Can Science Explain Religion?

Can Science Explain Religion?

Author: James W. Jones

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190249380

Category: Religion and science

Page: 248

View: 644

The "New Atheist" movement of recent years has put the science-versus-religion controversy back on the popular cultural agenda. Anti-religious polemicists are convinced that the application of the new sciences of the mind to religious belief gives them the final weapons in their battle against irrationality and superstition. What used to be a trickle of research papers scattered in specialized scientific journals has now become a torrent of books, articles, and commentary in the popular media pressing the case that the cognitive science of religion can finally fulfill the enlightenment dream of shrinking religion into insignificance, if not eliminating it altogether. James W. Jones argues that these claims are demonstrably false. He notes that cognitive science research is religiously neutral; it can be deployed in many different ways in relation to the actual belief in and practice of religion: to undermine it, to simply study it, and to support it. These different approaches, Jones suggests, reflect the background assumptions and viewpoints brought to the interpretation of the data. The goal of this book is not to defend either a general religious outlook or a particular religious tradition, but to make the case that while there is much to learn from the cognitive scientific study of religion, attempts to use it to "explain" religion are exaggerated and misguided. Drawing on scientific research and logical argument Can Science Explain Religion? directly confronts the claims of these debunkers of religion, providing an accessibly written, persuasive account of why they are not convincing.

Science and Religion

Science and Religion

Author: Paul Kurtz

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 9781615921713

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 451

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.

The Beginning of All Things

The Beginning of All Things

Author: Hans Kng

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 9780802863591

Category: Religion

Page: 235

View: 489

Translated by John Bowden In an age when faith and science seem constantly to clash, can theologians and scientists come to a meeting of minds? Yes, maintains the intrepid Hans Kung, as he brilliantly argues here that religion and science are not mutually exclusive but complementary. Focusing on beginnings -- beginnings of time, of the world, of man, of human will -- Kung deals with an array of scientific precepts and teachings. From a unified field theory to quantum physics to the Big Bang to the theory of relativity -- even superstring and chaos theories -- he examines all of the theories regarding the beginning of the universe and life (of all kinds) in that universe. Kung seeks to reconcile theology with the latest scientific insights, holding that -a confrontational model for the relationship between science and theology is out of date, whether put forward by fundamentalist believers and theologians or by rationalistic scientists and philosophers.- While accepting evolution as scientists generally describe it, he still maintains a role for God in founding the laws of nature by which life evolved and in facilitating the adventure of creation. Exhibiting little patience for scientists who do not see beyond the limits of their discipline or for believers who try to tell experts how things must have been, Kung challenges readers to think more deeply about the beginnings in order to facilitate a new beginning in dialogue and understanding.

Can Science Explain Religion?

Can Science Explain Religion?

Author: James W. Jones

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190249403

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 328

The "New Atheist" movement of recent years has put the science-versus-religion controversy back on the popular cultural agenda. Anti-religious polemicists are convinced that the application of the new sciences of the mind to religious belief gives them the final weapons in their battle against irrationality and superstition. What used to be a trickle of research papers scattered in specialized scientific journals has now become a torrent of books, articles, and commentary in the popular media pressing the case that the cognitive science of religion can finally fulfill the enlightenment dream of shrinking religion into insignificance, if not eliminating it altogether. James W. Jones argues that these claims are demonstrably false. He notes that cognitive science research is religiously neutral; it can be deployed in many different ways in relation to the actual belief in and practice of religion: to undermine it, to simply study it, and to support it. These different approaches, Jones suggests, reflect the background assumptions and viewpoints brought to the interpretation of the data. The goal of this book is not to defend either a general religious outlook or a particular religious tradition, but to make the case that while there is much to learn from the cognitive scientific study of religion, attempts to use it to "explain" religion are exaggerated and misguided. Drawing on scientific research and logical argument Can Science Explain Religion? directly confronts the claims of these debunkers of religion, providing an accessibly written, persuasive account of why they are not convincing.

