science v religion essay

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The great homework debate: Too much, too little or busy work? Photos: Parents grade their kids' homework: Too much or not enough? Hide Caption. Story highlights There homework too much or too little a sharp debate among parents about homework The National PTA composition dissertations 10 minutes of homework per night per grade level The research on the benefits of homework is mixed Giving students homework time at the end of school day helps, say students. Ask parents how they feel about homework, as we did on CNN's Facebook pageand the response is immediate and intense. So many parents from all over the country sounded off passionately, saying we expect too much, too little or the wrong things from young students.

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Science v religion essay

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Why do they think these are true? Muslims and Jews, for instance, absolutely reject the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God. Indeed, new sects often arise when some believers reject what others see as true.

How many gods are there? What are their natures and moral creeds? Is there an afterlife? Why is there moral and physical evil? There is no one answer to any of these questions. All is mystery, for all rests on faith. So how do the faithful reconcile science and religion? Often they point to the existence of religious scientists, like NIH Director Francis Collins , or to the many religious people who accept science.

Others argue that in the past religion promoted science and inspired questions about the universe. Certainly evolutionary biology, my own field , has been held back strongly by creationism , which arises solely from religion. What is not disputable is that today science is practiced as an atheistic discipline — and largely by atheists. Whether this reflects differential attraction of nonbelievers to science or science eroding belief — I suspect both factors operate — the figures are prima facie evidence for a science-religion conflict.

Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings and values — subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve. This fails on both ends. All serious ethical philosophy is secular ethical philosophy. Thus, the scientific theory provides us with much greater powers of prediction. Thus, as science and technology advances, there is a decline in the worship of God as explanations of and as instruments to control natural forces.

In simple societies, people use religion as an instrument primarily in situations where they feel they are at the mercy of the environment or other outside forces. For example, such a simple operation as deep-sea fishing requires great skill in order to yield results.

But even where such skill is available, some natural calamity like storm may bring disaster. Similarly, in the event of disease, famine or drought, a simple community is quite powerless to affect the outcome. But with the growth of technology and advance of scientific knowledge comes an ability to control at least some natural forces. The importance of religion as explanations of and as instruments to control natural forces has naturally declined in modern times.

So religion becomes concerned with other, less worldly matters, matters concerning the meaning of life. Commenting on this aspect, Kingsley Davis states that as religion loses its buttle with science, it retreats to higher level. Obviously, the question of conflict with science recedes into the background.

In the past there have been conflicts of eminent scientists with the institutionalized religious order. The roots of such conflicts lay in the fact that scientific investigations unraveled the mysteries of the universe and found explanations in empirical terms which were different from those prevailing in the then prevailing religions.

People turn to religion today not for explanation of worldly matters, but as a source of love and emotional security. Science has taken over the role of religion to explain and influence events. But science cannot become a substitute for religion in its role of providing emotional support to people who need it.

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The PET scan produces detailed three-dimensional images of the inside of the body which can show how far a cancer has spread or how well it is responding to treatment. And accelerator technology, of which CERN is a lead laboratory, is now being used increasingly for medical purposes such as cancer treatment via hadron therapy, which allows to deliver a very localised dose of radiation to a tumour site more precisely than before.

We live in a world where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. But who is driving it? The military or the commercial world? The world owes the existence of some of the most exciting technological developments in history to the military. Necessity was certainly the mother of invention during the 20th century.

War demanded the best, focused the mind, pushed the frontiers of what was possible and inspired people to think faster and smarter than the enemy. Computers, thermal imaging, radar, GPS, jet engines, carbon fibre and drones were all developed for the military long before they found a place in everyday civilian life.

But the dynamic has changed somewhat. Using the new technology, a man weighing lb — and carrying a 50lb load — climbed a 25ft vertical glass wall without ropes or hooks. Dubbed the Z-Man project, scientists said they had looked to nature — the gecko — for inspiration to help soldiers gain the high ground in built-up warzones without the need for ropes and ladders. Not only that, but the man-made, reversible adhesives that DARPA created using nanotechnology could one day find their way into everyday life.

Whatever part the military finally does play in the future should never detract from the importance of its role in the past. Today most of us, including aircraft pilots, sailors and fishermen, use the space-age technology to avoid getting lost. Many mobile phones and modern cars are also equipped with satellite navigation systems which let people know exactly where they are in the world at any time.

Today thermal imaging cameras help police to track down suspects in the dark, sailors to navigate at night, fire crews to search smoke-filled buildings for survivors, and rescue teams to locate earthquake victims trapped under tons of rubble. FLIR Systems, the world leader for thermal imaging cameras, said they were also often used to detect gas leaks and scan buildings for signs of poor insulation and damp.

Another technology that originated in the military is radar, which was developed by several nations before and during the Second World War, and was heavily deployed across the UK as part of an early warning system to detect incoming enemy aircraft. Today radar is used to forecast the weather, help aircraft fly and land safely and enable the police to catch speeding drivers.

The British engineer, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, who contributed significantly to the development of radar, was reportedly pulled over for speeding in Canada in the s by a policeman armed with a radar gun. During an experiment with magnetrons in his Raytheon lab in Massachusetts, American scientist Percy Spencer discovered that the radar transmitters had melted a chocolate bar in his pocket.

Amazed, he sent his assistant for a bag of popcorn, spread the corn over the table near the magnetrons and then waited. Less than a minute later, the kernels began exploding. Today drones, first developed as target practice for the military in the s and now heavily used for surveillance and bombing missions, are gaining ground in the commercial world.

Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by and in Europe by And The Federal Aviation Administration in the US estimates that 30, civil and commercial unmanned aircraft could be in the skies by He is now chief pilot at Cyberhawk, which uses remotely-operated aerial vehicles to inspect everything from live flare tips at INEOS and Petroineos sites, to wind turbines and off-shore oil and gas installations.

