? Scientific evidence is completely irrelevant to theological questions. Wrong magisterium! We're concerned only with ultimate questions and with moral values. Neither DNA nor any other scientific evidence could ever have any bearing on the matter, one way or the other.' --quote-- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Fix up to related article[edit]

i cleaned up the article on Rocks of Ages, which is very much a companion article to this one.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 16:16, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference Sam Harris' "Moral Landscape"[edit]

--this article should reference Sam Harris' book, The Moral Landscape, which claims that science can address issues of morality normally assigned to the religious realm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)


Er... am I doing this right?

A few paragraphs in the Criticism section are sloppy and use biased language.

Jacoby cites Sam Harris who shows science can frequently demonstrate whether particular beliefs increase or decrease suffering and Harris derives moral values from this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:14, 2 September 2011 (UTC)


The Criticism-section is blown up to more than 50 % of the article. However, it does not address the most relevant questions of Gould's NOMA concept.

One important question seems to be, whether texts of Abrahamitic religions have to be understood in a literal sense only or rather in an allegorical sense. While the allegory is traditionally dominant in the Jewish and Christian hermeneutics (and afaik also Islam), both religious fundamentalists and new atheists only take the literal sense seriously. Natural scientists seem to have a culture of clarity and certainty and often seem to be threatened by ambiguous religious texts. One easy way to resolve the disturbing ambiguity is to declare them as unscientific rubbish, without considering what could be their value, beyond making factual statements.

It is also argued that natural sciences could adress moral questions, which is a rather questionable idea, as scientists can aptly describe human behaviour, but hardly develop criteria to evaluate it ethically.--Olag (talk) 19:28, 30 September 2012 (UTC)


These sentences use heavily biased language.

-Religion has too frequently made us feel guilty about enjoying harmless pleasures and reduced happiness. -People want a separate province for their specific religion and exclude other religions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Correct. All POV should be strictly eliminated, and replaced with strictly objective language. So the objective reading should be:
Religion has systematically encroached on the magisterium of physical and biological science in its moralistic pronouncements over the pursuit of physical pleasures and well-being, and issued moralistic condemnations about the pursuit of happiness and friends, which belongs by essence to the magisterium of biological and psychological science.
Each religion claims absolute validity in its separate magisterium and community and by essence erects itself as an absolute interpretation that excludes and opposes all the interpretations from any different religion. In that sense two religions are incompatible and try to avoid friction by exercising their different magisteria by regulating different communities, and whenever possible, affirming the validity of their specific magisterium in different geographical areas. This essential feature has been observed and recorded in the history of all religions. The question of defining boundaries has proved to be the perennial "fly in the ointment" for co-existence of different religions, and has been a major factor in all wars of religion recorded in history.

--ROO BOOKAROO (talk) 17:40, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Dead Link[edit]

The external link to is no longer valid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Critical bloat[edit]

Much of what is written in the bloated criticism section of this article seems to be criticizing something that is not NOM. Other statements, in addition to being off topic, violate NPOV.

  • Jacoby maintains that scientists as well as the religious sometimes carefully practise the fictional concept NOMA… Leaving aside the NPOV adjective fictional, we have the implication that scientists and’the religious are non-overlapping sets, which is demonstrably false.
  • [R]eligious people and scientists … have different views about whether a six-day-old embryo is or is not a person. In addition to the issue bulleted above, we also have the issue that whether a fetus is a person is not a scientific question, but a philosophical one. This is not an example of overlap between science and religion.
  • What is said above applies to all of the other objections made to religious morality, such as stem cells, cures, and vaccinations. The counter-morality is not scientifically based, and so is not an example of overlap.
  • [S]cience can frequently demonstrate whether particular beliefs increase or decrease suffering. Not only is this claim dubious, but it is irrelevant, since the belief that increasing or decreasing suffering provides "moral values” is not a scientific belief.

I could go on, but will stop for now. Suffice it to say, these are the most egregious examples. Deleting them will lead to a greatly improved article.

Rwflammang (talk) 23:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)