Robert Costanza, Science, Belief, and Democracy, The Solutions Journal, Volume 11, Issue 4, December 2020, ( Abstract: The United States was founded on ideas that reflected Enlightenment thinking, including the importance of science and the separation of church and state. People were allowed the freedom to believe whatever they wanted, but those beliefs were not to interfere with the operation of the democratically elected government. Maintaining the separation between church and state – between belief and science – has always been difficult, and it is coming under increasing attack in recent times. Shared beliefs are also critically important. They buy membership in communities, build social capital, and ensure group prosperity. Problems come when those shared beliefs come into conflict with other groups’ shared beliefs or get in the way of scientific understanding about how the world works. The US Constitution does not prevent people from holding religious beliefs that are in conflict with scientific understanding, but it does require that they be kept separate from the democratic … Topics: