In this timely work, Russell, philosopher, agnostic, mathematician, and renowned peace advocate, offers a brief yet insightful study of the conflicts between science and traditional religion during the last four centuries. Examining accounts in which scientific advances clashed with Christian doctrine or biblical interpretations of the day, from Galileo and the Copernican Revolution, to the medical breakthroughs of anesthesia and inoculation, Russell points to the constant upheaval and reevaluation of our systems of belief throughout history. In turn, he identifies where similar debates between modern science and the Church still exist today. Michael Ruse's new introduction brings these conflicts between science and theology up to date, focusing on issues arising after World War II. This classic is sure to interest all readers of philosophy and religion, as well as those interested in Russell's thought and writings.
Religion and science are arguably the two most powerful social forces in the world today. But where religion and science were once held to be compatible, many people now perceive them to be in conflict. This unique book provides the best available introduction to the burning debates in this controversial field. Examining the defining questions and controversies, renowned expert Philip Clayton presents the arguments from both sides, asking readers to decide for themselves where they stand: • science or religion, or science and religion? • history and philosophy of science • the role of scientific and religious ethics – modifying genes, extending life, and experimenting with human subjects • religion and the environmental crisis • the future of science vs. the future of religion. Thoroughly updated throughout, this second edition explores religious traditions from around the world and provides insights from across the sciences, making this book essential reading for all those wishing to come to their own understanding of some of the most important debates of our day.
The field of religion and science is one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of research today. This Companion brings together an outstanding team of scholars to explore the ways in which science intersects with the major religions of the world and religious naturalism. The collection provides an overview of the field and also indicates ways in which it is developing. Its multicultural breadth and scientific rigor on topics that are and will be compelling issues in the first part of the twenty-first century and beyond will be welcomed by students and scholars alike.
The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like iThe God Delusion/i and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach 'Intelligent Design' in schools. Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes. As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be taken on this complex and centuries-old subject. He explores not only the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlights the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made 'science and religion' such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the Galileo affair, Charles Darwin's own religious and scientific odyssey, the Scopes 'Monkey Trial' in Tennessee in 1925, and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005, and includes perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences.
For more than 30 years, historians have rejected what they call the ‘warfare thesis’ – the idea that there is an inevitable conflict between religion and science – insisting that scientists and believers can live in harmony. This book disagrees. Taking as its starting point the most famous of all such conflicts, the Galileo affair, it argues that religious and scientific communities exhibit very different attitudes to knowledge. Scripturally based religions not only claim a source of knowledge distinct from human reason. They are also bound by tradition, insist upon the certainty of their beliefs, and are resistant to radical criticism in ways in which the sciences are not. If traditionally minded believers perceive a clash between what their faith tells them and the findings of modern science, they may well do what the Church authorities did in Galileo’s time. They may attempt to close down the science, insisting that the authority of God’s word trumps that of any ‘merely human’ knowledge. Those of us who value science must take care to ensure this does not happen.
Here is an unprecedented collection of twenty freewheeling and revealing interviews with major players in the ongoing--and increasingly heated--debate about the relationship between religion and science. These lively conversations cover the most important and interesting topics imaginable: the Big Bang, the origins of life, the nature of consciousness, the foundations of religion, the meaning of God, and much more. In Atoms and Eden, Peabody Award-winning journalist Steve Paulson explores these topics with some of the most prominent public intellectuals of our time, including Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, E. O. Wilson, Sam Harris, Elaine Pagels, Francis Collins, Daniel Dennett, Jane Good...
A captivating historical survey of the key debates, questions, and controversies at the intersection of science and religion Throughout history, scientific discovery has clashed with religious dogma, creating conflict, controversy, and sometimes violent dispute. In this enlightening and accessible volume, distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Edward Larson and Michael Ruse, philosopher of science and Gifford Lecturer, offer their distinctive viewpoints on the sometimes contentious relationship between science and religion. The authors explore how scientists, philosophers, and theologians through time and today approach vitally important topics, including cosmology, geology, evolution, genetics, neurobiology, gender, and the environment. Broaching their subjects from both historical and philosophical perspectives, Larson and Ruse avoid rancor and polemic as they address many of the core issues currently under debate by the adherents of science and the advocates of faith, shedding light on the richly diverse field of ideas at the crossroads where science meets spiritual belief.
The relationships between science and religion are about to enter a new phase in our contemporary world, as scientific knowledge has become increasingly relevant in ordinary life, beyond the institutional public spaces where it traditionally developed. The purpose of this volume is to analyze the relationships, possible articulations and contradictions between religion and science as forms of life: ways of engaging human experience that originate in particular social and cultural formations. Contributions use this theoretical and ethnographic research to explore different scientific and religious cultures in the contemporary world.
The New York Times bestselling author explains why any attempt to make religion compatible with science is doomed to fail. What we read in the news today is full of subjectivity, half-truths, and blatant falsehoods; and thus it is more necessary now than ever to safeguard the truth with facts. In his provocative new book, evolutionary biologist Jerry A. Coyne aims to do exactly that in the arena of religion. In clear, dispassionate detail he explains why the toolkit of science, based on reason and empirical study, is reliable, while that of religion—including faith, dogma, and revelation—leads to incorrect, untestable, or conflicting conclusions. Coyne is responding to a national climate...