apr 12, 1999 - Stephen Jay Gould: Born 10 Sep 1941 -Died 20 May 2002


Stephen Jay Gould was paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He is best known for the philosophy he shared known as “nonoverlapping magisteria” or (NOMA). It’s his idea that “The magisterium of science ‘covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory).’ In contrast, religion’s legitimate realm ‘extends over questions of moral meaning and value.’”(Kaye, 152). In other words, Gould suggests that the teachings of science and the teachings of religion do not necessarily overlap one another, meaning that they do not contradict one another. He believes that both concepts are provided to answer different questions. Science explains how the universe works and religion explains why. Unfortunately his philosophy was not well received by either scientist or practitioner of religion. The book, Rock of Ages, in which he published this idea was released in 1999 and was received with heavy skepticism and a lot of criticism. Including that of Paul Kurtz who argued that science has more to do with ethics than religion does. However, his point did have merit, he did amass a following to his ideas and they continue to be a common subject for debate in the scientific community today.

Works Cited

Gould, Stephen Jay. Rocks of ages: science and religion in the fullness of life. International Society for Science and Religion, 2007.

Kaye, H. L. (2008). Are science and religion complementary perspectives? Society, 45(2), 152-154. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1007/s12115-008-9069-5

Added to timeline:

10 months ago
Daniel Bush : PHIL202 Timeline


apr 12, 1999
~ 19 years ago



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