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Topics in Science and Religion. ….an hour-long history of most everything important *Does not necessarily reflect views of management. *Excludes tax, title, and delivery; dealer Retains all rebates. What is science?.

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Topics in science and religion

Topics in Science and Religion

….an hour-long history of most

everything important

*Does not necessarily reflect views

of management.

*Excludes tax, title, and delivery; dealer

Retains all rebates.

What is science

What is science?

  • Science (from scientia, Latin for "knowledge") - refers to the systematic acquisition of new knowledge  about nature and the body of already existing knowledge  so gained.

  • Phrenology is the study of the structure of the skull to determine a person's character and mental capacity.

What is a scientist

What is a scientist?

Topics in science and religion

From Wandering to Demonic Wombs: The Puzzling Use of Exorcism in Gynecological MagicChristopher A. Faraone, University of Chicago

Beginning with the Hippocratics and Plato, Greek male writers found the womb “good to think with” as they tried to distinguish women from men and justify their control over women.  The idea that the womb wandered about a woman’s body causing uniquely female diseases such as “hysteria” enjoyed great popularity in medical and scientific thought down until the Roman period, when it was generally abandoned by doctors who in the aftermath of the first Greek dissections discovered that the womb is, in fact, incapable of movement.  It has not been remarked, however, that such beliefs persisted among healers outside of medicine: the “wise women”, midwives and traveling magicians who regularly treated gynecological problems.  In my lecture I will trace—through a series of Greek, Latin and Hebrew exorcistic incantations—the mutation during the Roman Empire of the wandering womb into an evil demon that roams the female body biting and distributing venom like a rabid dog or a snake, and which must be exorcised by traditional formulas, which do not, however, drive the womb out of the body (the usual aim of an exorcism) but rather force it to stay or go back to its own special place within the lower body of a woman.

Topics in science and religion

3,200-2,400 years ago is the AXIAL AGE; philosophy and


1347-1620, the BLACK DEATH ravages China, Africa, and Europe, bringing about major social, political, and religious reforms — including the SPLIT BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION in western consciousness: religion focusing largely on redemption out of this world, science attempting to understand and improve conditions for the humans in this world.

1543, The COPERNICAN REVOLUTION and the beginning of the mechanistic paradigm — that is, using human-made machines (clocks) as a primary metaphor for understanding the nature of Reality. Earth is no longer at the center of the Universe in western consciousness.

Topics in science and religion

1796-1827, Georges CUVIER establishes that EXTINCTION IS A FACT, and advances the use of detailed anatomical observation for classifying animals by resemblance of form.

1858, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both independently propose EVOLUTIONBY NATURAL SELECTION.

1859 Charles DARWIN publishes On the Origin of Species, thereby offering the theory of natural selection as the mechanism, while forthrightly establishing THE FACT OF EVOLUTION.

1860, William Thomson (Lord KELVIN) performs a seemingly flawless calculation which indicates that the Earth has not existed for eternity but has cooled from a molten state for over 100 million years.

1905-1917, Albert EINSTEIN profoundly alters our understanding of space, time, motion, matter, and energy.

Topics in science and religion

1929, Edwin HUBBLE observes a "redshift" (shift toward the red lightwaves) in the spectral features of light coming from distant galaxies, thus concluding that the UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING. Humanity now realizes that the Milky Way Galaxy is not the entire universe.

1930s, Julian HUXLEY, an evolutionary biologist, writes, "through the human, EVOLUTION BECOMES CONSCIOUS of itself," an idea that Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry will develop further in the decades to come.

  • 1953, the double helix structure of DNA is discovered, furthering our understanding of the processes that underlie genetic heritage.

1959, TEILHARD DE CHARDIN is published, posthumously, thus presenting to the world a view of evolution that is spiritual, uplifting, and congruent with his Christian faith. (Thomas Berry refers to Teilhard as, "the most significant theologian since St. Paul.")

1969, through the eyes of astronauts and captured on their cameras, EARTH SEES ITSELF WHOLE.

Topics in science and religion

1988, Thomas BERRY publishes The Dream of the Earth, in which he proposes that humans take on the cosmological role of "Celebrants of the Universe Story."