Mark said a lot of commercial technology was now being leveraged by the military because of shrinking military budgets. It is years of additional work. But it will work. It will happen. Successful innovation starts when someone finds a gap in the market. Malcolm Connolly, a chemical engineering graduate, found his — dangling off the end of a rope. There was. While the public debate rages on over the ethics of using drones for bombing missions, Cyberhawk is proud of the pioneering work it is doing to lift people out of danger.

No one had attempted to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle within a few metres of a flare tip. And in it became the first company to inspect an off-shore wind turbine off the UK coast. Each aerial vehicle is battery-powered, has eight propellers, and may be fitted with a still camera, HD video recorder, gas sensor and a thermal imaging camera. But even with all that kit on board, it still weighs less 2kg. Accidents have been known to happen. But to others. In April this year a UK shop owner became the first person successfully prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority for dangerously flying a small unmanned surveillance aircraft within 50 metres of the Jubilee Bridge on the Walney Channel in Cumbria.

To qualify as an off-shore pilot, Cyberhawk staff must first pass four levels of internal training and certification over-and-above the basic qualification supported by the Civil Aviation Authority. And its services are proving invaluable. It has also used its remotely-piloted aerial vehicles to record the construction progress of a whisky bottling plant, survey a restored opencast mine, inspect meteorological masts at sea and monitor a herd of seals without disturbing their natural environment.

Without scientists pushing boundaries, the world would be a very different place. Many of the things we take for granted just would not exist. So how do you convince young people to pursue a career in science and chemistry? But planet earth needs scientists if it is to tackle global poverty and global climate change. The German-born American physicist may not have learned to swim, but he turned the world upside down with his theory of relativity.

Even Einstein did all his world-changing work when he was a young, good-looking man who drank and misbehaved a bit. Last year he presented five BBC programmes, entitled Wonders of Life, in which he revealed how a few fundamental laws of science gave birth to life. But she felt the negative views of school science and scientists were not the problem.

The issue, she said, was a lack of awareness of where science could lead. Many governments and organisations throughout the world are concerned that not enough young people are opting to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics STEM after the age of Professor Bell was speaking at a global conference of science academies.

In all plus delegates from 58 countries came to hear what could be done to improve science education. That was in One of its recommendations was to radically change the way science was taught in primary and secondary schools to a more inquiry-based style. Since then more and more countries have adopted inquiry-based science education, a method of teaching which encourages pupils to pose the questions. These partnerships help us as a company, as an industry and also as a developed industrial country to attract young people — especially girls — who are curious, enthusiastic and motivated to make the world a better place through science.

Teachers attend a one-day seminar during which they are taught the natural science and technical experiments first. INEOS employees act as ambassadors, and have so far reached more than 6, children. At a global academies conference in Finland in , Anne-Gret was invited to speak about how science education and industry could successfully work together. Inquiry-based science education owes its existence to America, where it originated, but the US is also facing an uphill battle in selling science to the masses.

In June this year Lisa Coico, President of the City College of New York, said that she was concerned about the dearth of American high school students wanting to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to enrol 25, engineering students by — twice the current number of students signing up. It all helps. As a company which needs a continuous supply of highly-skilled, highly disciplined employees, INEOS cannot afford to ignore the problem.

Nor is it. Others are also driving home the message that science is cool. Elise Andrew launched website www. In science every question answered leads to two more. What crisis? In China became the largest Patent office in the world with , applications being filed, compared to the USA which in the same year filed some , applications.

And the gap continues to widen. Electric cars are nothing new. Thomas Parker, an Englishman, actually came up with one that ran on rechargeable batteries in But dwindling resources of fossil fuels and concerns about CO2 emissions are now forcing us as a society to consider them as a serious alternative. Unsurprisingly INEOS has been quick to explore whether to switch to electric cars at its sites around the world.

No one disputes that. A move in the right direction, at least, towards lowering carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable world for future generations. The difficulty, though, is how do you convince people to change their way of life today without paying more? Despite the limited mileage before the battery needs recharging, staff said the van felt safe and was a pleasure to drive.

If the price — and conditions — are right, INEOS could also become one of the first chemical companies to use energy generated by its own Combined Heat and Power processes to move people and goods around on site. The cost, though, is one of the main reasons given by the public for not making the switch to electricity. The short distances that can be travelled before the battery needs recharging is another perceived problem. After about 60 miles km , it will need charging again.

But Renault says that by , a subcompact electric car will be cheaper to buy, it will go much further — possibly miles km before it needs recharging — and be quicker to recharge. More recently both companies have sought additional cooperation for using the electricity produced by the cogen unit onsite, to extend the environmental benefits beyond production units on site. Discussions with Essent led to a partnership with 4iS a consulting firm that focuses on electromobility and a trial of electric cars agreed.

For two months they were encouraged to use the car to transport equipment and pipes on short journeys around the site. The trial was a major team effort, involving INEOS, Essent, 4iS, which supports businesses that may want to switch to electric cars, Renault, which offered use of a test car, and Blue Corner, which provided the charging station.

And the feedback was largely positive. Staff said the car was safe, quiet and comfortable, and perfect for the short journeys around the site. Some, though, were concerned that the car posed a potential safety hazard because it was so quiet. They feared people might not hear it approaching or reversing. Overall, though, the staff liked it.

Cost is the main issue restricting public demand for this new technology. But things are changing rapidly Renault says that by , the range of a compact electric vehicle could be as much as km miles , the charging time will be significantly shorter and the overall cost to produce will be lower.

They would be parked on site out of hours, when they can be recharged, so they are a very helpful addition to the sites operation. To make these cars more popular and easier to handle the market has to develop. Future challenges will include reliability and durability of batteries and cost reduction. Antwerp now plans to review their internal car fleet to investigate the possibility of switching to e-cars. But people are queuing up to fork out at least 2, Euros to take part. Running in the sand dunes can cause your feet to swell.

