Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? PDF è

Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? PDF è

Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? [Epub] ➟ Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? By Paul Kurtz – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk In recent years a noticeable trend toward harmonizing the distinct worldviews of science and religion has become increasingly popular Despite marked public interest many leading scientists remain skep In recent years a noticeable trend toward harmonizing Religion: Are Kindle Ï the distinct worldviews of science and religion has become increasingly popular Despite marked public interest many leading scientists remain skeptical that there is much common ground between scientific knowledge and religious belief Indeed they are often antagonistic Can an accommodation be reached after Science and PDF/EPUB ² centuries of conflictIn this stimulating collection of articles on the subject Paul Kurtz with the assistance of Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu have assembled the thoughts of scientists from various disciplines Among the distinguished contributors are Sir Arthur C Clarke author of A Space Odyssey and numerous other works of science and Religion: Are Epub Ý fiction; Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Weinberg professor of physics at the University of Texas at Austin; Neil deGrasse Tyson Princeton University astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium; James Lovelock creator of the Gaia hypothesis; Kendrick Frazier editor of the Skeptical Inuirer; Steven Pinker professor of psychology at MIT; Richard Dawkins zoologist at Oxford University; Eugenie Scott physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education; Owen Gingerich professor of astronomy at Harvard University; Martin Gardner prolific popular science writer; the late Richard Feynman Nobel Prize winning physicist and Stephen Jay Gould professor of geology at Harvard University; and many other eminent scientists and scholarsAmong the topics discussed are the Big Bang and the origin of the universe intelligent design and creationism versus evolution the nature of the soul near death experiences communication with the dead why people do or do not believe in God and the relationship between religion and ethics.


10 thoughts on “Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

  1. Todd Martin Todd Martin says:

    Science and Religion Are They Compatible? is a collection of essays from a number of viewpoints on the science religion debate The book is divided into seven sections and includes articles by prominent scientists such Steven Weinberg Neil DeGrasse Tyson Stephen Jay Gould Richard Feynman and Steven Pinker to name a fewWhile the bulk of the essays tend towards the scientificmaterialistic outlook opposing viewpoints are also presented Both sides offer well thought out arguments the bulk of which are uite interesting and thought provokingWhat to conclude?If you look at the historical trend science has prevailed in each and every area in which conflicting explanations of phenomenon were proffered Religion has continued to be pushed into the darkest corners and to the edges of our knowledge and understanding Early man believed deities were responsible for weather disease astronomical events the success or failure of crops and so on and so on Now religious apologists are left to provide rather obscure explanations relating to evolution of the bacterial flagellum or the clotting mechanism in blood and in fact doing it rather badly Projecting this trend into the future there is every reason to believe that superstitious beliefs will continue to be made less relevant as science enters the realm of the human brain to explain emotions morality ethics and religious belief itself Will this mean an end to religion? No The human brain appears to have a built in belief engine that makes us predisposed to supernatural explanations But over time the inexorable progress offered by science will continue to marginalize religion until its role in the public sphere is on par with beliefs like astrology ghosts and garden gnomes


