Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

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Prometheus Books - Religion
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With the assistance of Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu...this collection is timely, and welcome. -Skeptical Inquirer...provides a wide ranging overview of a complex and challenging topic of interest to many. -Australian Humanist. . . science and religion have been seeking common ground through ongoing dialogue. . . . this volume provide[s] a dimension to the conversation that has seldom been heard. . . . present[s] important and provocative voices too often drowned out. - Publishers WeeklyIn 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.Paul Kurtz (Amherst, NY), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is president of the International Academy of Humanism and is one of the leading spokespersons for Secular Humanism today. He is the author or editor of over thirty-five books, including Embracing the Power of Humanism (Rowman & Littlefield) and The Courage to Become (Praeger/Greenwood).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

The author does a good job of describing the controversies between science and religion, but is too quick to dismiss the reality of the disputes, and the difficulty of resolving them. Adopting ... Read full review

Contents

An Overview of the Issues
11
A Designer Universe?
31
Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose?
41
From the Anthropic Principle to the Supernatural
47
Gods Goof and the Universe that Knew We Were Coming
51
An Astrophysicist Ponders the God Question
73
Creationism versus Evolution
83
Skepticisms Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design
89
There Is a Conflict
211
Life After Death
217
AfterDeath Communication Studies
229
NearDeath Experiences
237
Does the Soul Exist? From
243
Efficacy of Prayer
257
Science versus Shroud Science
263
Why Do People Believe or Disbelieve?
275

A Critique of IntelligentDesign
99
Science
117
Science and Religion in Historical Perspective
129
The Galileo Affair
139
Which Outlook
145
The Dangerous Quest for Cooperation
161
A Conversation with My Students
171
Credo
181
Nonoverlapping Magisteria
191
Irreconcilable Differences?
205
Supernatural Power and Cultural Evolution
291
The Biological Roots of Religion
299
Whence Religious Belief?
309
Science and the Unknowable
323
A Way of Life for Agnostics
333
Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe
343
Afterthoughts
351
Contributors
361
Copyright

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About the author

Paul Kurtz was born on December 21, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master's degree and doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the United States Army and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. He was a philosopher who focused on fighting prejudice against people who reject belief in a god and promoting a non-religious stance in life. He wrote or edited more than 50 books on ethics without religion, critiques of religion and the paranormal, and on skepticism, or the challenging of received wisdom. His works include The Transcendental Temptation, Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism, The Courage to Become, Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda, and What is Secular Humanism? He founded the journal Free Inquiry and the secular humanist Center for Inquiry. He also taught at numerous universities including the State University of New York at Buffalo and Vassar. He died on October 20, 2012 at the age of 86.

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