The Relationship Between
Religion And Science
∗ In The Beginning: Why Did the Big Bang Occur?
∗ Quantum Physics: A Challenge to Our Assumptions About Reality?
∗ Darwin And Genesis: Is Evolution God′s Way of Creating?
∗ Human Nature: Are We Determined by Our Genes?
∗ God And Nature: Can God Act in a Law-Bound World?
Over the centuries and into the new millennium, scientists, theologians, and the general public have shared many questions about the implications of scientific discoveries for religious faith. Nuclear physicist and theologian Ian Barbour, winner of the 1999 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his pioneering role in advancing the study of religion and science, presents a clear, contemporary introduction to the essential issues, ideas, and solutions in the relationship between religion and science. In simple, straightforward language, Barbour explores the fascinating topics that illuminate the critical encounter of the spiritual and quantitative dimensions of life.
Ian G. Barbour has retired from Carleton College where he was professor of physics, professor of religion, and Bean Professor of Science, Technology, and Society. The "preeminent synthetic in the field" (Cross Currents,) he is the author of several influential books, including Ethics in an Age of Technology and Myths Models, and Paradigms, which was nominated for the National Book Award. He gave the world-renowned Gifford Lectures, 1989-1991.
Beauregard and O'Leary explore recent attempts to locate a "God gene" in some of us and claims that our brains are "hardwired" for religion—even the strange case of one neuroscientist who allegedly invented an electromagnetic "God helmet" that could produce a mystical experience in anyone who wore it. The authors argue that these attempts are misguided and narrow-minded, because they reduce spiritual experiences to material phenomena.
Many scientists ignore hard evidence that challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect" in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.
In examine the conflicting ethics and assumptions that lead to divergent views and technology, Barbour analyzes three social values: justice, participatory freedom, and economic development. He defends such environmental principles as resource sustainability, environmental protection, and respect for all forms of life. He present case studies in agriculture, energy policy, genetic engineering, and the use of computers. Finally, he concludes by focusing on appropriate technologies, individual life-styles, and sources of change: education, political action, response to crisis, and alternative visions of the good life.