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Should Science Make You Lose Faith in God?. Five contemporary issues in science and religion. Visit Our Webpage Week 1 – Science and Religion: The History of Conflict. Introduction: Modes of engagement.

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should science make you lose faith in god

Should Science Make You Lose Faith in God?

Five contemporary issues in science and religion

introduction modes of engagement
Introduction:Modes of engagement
  • The Battle of the fundamentalists: wart hogs and boa constrictors: the “new atheism” and intelligent design”
  • No contact – No conflict: non-overlapping magisteria
  • Constructive Criticism: the role of evolution in Christian theology
  • Creative Tension
four dialogs
Four Dialogs
  • Can there be a “theology of evolution”?
  • Quantum Mechanics: What are we to make of the “otherworldly” nature of quantum reality? What about the “implicate order”?
  • Cosmology: what is our place in the universe? Why is the universe so exquisitely tuned to our existence?
  • Emergence: How does order and intelligence arise out of primordial chaos?
from the hitchhiker s guide to the galaxy
From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 96 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

matthew arnold dover beach
Matthew Arnold – Dover Beach

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d

But now I only hear

Its melancholy, long withdrawing roar,

Retreating, to the breath

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear

And naked shingle of the world.


And we are here as on a darkling plane

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.


the new atheism
The “New Atheism”
  • Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
  • Sam Harris, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
  • Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
the templeton prize
The Templeton Prize
  • 1.5 million dollars > Nobel Prize
  • To a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether though insight discovery, or practical works; outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of ultimate purpose and reality.
  • Recent winners: Charles Townes, Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, John Barrow, Michael Heller, Ian Barbour, John Polkinghorne
science in ancient greece
Science in Ancient Greece

Pythagoras, sixth century BCE

Science and religion are inextricably interrelated.

Aristotle, 384-322 BCE

Theology = Science of God

st augustine 354 430 ce
St. Augustine 354 – 430 CE

“When the question is asked what we are to believe in regard to religion, it is not necessary to probe into the nature of things, as was done by those whom the Greeks call physisi; nor need we be in alarm lest the Christian should be ignorant of the force and number of the elements – the motion and order and eclipses of the heavenly bodies … and a thousand other things which those philosophers either have found out or think they have found out … It is enough for the Christian to believe that the only cause of all created things, … whether heavenly or earthly … is the goodness of the Creator, the one true God.”

more quotes
More quotes
  • St. Augustine. “Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind.”
  • Martin Luther. “I hold that the animals took their being at once upon the word of God, as did the fishes in the sea.”
  • John Calvin speaking about those who reject literal interpretation of scripture, “[They] basely insult the Creator, and should expect a judge who will annihilate them.”
galileo s confession 1633
Galileo’s Confession (1633)

“I Galileo, being of my seventieth year, being a prisoner and on my knees, and before your Eminences, having before my eyes the Holy Gospel, which I touch with my hands, abjure, curse, and detest the error and the heresy of the movement of the earth.”

more commentary
More commentary
  • Martin Luther (1483-1546). “This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”
  • Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). “Now it is want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publically, and the example is pernicious.”
  • John Calvin (1509-64), “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”
on witches
On Witches
  • “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live,” Exodus 22:24
  • John Wesley (1768) “The giving up of witchcraft is in effect the giving up of the Bible.”