hughes final essays

hughes final essays - 1. The relationship between science...

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1. The relationship between science and religion can be set against the backdrop that Wilfred Cantwell Smith set for the interaction of any two theologies, an interaction that had four routes that Ian Barbour would classify in his book, When Science Meets Religion . In conflict, science and religion reach the most negative interaction between the two realms of human interest. This has been a point famous reached in history at the episode of Galileo and the church, or of the ‘Scopes Trial’ and evolutionary science versus traditional ideas. In the modern day, science and religion seem to once again be approaching a conflict, which is leading towards negative interactions, and the driving apart of the two fields towards the extremism of fundamentalism and scientism. With fundamentalism, we get biblical literalism. In short, people who read the Jude-Christian bible, and the book of genesis, can literally postulate a world that is approximately 6000 years old, took 6 days to create, and included men within the first week of creation. This literal interpretation of the bible, however, lies in direct opposition with scientific facts about evolution and how life and this world came about. History shows us that this is a movement away from the rational ideas of Augustine, who espoused a less literal interpretation of the bible. On the other hand of this growing conflict is scientism, a sort of fundamentalist theology of science. Scientism holds the idea that the scientific method for inquiry is the only reliable and valuable way to collect any knowledge. Independence is a neutral approach to science and religion, one that for many represents the true relationship between these different fields. Stephen Jay Gould is famous for having espoused this idea, which he called NOMA, short for ‘Non- Overlapping Magisteria.’ It is clear to see that science and religion are two separate entities, and Ian Barbour points out the differences. They operate in separate domains, with differing languages, and special functions. The list of contrasting features of science and religion is a long one. Science represents the objective, looking for external data, repeatable predictable data. Religion is a part of the realm of the subjective on the other hand, amongst the liberal arts and ‘soft sciences,’ as they are sometimes known. Religion looks for internal, personal, subjective data, with experiences that are unique. In this realm of trans-rationality, is the idea of metaphysics, the philosophy of explaining the ultimate reality, and being. Metaphysics is opposed by science in the way that religion
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often is, as lacking evidence or experimentation. Manifestations of metaphysics however can operate in an independent realm from science, as they cannot be ultimately disproved. Scientific materialism is an outgrowth of science and evolution, a model that believes the ultimate purpose for this universe is evolutionary, that even humans are just meant to procreate and pass on genes, and that there is nothing more to perceive in the
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hughes final essays - 1. The relationship between science...

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