  2. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Outstanding collectionThis is an all star collection of essays by some very eminent scientists and others including Richard Dawkins Steven Weinberg Richard Feynman Stephen Jay Gould Steven Pinker James Lovelock Daniel Dennett etc Thrown in for “balance” or fairness are essays by some others who espouse views decidedly not congenial with those of Editor Paul Kurtz who is the founder of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the ParanormalMost noticeable among the latter is William A Dembski a mathematician and a well known proponent of Intelligent Design I want to start with his essay which is entitled “Skepticism’s Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design”Immediately in the title we see employed one of the familiar tactics of the now discredited creationists namely a statement presented slyly as “a given” about something that is in fact untrue Dembski has skeptics or actually evolutionary biology attempting to “unseat” Intelligent Design This is bit like the tail trying to wag the dog The main thrust of Dembski’s argument is that Americas believe in design than in evolution This “counting heads” sort of argument is obviously not science It is an attempt to politicize science to make what is true dependent upon what a majority of people think is trueDembski writes “To allow an unevolved intelligence a place in the world is according to skepticism to send the world into a tailspin It is to exchange unbroken natural law for caprice and thereby destroy science” p 91This is insincere since what Dembski really is saying is “To allow God a place” Science would be glad to allow God a place in the world if it were somehow established that God exists So far after many many centuries of trying no one has been able to provide any evidence that God exists Further if God should become scientifically manifested the skeptic’s world would not be thrown into a tailspin Rather skeptics would have a little less to be skeptical aboutWhat Dembski is really asserting here is the simple statement “If God exists then skeptics think science will be destroyed” It’s really laughable how the euphemistic expressions for God that the Intelligence Designers contort themselves into tend to turn their prose into babbleleseDembski finishes with some bogus claims for ID some satirical “action points” for skeptics and then returns to his main theme “Poll after poll indicates that for most people evolution does not provide a compelling vision of life and the world” p 97Well science move aside The people have voted Reminds me of the bumper sticker “God said it I believe it That settles it”More typical of the profound thought and expression in the book is the brilliant essay by Steven Weinberg entitled “A Designer Universe?” This essay includes the famous statement “With or without religion good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion” p 40Another nice Weinbergian expression is this as a kind of comment on the idea that God gave humans free will as a way to account for evil in the world while maintaining an all powerful and benevolent God “It seems a bit unfair to my relatives to be murdered in order to provide an opportunity for free will for Germans but even putting that aside how does free will account for cancer? Is it an opportunity of free will for tumors?” p 38Still another is this as a counter to the idea of God the Designer “ifyou believe in a God who is jealous or loving or intelligent or whimsical then you still must confront the uestion ‘Why?’” p 38 Conseuently such a God is not the entire answer and really begs the uestion “Who designed him?”This point is generalized by asking “Why is this theory compelling and not another? Why uantum mechanics and not Newtonian mechanics?” Weinberg concludes “So there seems to be an irreducible mystery that science will not eliminate” p 33 This mystery this uncertainty is what creationists would like to eliminate But I believe the mystery is part of the human condition and something to revel in not something to sweep under the rug with authoritarian certaintyAnother outstanding essay is by Victor J Stenger “Anthropic Design Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose?” He concludes with this beautiful view of the cosmos “The hundred billion galaxies of our visible universe each with a hundred billion stars is but a grain of sand on the Sahara that exists beyond our horizon grown out of that single original bubble of false vacuum An endless number of such bubbles can very well exist each itself nothing but a grain of sand on the Sahara of all existence On such a Sahara nothing is too improbable to have happened by chance” p 45One of the most straightforward and appealing statements in favor of science is this from David A Shotwell in his essay “From the Anthropic Principle to the Supernatural” “If you admit the supernatural into your calculations anything goes That is why a supernatural explanation is useless to a scientist however pious he may be on Sundays It provides no direction for research suggests no testable hypotheses and gives no reason to expect one result rather than another” p 49I’m running out of space but be sure and read Daniel Dennett’s profound and witty homage to science entitled “Why Getting It Right Matters How Science Prevails” Here’s a uote “Alongside our tools for agriculture building warfare and transportation we have created a technology of truth science” p 156Here’s another about “a standard of truth from Plato to be aspired to by all truth seekers” This standard is “heavily relied upon even in matters of life and death—by the most vigorous opponents of science Or do you know a church that keeps track of its flock and their donations without benefit of arithmetic?” p 157 Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”


  3. Stephie Williams Stephie Williams says:

    Review to follow


  4. James F James F says:

    This is a collection of about forty articles most of which were talks presented at a conference with the same title as the book held in Atlanta in November 2001 under the sponsorship of the Center for Inuiry the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal CSICOP which publishes The Skeptical Inuirer and the Council for Secular Humanism which publishes Free Inuiry These were supplemented by other articles which appeared in one or the other of those two magazines Neither the conference nor the book was fairly balanced or intended to be although some theists and compatibilists were invited and a handful accepted; book and conference were intended as a counterweight to a much larger number of similar conferences with a theistic bias which have occurred recentlyOrdinarily I have little interest in reading books about atheism versus religion mainly because I have not considered religion a live uestion since I was a teenager but also because I would rather consider atheist philosophies such as logical positivism Marxism existentialism and so forth on their own terms as total systems rather than from the viewpoint of what they may happen so say about one to me rather uninteresting uestion I read this only because it had a tangential relevance to one of the challenges on one of my groupsThe book is organized in thematic sections; the general articles were just what I expected epistemological cliches which anyone who knows any philosophy of science at all is familiar with and which will certainly not convince any religionist who has decided to simply believe There were also sections on specific uestions such as cosmogony and religion evolution and religion ethics and religion and why do people believe in this stuff A few of these articles had interesting or at least unfamiliar facts One for example talked about the close relationship between Christian creationists in the United States and radical Islamists in the Middle East especially Turkey who use their much greater state funding and academic influence to publish American creationists works with slight modifications to replace fundamental Protestant Bible references with euivalent references from the Koran not only in Turkish but in English and various other Western languages Another discussed the activities of the Templeton Foundation Joe Nickell's article on the Shroud of Turin was enlightening and will have to do until I find time to read his book on the subjectThe least satisfying part of the book was the attempt to explain the reasons for belief on evolutionary sociobiological grounds as having somehow been adaptive for primitive societies According to statistics presented in the book itself Americans have a much higher degree of religious and paranormal belief than similarly educated people anywhere else outside the Islamic world; polls show that 25% of Americans believe in witches 50% in ghosts and 90% in a God or other supernatural creator; while again outside Islam it is the only country where creationism is even taken seriously much less dominant among non scientists Moreover the degree of religious belief within various countries seems to vary in time This would seem to me to argue that belief is not some hereditary residue of formerly adaptive behaviors but depends on cultural factors the uestion of the economic and political uses of religion are not dealt with in any serious way


