“Analysis of the relationship between science and religion present in high school biology books in Brazil”

This work analyses the treatment given to the relationship between Science and Religion (S/R) in four series of high school Biology textbooks, observing the state of the art of contemporary historiography in the area. The 58 citations evaluated addressed S/R in different ways, but five major problems were identified: 1) The supposed existence of a conflict between S/R based on controversial historical information and contradicting the most recent researches in the area; 2) The non-differentiation between person and institution. Science and religion are usually treated as homogeneous, univocal and personified entities, and this reductionism is harmful to a better understanding of their complexity nature and history; 3) The tendency of enhance science and highlight only the negative aspects of religion; 4) The negative events and misuses of science and biological knowledge (like frauds, bio and chemical weapons, pollution) being attributed to “the human being”, ‚Äútechnological progress”, “the lack of education”, while the laurels on the discovery of antibiotics or vaccines, for example, goes to the account of science and scientists; 5) The metaphysical choice in defining life from chemical, physical, and biological aspects, being presented as proven scientific facts. In view of these results, we conclude that the relationship between S/R has not yet been adequately explored in all the textbooks searched, respecting the complexity that the theme demands. This study intend to pave the way for this field in Brazil, to encourage researchers in the field to also analyses textbooks and motivate the elaboration of possible alternatives to the teaching of this complex subject.