While it might be assumed that conflicts between “modern” science and “native” beliefs are a thing of the past, this is not the case. This entry considers the relationship between science and alternative cultural and belief systems—specifically, the cultural and belief systems of indigenous North American Indian (or Native American) cultures. Science occupies a central position in mainstream (Eurocentric) North American culture, one that sometimes puts it in conflict with religious views. We see this play out in controversies over whether creationist beliefs belong in science classrooms or whether embryonic stem cell research is ethical. Scientific perspectives can often be in conflict with what are sometimes referred to as “non-Western” beliefs, including the beliefs of those who inhabited the North American continent prior to the ...

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