Dialogue thesis science and religion

  1. Introduction
  2. Science and Religion
  3. Relationship between religion and science - Wikipedia

In the final two chapters, Gingras attempts to show that from a philosophical point of view, the dialogue between a believer and a scientist is strictly impossible. The theological impulse for dialogue is rooted in the ideal that there is some hidden reality that only the mystery of the divine can reveal. Only religions and their spokespersons demand this dialogue According to Gingras, the conflict between beliefs and knowledge is still there, as evidenced by the difficulties of American archaeologists faced with the refusal of indigenous groups to see fossil skeletons under investigation.

In his conclusion Gingras repeats the old trope that science leads to disenchantment and secularization, even though numerous historians, sociologists, and other scholars have seriously questioned and qualified this assertion. In this sense, this book was obsolete before it was even published.

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All in all, Gingras seems to show very little understanding of the complexity of concepts he discusses, and possibly less understanding of the historical figures he brings into his narrative. James C. Ungureanu is a post-thesis fellow and honorary research fellow in studies in religion at the University of Queeensland, Australia.

I very rarely respond to reviewers of my books since I usually respect their opinions when they follow the implicit rules of ethical book reviewing based, incidentally, on the principle of interpretative charity. I did it only once, twenty-five years ago, when I considered the review was dishonest. I do it again today as I think the author does not honestly present the content of the various chapters before making his personal critical comments, which should be argued and not just stated peremptorily.

I make no such opposition between kinds of reasoning but only between science and religion as institutional structures. In fact, I do show in detail why some assertions by historians of science are indeed sophisms and I quote them precisely to show why that is the case What the reviewer does not say is that I address that question explicitly in the book and reject in advance that notion.

What the reviewer seems to have missed is that the question is not whether we may now believe that there should not be conflict but rather how in fact historical actors perceived the relations between science and religion. For without a precise definition of that term one cannot know exactly what one is talking about. The reader is also never told that a whole chapter is devoted to analyzing the many scientific books put on the Catholic Index of prohibited books not only in the 17th century—as if there were no more cases after that time—but also from the 18th to the 20th century.

Neither can the reader imagine that chapter 3 provides a history of the long process of autonomization of many sciences astronomy, natural history, history from religion, both defined as social institutions that have their own logic. The reviewer seems upset by the fact that I eschew the biographical approach. This lack of understanding of the sociological approach of the book is made clear by the case of Kepler.

Models for the Relationship between Science and Religion (Christianity): Dialogue

There would be more to say about other affirmations based on appeal to authority instead of closely argued arguments, but these examples should suffice to show that the reviewer has failed in his task of providing the reader or Reading Religion with a review that could have been the start of a rational dialogue about the history of the relations between science and religion.

I would like to thank Yves Gingras for responding to my review. It is always a pleasure to interact with other scholars who share similar interests.


That being said, Gingras has not clearly addressed the difficulties I raised in my original review, and I regret to say that I am not convinced by his latest reiteration. Gingras does not provide such evidence. Moreover, what evidence he does provide is misconstrued and often taken out of context. While my original review was mostly critical, there were a few things that I did agree with Gingras.

In fact, I think Gingras understands Draper and White better than many other historians of science and religion.

Science and Religion

My own work looks at the how Draper and White were merely synthesizers of a long history of Protestant anti-Catholic polemic. Near the beginning of the nineteenth century, this polemic had transformed into a Protestant self-critique, which, in turn, had been appropriated by secularists and freethinkers at the end of the century and the beginning of the twentieth as a polemic against all religions.

Gingras charges that I have misrepresented his book in my review. That is possible. Please read our policy on commenting. All Rights Reserved. ISSN X. Skip to main content. Garfield , Many consider that the conflict of religion and science is a temporary phase, and that in due course the two mighty rivers of human understanding will merge into an even mightier Amazon of comprehension. I take the opposite view, that reconciliation is impossible. I consider that Science is mightier than the Word, and that the river of religion will or, at least, should atrophy and die.

Maybe we have to accept that after reaching the deepest possible level of understanding science can offer, there will nevertheless be aspects of the universe that remain unexplained. Maybe we will have to accept that certain features of the universe are the way they are because of happenstance, accident, or divine choice. Modern science gives lectures on botany, to show there is no such thing as a flower; on humanity, to show there is no such thing as a man; and on theology, to show there is no such thing as a God.

No such thing as a man, but only a mechanism, No such thing as a God, but only a series of forces. Most scientists think of science as being a kind of purifying intellectual machinery that leads to honesty, to the withering away of ignorance and wrong ideas, including, provided they are of the atheistic persuasion, those of religion. In Pamela Weintraub ed. Wilson', The Omni Interviews , Much scientific truth proved to be as hypothetical as poetic allegory.

The relationshiip of those rod-connected blue and red balls to an actual atomic structure was about the same as the relationship of Christianity to the fish or the Lamb. My aim is to argue that the universe can come into existence without intervention, and that there is no need to invoke the idea of a Supreme Being in one of its numerous manifestations. In The Creation , Preface, vii.

As quoted and cited in Karl W.

Giberson and Donald A. My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun? My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world. In a certain sense, science is myth-making just as religion is.

Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge , Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Nothing disappears without a trace. Excerpted in Viola Walden, Sword Scrapbook , To me then, human consciousness lies outside science, and it is here that I seek the relationship between God and man.

Whose intelligence? Whose design? No path leads from a knowledge of that which is to that which should be. None of us deny evolution. We know it and study it with pleasure. Catholic universities do not see anything in evolution to prevent a Christian accepting it, but with the reservation that the great problem of the origin of the world and of the creation of man is the secret of God.

The Catholic church accepts what science gives it on condition that science reports facts which can be proved, for it is a fact that there is no scientific truth which can contradict eternal truth. The position of the Catholic Church on the theory of evolution, as stated by Monseigneur Piette, as he introduced the next speaker Dr.

Thomas Hunt Morgan, professor of experimental zoology at Columbia University. Nothing can be unworthy of being investigated by man, which was thought worthy of being created by God. Nothing could be more obvious than that the earth is stable and unmoving, and that we are in the center of the universe. Modern Western science takes its beginning from the denial of this common sense axiom. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; Which some professing have erred concerning faith.

Grace be with thee. Of possible quadruple algebras the one that had seemed to him by far the most beautiful and remarkable was practically identical with quaternions, and that he thought it most interesting that a calculus which so strongly appealed to the human mind by its intrinsic beauty and symmetry should prove to be especially adapted to the study of natural phenomena.


Relationship between religion and science - Wikipedia

Our world will yet grow so subtle that it will be as ludicrous to believe in a god as it is today to believe in ghosts. Aphorism 57 in Notebook D , as translated by R. Hollingdale in Aphorisms Reprinted as The Waste Books , Physics is not religion. Religion and science As pointed out by Whitehead, religion and science have similar origins and are evolving toward similar goals. Both started from crude observations and fanciful concepts, meaningful only within a narrow range of conditions for the people who formulated them of their limited tribal experience.

But progressively, continuously, and almost simultaneously, religious and scientific concepts are ridding themselves of their coarse and local components, reaching higher and higher levels of abstraction and purity. Both the myths of religion and the laws of science, it is now becoming apparent, are not so much descriptions of facts as symbolic expressions of cosmic truths. Religion belongs to the realm that is inviolable before the law of causation and therefore closed to science.

Religion cannot object to science on moral grounds. The history of religious intolerance forbids it. Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny.