Have evolution, science and the trappings of the modern world killed off God irrevocably? And what do we lose if we choose not to believe in him? From Newton and Descartes to Darwin and the discovery of the genome, religion has been pushed back further and further while science has gained ground. But what fills the void that religion leaves behind? This book is an attempt to look at these questions and to suggest a third way (...) between the easy consolations of religion and the persuasive force of science that the everyday modern reader can engage with. (shrink)
Todd argues for the integration of science and religion to form a new paradigm for the third millennium. He counters both the arguments made by fundamentalist Christians against science and the rejection of religion by the New Atheists, in particular Richard Dawkins and his followers. Drawing on the work of scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and theologians, Todd challenges the materialistic reductionism of our age and offers an alternative grounded in the visionary work taking place in a wide (...) array of disciplines including Jungian archetypal psychology, quantum mechanics, evolutionary biology,epistemology, neuroscience and an incarnational theology implicit in the evolutionary process. (shrink)
The distinguished theologian, David Ray Griffin, has advanced a set of thirteen theses intended to characterize (what he calls) "Neo-Darwinism" and which he contrasts with "Intelligent Design". Griffin maintains that Neo-Darwinism is "atheistic" in forgoing a creator but suggests that, by adopting a more modest scientific naturalism and embracing a more naturalistic theology, it is possible to find "a third way" that reconciles religion and science. The considerations adduced here suggest that Griffin has promised more than he can (...) deliver. On his account, God is in laws of nature; therefore, any influence He exerts is natural rather than supernatural. But if the differences God makes are not empirically detectable, then Griffin's account is just as objectionable as a theory of supernatural intervention. And Griffin has not shown that evolution as distinct from his idiosyncratic sense of Neo-Darwinism is incompatible with theism. (shrink)
Humankind : a limited company? -- From volume to point: 1. Philosophy, 2. Religion -- Science : specialised but not special -- Cosmic hierarchies -- Consciousness -- Cognition -- In theory -- Back to Genesis -- The beautiful union.
It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological (...) theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philoso- phers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom. (shrink)
The cultural transmission of theological concepts remains an underexplored topic in the cognitive science of religion (CSR). In this paper, I examine whether approaches from CSR, especially the study of content biases in the transmission of beliefs, can help explain the cultural success of some theological concepts. This approach reveals that there is more continuity between theological beliefs and ordinary religious beliefs than CSR authors have hitherto recognized: the cultural transmission of theological concepts is influenced by content biases (...) that also underlie the reception of ordinary religious concepts. (shrink)
This essay attempts to lay out the three principal theses of Jacques Derrida’s 1994-1995 “Faith and Knowledge,‘ Derrida’s most sustained but also most challenging work on the nature of religion and the relationship between religion and science. After demonstrating through these three theses that religion and science not only share a common source-or have a common genesis-but are in what Derrida calls an autoimmune relationship to one another, the essay puts these theses to the test (...) by reading a brief passage near the middle of the essay where Derrida recounts the genesis of “Faith and Knowledge‘ itself Derrida’s seemingly anecdotal recounting of this genesis is thus shown to reflect the three theses of “Faith and Knowledge,‘ the way in which, in a word, the breath of creation, or the miracle of religion, is always doubled, supplemented, and thus contaminated by the machine of science and tele-technology. (shrink)
. For moral guidance we human beings may be tempted to turn toward the past (scripture, tradition), toward present science, or toward future consequences. Each of these approaches has strengths and limitations. To address those limitations, we need to consider how these various perspectives can be brought togetherâand âreligion and scienceâ is an area in which this may happen. That makes the question of where to look for guidance potentially a central one for religion and science, (...) setting the agenda differently from apologetic questions with respect to religion or to science. However, âreligion and scienceâ does not solve the issues, leading to a single normative perspective; the way that current knowledge is integrated with past wisdom is highly dependent upon ideals that relate to the future. Thus, rather than resolving the need for guidance, the religion-and-science conversation becomes one way of addressing our need for guidance, bringing into the conversation past, present, and future. (shrink)
The separation of science and religion in modern secular culture can easily obscure the fact that in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe ideas about nature were intimately related to ideas about God. Readers of this book will find fresh and exciting accounts of a phenomenon common to both science and religion: deviation from orthodox belief. How is heterodoxy to be measured? How might the scientific heterodoxy of particular thinkers impinge on their religious views? Would heterodoxy in (...) class='Hi'>religion create a predisposition towards heterodoxy in science? Might there be a homology between heterodox views in both domains? Such major protagonists as Galileo and Newton are re-examined together with less familiar figures in order to bring out the extraordinary richness of scientific and religious thought in the pre-modern world. (shrink)
People discussing science and religion usually frame their conversations in terms of essentialist assumptions about science, assumptions requiring the existence (but not the specification) of criteria according to which science can be distinguished from other forms of inquiry. However, criteria functioning at a level of generality appropriate to such discussions may not exist at all. Essentialist assumptions may be avoided if science is understood within a broader context of human practices. In a philosophy of practices, (...) to label a practice as “scientific” is to make a practically motivated provision for a way of speaking. Charles Taylor and Joseph Rouse have produced complementary philosophies of practice that promote this kind of understanding. In this essay I review the work of Taylor and Rouse, identify apparent residues of essentialism that each seems to harbor, and offer a resolution to some of their disagreements. I also criticize a form of essentialism commonly employed in Christian circles and outline an anti-essentialist view of science that may be helpful in science-and-religion discussions. (shrink)