The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity

The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity

Author: J. B. Stump

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781444335712

Category: Philosophy

Page: 667

View: 426

A cutting-edge survey of contemporary thought at the intersection of science and Christianity. Provides a cutting-edge survey of the central ideas at play at the intersection of science and Christianity through 54 original articles by world-leading scholars and rising stars in the discipline Focuses on Christianity's interaction with Science to offer a fine-grained analysis of issues such as multiverse theories in cosmology, convergence in evolution, Intelligent Design, natural theology, human consciousness, artificial intelligence, free will, miracles, and the Trinity, amongst many others Addresses major historical developments in the relationship between science and Christianity, including Christian patristics, the scientific revolution, the reception of Darwin, and twentieth century fundamentalism Divided into 9 Parts: Historical Episodes; Methodology; Natural Theology; Cosmology & Physics; Evolution; The Human Sciences; Christian Bioethics; Metaphysical Implications; The Mind; Theology; and Significant Figures of the 20th Century Includes diverse perspectives and broadens the conversation from the Anglocentric tradition

Varieties of Atheism in Science

Varieties of Atheism in Science

Author: Elaine Howard Ecklund

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780197539187

Category: Religion

Page:

View: 978

A significant number of Americans view atheists as immoral elitists, aloof and unconcerned with the common good, and they view science and scientists as responsible. Thanks in large part to the prominence and influence of New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Hitchens, New Atheism has claimed the pulpit of secularity in Western society. New Atheists have given voice to marginalized nonreligious individuals and underscored the importance of science in society. They have also advanced a derisive view of religion and forcefully argued that science and religion are intrinsically in conflict. Many in the public around the globe think that all scientists are atheists and that all atheist scientists are New Atheists, militantly against religion and religious people. But what do everyday atheist scientists actually think about religion? Drawing on a survey of 1,293 atheist scientists in the U.S. and U.K., and 81 in-depth interviews, this book explains the pathways that led to atheism among scientists, the diverse views of religion they hold, their perspectives on the limits to what science can explain, and their views of meaning and morality. The findings reveal a vast gulf between the rhetoric of New Atheism in the public sphere and the reality of atheism in science. The story of the varieties of atheism in science is consequential for both scientific and religious communities and points to tools for dialogue between these seemingly disparate groups.

A Science and Religion Primer

A Science and Religion Primer

Author: Heidi A. Campbell

Publisher: Baker Academic

ISBN: 9781441205131

Category: Religion

Page: 230

View: 714

A Science and Religion Primer is a unique resource: an encyclopedia, an annotated bibliography, and a survey of the relationship between two equally complex fields. Editors Heidi Campbell and Heather Looy begin their work with four chapters from expert contributors: history of the science and religion dialogue, the role of philosophy in the science and religion dialogue, theology's intersection with the science and religion dialogue, and science and technology in light of religion. Entries cover such diverse topics as philosopher of science Karl Popper, the anthropic principle, Gaia, theodicy, hermeneutics, Intelligent Design, and more. Professors and students of theology, religion, and science--at both the undergraduate and graduate levels--will welcome this contribution. A Science and Religion Primer is an accessible and affordable contribution to interdisciplinary studies and provides a respectful conversation between science and faith.

The Science of Spirituality

The Science of Spirituality

Author: Lee Bladon

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 9781847998934

Category: Religion

Page: 310

View: 699

The Science of Spirituality is a ground-breaking book that integrates the individual systems of science, psychology, philosophy, spirituality and religion into a unified system that describes the multi-dimensional nature of man and the universe. It provides a more comprehensive description of reality than conventional science can offer and fully explains the mechanisms behind an array of paranormal phenomena that mainstream science chooses to ignore. It explains the science behind religious, spiritual and new-age belief systems, and sheds light on some common misconceptions. The Science of Spirituality systematically describes the mechanisms behind a diverse range of subject matter including: consciousness, sleep and dreams, reincarnation, religion, creation, evolution, space and time, higher dimensions, heaven and hell, ghosts, angels and demons, out of body experiences, near death experiences, clairvoyance, psychic abilities, personal development, meditation and the meaning of life.

