November 5, Religion and Science in the United States The relationship between faith and science in the United States seems, at least on the surface, to be paradoxical.
By contrast, I will attempt to show that despite some episodes of tension, the overall relationship between science and biblical theism has been largely cooperative and fruitful. The events of that period are known to us as the scientific revolution. The first in was the publication by Nicholas Copernicus of his heliocentric model of the solar system.
It is significant that the scientific revolution occurred in a culture permeated with a Christian worldview and striking that nearly all its leaders were deeply committed to the Christian Faith.
Galileo remained faithful to his church, despite the opposition of individuals in the academic and ecclesiastical establishments who were unable to accommodate his discoveries to their Aristotelian view of the world.
Newton spent more time studying the Bible than doing science,2 and both Newton and Boyle were prodigious theological writers. Why did modern science arise in Christian culture? One can ask the question: Though non-Christian societies made important contributions to mathematics and astronomy, none of those societies produced anything remotely like modern science.
For science to get going, one needs a set of presuppositions, or foundational beliefs, about the natural world. These beliefs include the following: The universe is good, and it is a good thing to know about it.
The universe is regular, orderly, and rational. This order could be of two types.
It could be necessary order, in which case we should be able to discover the order by pure thought. Alternatively, it could be contingent order, in which case we must discover the order by observation and experiment. Belief in necessary order is disastrous for science, whereas belief in contingent order is essential to its development.
Human sense perception and reason are basically reliable, and the regular patterns of material behavior are intelligible to the human mind.
These beliefs seem obvious to us, but only because we live in a culture that has held them for hundreds of years.
Other cultures held quite different beliefs about the material world. A number of historians have suggested that modern science arose in a Christian culture because core Christian beliefs provided the presuppositions needed for science to get started.
The scientists of the 17th Century believed the material world to be good because God had made it good. Moreover, the essential goodness of matter is affirmed by the Incarnation. The founders of modern science believed that the universe is regular, orderly, and rational because God is personal, rational, and faithful.
They believed that the order of the universe is contingent because the existence and behavior of the created world depends on the will of a sovereign Creator. The importance of this theological perspective, for science, is that one cannot deduce the behavior of the natural world from first principles.
God could have made a world that behaved in any way he wished, so if you want to know how the world does behave, you have got to go and look. Hence, the importance of observation and experiment, an approach that distinguished the science of the 17th Century from the deductive approach of the ancient Greeks.
All these beliefs follow from the Christian doctrine of creation. Collins has expressed the spiritual wonder of scientific research in these words:The Myth of Warfare between Science and Religion What is the relationship between science and Christian religion?
One dramatic answer — mutual antagonism, inherent conflict, and aggressive warfare! — was proposed in the late s by John Draper and Andrew White. THE RELATION OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION.
Some fresh observations on an old problem. by RICHARD P. FEYNMAN "The Relation of Science and Religion" is a transcript of a talk given by Dr. Feynman at the Caltech YMCA Lunch Forum on May 2, It offers a contemporary (but necessarily limited) examination of the relationship between science and religion.
It does so by presenting essays on issues of pressing interest. They are written by practicing scientists and, in one case, a alphabetnyc.coms: 1.
Some of the nation’s leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May for the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life..
Francis S. Collins, the former director of the Human Genome Project, discussed why he believes religion and science are compatible and why the current .
Science and religion: Reconcilable differences: With the loud protests of a small number of religious groups over teaching scientific concepts like evolution and the Big Bang in public schools, and the equally loud proclamations of a few scientists with personal, anti-religious philosophies, it can sometimes seem as though science and religion are at war.
Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it.
Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of.