  5. David Harris David Harris says:

    This book contains sections on cosmology and God intelligent design religion and science in conflict science and ethics the scientific investigation of para natural claims scientific explanations of religious belief and accommodating science and religion The section that particularly interested me was the one on science and ethicsSteven J Gould's essay on non overlapping magisteria didn't really have anything to say about ethics at all Richard Dawkins' response pointed that out but then he went on to ignore ethics as well Richard Feynman touched on ethics briefly acknowledging that the moral arena is an appropriate place for religious influence but there was no real discussion of details anywhere in this section I found this very disappointingI may come back to this book to check out the section on accommodating science and religion at some point But my general impression from what I've read so far is that the book doesn't deliver on its promise which is to answer the uestion Are science and religion compatible?


  6. Tiffany Tiffany says:

    Most of the essays in this book are interesting but a higher percentage than I would like is about science vs religion and whether they're compatible and not so much how they are or are not compatible It's a lot of people talking about the current late 1990searly 2000s controversy of religion vs science rather than actually how science disproves religious claims or how religions contend with scientific findings Even those essays are interesting though and there are definitely some essays about how science disproves religion and vice versa It's just not as meaty as I was hoping it would be


  7. Leanna Aker Leanna Aker says:

    This is a collection of short essays from scientists with an interest in the intersection or lack thereof of science and religion What I liked about the book is that there were a number of different topics and the essays were short enough that one could get a broad sense of thoughts on science and religion but not get bogged down in too much academiaHaving said that the essays ranged from very approachable and understandable to painfully academic in nature Also this book is heavily skewed toward the science believer I think the book would be best for science minded or free thinkers or religious people who are open to uestioning their faith


  8. T. T. says:

    A nice collection of well written essays that takes on issues like the Shroud of Turin afterlife experiences Intelligent Design cosmic anthropic principle and why science explains life and the universe better than theology Most essays are pro science but they give info on contrary views Highly recommended Tom


  9. Sally Sally says:

    A collection of essays most of which first appeared in Skeptical Inuirer or were talks at a 2001 conference on the title theme While different views are represented the bulk of the authors argue that science and religion are not compatible Most of the essays are well written and thought provoking; I found it a worthwhile read


  10. Adam Lewis Adam Lewis says:

    Pulls together some rather good essays by leading thinkers on these issues


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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

  1. Todd Martin Todd Martin says:

    Science and Religion Are They Compatible? is a collection of essays from a number of viewpoints on the science religion debate The book is divided into seven sections and includes articles by prominent scientists such Steven Weinberg Neil DeGrasse Tyson Stephen Jay Gould Richard Feynman and Steven Pinker to name a fewWhile the bulk of the essays tend towards the scientificmaterialistic outlook opposing viewpoints are also presented Both sides offer well thought out arguments the bulk of which are uite interesting and thought provokingWhat to conclude?If you look at the historical trend science has prevailed in each and every area in which conflicting explanations of phenomenon were proffered Religion has continued to be pushed into the darkest corners and to the edges of our knowledge and understanding Early man believed deities were responsible for weather disease astronomical events the success or failure of crops and so on and so on Now religious apologists are left to provide rather obscure explanations relating to evolution of the bacterial flagellum or the clotting mechanism in blood and in fact doing it rather badly Projecting this trend into the future there is every reason to believe that superstitious beliefs will continue to be made less relevant as science enters the realm of the human brain to explain emotions morality ethics and religious belief itself Will this mean an end to religion? No The human brain appears to have a built in belief engine that makes us predisposed to supernatural explanations But over time the inexorable progress offered by science will continue to marginalize religion until its role in the public sphere is on par with beliefs like astrology ghosts and garden gnomes

