Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

Front Cover
Paul Kurtz, Barry Karr, Ranjit Sandhu
Prometheus Books, 2003 - Philosophy - 368 pages
2 Reviews
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.
 

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User Review  - Devil_llama - 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

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
Does the Soul Eist? From
27
A Designer Universe?
31
Anthropic Design Does the Cosmos Show Evidence of Purpose?
41
From the Anthropic Principle to the Supernatural
47
An Astrophysicist Ponders the God Question
73
Creationism versus Evolution
83
Skepticisms Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design
89
Where the Two Worlds Tangle There Is a Conflict
211
Life After Death
217
AfterDeath Communication Studies
229
NearDeath Experiences
237
Mythological Soul to the Conscious Brain
243
Efficacy of Prayer
257
Science versus Shroud Science
263
Why Do People Believe or Disbelieve?
275

Design Yes Intelligent No A Critique of IntelligentDesign
99
Science
117
Science and Religion in Historical Perspective
129
The Galileo Affair
139
Uniting the Worldor Dividing It 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 (2003)

Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Transcendental Temptation, The Courage to Become, and Embracing the Power of Humanism, plus nine hundred articles and reviews. He was the founder and chairman of Prometheus Books, the Institute for Science and Human Values, the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He appeared on many major television and radio talk shows and has lectured at universities worldwide.

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