After three days your feet can feel like concrete slabs. The organisers kindly provide that. All 14 gallons a day of it for each competitor. Mauro, though, is unlikely to ever want to do it again. Twenty years ago the Italian policeman got lost during a sandstorm, ran out of food and water after 36 hours and spent nine days alone in the desert before he was found miles km off course by a nomadic family.

He had survived by drinking his own urine and eating bats and snakes. There are no winners or losers; just a sea of red faces once the battle ends. In the past up to 50, people have thronged the streets of Bunol, near Valencia, to pelt each other with tons of overripe, squashed tomatoes.

Today organisers sell tickets to just 20, Shopkeepers use huge plastic covers to protect their shop fronts throughout the hour-long street battle. A cannon signals the start of the fight and another marks the end. The annual festival is believed to have been inspired by a group of teenagers who grabbed tomatoes from a vegetable stall and began to throw them at one another during a parade through Bunol in August This year armed guards patrolled the marathon route as the 48 athletes from 16 countries braved the threat of hungry polar bears, temperatures of C and drifting ice floes to complete the Competitor Robert Plijnaar from Holland wore three pairs of socks and three layers of clothing to keep warm.

Instead of a heavy ball, contestants whirl a frozen tuna around their heads with a rope and then fling it as far as they can. Whoever throws the 17lb blue fin tuna the furthest during the Tunarama Festival at Port Lincoln, in South Australia, is crowned world champion. Organisers say only the brave register for this event, which is deemed to be one of the toughest, wettest and hottest ultra-marathons in the world.

And you can see why. Apart from the sweltering temperatures, competitors have to wade through swamps where anacondas lurk, scale steep, slippery muddy slopes, tackle dense undergrowth, cross piranha-infested rivers and spend more than one night in the depths of the Amazon jungle with jaguars and howling monkeys for company. All runners must carry a knife, a copy of their medical insurance and enough food for the seven-day, mile km race to the finish.

Cheese RollingAn American Army veteran last year travelled more than 4, miles from his home in Colorado Springs to chase a 3kg large wheel of cheese down a steep hill in Gloucestershire in the UK. Thankfully the trip paid off; he won one of the races and some Double Gloucester cheese. The first person to reach the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.

There have been a few minor injuries over the years. In a spectator was hurt when he fell out of a tree and had to be stretchered off with suspected fractures. Mushers and their dogs cover 1, miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Alaska has to offer, including jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, and miles of windswept coast, in temperatures often far below zero and winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility.

The championships are held every year in Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Britain. But they are not alone. There are lot of creepy crawlies in the water, including the apparently harmless water scorpion. Baby Jumping FestivalOne of the most bizarre — and perhaps mildly alarming — events is The Baby Jumping Festival during which men depicting the devil leap over newborn babies lying on a mattress in the street.

The festival, which dates back to the s, is held every year in Castrillo de Murcia of Spain, and is part of the celebrations for the Catholic festival of Corpus Christi. Organisers of this annual event insist competitors are in Nepal three weeks before the race so they can acclimatise to the high altitude. The race itself, which includes two steep uphill sections, criss-crosses highland Sherpa trails of the Khumbu icefall en route to the finish line at Namche Bazaar.

Wife-carrying World ChampionshipsFinland may be the birthplace of the Wife-carrying World Championships but men come from far and wide to compete in this epic display of brute strength. Competitors must wade through a metre-deep pool of water, clear hurdles and run as fast as they can with their wives dangled upside down over their shoulders. A wife has to weigh at least 49kg about 7. Dropping her incurs a second time penalty. The competition began in and is believed to be rooted in the legend of a hard-faced gang leader who made a habit of stealing women from neighbouring villages.

Comrades Ultra Marathon It might only be a recent phenomenon that ultra marathons have gained such popularity but some of them, such as 90km Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa have been around for many years. It was run for the first time on 24 May between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Clapham, who had endured a 2,kilometre route march through East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants.

It was an ambitious plan. A huge challenge. The Foundation is the first step to securing vital funding from government and businesses so that the GO Run For Fun team can run even more events with schools and local clubs across the UK and beyond. Today they have a lot more distractions, and spend more time indoors playing on games consoles and smart phones than outside playing.

And obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia. For fun. Teachers, whose schools have taken part in one of the all-inclusive events all over the UK, are equally as impressed and understand the importance of leading by example. Claire, whose father was a PE teacher, escorted 90 children to Olympic Park for the celebrity-led fun run. The appeal for more support, though, did not end there. On June 5, Jim — plus 20 school children and one very large mascot called DART — lobbied politicians at the Houses of Parliament about the growing need to tackle childhood obesity.

Inactivity can no longer be ignored. The parliamentary reception was hosted by Alex Cunningham and provided Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Charlie Webster and Brendan Foster, with an opportunity to remind politicians of the need to build on the Olympic legacy and agree a clear policy. In all, more than 3, children aged between four and 12 took part in 11 runs. On hand to cheer them on and ensure each event ran smoothly were hundreds of staff from all three sites who willingly turned out to act as first aiders, marshals and hand out T-shirts.

In June 1, children took part in four events in Germany. The Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Schule in Pulheim was one of the schools which took part. The Swiss event saw children from schools and sports clubs in Rolle, Nyon, Vich and Lausanne run 1. Who knows we might be encouraging the next generation of Swiss champions. INEOS is on the brink of creating a world-class chlorvinyls business. Video Demosthenes — arguably the greatest of Greek orators — once said that small opportunities were often the beginning of great enterprises.

The speciality chemicals business, which employs about people, is about to stand on its own merits for the very first time. And Ralston is excited at the prospect of what it can deliver. To its customers around the world. And to the bottom line.

The business, which has an annual turnover of 80 million Euros, sells about 50, tons of products every year. Despite its current size, it is one of the top three manufacturers of chlorinated toluene derivatives in the world. There are no producers in Japan and just one in the US. That presents a massive opportunity for us.

The market is there. We just need to develop our innovative logistics platform and we know the customers will want to do business with us. It may have similar technology but there the similarity ends. The demand for agrochemicals — fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, which are used by farmers in the production of crops — is one that is growing rapidly in the developing world.

