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Science and Religion

Science and Religion. Science and religion Science and religion Science and religion Science and religion. Science and Religion. What is Religion? What is Science?. Science and Religion. The word religion derives from the Latin word to bind or to ligate (tie).

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Science and Religion

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  1. Science and Religion • Science and religion • Science and religion • Science and religion • Science and religion

  2. Science and Religion • What is Religion? • What is Science?

  3. Science and Religion • The word religion derives from the Latin word to bind or to ligate (tie). • It means bind to the gods

  4. Science and Religion • The word science comes from the Latin word for knowledge • It occurs in the word conscious

  5. Science and Religion • Religion is a belief in something • The belief is not necessarily substantiated by physical or material evidence • Religious knowledge obtained through holy writings, authority, revelations and religious experiences • Religionists have faith or trust in such knowledge

  6. Science and Religion • Religious knowledge is qualitative not quantitative. • Religious knowledge is not gotten through measurement • In religion knowledge is taken as either true or false. • Religious knowledge is neither progressive, nor tentative.

  7. Science and Religion • Scientific knowledge is a relationship between observations • The observations are subject to refinement • Scientific knowledge is progressive and tentative • Scientific knowledge is neither true nor false, but rather consistent with the observations and consistent with prior knowledge

  8. Science and Religion • Science formulates quantifiable questions • Science uses units, numbers, direction along with mathematics to express knowledge • Numbers are quantitative. • Units are not a quality. Units are dimensions representing time, energy, weight, volume, length, brightness. Dimensions are independent variables

  9. Assumptions of Science • The world is real. • The real world is knowable and comprehensible. • There are laws that govern the real world. • Those laws are knowable and comprehensible. • Those laws don't [radically] change according to place or time, since the early stages of the big bang.

  10. Assumptions of Science • Nature is understandable • The rules of logic are valid • Language is adequate to describe the natural realm • Human senses are reliable. • Mathematical rules are descriptive for the physical world

  11. Basic Assumptions of Science • Assumptions are accepted without proof • Form the basis of all scientific thinking • In other words, the basic assumptions of science are accepted on faith. Interesting.

  12. Limitations of Science • Science can't answer questions about value. For example, there is no scientific answer to the questions, "Which of these flowers is prettier?" or "which smells worse, a skunk or a skunk cabbage?" And of course, there's the more obvious example, "Which is more valuable, one ounce of gold or one ounce of steel?" Our culture places value on the element gold, but if what you need is something to build a skyscraper with, gold, a very soft metal, is pretty useless. So there's no way to scientifically determine value.

  13. Limitations of Science • Science can't answer questions of morality. The problem of deciding good and bad, right and wrong, is outside the determination of science. This is why expert scientific witnesses can never help us solve the dispute over abortion: all a scientist can tell you is what is going on as a fetus develops; the question of whether it is right or wrong to terminate those events is determined by cultural and social rules--in other words, morality. The science can't help here.

  14. Limitations of Science • Science can't help us with questions about the supernatural. The prefix "super" means "above." So supernatural means "above (or beyond) the natural." The toolbox of a scientist contains only the natural laws of the universe; supernatural questions are outside their reach.

  15. A statement a scientist should not make (if he or she is well trained and is not manipulating you): • Evolution is true. • The Big Bang happened. • Better statements: • The theory of evolution is by far the best model we have to explain both the fossil evidence and the genetic evidence with regard to the origin of all species. • The Big Bang model is in dramatic agreement will all known facts about the origin and history of the universe. • Science seeks consistency, not “truth.” What is the simplest and most consistent explanation of the observation.

  16. Science and Religion • Religion and science ask different kinds of questions and define words differently • Religion and science appear as if they were two incommensurate paradigms addressing the identical information arena

  17. Questions science asks and attempts to answer: • When, where, how many, why (by what means) • How does a living thing function? • What are the fundamental forces? • Question religion asks and attempts to answer: • Why am I here? • Is that the right thing to do? • How valuable am I? • Does God exist? Does God act (theism)? • Will that God respond if I pray? • Questions both ask (but by different means) • How and when did life originate? • How and whendid the universe originate?

  18. Science and Religion • Religion offers certainty • Science is tentative Should I take vitamins? What’s the best birthing method? Is the Pritikan diet the best or is a vegan diet better? • Though science is tentative; it is also efficacious and progressive

  19. Unanswered questions which seem to relate to science • Consciousness (what is consciousness and why are we conscious?) • Origins of life • Origin of the universe. Why is there anything (as opposed to nothing)

  20. Why is the universe comprehensible to humans? • Torrance finds the universe's comprehensibility astonishing: “the fact that it [the universe] is comprehensible at all to us is a miracle, indeed the most incomprehensible thing about it.” Torrance, Reality and Scientific Theology, 53.

