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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Religion and science in American public life

  • Author(s): Evans, Michael Stacy
  • et al.

Is good debate between religion and science possible? Through analysis of over 10,000 newspaper articles, biographical research on key participants, and in-depth interviews with 62 ordinary persons, I find that substantive arguments about issues are intertwined with arguments and beliefs about how public debate should work. What elite representatives do in public debate conflicts with ideals of public debate that ordinary persons use to evaluate them. This normative conflict limits how religion and science can participate in the American public sphere, both now and in future debates

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