  2. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Outstanding collectionThis is an all star collection of essays by some very eminent scientists and others including Richard Dawkins Steven Weinberg Richard Feynman Stephen Jay Gould Steven Pinker James Lovelock Daniel Dennett etc Thrown in for “balance” or fairness are essays by some others who espouse views decidedly not congenial with those of Editor Paul Kurtz who is the founder of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the ParanormalMost noticeable among the latter is William A Dembski a mathematician and a well known proponent of Intelligent Design I want to start with his essay which is entitled “Skepticism’s Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design”Immediately in the title we see employed one of the familiar tactics of the now discredited creationists namely a statement presented slyly as “a given” about something that is in fact untrue Dembski has skeptics or actually evolutionary biology attempting to “unseat” Intelligent Design This is bit like the tail trying to wag the dog The main thrust of Dembski’s argument is that Americas believe in design than in evolution This “counting heads” sort of argument is obviously not science It is an attempt to politicize science to make what is true dependent upon what a majority of people think is trueDembski writes “To allow an unevolved intelligence a place in the world is according to skepticism to send the world into a tailspin It is to exchange unbroken natural law for caprice and thereby destroy science” p 91This is insincere since what Dembski really is saying is “To allow God a place” Science would be glad to allow God a place in the world if it were somehow established that God exists So far after many many centuries of trying no one has been able to provide any evidence that God exists Further if God should become scientifically manifested the skeptic’s world would not be thrown into a tailspin Rather skeptics would have a little less to be skeptical aboutWhat Dembski is really asserting here is the simple statement “If God exists then skeptics think science will be destroyed” It’s really laughable how the euphemistic expressions for God that the Intelligence Designers contort themselves into tend to turn their prose into babbleleseDembski finishes with some bogus claims for ID some satirical “action points” for skeptics and then returns to his main theme “Poll after poll indicates that for most people evolution does not provide a compelling vision of life and the world” p 97Well science move aside The people have voted Reminds me of the bumper sticker “God said it I believe it That settles it”More typical of the profound thought and expression in the book is the brilliant essay by Steven Weinberg entitled “A Designer Universe?” This essay includes the famous statement “With or without religion good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion” p 40Another nice Weinbergian expression is this as a kind of comment on the idea that God gave humans free will as a way to account for evil in the world while maintaining an all powerful and benevolent God “It seems a bit unfair to my relatives to be murdered in order to provide an opportunity for free will for Germans but even putting that aside how does free will account for cancer? Is it an opportunity of free will for tumors?” p 38Still another is this as a counter to the idea of God the Designer “ifyou believe in a God who is jealous or loving or intelligent or whimsical then you still must confront the uestion ‘Why?’” p 38 Conseuently such a God is not the entire answer and really begs the uestion “Who designed him?”This point is generalized by asking “Why is this theory compelling and not another? Why uantum mechanics and not Newtonian mechanics?” Weinberg concludes “So there seems to be an irreducible mystery that science will not eliminate” p 33 This mystery this uncertainty is what creationists would like to eliminate But I believe the mystery is part of the human condition and something to revel in not something to sweep under the rug with authoritarian certaintyAnother outstanding essay is by Victor J Stenger “Anthropic Design Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose?” He concludes with this beautiful view of the cosmos “The hundred billion galaxies of our visible universe each with a hundred billion stars is but a grain of sand on the Sahara that exists beyond our horizon grown out of that single original bubble of false vacuum An endless number of such bubbles can very well exist each itself nothing but a grain of sand on the Sahara of all existence On such a Sahara nothing is too improbable to have happened by chance” p 45One of the most straightforward and appealing statements in favor of science is this from David A Shotwell in his essay “From the Anthropic Principle to the Supernatural” “If you admit the supernatural into your calculations anything goes That is why a supernatural explanation is useless to a scientist however pious he may be on Sundays It provides no direction for research suggests no testable hypotheses and gives no reason to expect one result rather than another” p 49I’m running out of space but be sure and read Daniel Dennett’s profound and witty homage to science entitled “Why Getting It Right Matters How Science Prevails” Here’s a uote “Alongside our tools for agriculture building warfare and transportation we have created a technology of truth science” p 156Here’s another about “a standard of truth from Plato to be aspired to by all truth seekers” This standard is “heavily relied upon even in matters of life and death—by the most vigorous opponents of science Or do you know a church that keeps track of its flock and their donations without benefit of arithmetic?” p 157 Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  3. Stephie Williams Stephie Williams says:

