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Prominent clashes — both historical and contemporary — have led to the widely held conclusion that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. Yet, many scientists practice a traditional faith, having found a way to accommodate both scientific inquiry and religious teaching in their belief system. Other scientists are bringing science to bear on the phenomenon of religion and spiritual belief — neuroscientists are studying what happens in the brain during religious experiences, while anthropologists are investigating how religion is linked to cooperation and community. This program provided an intimate look at what scientists have to say about their religious beliefs and what might be revealed by scientific studies of spirituality.

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Moderator

Bill BlakemoreNews Correspondent

Bill Blakemore became a reporter for ABC News 46 years ago, covering a wide variety of stories. He spearheaded ABC’s coverage of global warming, traveling from the tropics to polar regions to report on its impacts, dangers, and possible remedies.

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Participants

Paul BloomPsychologist

Paul Bloom’s research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. A professor of psychology at Yale University, Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, but also for publications with more general circulation, such as The New York Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic.

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Nina AzariPsychologist

Nina Azari specializes in cognitive neuroscience and the psychology of religion. She uses traditional psychological methods as well as cutting-edge medical imaging technology to explore religious experiences, consciousness, belief and perception in her subjects. Azari is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

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Lorenzo AlbaceteRoman-Catholic Priest

Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete is a Roman Catholic priest, theologian, physicist and author. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, he is one of the leaders in the United States for the international Catholic movement Communion and Liberation and is on the Board of Advisors of the Crossroads Cultural Center.

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William PhillipsPhysicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Nobel Prize-winning physicist William Phillips is a professor at the University of Maryland and leads the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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