Religion and Science is a comprehensive examination of the major issues between science and religion in today's world. With the addition of three new historical chapters to the nine chapters (freshly revised and updated) of Religion in an Age of Science, winner of the Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in 1991, Religion and Science is the most authoritative and readable book on the subject, sure to be used by science and religion courses and discussion groups and to become the (...) introduction of choice for general readers. (shrink)
. In responding to Taede Smedes, I first examine his thesis that the recent dialogue between science and religion has been dominated by scientism and does not take theology seriously. I then consider his views on divine action, free will and determinism, and process philosophy. Finally I use the fourfold typology of Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration to discuss his proposal for the future of science and religion.
The first mission of Zygon has been the exploration of the relation between Religion and Science. The second, I suggest, has been consideration of the relation between Ethics and Technology. Some articles have given attention to the relation of Religion to Ethics, or that of Science to Technology. The interaction of Ethics and Science, and that of Religion and Technology, are also significant. I give examples of articles or symposia in each of these categories and close with great hope for (...) Zygon's future. (shrink)
Huston Smith is justifiably critical of scientism, the belief that science is the only reliable path to truth. He holds that scientism and the materialism that accompanies it have led to a widespread denial of the transcendence expressed in traditional religious world‐views. He argues that evolutionary theory should be seen as a product of scientism rather than of scientific evidence, citing authors who claim that the fossil record does not support the idea of continuous descent with modification from earlier life (...) forms. I suggest that he has underestimated the cumulative weight of evidence from many independent fields of science supporting neo‐Darwinism. I argue that methodological (but not philosophical) naturalism is a basic assumption of scientific inquiry. Proponents of intelligent design assume a fixed plan or blueprint, which is compatible with Smith's understanding of God's timeless vision. By contrast, almost all biologists and many theologians today envisage a dynamic and open‐ended process rather than the realization of the unchanging forms in a preexisting plan. (shrink)
I develop a multilevel, holistic view of persons, emphasizing embodiment, emotions, consciousness, and the social self. In successive sections I draw from six sources: 1. Theology. The biblical understanding of the unitary, embodied, social self gave way in classical Christianity to a body‐soul dualism, but it has been recovered by many recent theologians. 2. Neuroscience. Research has shown the localization of mental functions in regions of the brain, the interaction of cognition and emotion, and the importance of social interaction in (...) evolutionary history and child development. 3. Artificial intelligence. Some forms of robotics use embodied systems that learn by interacting with their environment, but the possibilities for emotion, socialization, and consciousness in robots remain problematic. 4. Relations between levels. Concepts that can help us relate studies of neurons and persons include the hierarchy of levels, the communication of information, thebehavior of dynamic systems, and epistemological and ontological emergence. 5. Philosophy of mind. Two‐aspect theories of the mind‐brain relation offer an alternative between the extremes of eliminative materialism and the thesis that consciousness is irreducible. 6. Process philosophy. I suggest that process thought provides a coherent philosophical framework in which these themes can be brought together. It combines dipolar monism with organizational pluralism, and it emphasizes embodiment, emotions, a hierarchy oflevels, and the social character of selfhood. (shrink)
. A brief comparison of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences is given. The work and emphases of the two Centers overlap but also differ in significant ways. Without neglecting the physical sciences or the Christian tradition, ZCRS would do well to continue to give high priority to the biological sciences and the dialogue with the major world religions.
. In responding to David Griffin's critique of my book, Issues in Science and Religion, I suggest that most of the points which he initially presents as differences between us concerning reduction and emergence are resolved in the second half of his article. I spoke of the emergence of higher‐level “properties” and “activities,” rather than “entities,” but my analysis of whole and parts is similar to his, although it was perhaps not always clearly articulated. We agree also that Alfred North (...) Whitehead's God is involved in every event in ways which avoid the problems of the supernatu‐ralist “God of the gaps,” but we differ as to whether God's action might be taken into account in a new “post‐modern” science. (shrink)