The United Nations believes that 9. More people means more mouths to feed and a shortage of arable land. Agrochemicals improve productivity by helping farmers to tackle pests and weeds that can wipe out entire harvests. This has meant that many of the key crop protection products our farmers rely on are, or are at risk of, being taken off the market, even though they have been proven to be safe and are subject to one of the most stringent approvals processes in the world.

But we benefit when our customers find new, innovative uses for our products. It knows that a reliable supply is key to its success and is continually looking at new ways to make sure this is not left to chance. And everyone in the company knows it. The voice of the chemical industry in France has named Petroineos as worthy winners of a prestigious national award for its innovative approach to caring for the well-being of its staff.

The Union des Industries Chimiques, The French trade association for the chemicals sector, presented the Lavera site with the Responsible Care award in the occupational health category for the way the company now prevents staff being exposed to certain products. What we have done is introduce a rigorous statistical analysis of thousands of results, which allows us to detect the slightest change so we know if a member of staff has been exposed to even a small amount.

Petroineos beat 17 other companies to win the occupational health category. But the big award of the night went to Bob Bradshaw for his outstanding leadership skills in managing the plant safely. He won The Gerald R. Ehrman Award for Management in honour of Jerry Ehrman, a retired plant manager of the Sabine River Works in Orange, Texas, who was extremely dedicated to occupational safety. The award is presented to just one site manager every year — if one merits it. But so far it has only been presented to two people in the past four years and one of those was Bob.

He demonstrates a genuine personal commitment to safety excellence and challenges everyone who works with him to attain a comparable level of personal safety excellence. The late German-born physicist Albert Einstein believed that science without religion was lame, and religion without science was blind. But the debate over whether science and religion can co-exist has been going on since the dawn of mankind and continues to divide opinion even today, as INCH discovered.

Grant Kennedy, astrophysicist, University of Cambridge Science and religion are not at odds. Bragg, British physicist Religion and science are indeed incompatible. Lorna Salzman, American environmental activist There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason.

INEOS has gone into partnership with a company that has developed a unique product which could help to save the rainforest. The psychologist Sigmund Freud saw religious belief as an illusion, a childlike yearning for a fatherly figure. The full story Freud offers is quite bizarre: in past times, a father who monopolized all the women in the tribe was killed and eaten by his sons.

The sons felt guilty and started to idolize their murdered father. This, together with taboos on cannibalism and incest, generated the first religion. Authors such as Durkheim and Freud, together with social theorists such as Karl Marx and Max Weber, proposed versions of the secularization thesis, the view that religion would decline in the face of modern technology, science, and culture. Philosopher and psychologist William James was interested in the psychological roots and the phenomenology of religious experiences, which he believed were the ultimate source of institutional religions.

From the s onward, the scientific study of religion became less concerned with grand unifying narratives, and focused more on particular religious traditions and beliefs. Their ethnographies indicated that cultural evolutionism was mistaken and that religious beliefs were more diverse than was previously assumed. They argued that religious beliefs were not the result of ignorance of naturalistic mechanisms; for instance, Evans-Pritchard noted that the Azande were well aware that houses could collapse because termites ate away at their foundations, but they still appealed to witchcraft to explain why a particular house had collapsed.

More recently, Cristine Legare et al. Psychologists and sociologists of religion also began to doubt that religious beliefs were rooted in irrationality, psychopathology, and other atypical psychological states, as James and other early psychologists had assumed. In the United States, in the late s through the s, psychologists developed a renewed interest for religion, fueled by the observation that religion refused to decline—thus casting doubt on the secularization thesis—and seemed to undergo a substantial revival see Stark for an overview.

Psychologists of religion have made increasingly fine-grained distinctions among types of religiosity, including extrinsic religiosity being religious as means to an end, for instance, getting the benefits of being in a social group and intrinsic religiosity people who adhere to religions for the sake of their teachings Allport and Ross Psychologists and sociologists now commonly study religiosity as an independent variable, with an impact on, for instance, health, criminality, sexuality, and social networks.

A recent development in the scientific study of religion is the cognitive science of religion. This is a multidisciplinary field, with authors from, among others, developmental psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and cognitive psychology. It differs from the other scientific approaches to religion by its presupposition that religion is not a purely cultural phenomenon, but the result of ordinary, early developed, and universal human cognitive processes e.

Some authors regard religion as the byproduct of cognitive processes that do not have an evolved function specific for religion. For example, according to Paul Bloom , religion emerges as a byproduct of our intuitive distinction between minds and bodies: we can think of minds as continuing, even after the body dies e.

Another family of hypotheses regards religion as a biological or cultural adaptive response that helps humans solve cooperative problems e. Through their belief in big, powerful gods that can punish, humans behave more cooperatively, which allowed human group sizes to expand beyond small hunter-gatherer communities. Groups with belief in big gods thus outcompeted groups without such beliefs for resources during the Neolithic, which explains the current success of belief in such gods Norenzayan Until the nineteenth and even early twentieth century, it was common for scientists to have religious beliefs which guided their work.

Natural philosopher Isaac Newton held strong, albeit unorthodox religious beliefs Pfizenmaier By contrast, contemporary scientists have lower religiosity compared to the general population. There are vocal exceptions, such as the geneticist Francis Collins, erstwhile the leader of the Human Genome Project.

Sociological studies e. They indicate a significant difference in religiosity in scientists compared to the general population. Surveys such as those conducted by the Pew forum Masci and Smith find that nearly nine in ten adults in the US say they believe in God or a universal spirit, a number that has only slightly declined in recent decades. Atheism and agnosticism are widespread among academics, especially among those working in elite institutions.

Ecklund and Scheitle analyzed responses from scientists working in the social and natural sciences from 21 elite universities in the US. About In contrast to the general population, the older scientists in this sample did not show higher religiosity—in fact, they were more likely to say that they did not believe in God. On the other hand, Gross and Simmons examined a more heterogeneous sample of scientists from American colleges, including community colleges, elite doctoral-granting institutions, non-elite four-year state schools, and small liberal arts colleges.

