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 skeptical that there is much common ground between scientific knowledge and religious belief. Indeed, they are often antagonistic. Can an accommodation be reached after centuries of conflict?
In 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 2001: A Space Odyssey, and numerous other works of science 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 Inquirer); 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 scholars.
Among 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.
Brand: Prometheus Books
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I attended the "Science and Religion" symposium held in Atlanta in 2001 and it was excellent. But this book is much more than a mere summary of the symposium. The book also includes many contributions by authors who did not attend, such as a chapter on Nonoverlapping Magisteria by the late Stephen Jay Gould and a chapter on Intelligent design by William A. Dembski. At issue is whether religion and science have anything to say to each other and what happens when they tread on each other's turf. It has been argued that science has no business intruding into the realm of religion. But the nature of "science" is poorly understood by many people. It is not a body of knowledge, but rather a means of acquiring knowledge. Some religious claims cannot be be addressed by science because no means are available to investigate them. But on those issues where a means does exist, science has consistently forced religion to retreat and revise itself. This book...
Science and religion are NOT "Nonoverlapping Magisteria." Religion does make claims that science can neither rebut nor even investigate. But it also makes claims that can be and have been disproven. Either the transportation of a Catholic saint/goddess directly to the sky without passing GO and without collecting $200 was a verifiable fact of history, or it did not happen. The dogma that a god played a role in the origin of the universe is religion, and as such is not subject to scientific investigation. The claim that the universe is less than ten thousand years old has nothing to do with religion. It is bad science. But dogmatic religion is one thing. The belief that the universe was intelligently designed, but not necessarily by the god of religion, is something else. Arguments for Intelligent Design are presented by believers, and rebutted by scientists. Why is belief in religion so much higher among the less educated, and so much lower among natural scientists...
A MUST READ for anyone interested about magisteria of science and religion. Well written essays (as one would expect with Kurtz as the editor) presenting both sides of this discussion. Never more relevant than today when religionists are making the claim about "biblical science", "creation science" (an oxymoron) ad infinitum. America can be a strange land where mythology and fact are allowed to mingle in some minds. This book will make you THINK.
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