The text of Humani Generis
focuses on the Magisterium
(or Teaching Authority) of the Churcha word derived not from any concept of majesty or unquestionable awe, but from the different notion of teaching, for magister means teaching in Latin. We may, I think, adopt this word and concept to express
the principled resolution of supposed conflict and warfare between science and religion. No such conflict should exist because each subject has a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authorityand these magisteria do not overlap (the principle that I would like to designate as NOMA, or non-overlapping magisteria). The net of science covers the empirical realm: what is the universe made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for starters, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the usual clichés, we get the age of rocks, and religion retains the rock of ages; we study how the heavens go, and they determine how to go to heaven.
Stephen J. Gould. 1999. Non Over-lapping Magisteria. Skeptical Inquirer
July August, 55-61.