They found that the majority of university professors full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty had some theistic beliefs, believing either in God Belief in God was influenced both by type of institution lower theistic belief in more prestigious schools and by discipline lower theistic belief in the physical and biological sciences compared to the social sciences and humanities.

These latter findings indicate that academics are more religiously diverse than has been popularly assumed and that the majority are not opposed to religion. Even so, in the US the percentage of atheists and agnostics in academia is higher than in the general population, a discrepancy that requires an explanation. One reason might be a bias against theists in academia. For example, when sociologists were surveyed whether they would hire someone if they knew the candidate was an evangelical Christian, Another reason might be that theists internalize prevalent negative societal stereotypes, which leads them to underperform in scientific tasks and lose interest in pursuing a scientific career.

Kimberly Rios et al. It is unclear whether religious and scientific thinking are cognitively incompatible. Some studies suggest that religion draws more upon an intuitive style of thinking, distinct from the analytic reasoning style that characterizes science Gervais and Norenzayan On the other hand, the acceptance of theological and scientific views both rely on a trust in testimony, and cognitive scientists have found similarities between the way children and adults understand testimony to invisible entities in religious and scientific domains Harris et al.

Moreover, theologians such as the Church Fathers and Scholastics were deeply analytic in their writings, indicating that the association between intuitive and religious thinking might be a recent Western bias. More research is needed to examine whether religious and scientific thinking styles are inherently in tension.

As noted, most studies on the relationship between science and religion have focused on science and Christianity, with only a small number of publications devoted to other religious traditions e. Relatively few monographs pay attention to the relationship between science and religion in non-Christian milieus e. Since Western science makes universal claims, it is easy to assume that its encounter with other religious traditions is similar to the interactions observed in Christianity.

However, given different creedal tenets e. Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion, currently the largest religion in the world. It developed in the first century AD out of Judaism from a group of followers of Jesus. Christians adhere to asserted revelations described in a series of canonical texts, which include the Old Testament, which comprises texts inherited from Judaism, and the New Testament, which contains the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John narratives on the life and teachings of Jesus , as well as events and teachings of the early Christian churches e.

Given the prominence of revealed texts in Christianity, a useful starting point to examine the relationship between Christianity and science is the two books metaphor see Tanzella-Nitti for an overview. Augustine — argued that the book of nature was the more accessible of the two, since scripture requires literacy whereas illiterates and literates alike could read the book of nature.

Maximus Confessor c. During the Middle Ages, authors such as Hugh of St. Victor ca. Given that original sin marred our reason and perception, what conclusions could humans legitimately draw about ultimate reality? He argued that sin has clouded human reason so much that the book of nature has become unreadable, and that scripture is needed as it contains teachings about the world.

Christian authors in the field of science and religion continue to debate how these two books interrelate. Concordism is the attempt to interpret scripture in the light of modern science. It is a hermeneutical approach to Bible interpretation, where one expects that the Bible foretells scientific theories, such as the Big Bang theory or evolutionary theory. However, as Denis Lamoureux chapter 5 argues, many scientific-sounding statements in the Bible are false: the mustard seed is not the smallest seed, male reproductive seeds do not contain miniature persons, there is no firmament, and the earth is neither flat nor immovable.

Thus, any plausible form of integrating the books of nature and scripture will require more nuance and sophistication. Theologians such as John Wesley — have proposed the addition of other sources of knowledge to scripture and science: the Wesleyan quadrilateral a term not coined by Wesley himself is the dynamic interaction of scripture, experience including the empirical findings of the sciences , tradition, and reason Outler Several Christian authors have attempted to integrate science and religion e.

They tend to interpret findings from the sciences, such as evolutionary theory or chaos theory, in a theological light, using established theological models, e. John Haught argues that the theological view of kenosis self-emptying anticipates scientific findings such as evolutionary theory: a self-emptying God i. The dominant epistemological outlook in Christian science and religion has been critical realism, a position that applies both to theology theological realism and to science scientific realism.

Barbour introduced this view into the science and religion literature; it has been further developed by theologians such as Arthur Peacocke and Wentzel van Huyssteen Critical realism has distinct flavors in the works of different authors, for instance, van Huyssteen , develops a weak form of critical realism set within a postfoundationalist notion of rationality, where theological views are shaped by social, cultural, and evolved biological factors.

Murphy — outlines doctrinal and scientific requirements for approaches in science and religion: ideally, an integrated approach should be broadly in line with Christian doctrine, especially core tenets such as the doctrine of creation, while at the same time it should be in line with empirical observations without undercutting scientific practices. Several historians e. Peter Harrison thinks the doctrine of original sin played a crucial role in this, arguing there was a widespread belief in the early modern period that Adam, prior to the fall, had superior senses, intellect, and understanding.

As a result of the fall, human senses became duller, our ability to make correct inferences was diminished, and nature itself became less intelligible. Postlapsarian humans i. They must supplement their reasoning and senses with observation through specialized instruments, such as microscopes and telescopes. As Robert Hooke wrote in the introduction to his Micrographia :. As a result, the Condemnation opened up intellectual space to think beyond ancient Greek natural philosophy.

For example, medieval philosophers such as John Buridan fl. As further evidence for a formative role of Christianity in the development of science, some authors point to the Christian beliefs of prominent natural philosophers of the seventeenth century. For example, Clark writes,. Exclude God from the definition of science and, in one fell definitional swoop, you exclude the greatest natural philosophers of the so-called scientific revolution—Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, and Newton to name just a few.

Others authors even go as far as to claim that Christianity was unique and instrumental in catalyzing the scientific revolution—according to Rodney Stark , the scientific revolution was in fact a slow, gradual development from medieval Christian theology. In spite of these positive readings of the relationship between science and religion in Christianity, there are sources of enduring tension.