    Review to follow

  4. James F James F says:

    This is a collection of about forty articles most of which were talks presented at a conference with the same title as the book held in Atlanta in November 2001 under the sponsorship of the Center for Inuiry the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal CSICOP which publishes The Skeptical Inuirer and the Council for Secular Humanism which publishes Free Inuiry These were supplemented by other articles which appeared in one or the other of those two magazines Neither the conference nor the book was fairly balanced or intended to be although some theists and compatibilists were invited and a handful accepted; book and conference were intended as a counterweight to a much larger number of similar conferences with a theistic bias which have occurred recentlyOrdinarily I have little interest in reading books about atheism versus religion mainly because I have not considered religion a live uestion since I was a teenager but also because I would rather consider atheist philosophies such as logical positivism Marxism existentialism and so forth on their own terms as total systems rather than from the viewpoint of what they may happen so say about one to me rather uninteresting uestion I read this only because it had a tangential relevance to one of the challenges on one of my groupsThe book is organized in thematic sections; the general articles were just what I expected epistemological cliches which anyone who knows any philosophy of science at all is familiar with and which will certainly not convince any religionist who has decided to simply believe There were also sections on specific uestions such as cosmogony and religion evolution and religion ethics and religion and why do people believe in this stuff A few of these articles had interesting or at least unfamiliar facts One for example talked about the close relationship between Christian creationists in the United States and radical Islamists in the Middle East especially Turkey who use their much greater state funding and academic influence to publish American creationists works with slight modifications to replace fundamental Protestant Bible references with euivalent references from the Koran not only in Turkish but in English and various other Western languages Another discussed the activities of the Templeton Foundation Joe Nickell's article on the Shroud of Turin was enlightening and will have to do until I find time to read his book on the subjectThe least satisfying part of the book was the attempt to explain the reasons for belief on evolutionary sociobiological grounds as having somehow been adaptive for primitive societies According to statistics presented in the book itself Americans have a much higher degree of religious and paranormal belief than similarly educated people anywhere else outside the Islamic world; polls show that 25% of Americans believe in witches 50% in ghosts and 90% in a God or other supernatural creator; while again outside Islam it is the only country where creationism is even taken seriously much less dominant among non scientists Moreover the degree of religious belief within various countries seems to vary in time This would seem to me to argue that belief is not some hereditary residue of formerly adaptive behaviors but depends on cultural factors the uestion of the economic and political uses of religion are not dealt with in any serious way

  5. David Harris David Harris says:

    This book contains sections on cosmology and God intelligent design religion and science in conflict science and ethics the scientific investigation of para natural claims scientific explanations of religious belief and accommodating science and religion The section that particularly interested me was the one on science and ethicsSteven J Gould's essay on non overlapping magisteria didn't really have anything to say about ethics at all Richard Dawkins' response pointed that out but then he went on to ignore ethics as well Richard Feynman touched on ethics briefly acknowledging that the moral arena is an appropriate place for religious influence but there was no real discussion of details anywhere in this section I found this very disappointingI may come back to this book to check out the section on accommodating science and religion at some point But my general impression from what I've read so far is that the book doesn't deliver on its promise which is to answer the uestion Are science and religion compatible?

  6. Tiffany Tiffany says:

    Most of the essays in this book are interesting but a higher percentage than I would like is about science vs religion and whether they're compatible and not so much how they are or are not compatible It's a lot of people talking about the current late 1990searly 2000s controversy of religion vs science rather than actually how science disproves religious claims or how religions contend with scientific findings Even those essays are interesting though and there are definitely some essays about how science disproves religion and vice versa It's just not as meaty as I was hoping it would be

  7. Leanna Aker Leanna Aker says:

    This is a collection of short essays from scientists with an interest in the intersection or lack thereof of science and religion What I liked about the book is that there were a number of different topics and the essays were short enough that one could get a broad sense of thoughts on science and religion but not get bogged down in too much academiaHaving said that the essays ranged from very approachable and understandable to painfully academic in nature Also this book is heavily skewed toward the science believer I think the book would be best for science minded or free thinkers or religious people who are open to uestioning their faith

  8. T. T. says:

    A nice collection of well written essays that takes on issues like the Shroud of Turin afterlife experiences Intelligent Design cosmic anthropic principle and why science explains life and the universe better than theology Most essays are pro science but they give info on contrary views Highly recommended Tom

  9. Sally Sally says:

    A collection of essays most of which first appeared in Skeptical Inuirer or were talks at a 2001 conference on the title theme While different views are represented the bulk of the authors argue that science and religion are not compatible Most of the essays are well written and thought provoking; I found it a worthwhile read

  10. Adam Lewis Adam Lewis says:

    Pulls together some rather good essays by leading thinkers on these issues

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