Origins & Science
Alan Olding (Routledge: Dec 1990), 208 pages.
This work re-opens a controversial subject by calling into question how well theological views of human nature stand up to the discoveries of modern science. Alan Olding explores the question of whether the argument for the existence of God is fatally undermined. Emphasizing the metaphysical implications of biology, Modern Biology and Natural Theology takes up issues currently of concern to many thinkers, particularly those interested in the impact of Darwinism on natural theology. This book will interest not only professional workers in the fields of philosophy of biology and philosophy of religion and theology, but also students and laypersons, and is bound to provoke further debate on this controversial subject. ~ Product Description
Massimo Pigliucci (University of Chicago Press: May 2010), 332 pages.
Creationists who dismiss Darwin's theory of evolution. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Climate change deniers who dismiss the warming planet as a hoax. These are just some of the groups that, despite robust scientific evidence, embrace pseudoscientific beliefs and practices. Why do they believe bunk? And how does their ignorance threaten us all? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and– borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham–the nonsense on stilts. Covering a range of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a "taxonomy of bunk" that explores the intersection of science and culture at large. ~ Product Description
On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
Charles Darwin (1859), 496 pages.
Published amid a firestorm of controversy in 1859, this is a book that changed the world. Reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, it offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of evolutionary theory. Read the full version at Google Books.
Keith Ward (Oneworld Publications: June 2006), 224 pages.
In Pascal's Fire, Keith Ward reflects on the relationship between faith and the findings of modern science, treating topics such as — among others — chance and necessity, quantum physics and the mechanistic universe, the evolution of order in the universe, leading to life and ultimately to self-awareness and responsibility, the origin and future of the cosmos etc. The existence of an ultimate mind who chose to create a rationally intelligible universe which functions through laws that can be expressed in mathematical terms, but who also freely intervenes in the context of an otherwise autonomous progress of self-organisation of the universe, for which it was originally set up and by which it reaches goals of intrinsic value, are presented — and, in my view, convincingly so — as a rational and coherent explanation for the universe. In other words, the observation of the universe suggests such a mind. The argument progresses to show that this ultimate mind can also be viewed as personal, loving and compassionate, though in a way far beyond anthropomorphic projections. A purely scientific approach, however, is blind to the personal side of God, Ward argues — this is where personal experience, feeling and intuition come in, and may legitimately be taken seriously. All in all, Keith Ward's holistic approach, integrating faith and reason in his intellectual quest, is inspiring and reminded me of the "two wings" of faith and reason by which man strives toward the truth, of which John Paul II wrote. ~ Xiangmao at Amazon.com
J. A. Cover and Martin Curd (W.W. Norton & Company: Mar 17, 1998), 1408 pages.
Gathering 49 readings on a variety of topics — science and pseudoscience; rationality, objectivity, and values in science; laws of nature; models of explanation, among others — this anthology introduces students to the often challenging problems examined by major thinkers in the field. Combine this with thoughtful and thorough apparatus, and Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues is the most flexible and comprehensive collection ever created for undergraduate courses. ~ Product Description
Michael Devitt (Princeton University Press: December 1996), 340 pages.
In this provocative and wide-ranging book, Michael Devitt argues for a thoroughgoing realism about the common-sense and scientific physical world, and for a correspondence notion of truth. Furthermore, he argues that, contrary to received opinion, the metaphysical question of realism is distinct from, and prior to, any semantic question about truth. The book makes incisive responses to Putnam, Dummett, van Fraassen, and other major anti-realists. The new afterword includes an extensive discussion of the metaphysics of nonfactualism, and new thoughts on the need for truth and on the determination of reference. ~ Product Description
Ian G. Barbour (HarperOne: Aug 2, 1997), 384 pages.
Religion and Science is a definitive contemporary discussion of the many issues surrounding our understanding of God and religious truth and experience in our understanding of God and religious truth and experience in our scientific age. This is a significantly expanded and feshly revised version of Religion in an Age of Science, winner of the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence and the Templeton Book Award. Ian G. Barbour — the premier scholar in the field — has added three crucial historical chapters on physics and metaphysics in the seventeenth century, nature and God in the eighteenth century, and biology and theology in the nineteenth century. He has also added new sections on developments in nature-centered spirituality, information theory, and chaos and complexity theories. ~ Synopsis
William Sweet and Richard Feist, eds. (Ashgate: Aug 30, 2007), 235 pages.
Does science pose a challenge to religion and religious belief? This question has been a matter of long-standing debate - and it continues to concern not only scholars in philosophy, theology, and the sciences, but also those involved in public educational policy. This volume provides background to the current 'science and religion' debate, yet focuses as well on themes where recent discussion of the relation between science and religion has been particularly concentrated.The first theme deals with the history of the interrelation of science and religion. The second and third themes deal with the implications of recent work in cosmology, biology and so-called intelligent design for religion and religious belief. The fourth theme is concerned with 'conceptual issues' underlying, or implied, in the current debates, such as: Are scientific naturalism and religion compatible? Are science and religion bodies of knowledge or practices or both? And, do religion and science offer conflicting truth claims?By illuminating contemporary discussion in the science-religion debate and by outlining the options available in describing the relation between the two, this volume will be of interest to scholars and to members of the educated public alike. ~ Product Description
National Academy of Sciences (National Academies Press: Jan 4, 2008), 88 pages.
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable. In the book, Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes. Mindful of school board battles and recent court decisions, Science, Evolution, and Creationism shows that science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. For educators, students, teachers, community leaders, legislators, policy makers, and parents who seek to understand the basis of evolutionary science, this publication will be an essential resource.
Scientific Explanation and Religious Belief Science and Religion in Philosophical and Public Discourse
Michael G. Parker and Thomas M. Schmidt (Paul Mohr Verlag: October 2005), 170 pages.
The science-and-religion dialogue has become an established part of the wider cultural conversation about the respective roles of science and religion within democratic societies. By reflecting on the matrix of science, religion and politics, this volume constitutes a major contribution to the science-and-religion dialogue. It is not only required reading for philosophers, scientists and theologians, but will be of interest to all those engaged in the larger cultural conversation about the relationship between science and religion. ~ Product Description