Using an fMRI to measure brain responses, and using either “gOd” or “science” as a priming word for subjects who first read information about the Big Bang, at the cosmology level, or “primal soup” at the Earth level, psychologist Jesse Preston of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her colleague Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago found statistical signs that people who know the basics of both cannot hold on to both the naturalistic focus of science and the transcendent metaphysic of theism at the same time:
“We can only believe in one explanation at a time,” Preston told LiveScience. “So although people can report explicitly, ‘Look, I’ve been a Christian all my life, and yes, I also believe in science and I am a practicing chemist,’ the question is, are these people really reconciling belief in God and science, or are they just believing in one thing at a time?”
But, the researcher’s thesis is being questioned.
In shades of Steven Jay Gould, Hampshire College science historian Salman Hameed says the conclusions depend on the “conflict” view of science and religion, vs. Gould’s non-oppositional magisteria or similar.
But, what Hameed overlooks is that among PhD scientists, especially top-tier post-doc PhDs, Gould’s two-domains theory is ignored even more than it is dismissed. Ditto among modern philosophers of science and non-science philosophers who aren’t explicit theists.