20th WCP: Philosophy Redivivus? Science, Ethics, and Faith
Various aspects of the relationship between religion and science have been cited by modern Many scientists, philosophers, and theologians throughout history, such as Francisco Ayala, Kenneth R. Miller itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise. The relationship between religion and science is the subject of continued debate in philosophy and theology. To what extent are religion and. Conflict between science and religion is an inevitable product of their it's a position held by some prominent scientists and philosophers they revere. an ordinary star, in one of billions of galaxies that make up the universe. . to learn to factually understand the successive relationships between all of the.
Conflict thesis The conflict thesiswhich holds that religion and science have been in conflict continuously throughout history, was popularized in the 19th century by John William Draper 's and Andrew Dickson White 's accounts.
It was in the 19th century that relationship between science and religion became an actual formal topic of discourse, while before this no one had pitted science against religion or vice versa, though occasional complex interactions had been expressed before the 19th century.
If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule. By Galileo went to Rome to try to persuade Catholic Church authorities not to ban Copernicus' ideas. In the end, a decree of the Congregation of the Index was issued, declaring that the ideas that the Sun stood still and that the Earth moved were "false" and "altogether contrary to Holy Scripture", and suspending Copernicus's De Revolutionibus until it could be corrected.
Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves.
He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions.
The Church had merely sided with the scientific consensus of the time. Only the latter was fulfilled by Galileo. Although the preface of his book claims that the character is named after a famous Aristotelian philosopher Simplicius in Latin, Simplicio in Italianthe name "Simplicio" in Italian also has the connotation of "simpleton".
Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings.
Graylingstill believes there is competition between science and religions and point to the origin of the universe, the nature of human beings and the possibility of miracles  Independence[ edit ] A modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as " non-overlapping magisteria " NOMAis that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-exist peacefully.
Stace viewed independence from the perspective of the philosophy of religion. Stace felt that science and religion, when each is viewed in its own domain, are both consistent and complete. In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Scientifically based observations or experiments that conflict with an explanation eventually must lead to modification or even abandonment of that explanation.
Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities. Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to put science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist.
He views science as descriptive and religion as prescriptive. He stated that if science and mathematics concentrate on what the world ought to be, in the way that religion does, it may lead to improperly ascribing properties to the natural world as happened among the followers of Pythagoras in the sixth century B. Habgood also stated that he believed that the reverse situation, where religion attempts to be descriptive, can also lead to inappropriately assigning properties to the natural world.
A notable example is the now defunct belief in the Ptolemaic geocentric planetary model that held sway until changes in scientific and religious thinking were brought about by Galileo and proponents of his views. Kuhn asserted that science is made up of paradigms that arise from cultural traditions, which is similar to the secular perspective on religion. Polanyi further asserted that all knowledge is personal and therefore the scientist must be performing a very personal if not necessarily subjective role when doing science.
Coulson and Harold K. Schillingboth claimed that "the methods of science and religion have much in common. Dialogue[ edit ] Clerks studying astronomy and geometry France, early 15th century. The religion and science community consists of those scholars who involve themselves with what has been called the "religion-and-science dialogue" or the "religion-and-science field.
Journals addressing the relationship between science and religion include Theology and Science and Zygon.
- 5 Conflicts Between Science and Religion
- Relationship between religion and science
- Religion and Science
Eugenie Scott has written that the "science and religion" movement is, overall, composed mainly of theists who have a healthy respect for science and may be beneficial to the public understanding of science.
She contends that the "Christian scholarship" movement is not a problem for science, but that the "Theistic science" movement, which proposes abandoning methodological materialism, does cause problems in understanding of the nature of science. This annual series continues and has included William JamesJohn DeweyCarl Sagan, and many other professors from various fields.
Science, Religion, and Naturalism, heavily contests the linkage of naturalism with science, as conceived by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and like-minded thinkers; while Daniel Dennett thinks that Plantinga stretches science to an unacceptable extent.
Barrettby contrast, reviews the same book and writes that "those most needing to hear Plantinga's message may fail to give it a fair hearing for rhetorical rather than analytical reasons.
Scientific and theological perspectives often coexist peacefully. Christians and some non-Christian religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas, as in the ancient Egyptian technological mastery applied to monotheistic ends, the flourishing of logic and mathematics under Hinduism and Buddhismand the scientific advances made by Muslim scholars during the Ottoman empire.
Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality.
The Renaissance - Science, Religion and Philosophy
Principethe Johns Hopkins University Drew Professor of the Humanities, from a historical perspective this points out that much of the current-day clashes occur between limited extremists—both religious and scientistic fundamentalists—over a very few topics, and that the movement of ideas back and forth between scientific and theological thought has been more usual.
He also admonished that true religion must conform to the conclusions of science. Buddhism and science Buddhism and science have been regarded as compatible by numerous authors. For example, Buddhism encourages the impartial investigation of nature an activity referred to as Dhamma-Vicaya in the Pali Canon —the principal object of study being oneself.
