180A 2018 syllabus.doc - History 180A Science and Religion...

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History 180A Science and Religion from Copernicus to Darwinism Professor Amir Alexander, [email protected] Office Hours: Bunche 7286, M. 2-4, W 11-12 Winter 2018 Are science and religion incompatible worldviews? Judging by today's headlines, it often seems so. On the one side is religion, based on revelation and faith; on the other is science, founded on experience and reason. The two seem doomed to conflict. A broader historical view reveals a far richer story. For some of the greatest scientists, religious faith served as an inspiration to their work, whereas others were atheists who resented the presumptions of religion. Some religious movements actively promoted scientific innovation, whereas others viewed science as a threat to their authority. The course will trace the relationship of religion and science in the West by focusing on leading scientists such as Galileo, Newton, and Darwin. Each dealt with the competing demands of science and religion and in each case the interaction was different. But through it all religion and science maintained a constant dialogue -- reflecting on each other's positions and responding to each others' challenges. Readings: Gary b. Ferngren, Science & Religion: a Historical Introduction (Baltimore: JHU Press, 2002), available at the bookstore. Reading not in the book will be available online on course website. Lectures All lectures will be recorded, and podcasts available on the “Media Resources” link on the course website. Course requirements: Full attendance at Lectures. All mandatory readings must be completed before class. One paragraph response to posted question on readings to be submitted each week. Seven responses (out of nine possible) must be submitted during quarter. Responses to be submitted in hard copy and to Turnitin. Midterm on Monday of week 6, February 12, 2018 (in class). Final, Friday, March 23, 2018, 8-11am. Grading: Class participation (including responses to readings): 25%.
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