For example, there is still vocal opposition to the theory of evolution among Christian fundamentalists. Additionally, it refers to a culture which flourished within this political and religious context, with its own philosophical and scientific traditions Dhanani As the second largest religion in the world, Islam shows a wide variety of beliefs.

Beyond this, Muslims disagree on a number of doctrinal issues. The relationship between Islam and science is complex. Today, predominantly Muslim countries, such as the United Arabic Emirates, enjoy high urbanization and technological development, but they underperform in common metrics of scientific research, such as publications in leading journals and number of citations per scientist see Edis Moreover, Islamic countries are also hotbeds for pseudoscientific ideas, such as Old Earth creationism, the creation of human bodies on the day of resurrection from the tailbone, and the superiority of prayer in treating lower-back pain instead of conventional methods Guessoum 4—5.

The contemporary lack of scientific prominence is remarkable given that the Islamic world far exceeded European cultures in the range and quality of its scientific knowledge between approximately the ninth and the fifteenth century, excelling in domains such as mathematics algebra and geometry, trigonometry in particular , astronomy seriously considering, but not adopting, heliocentrism , optics, and medicine. A major impetus for Arabic science was the patronage of the Abbasid caliphate — , centered in Baghdad.

The former founded the Bayt al-Hikma House of Wisdom , which commissioned translations of major works by Aristotle, Galen, and many Persian and Indian scholars into Arabic. It was cosmopolitan in its outlook, employing astronomers, mathematicians, and physicians from abroad, including Indian mathematicians and Nestorian Christian astronomers. Throughout the Arabic world, public libraries attached to mosques provided access to a vast compendium of knowledge, which spread Islam, Greek philosophy, and Arabic science.

The use of a common language Arabic , as well as common religious and political institutions and flourishing trade relations encouraged the spread of scientific ideas throughout the empire. Some of this transmission was informal, e. The decline and fall of the Abbasid caliphate dealt a blow to Arabic science, but it remains unclear why it ultimately stagnated, and why it did not experience something analogous to the scientific revolution in Western Europe.

Some liberal Muslim authors, such as Fatima Mernissi , argue that the rise of conservative forms of Islamic philosophical theology stifled more scientifically-minded natural philosophers. This book vindicated more orthodox Muslim religious views. As Muslim intellectual life became more orthodox, it became less open to non-Muslim philosophical ideas, which led to the decline of Arabic science.

The study of law fiqh was more stifling for Arabic science than developments in theology. The eleventh century saw changes in Islamic law that discouraged heterodox thought: lack of orthodoxy could now be regarded as apostasy from Islam zandaqa which is punishable by death, whereas before, a Muslim could only apostatize by an explicit declaration Griffel Given that heterodox thoughts could be interpreted as apostasy, this created a stifling climate for Arabic science.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, as science and technology became firmly entrenched in Western society, Muslim empires were languishing or colonized. Scientific ideas, such as evolutionary theory, were equated with European colonialism, and thus met with distrust.

In spite of this negative association between science and Western modernity, there is an emerging literature on science and religion by Muslim scholars mostly scientists. The physicist Nidhal Guessoum holds that science and religion are not only compatible, but in harmony. Nevertheless, Muslim scientists such as Guessoum and Rana Dajani have advocated acceptance of evolution. In contrast to the major monotheistic religions, Hinduism does not draw a sharp distinction between God and creation while there are pantheistic and panentheistic views in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, these are minority positions.

Many Hindus believe in a personal God, and identify this God as immanent in creation. This view has ramifications for the science and religion debate, in that there is no sharp ontological distinction between creator and creature Subbarayappa Philosophical theology in Hinduism and other Indic religions is usually referred to as dharma , and religious traditions originating on the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, are referred to as dharmic religions.

One factor that unites dharmic religions is the importance of foundational texts, which were formulated during the Vedic period, between ca. More gods were added in the following centuries e. Ancient Vedic rituals encouraged knowledge of diverse sciences, including astronomy, linguistics, and mathematics. Astronomical knowledge was required to determine the timing of rituals and the construction of sacrificial altars. Linguistics developed out of a need to formalize grammatical rules for classical Sanskrit, which was used in rituals.

Large public offerings also required the construction of elaborate altars, which posed geometrical problems and thus led to advances in geometry. Classic Vedic texts also frequently used very large numbers, for instance, to denote the age of humanity and the Earth, which required a system to represent numbers parsimoniously, giving rise to a base positional system and a symbolic representation for zero as a placeholder, which would later be imported in other mathematical traditions Joseph In this way, ancient Indian dharma encouraged the emergence of the sciences.

Around the sixth—fifth century BCE, the northern part of the Indian subcontinent experienced an extensive urbanization. The latter defended a form of metaphysical naturalism, denying the existence of gods or karma. The relationship between science and religion on the Indian subcontinent is complex, in part because the dharmic religions and philosophical schools are so diverse.

Such views were close to philosophical naturalism in modern science, but this school disappeared in the twelfth century. He formulated design and cosmological arguments, drawing on analogies between the world and artifacts: in ordinary life, we never see non-intelligent agents produce purposive design, yet the universe is suitable for human life, just like benches and pleasure gardens are designed for us. Given that the universe is so complex that even an intelligent craftsman cannot comprehend it, how could it have been created by non-intelligent natural forces?

Brown From to , India was under British colonial rule. This had a profound influence on its culture. Hindus came into contact with Western science and technology. For local intellectuals, the contact with Western science presented a challenge: how to assimilate these ideas with their Hindu beliefs? Mahendrahal Sircar — was one of the first authors to examine evolutionary theory and its implications for Hindu religious beliefs.

Sircar was an evolutionary theist, who believed that God used evolution to create the current life forms. Evolutionary theism was not a new hypothesis in Hinduism, but the many lines of empirical evidence Darwin provided for evolution gave it a fresh impetus. While Sircar accepted organic evolution through common descent, he questioned the mechanism of natural selection as it was not teleological, which went against his evolutionary theism—this was a widespread problem for the acceptance of evolutionary theory, one that Christian evolutionary theists also wrestled with Bowler Brown chapter 6.