AbstractIslam's Quantum Question by Nidhal Guessoum offers a sophisticated approach to reconciling the results of modern science with Islamic tradition. The book provides a valuable critique of existing literature on Islam and science and advocates the promotion of good science and science education in the Muslim world. A central tension in the book revolves around Guessoum's efforts to promote a version of theistic science, while at the same establishing a clear boundary for science and (...) scientific methodology. Although the latter works very well, the project of theistic science presented in the book is, at the very least, contentious. However, Islam's Quantum Question is a milestone in the literature on Islam and science and should be valuable for anyone interested in the search for meaning in both science and religion. (shrink)
This paper places “Islam and bioethics” within the framework of “religion and science” discourse. It thus may be seen as a complement to the paper by Henk ten Have () with which this thematic section in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science opens, which places “Islam and bioethics” in the context of contemporary bioethics. It turns out that in Zygon there have been more submitted articles on Islam and bioethics than on any other Islam-related topic. This (...) may be a consequence of the global nature of the bioethical issues, driven by advancement in science and technology, which allows for conversation across cultural and religious boundaries even when the normative references and argumentative methods are tradition-specific. (shrink)
This is the first major response to the new challenge of neuroscience to religion. There have been limited responses from a purely Christian point of view, but this takes account of eastern as well as western forms of religious experience. It challenges the prevailing naturalistic assumption of our culture, including the idea that the mind is either identical with or a temporary by-product of brain activity. It also discusses religion as institutions and religion as inner experience of (...) the Transcendent, and suggests a form of spirituality for today. (shrink)
This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. It provides the clearest explication yet of this exciting new theory of science, which challenges the reductionist approach by proposing the continuous emergence of novel phenomena.
In the present essay the author suggests that the main reason why history failed to develop societies in harmony with Nature, including our internal nature as well, is that we failed to evaluate the exact basis of the factor ultimately governing our thoughts. We failed to realize that it is the worldview that ultimately governs our thoughts and through our thoughts, our actions. In this work we consider the ultimate foundations of philosophy, science, religion, and art, pointing out (...) that they were and can be again in harmony with each other if their ultimate tasks are specified. It is specified here the first task of philosophy as considering the philosophical significance of the ultimate principles of physics, biology and man/society. These ultimate principles are in direct connection with the ultimate questions of religion. It is shown that the fundamental nature of art makes it able to perceive the ultimate destination of mankind and the Universe, the world-to-be. It is proposed that philosophy, religion and art together are able to supply us with an inter-subjective picture of the world-process, including the inter-subjective picture of the future of mankind and the Universe. Care is taken to enlighten the possible role of values in founding scientific research in the frame of present wide-ranging discussions. It is found that universal values of respect for existence, life and reason represent the inevitable basis of science. The exact foundations of a new, integral worldview are outlined, involving the worldprocess-picture, Nature-picture, images of man, society, self, history and manipulation. A list of our common tasks for founding the Integral Culture is proposed. (shrink)
One peculiarity of the broad theme of science-religion dialogues is that while it has been growing significantly, it seems to be moving farther and farther away from its goal of establishing bridges and understandings between the two enterprises. This essay explores this unhappy situation, with particular reference to the works of two scholars who have been critical of some of the pioneer theologians and have suggested some radically new approaches to the issues.
are the two most important things in the world. A student promptly objected: "No, Professor, you are wrong. that's sex and money." I convinced him otherwise by the time the semester was over. But I am still trying to convince most of the world- Science is the firss Iact of modern life, and religion is the perennial carrier of meaning. Seen in depth and in terms of their long-range personal and cultural impacts, science and religion are (...) the two most important &scca in today's world;. Here are six reasons why the dialogue is vitaL r. Science cannot teach sss svhat sva mod nsost to knsnv abogr nasss~has.. (shrink)
Summary This paper gives an account of the establishment and expansion of a Faculty of Science at the Calvinist ?Free University? in the Netherlands in the 1930s. It describes the efforts of a group of orthodox Christians to come to terms with the natural sciences in the early twentieth century. The statutes of the university, which had been founded in 1880, prescribed that all research and teaching should be based on Calvinist, biblical principles. This ideal was formulated in opposition (...) to the claim of nineteenth-century scientific naturalists that there was an inherent conflict between science and religion. However, despite their selection on the basis of their strict Calvinist beliefs, the first science professors attributed a certain independence to the domain of science. They agreed with the criticism of the conflict thesis, and tried to defuse the tensions between science and religion, although mainly at the level of philosophy and history, looking for example for harmony between science and religion in the past. Ironically, as a result of this approach, the Calvinist scientists mainly contributed to the acceptance of mainstream science in Dutch Calvinist circles, contrary to developments in other countries (notably the USA) where the conflict between science and orthodox Christianity has reasserted itself. (shrink)