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Sample APA Essay – Science vs. Religion: Interrelate or in Conflict?

Below is a sample outline and a well-developed college-level essay in APA 7th ed. on the topic: “Science vs. Religion: Interrelate or in Conflict?.” This sample is intended to help students write better essays.

Science vs. Religion: Interrelate or in Conflict?

Sample APA Essay Outline: Science vs. Religion

  1. Introduction
    • Briefly introduce the historical context of the science vs. religion debate
    • Present the overarching question: Are science and religion interrelated or in conflict?
    • State the thesis: While some argue for a harmonious coexistence, others assert inherent conflicts between science and religion.
  2. Historical Perspectives
    • Overview of early historical interactions between science and religion
    • Exploration of the Galileo affair and other pivotal moments
    • Introduction to the concept of the “Conflict Thesis” and its proponents (e.g., John William Draper, Andrew Dickson White)
  3. Compatibility Theories
    • Presentation of the “Non-overlapping Magisteria” (NOMA) concept by Stephen Jay Gould
    • Examination of Ian Barbour’s integration model: “Dialogue, Conflict, Independence, Integration”
    • Exploration of the idea that science and religion address different domains of human experience
  4. Scientific Theories and Religious Beliefs
    • Overview of scientific theories that some argue challenge religious beliefs
    • Discussion on evolutionary theory and its impact on religious narratives
    • Examination of cosmological theories and their implications for religious cosmogonies
  5. Contemporary Debates
    • Analysis of current debates within the scientific and religious communities
    • Exploration of theistic evolution as a compromise position
    • Discussion on secular ethics and morality in the absence of religious frameworks
  6. Interrelation in Individual Belief Systems
    • Examination of individuals who reconcile their scientific and religious beliefs
    • Case studies on scientists with strong religious convictions
    • Consideration of the psychological aspects of belief integration
  7. Cognitive Science and Belief
    • Introduction to cognitive science theories on belief formation
    • Discussion on how cognitive biases may contribute to the perceived conflict or interrelation
    • Exploration of the role of culture and upbringing in shaping attitudes toward science and religion
  8. The Role of Institutions
    • Analysis of the positions taken by religious institutions on scientific advancements
    • Examination of how scientific institutions approach religious considerations
    • Discussion on the influence of institutional dynamics on public perceptions
  9. Critiques and Counterarguments
    • Presentation of criticisms against the conflict thesis
    • Addressing counterarguments from those asserting inherent conflicts
    • Consideration of the evolving nature of the discourse
  10. Conclusion
    • Summarize key points from historical perspectives to contemporary debates
    • Reiterate the thesis and offer a nuanced perspective
    • Encourage ongoing dialogue and exploration of the dynamic relationship between science and religion.