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Dixon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199295517

Category: History

Page: 169

View: 979

The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like iThe God Delusion/i and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach 'Intelligent Design' in schools.Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes. As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be taken on this complex and centuries-old subject. He explores not only thekey philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlights the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made 'science and religion' such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the Galileo affair,Charles Darwin's own religious and scientific odyssey, the Scopes 'Monkey Trial' in Tennessee in 1925, and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005, and includes perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences.

Arguing from Cognitive Science of Religion

Arguing from Cognitive Science of Religion

Author: Hans Van Eyghen

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781350100305

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 182

This book considers whether recent theories from Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) undermine the epistemic status of religious belief. After introducing the key theories in the growing area of CSR, Hans Van Eyghen explores some of the epistemic questions surrounding CSR, including: Is CSR incompatible with the truth of religious belief? How might CSR show that religious belief is unreliably formed? And, finally, does CSR undermine the justification of religious belief by religious experiences? In addressing these questions, he demonstrates how CSR does not undermine the epistemic bases for religious belief. This book offers a clear and concise overview of the current state of cognitive science of religion and will be of particular interest to scholars working in philosophy and epistemology of religion.

Revising Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion

Revising Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion

Author: Konrad Szocik

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030635169

Category: Philosophy

Page: 124

View: 824

This unique and pioneering book critically appraises current work from both the cognitive science of religion and the evolutionary study of religion. It addresses the question: Why does the believer possess supernatural or religious beliefs in the combined context of his cognitive biases, their adaptive usefulness measured in terms of survival and reproduction, and the impact of social learning and cultural traits? The authors outlines a pluralistic approach to the study of religion that does not treat religion as an accidental by-product but an adaptation selected by natural selection. Chapters discuss the role of religious components for the evolution of cooperation and altruism, and explore the development of atheism and secular ideas, in cognitive and evolutionary terms. Topics such as the usefulness of religion, the transmission of religious beliefs, and a Darwinian approach to religion are among those addressed. Contrary to standard views, religious biases are regarded as shaped by cultural influences and not merely by natural dispositions. This monograph will particularly appeal to researchers who are looking for a scientific explanation of religion and religious beliefs but who do not stop at the level of narrow cognitive and evolutionary accounts. The work will also be of interest to students of philosophy, sociology, religious studies, theology, or anthropology who seek to explain such fascinating, complex, and unequivocal phenomena as religion and religious components.

New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion

New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion

Author: Hans van Eyghen

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319902395

Category: Philosophy

Page: 220

View: 815

It is widely thought that the cognitive science of religion (CSR) may have a bearing on the epistemic status of religious beliefs and on other topics in philosophy of religion. Epistemologists have used theories from CSR to argue both for and against the rationality of religious beliefs, or they have claimed that CSR is neutral vis-à-vis the epistemic status of religious belief. However, since CSR is a rapidly evolving discipline, a great deal of earlier research on the topic has become dated. Furthermore, most of the debate on the epistemic consequences of CSR has not taken into account insights from the philosophy of science, such as explanatory pluralism and explanatory levels. This volume overcomes these deficiencies. This volume brings together new philosophical reflection on CSR. It examines the influence of CSR theories on the epistemic status of religious beliefs; it discusses its impact on philosophy of religion; and it offers new insights for CSR. The book addresses the question of whether or not the plurality of theories in CSR makes epistemic conclusions about religious belief unwarranted. It also explores the impact of CSR on other topics in philosophy of religion like the cognitive consequences of sin and naturalism. Finally, the book investigates what the main theories in CSR aim to explain, and addresses the strengths and weaknesses of CSR.