  21. Unsolved Problem- Life • For nearly 50 years since the Miller and Urey experiment which synthesized amino acids and nucleoside in vitro the hope for the artificial creation of life appears ever more distant than ever.

  22. Knowledge • Are there question asked by art or religion? • Are those question understood by Science? • Can science answer the questions asked by painting or religion? • Can science decide which painting or which musical score is great and which is dross?

  23. Knowledge • Knowledge is a relationship between ideas about observations. • Are there other ways of knowing in addition to the ways of Science? • Are painting, dance, music, religion other ways of knowing?

  24. Scientism • Scientism is the acceptance of scientific theory and scientific methods as applicable in all fields of inquiry about the world, including morality, ethics, art, and religion

  25. Materialism • “We exist as material beings in a material world, all of whose phenomena are the consequences of material relations among material entities." In a word, the public needs to accept materialism, which means that they must put God in the trash can of history where such myths belong.” Richard Lewontin Retrospective essay on Carl Sagan in the January 9, 1997 New York Review of Books,

  26. Scientific Materialism • Scientific Materialism accepts only one reality: the physical universe, composed as it is of matter and energy.  Everything that is not physical, measurable, or deducible from scientific observations, is considered unreal. Life is explained in purely mechanical terms, and phenomena such as Mind and Consciousness are considered nothing but epiphenomena - curious by-products, of certain complex physical processes (such as brain metabolism)

  27. Scientific Materialism • There is no God, • No angels • No Devil • No good • No evil • No survival of physical death, • No non-physical realities, and • No ultimate meaning or purpose to life • No Heaven • No afterlife

  28. Scientific Materialism • Only that which can be observed and measured through the technique of Scientific Method is real, and everything else is unreal.

  29. The Religiousness of Science • “You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe. But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation.”

  30. Einstein's Faith • 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.' So Einstein once wrote to explain his personal creed: 'A religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.' • His was not a life of prayer and worship. Yet he lived by a deep faith--a faith not capabIe of rational foundation--that there are laws of Nature to be discovered. His lifelong pursuit was to discover them. His realism and his optimism are illuminated by his remark: 'Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not' ('Raffiniert ist der Herrgott aber boshaft ist er nicht.'.'). When asked by a colleague what he meant by that, he replied: 'Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse' ('Die Natur verbirgt ihr Geheimnis durch die Erhabenheit ihres Wesens, aber nicht durch List.').

  31. Antony Flew Considers God...Sort Of • Flew is increasingly persuaded that some sort of Deity brought about this universe, though it does not intervene in human affairs, nor does it provide any postmortem salvation. He says he has in mind something like the God of Aristotle, a distant, impersonal "prime mover." It might not even be conscious, but a mere force. In formal terms, he regards the existence of this minimal God as a hypothesis that, at present, is perhaps the best explanation for why a universe exists that can produce complex life

  32. The History of Science and Religion Chaos vs Cosmos God vs the “gods”

  33. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274 )

  34. Roger Bacon Bacon’s advice: To study Natural Philosophy, use; “External experience, aided by instruments, and made precise by mathematics.”

  35. William of Ockham His philosophy of science: “Nothing is assumed as evident unless it is known per se or is evident by experience, or is proved by authority of scripture.”

  36. Nikolai Copernicus “True assumptions must save the appearances.”

  37. Galileo Galilei “The Bible was written to tell us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go” “In discussions of physical problems we ought to begin not from the authority of scriptural passages, but from the sense-experiences and necessary demonstrations.”

  38. Sir Isaac Newton The Mechanical Universe

  39. The Enlightenment: The rise of Deism and skepticism Voltaire Creator of Modern Religious Skepticism

  40. David Hume Says the skeptic: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”

  41. Statue of Joseph Priestley Founder of the Unitarian Church

  42. LaPlace About God: “I have no need of that hypothesis”

  43. How Old is the Earth? Hutton Lyell

  44. How Old is the Earth? • James Hutton, 1795 Uniformitarianism “No vestige of a beginning, no concept of an end.”

  45. “It is mere rubbish to think at this point of the origin of life. One might as well think of the origin of matter.” Charles Darwin

  46. The Conservative Christian Reaction Scopes “monkey trial” 1925 Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan

  47. 1940’s and afterward: Creationism Bad Science!

  48. Intelligent Design: An Improvement? • Irreducible Complexity Does this “disprove evolution?” • The Anthropic Principle • A possible explanation for “why” the laws of the universe are what they are. • The laws of the universe are what they are so that we (ie human beings) can exist.

  49. Can Science and Religion peacefully coexist? • The Language of God

  50. Reasons Collins believes in God 1. There is something instead of nothing. 2. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. 3. The Big Bang. 4. Nature does not solve the problem of why. 5. The existence of time. 6. Fine tuning of the universe. The “Goldilocks Paradox.” 7. Ockham’s Razor. 8. The existence of moral law.

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