Should we keep knowledge and belief apart as far as possible or is there always a non-avoidable and perhaps even desirable influence? Is there a necessary tension in practice or are they complementary on a personal, social and conceptual level? Some approaches of teachers at WU.
Duur Aanen, associate professor in evolutionary biology, finds himself sometimes confronted with students who do not accept evolution because of religious standpoints. But he also finds himself sometimes defending religious people in front of scientists who oppose a religious worldview with reference to evolution. He will explain his approach to deal with this tension.
Olaf van Kooten, Professor at Plant Sciences, starts as a Buddhist from the concept of ‘anatman’, meaning ‘no-self’. Buddhists have for millennia researched this myopic notion of a ‘self’ separated from the universe. This is where Buddhism meets science: the experiential deconstruction of our innate conviction about reality. Where Buddhism deviates from science is the conviction that this in the end leads to the liberation of all sentient beings in the universe.
Henk Jochemsen, Professor of Christian Philosophy, argues that in human reasoning several 'layers' can be distinguished, running from fundamental beliefs to observations in reality, which mutually influence one another. This would mean that all models/theories of phenomena in reality are influenced but not determined by worldview or strong beliefs and vice versa.