That’s One Way To Combine Science and Religion…

Reader Josh was trying to look up Science apps on his iPad when this screen popped up:

Can someone please explain why the Bible apps are listed in the “Science” list?

(And while we’re at it, why is Glee Karaoke there…?)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Spencer

    It’s the Apple store. I wouldn’t trust it.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, it’s the Apple store. I would trust it to make such “informed” choices.

  • miki joe

    I was skeptical so I searched and got the same thing but you have to scroll down a few lines and there are actually several more religion oriented apps in the list

    • Trevor N

      It’s pretty simple, really. Religion cheats. You don’t see science textbooks appearing in the “religious” section. Why? Because we know better. But the religious will go out of there way to cram dogma into areas it doesn’t belong. It’s a shame there isn’t an editing feature where people could kick it out of that section. OR load up the religion section with science apps. 

      • Annie

        Or perhaps someone feels that if a person is searching for science, they will see the bible app and go read their bible instead?  A lot of Christians think science is evil and will make them stray from the “real truth”.  

  • DangreouslySafe

    It doesn’t even qualify as science fiction. Odd…

    • Anonymous

      Even as historical fiction it’s pretty bad and unreliable

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandie.winchester Brandie Lynn Winchester

    Well Glee did do an episode called Grilled Cheezus about finding god in your grilled cheese sandwich!

  • Sven

    “Theology” sounds sciency, right?
    I’m have a doctorate in “Wolverinology”, the scholarly study of Marvel’s Wolverine and his impact on society, bub!

    • Drew M.

      Not to be confused with the Wolverinology that involves the study of a small group of teenaged resistance fighters.

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible that one of the reviews has the word in it?  The item description doesn’t have it that I’ve found. Those two items are in the reference section. There isn’t a science category that I’ve found.

  • http://twitter.com/SallyStrange Sally Strange

    Yes, Trevor N has the right of it. Religious people have noticed that science is, well, credible. And they try, whenever they can, to cloak religion in the trappings of science, in the hope that that credibility will transfer to their religion somehow. I always find it amusing when they say, “Atheism is just another faith!” and I’m like, “You seem to be saying that like it’s a bad thing. So we’re all agreed that faith is a bad thing then?”

  • Ray Higgins

    I think it might have to do with who is defining the search parameter. I did a search for Amazon appstore and got no bible and only a “Buddha Quotes” as the only app that was blatantly religious.  Since you got to figure that the religious would have included tags or text like science to get the broadest exposure to non-believer, makes me wonder if amazon verify their search tags and apple don’t.

    • One

      Considering their insistence on vetting apps before inclusion, I hope apple does check tags… although knowing their history with considering the needs of those with less privilige than white males, I doubt it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-J-Spart/1414300126 Matthew J. Spart

    I was just checking the science apps in the Android Market and found on the first page  “The Bible, The Qur’an and Science” by Maurice Bucaille. He claimed that the Qur’an is in agreement with scientific facts, while the Bible is not. Also, I found “Creation Science Evangelism” on the next page. Hell, why not? There are many other apps there that promote various pseudosciences.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t get that, unless he has a specific bias.  The Qur’an says that salt water and fresh water don’t mix.  Also, I understand that Muslims do believe there are truths in the Christian Bible, though not the same way Christians do.

      • Max Pogonowski

        Depends what they mean by that, in a large enough body of water you can have layers of fresh and salt water that just sit one atop the other due to temperature difference and such.  Maybe not in a glass though =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dgchristensen Daryl Christensen

    Same reason that Siri points people away from abortion clinics. Someone at apple has an agenda.

  • Anonymous

    The thing that I appreciate about this is that the bible is free, but you presumably need to get the bible reader (99 cents) to make it work. God is good at marketing!

  • Manticore

    Doesn’t it just go by whatever the creator tags it with? How does the apple store work in that respect?

  • Annie

    Well it does have a tree on it…

  • TK

    Most likely because the apps developers classified it as science and/or (like others have mentioned) included science in the app description. Apple’s review process is a bit more stringent than the Google Android marketplace, but I doubt that they are going to be checking categorization very closely. It’s pretty stupid on the developer’s part – there’s not going to be a lot of people searching for science apps and then see the bible apps and think “Oh right, that’s what I actually wanted.” 

    • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

      Apple, in general, only cares about categories for things like Cracked.com, where there’s stuff that might not be appropriate for small children. There’s also not an actual “science” category, that’s a search term, and that’s based off of a lot of things, like:

      App name
      App description
      App Primary Category
      App Secondary Category (optional)
      App KeywordsAs far as the other categories go, the developer, not Apple sets those up when they build/submit the application. For example, I searched for science, and one of the Apps is iScroll. neat application, but would I call it *science*? No. There’s a Go game in that. Is it cool? Certainly, and I agree that Go can help expand how you see problems, tactical thinking is another feature. Is it *science*? Not as far as I’m concerned.

      Search terms are a game to get your application listed higher so more people download/buy it. That’s all they’re an indicator of.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy2q

    “Can someone please explain why the Bible apps are listed in the “Science” list?”

    As in real life, religious people thrust their dogma everywhere, even where it obviously doesn’t belong, since they know the average person isn’t going to actively seek it out. 

  • Gwen

    If you put ‘atheist’ into the search bar, you get a lot of bibles as well as atheist apps. As a matter of fact, you get many other bibles that atheist apps..

  • Liz Heywood

    It’s a miracle.

  • Jamssx

    Of course iOS is based on Darwin so since many reject Darwin they wouldn’t be using an ipad or iphone anyway would they… ;)

  • MartyM

    I have the Olive Tree app.  It’s a great tool for making bookmarks and taking notes when you are reading books by Biblical scholars and former ministers like Bart D. Ehrman, John Loftus, Dan Barker, Bob Price, or Hector Avalos.


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