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Religion and Science Paperback – May 29, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (May 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195115511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195115512
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Praise for earlier editions:
"Mr. Russell succeeds in investing the subject with a fresh interest....Even on the points on which one disagrees--and in a book of this type there will necessarily be many--the discussion is always acute and illuminating. Mr. Russell has endeavored to state opposing points of view with fairness."--Henry Hazlitt, The New York Times


About the Author

The late Bertrand Russell, English philosopher and mathematician, was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he taught for many years. He also lectured widely in the United States. Winner of the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature, he is the author of many books including the influential Principia Mathematica, with Alfred North Whitehead, and The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1872-1967, published in three volumes. Michael Ruse is Professor of Philosophy and Zoology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. He is the author of many books, including Evolutionary Naturalism and The Darwinian Paradigm.

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

Customer Reviews

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I'd also recommend anyone who only listened to it to approach the book again.
David T.
Bertrand Russell's Religion and Science is a beautifully concise and surprisingly accurate book for being quite a short book.
Daniel Clifford
Basically this is a history book of science and religion and how they have interacted over the history of mankind.
Daniel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By bsiu@ing.puc.cl on September 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
Some people say that you must not read what is contrary to your religious beliefs. I advise those people not to read this book, as they will see their beliefs carefully explained, discussed and torn down by Russell. He does not mock the opposite points of view, but he explains them in a very clear fashion and then shows sound arguments to prove they are wrong. Even if you do not agree with his position, you will find the discussion enlightening. Recommended!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Religion and Science" provides excellent insight into the historical struggle between religious faith and the scientific pursuit of facts. Russell outlines the differences in methodologies that inevitably lead to conflict between religion and science. He sites various examples of such conflicts including opposition to the heliocentric view of the universe and Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Russell infers throughout how science is superior to religion, at least from a pragmatic standpoint. This is perhaps not a revealing fact to enlightened readers. However, as Russell points out, in every age there are religious adherents and systems that have opposed progressive ideas and technologies made possible by scientific discoveries. Russell makes it clear that the reader should at least be aware of such historical precedence in order to be prepared to handle modern instances of conflict between religion and science.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Friedman on April 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Quick overview of the centuries long conflict between religion and science. Russell firmly believes that religion has stood in the natural path of science on multiple fronts. Every time religion has been "pushed aside" by science (sometimes violently), man has made tremendous progressive strides. This includes discovering that blood flows through the body and the failure to find the soul within the body, amongst dozens of other examples.
The book's age takes very little away from the book. Russell even acknowledges that the fields of science he speaks about are still progressing and his words about them will one day be less poignant.
Fascinating and quick, I read "S&R" after "The Problems of Philosophy" and "The Conquest of Happiness," but before "Why I Am Not a Christian."
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on February 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. Basically this is a history book of science and religion and how they have interacted over the history of mankind. Bertrand explains how almost every great scientific finding or revolution is oppressed ...by religion in some way or another. Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Darwin, Vesalius, Harvey, Simpson, and many other distinguished scholars have all been at least fearful of the reactions of the churches, but also of the general population. Bertrand also goes into detail how the idea of ?soul? has changed through time: ?We not only react to external objects, but we know that we react. The stone, we think, does not know it reacts, but if it does it has ?consciousness.? Here also, on analysis, the difference will be found to be one of degree.? I rate this book with five out of five stars; I enjoyed it and still do enjoy it thoroughly.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Hans Castorp VINE VOICE on February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hard to believe that this Book (here in CD Audio Format) was written was back in 1932! Most of it is as current and relevent now as then. The CD is broken down in to several parts, including RELIGION AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD,RELIGION AND DISEASE,RELIGION AND EVOLUTION, RELIGION AND MYSTICISM. Always very polite and a bit understated, the CD begins commenting on Copernicus and Galileo, scientists contradicting the dogma of their times. Then onto Church responses to disease including 1600's Plagues, and Smallpox. The blame was put on demons and devils, not germs aor viruses. His comments on the Smallpox outbreak in 1880's Montreal are worth the price of the CD. Evolution and biology are discussed, and Russll has some interesting thoughts on mysticism. Very worthwhile in this CD format!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Russell's "Religion and Science" explores, in a thoughtful and intelligent fashion, essentially the dark side of religion and its historical resistance (to say the least) to scientific discovery. This is clearly a must read for any rational thinking human.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David T. on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are two versions listed here, one is the book and the other is the audio book. I first listened to the audio book and I'd recommend skipping it and going straight to the paperback. While writing this review I re-listened to parts of The Copernican Revolution and in the first 5 pages well over half is missing (including the excellent parts about Luther and Calvin mentioned below). I'm sometimes okay with an abridged audio book (for instance I thought Dawkins's audio abridgment of The Orgin of the Speicies was good and I liked it more than the text. This audio book is not one such case, it cuts out way too much text and often leaves out what I think are the best parts. I'd also recommend anyone who only listened to it to approach the book again.

In this book Russell discusses Religion and Science with some of their historical conflicts. Russell was an atheist and I think one can easily guess who the victor was in any matter where religion and science conflict. Overall compared to some of the new atheist books this one wasn't very harsh on religion, I think at the time Russell was more concerned with the growing regimes in Germany (National Socialism) and Russian Communism. It seemed he was thinking that Christianity was taking a more tolerant and liberal approach, I'm not sure that's still the case.

As for the book itself, while slightly biased, I found it pretty interesting. It starts off with the Copernican revolution and I found the quotes from Calvin and Luther pretty interesting, basically both said that the earth is still and the sun revolves around it, to argue otherwise is to place the opinions of man over scripture.
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