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Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation Paperback – June 1, 1999
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I am enthusiastic about this book. I think it presents some important ideas that we, as Christians working in science, need to explore and discuss. The book should be very suitable for a text in a science course for non-science students, and I intend to use it for such a course. -- Bernard J. Piersma, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Moreland has undertaken to give Christians a clear-eyed conception of science that does its legitimate authority full justice but is sharply resistant to contemporary tendencies to take that authority as ultimate, global, and autonomous.... Christianity and the Nature of Science is a nice piece of work.... I can recommend the book very highly. -- Del Ratzsch, Calvin Theological Journal
About the Author
J. P. Moreland (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. He has authored or coauthored many books, including Scaling the Secular City, Love Your God with All Your Mind, and Immortality: The Other Side of Death.
Top customer reviews
The work covers the definition, methodology, scope, and presuppositions of scientific investigation as well as a thorough examination of the "realism"/"anti-realism" debate within the philosophy of science. Lastly, Moreland gives a thorough treatment of "The Status of Scientific Creationism."
This book is intellectually rigorous. It is serves as a thorough introduction that is particularly encouraging to the Christian academic community. If you are either a student or a professor, you will come away much more educated.
The book also contains an excellent bibliography for those who are interested in further study.
Moreland is a bona-fide Christian scholar--not someone who is carelessly defending creationism. Rather, he writes from the perspective of a thoughtful philosopher.
Finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I was very impressed. This book is an introduction to the philsophy of science but it's written as a refutation of scientism (the belief that only scientific knowledge is real knoweldge) and an apologia for creation science. However, Moreland's bias should not be taken as indicative of the depth of his treatment of his subject. He gives what seemed to my virgin ears to be a very substantial treatment of the demarcation problem, to the issue of scientific realism, and to the various alternatives to scientific realism. Despite what some might think, Moreland himself actually comes down on the side of "eclectic" scientific realism, which is the belief that some of the theories of science should be interpreted realisitcally (heliocentrism, for example) and other perhaps should not (wave/particle duality, string theory, etc.)
Moreland basically makes the case that scientism is self-defeating, that there is further no hard and fast definition of precisely what constitutes science, that scientific realism is problematic, that it is possible to account for the success of science without advocating realism, that it's an open question as to whether or not science "progresses" or whether scientific theories are replaced wholesale, that scientific theories are succesful to the extent that they embody certain epistemic values in the scientific community, that these values change over time, and that creation science, while currently viewed unfavorably in light of current epistemic values (like the exclusion of supernatural final causes) may yet be science, and may even by it's success change what the epistemic values in science in our age.
Moreland also gives a brief attempt in a final chapter at debunking some claims made against creationism. He tackles the ideas that creation science makes no predictions, creation relies on problems with evolutionary theory instead of solving problems on it's own, creationism uses religious concepts like "God" and therefore cannot be scientific, and several others. He argues that all of these objections to creation science fail, and that creation science can be appropriately considered science.
The book is out of print, so it's hard to get. It's a little involved for your average reader without some previous background in philosophy. Nevertheless, I will reccomend it to any Christian friends looking for a friendly introduction into this area and who may be scared of by books written by non-Christians. I'd also reccomend it to non-Christians for a philosophically sophisticated argument against scientism and for recognizing creationsim as a legitimate candidate for the status of science.