The assimilation of Western culture prompted various revivalist movements that sought to reaffirm the cultural value of Hinduism. Responses to evolutionary theory were as diverse as Christian views on this subject, ranging from creationism denial of evolutionary theory based on a perceived incompatibility with Vedic texts to acceptance see C.

Brown for a thorough overview. Authors such as Dayananda Saraswati — rejected evolutionary theory. More generally, he claimed that Hinduism and science are in harmony: Hinduism is scientific in spirit, as is evident from its long history of scientific discovery Vivekananda Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a yogi and Indian nationalist, who was educated in the West, formulated a synthesis of evolutionary thought and Hinduism.

He interpreted the classic avatara doctrine, according to which God incarnates into the world repeatedly throughout time, in evolutionary terms. He proposed a metaphysical picture where both spiritual evolution reincarnation and avatars and physical evolution are ultimately a manifestation of God Brahman. Brown for discussion. During the twentieth century, Indian scientists began to gain prominence, including C. Raman — , a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and Satyendra Nath Bose — , a theoretical physicist who described the behavior of photons statistically, and who gave his name to bosons.

However, these authors were silent on the relationship between their scientific work and their religious beliefs. By contrast, the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan — was open about his religious beliefs and their influence on his mathematical work. He claimed that the goddess Namagiri helped him to intuit solutions to mathematical problems. Likewise, Jagadish Chandra Bose — , a theoretical physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist, and archaeologist, who worked on radio waves, saw the Hindu idea of unity reflected in the study of nature.

He started the Bose institute in Kolkata in , the earliest interdisciplinary scientific institute in India Subbarayappa Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealth of topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, and consciousness. Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning, in particular design arguments based on it e.

Collins , the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance of the Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson have explored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possible multiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generated substantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action and the closely related topic of creation , and human origins. Before scientists developed their views on cosmology and origins of the world, Western cultures already had an elaborate doctrine of creation, based on Biblical texts e.

This doctrine of creation has the following interrelated features: first, God created the world ex nihilo, i. Differently put, God did not need any pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e. Rather, God created the world freely.

Third, the doctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good this is repeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1. The world does contain evil, but God does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does not merely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role in it, using special divine actions e.

Fourth, God made provisions for the end of the world, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicating evil. Related to the doctrine of creation are views on divine action. Theologians commonly draw a distinction between general and special divine action.

Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of these two concepts in the fields of theology or science and religion. One way to distinguish them Wildman is to regard general divine action as the creation and sustenance of reality, and special divine action as the collection of specific providential acts, often at particular times and places, such as miracles and revelations to prophets.

Drawing this distinction allows for creatures to be autonomous and indicates that God does not micromanage every detail of creation. Still, the distinction is not always clear-cut, as some phenomena are difficult to classify as either general or special divine action. Alston makes a related distinction between direct and indirect divine acts. God brings about direct acts without the use of natural causes, whereas indirect acts are achieved through natural causes. Using this distinction, there are four possible kinds of actions that God could do: God could not act in the world at all, God could act only directly, God could act only indirectly, or God could act both directly and indirectly.

In the science and religion literature, there are two central questions on creation and divine action. To what extent are the Christian doctrine of creation and traditional views of divine action compatible with science?

How can these concepts be understood within a scientific context, e. Note that the doctrine of creation says nothing about the age of the Earth, nor that it specifies a mode of creation. This allows for a wide range of possible views within science and religion, of which Young Earth Creationism is but one that is consistent with scripture.

The theory seems to support creatio ex nihilo as it specifies that the universe originated from an extremely hot and dense state around The net result of scientific findings since the seventeenth century has been that God was increasingly pushed into the margins. This encroachment of science on the territory of religion happened in two ways: first, scientific findings—in particular from geology and evolutionary theory—challenged and replaced biblical accounts of creation.

While the doctrine of creation does not contain details of the mode and timing of creation, the Bible was regarded as authoritative. Second, the emerging concept of scientific laws in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century physics seemed to leave no room for special divine action.

These two challenges will be discussed below, along with proposed solutions in the contemporary science and religion literature. Christian authors have traditionally used the Bible as a source of historical information. Biblical exegesis of the creation narratives, especially Genesis 1 and 2 and some other scattered passages, such as in the Book of Job , remains fraught with difficulties. Are these texts to be interpreted in a historical, metaphorical, or poetic fashion, and what are we to make of the fact that the order of creation differs between these accounts Harris ?

Although such literalist interpretations of the Biblical creation narratives were not uncommon, and are still used by Young Earth creationists today, theologians before Ussher already offered alternative, non-literalist readings of the biblical materials e. From the seventeenth century onward, the Christian doctrine of creation came under pressure from geology, with findings suggesting that the Earth was significantly older than BCE.

From the eighteenth century on, natural philosophers, such as de Maillet, Lamarck, Chambers, and Darwin, proposed transmutationist what would now be called evolutionary theories, which seem incompatible with scriptural interpretations of the special creation of species.

Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett have outlined a divine action spectrum to clarify the distinct positions about creation and divine action in the contemporary science and religion literature. They discern two dimensions in this spectrum: the degree of divine action in the natural world, and the form of causal explanations that relate divine action to natural processes. At one extreme are creationists. Like other theists, they believe God has created the world and its fundamental laws, and that God occasionally performs special divine actions miracles that intervene in the fabric of laws.

Creationists deny any role of natural selection in the origin of species. Within creationism, there are Old and Young Earth creationism, with the former accepting geology and rejecting evolutionary biology, and the latter rejecting both.

Next to creationism is Intelligent Design, which affirms divine intervention in natural processes. Intelligent Design creationists e. Like other creationists, they deny a significant role for natural selection in shaping organic complexity and they affirm an interventionist account of divine action. For political reasons they do not label their intelligent designer as God, as they hope to circumvent the constitutional separation of church and state in the US which prohibits teaching religious doctrines in public schools Forrest and Gross Theistic evolutionists hold a non-interventionist approach to divine action: God creates indirectly, through the laws of nature e.