Buddhism and science both show a strong emphasis on causality. However, Buddhism doesn't focus on materialism.
In his book The Universe in a Single Atom he wrote, "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science, so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation.
Christianity and science Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education Francis Collins, a scientist who happens to be a Christian, is the current director of the National Institutes of Health. Among early Christian teachers, Tertullian c.
These ideas were significantly countered by later findings of universal patterns of biological cooperation. According to John Habgoodall man really knows here is that the universe seems to be a mix of good and evilbeauty and painand that suffering may somehow be part of the process of creation.
Habgood holds that Christians should not be surprised that suffering may be used creatively by Godgiven their faith in the symbol of the Cross. The "Handmaiden" tradition, which saw secular studies of the universe as a very important and helpful part of arriving at a better understanding of scripture, was adopted throughout Christian history from early on. What can philosophy contribute to the emerging dialogue between science and theology?
The emerging science-theology dialogue is characterized by complexity and considerable confusion regarding proper methodologies, goals, and possible interactions. There are at least three major schools, models, or approaches to science-religion interfaces: Paradoxically, the third model, which argues for a fusion or unity of science and theology has naturalistic as well as theistic proponents.
For naturalists like Willem B. Drees, personal experiences, including religious experiences and consciousness, are all "part and parcel of nature" Hence, Drees concludes that "the distinction between personal and impersonal relations provides no basis for distinguishing supernatural and natural phenomena" Naturalists like Drees, then, consider religious beliefs and moral codes as products of evolution or natural processes alone, which leave no room for a Creator, let alone a transcendent God.
In contrast, theists like Phillip E.The Relationship between Science and Philosophy
Johnson and Alvin Plantinga criticize the prevailing scientific paradigm in the natural sciences for excluding questions concerning design, purpose, value, First Principles, and ultimately the Creator-God. According to Johnson, the scientific method or methodological naturalism leads imperceptibly to, and buttresses, metaphysical naturalism that excludes the transcendent and God.
Johnson therefore proposes a "theistic science," which would bring God and concepts such as intelligent design, truth, rationality, and First Principles under the purview of science properly understood.
For Johnson, only in this way could science become truly objective and able "to fight the prevalent bias of the age," by following all available evidence wherever it may lead Plantinga, a leading philosopher of religion, concurs with Johnson that "a Christian academic and scientific community ought to pursue science in its own way, starting from and taking for granted what we know as Christians" According to Plantinga, Christian theists should reject methodological naturalism if it constrains inquiry, especially with regard to the human sciences such as psychology and sociology.
In fact, Plantinga distinguishes between "Duhemian science," which excludes metaphysics, and a more comprehensive "Augustinian science," which is inherently metaphysical These distinctions parallel, but do not completely coincide with, the traditional divisions between the natural sciences, on the one hand, and social sciences and humanities, on the other.
Critics of Johnson and Plantinga point out that methodological naturalism, defined by "the scientific method," is a sine-qua-non of doing science, in which the physical world is open to experiment, observation, measurement, confirmation or rejection of hypotheses, and what makes science universally accessible and intersubjectively transmissible.
Karl Giberson notes that Johnson's concept of a theistic science provides no guideposts or specifics for actually doing science which needs to be intersubjectively transmissible and empirically verifiable.
As Giberson avers, Johnson's paradigm of a theistic science "has yet to produce any positive results, or differ from the abandoned theistic science of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" Michael Ruse takes Johnson to task for succumbing to the "naturalistic fallacy," as if one could squeeze moral or metaphysical truths from nature. Ruse is equally critical of those naturalists who deduce a naturalistic metaphysics from the physical world in that "far too many evolutionists today treat their subject like a secular religion, drawing out all sorts of consequences way beyond the empirical" To Ruse, both theists like Johnson and evolutionists compromise science, which should be properly regarded as ethically and religiously neutral Johnson, in turn, expresses incredulity that even some Christian professors would argue in favor of methodological naturalism Yet what bothers most scientists and some theists is that the rejection of methodological naturalism as its proper method of inquiry could subvert science itself by making science subservient to special interests and ideologies, multiplying subjective conceptions of "science" as almost anything goes.
David Krause observes that Plantinga's notion of "what Christians know" is "profoundly problematic," given the diversity and divisions among Christian churches and organizations in the world today This leads Krause to wonder: Krause's major concern is that the demand for a theistic science may, in fact, deconstruct the scientific enterprise, resulting in an "unmitigated disaster for future relationships between science and Christianity," recalling Cardinal Bellarmine's prosecution of Bruno and Galileo We all know by now that the error of the Medieval Church was to subsume science under theology.
The error of modern Gnosticism, however, is to subsume theology and faith under science. Both approaches compromise science and faith. Enlightenment reason bracketed God, while positivistic science desposed of the supernatural and religion altogether as superfluous, equating science with knowledge and truth. Yet, shorn of First Principles, Enlightenment rationality could also deconstruct into postmodern thought, which ends up relativizing both science and religion, questioning the very concept of truth Yates Is it any wonder, then, that scientists tend to eschew any and all questions of value, ethics, and religious faith?