1992, Brian SWIMME and Thomas BERRY publish The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era — A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos In this landmark book, Swimme and Berry show how human story and the cosmic story are inseparable. One cannot be understood without understanding the other. Knowledge of the universe is self-knowledge.

Topics in science and religion


Topics in science and religion

Active conflict between science and religion: There have been hundreds of disputes since the end of the 16th century in which scientists and theologians have taught opposing beliefs. At any given time, in recent centuries, there has been at least one active, major battle. Dozens are active at the present time. Probably the most keenly argued are currently:

The relationship between science and religion:

Disagreements are seen in two main areas:

Active conflict between science and religion: There have been hundreds of disputes since the end of the 16th century in which scientists and theologians have taught opposing beliefs. At any given time, in recent centuries, there has been at least one active, major battle. Dozens are active at the present time. Probably the most keenly argued are currently:

The nature of homosexual orientation: Is it sinful, chosen, changeable, unnatural and abnormal for everyone?, Or is it morally neutral, not chosen, fixed, natural and normal for a minority of people.

Origins of the species, the earth itself and the rest of the universe. Were they created or did they evolve naturally? A second conflict is over the age of the Earth. Is it less than 10,000 years old, or about 4.5 billion.

Topics in science and religion

Science evaluating religion: This involves the use of the scientific method to evaluate the validity of a religious belief. Two examples are:

Can one assess the will of God through prayer, or is God not communicating?

Speaking in tongues; is it the language of angels, or meaningless gibberish?

Can prayer cure diseases and disorders, or speed people's recovery?

Topics in science and religion

We bring to this work a mixture of science and mysticism. If science is valid, then one day there may be answers to the questions that we now label "mystic". These answers will not necessarily reduce mystical or spiritual questions to materialist answers, such as the idea that our consciousness is nothing more than an epiphenomenon that emerges when matter achieves a certain degree of complexity. We think that consciousness is something real, a cause rather than an effect. But neither can it be reduced to the "God" of the monotheistic religions. It is something vaster, more wonderful and miraculous. A scientific explanation, rather than reducing God or consciousness to nothing, may well open up vistas to the marvelous that we can not yet comprehend. But for this to take place, science must also change and shed the hard-core materialist garb it has taken upon itself in the last century.

Topics in science and religion

At the beginning of World War I, Ouspensky's speculated to Gurdjieff that the war was a consequence of life in the industrial age, wherein humans were becoming more "mechanized" and had stopped thinking for themselves because they had things too easy. Gurdjieff replied:

"There is another kind of mechanization which is much more dangerous: being a machine oneself. Have you ever thought about the fact that all people themselves are machines? ...Look, all those people you see are simply machines - nothing more. ...You think there is something that chooses its own path, something that can stand against mechanization; you think that not everything is equally mechanical."

Topics in science and religion

Religion, science, Russia: an interview with Boris Raushenbakh - InterviewChristian Century,  Feb 28, 1996  by Wallace Daniel

In 1989 Raushenbakh wrote of the need for a new worldview. His article "Toward a Rational-Imaginary Picture of the World" appeared in Kommunist, the influential journal published by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. The article attracted a great deal of attention, leading him to revise and republish it under the title "Religion and Morality" in January 1991 (several months before the August coup attempt) in Znamia (Banner), a journal widely read by the Russian intelligentsia. In this and subsequent articles, Raushenbakh assaulted several main pillars of Soviet life: dialectical materialism, the denigration of religion and the attempt to create a "new morality" based solely on science and reason. He argued that the one-sided emphasis on materialism and rationality in Soviet education over the past 70 years had been misguided, and that religion is an essential ingredient in both human creativity and morality.

Topics in science and religion

In Raushenbakh's view, a key to rebuilding Russia lay in a new "humanizing education"--one that would embrace both the scientific and the spiritual. "We live in a country," he wrote, "that was founded on religious principles, on strong religious ideals, but we have gone very far from them, to the other extreme; it is absolutely essential that we recover what we have lost."

Topics in science and religion

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