For example, the theologian John Haught regards divine providence as self-giving love, and natural selection and other natural processes as manifestations of this love, as they foster autonomy and independence. While theistic evolutionists allow for special divine action, particularly the miracle of the Incarnation in Christ e. Deism is still a long distance from ontological materialism, the idea that the material world is all there is.

Views on divine action were influenced by developments in physics and their philosophical interpretation. In the seventeenth century, natural philosophers, such as Robert Boyle and John Wilkins, developed a mechanistic view of the world as governed by orderly and lawlike processes. Laws, understood as immutable and stable, created difficulties for the concept of special divine action Pannenberg How could God act in a world that was determined by laws?

One way to regard miracles and other forms of special divine action is to see them as actions that somehow suspend or ignore the laws of nature. This concept of divine action is commonly labeled interventionist.

Interventionism regards the world as causally deterministic, so God has to create room for special divine actions. By contrast, non-interventionist forms of divine action e. In the seventeenth century, the explanation of the workings of nature in terms of elegant physical laws suggested the ingenuity of a divine designer.

Another conclusion that the new laws-based physics suggested was that the universe was able to run smoothly without requiring an intervening God. The increasingly deterministic understanding of the universe, ruled by deterministic causal laws as, for example, outlined by Pierre-Simon Laplace — , seemed to leave no room for special divine action, which is a key element of the traditional Christian doctrine of creation. Alston argued, contra authors such as Polkinghorne , that mechanistic, pre-twentieth century physics is compatible with divine action and divine free will.

In such a mechanistic world, every event is an indirect divine act. Advances in twentieth-century physics, including the theories of general and special relativity, chaos theory, and quantum theory, overturned the mechanical clockwork view of creation. In the latter half of the twentieth century, chaos theory and quantum physics have been explored as possible avenues to reinterpret divine action.

One difficulty with this model is that it moves from our knowledge of the world to assumptions about how the world is: does chaos theory mean that outcomes are genuinely undetermined, or that we as limited humans cannot predict them? Robert Russell proposed that God acts in quantum events. This would allow God to directly act in nature without having to contravene the laws of nature, and is therefore a non-interventionist model. Since, under the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are no natural efficient causes at the quantum level, God is not reduced to a natural cause.

Murphy outlined a similar bottom-up model where God acts in the space provided by quantum indeterminacy. After all, it is not even clear whether quantum theory would allow for free human action, let alone divine action, which we do not know much about Jaeger a. Next to this, William Carroll , building on Thomistic philosophy, argues that authors such as Murphy and Polkinghorne are making a category mistake: God is not a cause in a way creatures are causes, competing with natural causes, and God does not need indeterminacy in order to act in the world.

Rather, as primary cause God supports and grounds secondary causes. While this solution is compatible with determinism indeed, on this view, the precise details of physics do not matter much , it blurs the distinction between general and special divine action.

Moreover, the Incarnation suggests that the idea of God as a cause among natural causes is not an alien idea in theology, and that God at least sometimes acts as a natural cause Sollereder There has been a debate on the question to what extent randomness is a genuine feature of creation, and how divine action and chance interrelate.

Chance and stochasticity are important features of evolutionary theory the non-random retention of random variations. In a famous thought experiment, Gould imagined that we could rewind the tape of life back to the time of the Burgess Shale million years ago ; the chance we would end up with anything like the present-day life forms is vanishingly small.

However, Simon Conway Morris has argued species very similar to the ones we know now including human-like intelligent species would evolve under a broad range of conditions. Under a theist interpretation, randomness could either be a merely apparent aspect of creation, or a genuine feature. Plantinga suggests that randomness is a physicalist interpretation of the evidence. God may have guided every mutation along the evolutionary process. In this way, God could.

By contrast, some authors see stochasticity as a genuine design feature, and not just as a physicalist gloss. Their challenge is to explain how divine providence is compatible with genuine randomness. Under a deistic view, one could simply say that God started the universe off and did not interfere with how it went, but that option is not open to the theist, and most authors in the field of science and religion are theists, rather than deists.

Elizabeth Johnson , using a Thomistic view of divine action, argues that divine providence and true randomness are compatible: God gives creatures true causal powers, thus making creation more excellent than if they lacked such powers, and random occurrences are also secondary causes; chance is a form of divine creativity that creates novelty, variety, and freedom.

One implication of this view is that God may be a risk taker—although, if God has a providential plan for possible outcomes, there is unpredictability but not risk. Johnson uses metaphors of risk taking that, on the whole, leave the creator in a position of control creation, then, is like jazz improvisation , but it is, to her, a risk nonetheless. Why would God take risks?

There are several solutions to this question. The free will theodicy says that a creation that exhibits stochasticity can be truly free and autonomous:. Authentic love requires freedom, not manipulation. Such freedom is best supplied by the open contingency of evolution, and not by strings of divine direction attached to every living creature. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have similar creation stories, which ultimately go back to the first book of the Hebrew Bible Genesis.

According to Genesis, humans are the result of a special act of creation. Genesis 1 offers an account of the creation of the world in six days, with the creation of human beings on the sixth day. Islam has a creation narrative similar to Genesis 2, with Adam being fashioned out of clay. These handcrafted humans are regarded as the ancestors of all living humans today.

Humans occupy a privileged position in these creation accounts. In Christianity, Judaism, and some strands of Islam, humans are created in the image of God imago Dei. There are at least three different ways in which image-bearing is understood Cortez According to the functionalist account, humans are in the image of God by virtue of things they do, such as having dominion over nature.

The structuralist account emphasizes characteristics that humans uniquely possess, such as reason. The relational interpretation sees the image as a special relationship between God and humanity. Humans also occupy a special place in creation as a result of the fall.

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Science Vs Religion -- Pervez Hoodbhoy with Resonance --

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