Philosophy and Science
The pitfalls of a theistic science or a natural theology are proof to many that science deals, indeed, with reality and facts, whereas religion belongs in the subjective domain of personal experience.
This persuasion is articulated well by Steven Weinberg who concludes that: A fortiori, we will find no standards of value or morality. And so we will find no hint of any God who cares about such things.
We may find these things elsewhere, but not in the laws of nature Weinberg's view constitutes the prevailing paradigm in the natural sciences today. It is that of a total separation between science and religion, knowledge and faith, is and ought, fact and value. Yet Weinberg himself admits to the necessity of "God-talk" in contemporary science: Can philosophy mediate the dispute between science and religion?
Philosophy in the classic sense as sophia love of wisdom can, indeed, facilitate science-religion dialogue by helping to clear up semantic and conceptual confusion, as well as shed new light on complex interconnections and the interrelatedness of all phenomena.
For Platonists like Brigitte Dehmelt Cooper, science is but doxa opinionwhile true knowledge episteme arises from the application of a dialectic of distinctions which are given to us as tools and capacities to grasp reality and truth An unusual consensus is emerging among some scientists, philosophers, and theologians, which sees increasing similarities and limitations of both enterprises of science and theology.
Bernard Lonergan pointed out already in that "the outstanding feature of modern science is that it is not certain" Roger Penrose and John Polkinghorne agree that the modern science of the brain is only beginning to explore the relationship between the brain and the mind, the physiological and the epistemic. We're ignorant, and so we have to make guesses" Penrose's Shadows of the Mind conjectures that human intuition and insight cannot be reduced to any set of rules, and that human consciousness, awareness, and understanding are non-computational To Penrose, a self-confessed Platonist and one of the world's foremost mathematicians, this indicates clearly that the human mind and the computer are essentially different.
Unexpectedly, modern science of the brain appears to confirm Immanuel Kant's purely philosophical postulate of how knowledge and human understanding are possible by conjoining physical data of sensory perception or phenomena with the preexisting architectonic theoretical structure of the mind or noumena. In Kant's classic formulation: The understanding can intuit nothing, the senses can think nothing. Only through their union can knowledge arise" This unity of perception and aperception thinking produces comprehension, knowledge, and understanding in homo sapiens.
The precise scientific exposition of the mind-brain interaction remains elusive, which even Penrose admits, but cautions that consciousness cannot be reduced to the physical component or matter of the brain alone A great paradox lies at the heart of Kantian epistemology.
How does one authenticate reason or Pascal's notion of man as "a thinking reed? For most scientists, measurement defines science. Thus, Frederick Grinnell asserts that: Yet a measuring rod can be authenticated only by another measuring rod. But, this leads clearly to an infinite regress, since the concept of "measure" itself is extra-scientific. We are back to Kurt Godel's incompleteness theoremwhich shows that there is truth beyond even math's ability to prove that it is true. This prompts Kitty Ferguson to conclude that "the assumptions underlying the scientific method are not capable of being proved or disproved by the scientific method" Ferguson's observation by no means implies abandoning science or proferring a new "God-of-the-Gaps" theology.
But, it would seem to call for a more realistic, humble, and open-ended conception of science as a process of inquiry, rather than a set of unassailable propositions or ultimate truths. To believers like Ferguson, it also means that even science begins with a leap of faith. But, if this is true, how can science delimit its investigations to only the empirical, sensory, and observable?
At first glance, the somewhat esoteric notion of "a leap of faith" might confirm what many a scientist has suspected all along, namely, that religious believers are, after all, a fuzzy-minded lot not to be taken seriously by rational creatures, let alone scientists.
To theologians, the leap of faith metaphor only confirms what they already know, namely, that we all live by faith. To post-modernists, the leap of faith in connection with science only further relativizes both science and religion, which they consider just language games, along with objectivity and truth.
One of the least understood truths today, however, in both camps of science and theology, is the particular nature of the faith necessary for science. Stanley Jaki, a physicist, makes the outrageous claim that the Christian God is necessary for man to have science at all. Science, according to Jaki, presupposes a monotheistic faith whose rational foundations are in concordance with the major presuppositions in science itself.
Other cultures and civilizations lacking those presuppositions have witnessed a stillbirth of science, since they "failed to formulate the notion of physical law, or the law of nature" Only a theology focused on a personal, rational, absolutely transcendent Lawgiver or Creator-God could give rise to modern science and its many successes. The scientific quest found fertile soil only when this faith in a personal, rational Creator had truly permeated a whole culture, beginning with the centuries of the High Middle Ages.
It was that faith which provided, in sufficient measure, confidence in the rationality of the universe, trust in progress, and appreciation of the quantitative method, all indispensable ingredients of the scientific quest