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Religion and the Sciences of Origins: Historical and Contemporary Discussions 2014th Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1137414809
ISBN-10: 1137414804
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kelly James Clark is Senior Research Fellow, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Grand Valley State University, USA
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2014 edition (May 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137414804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137414809
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kelly James Clark focuses on the sciences of origins because that’s where “the rubber meets the road,” wherein the origin of the universe seems to corroborate belief in a creator and the origin of species is often taken to be contrary to belief in a creator.

During the course of his book, Clark briefly covers quite a range of topics: the nature of science, the nature of religion, the history of the relationship between science and religion, biological evolution (biogeography, comparative anatomy, embryology, genetics and biological randomness), an introduction to cognitive science, the Theory of Mind, the God-facility, the evidence of the evolutionary origins of religious belief, the nature of morality, biological altruism (kin selection, reciprocity, and group selection), the search for the soul (the mind-body problem), intelligent design and theistic evolution, fine tuning, creation out of nothing, and multiverse models. He finishes up with two very interesting chapters on Judaism and evolution & Islam and evolution.

Clark’s writing style is to begin most chapters with an interesting and relevant story, then discuss the topic via questions and possible answers, and finally to summarize each chapter in a Conclusion. The only fault I could find was that it felt like there should have been a Conclusion chapter at the end of the book, instead of just a few brief thoughts at the end of the chapter on Islam and Evolution.

Throughout his book, Clark supports the “two book” approach, the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature, and how they complement each other.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in good, up-to-date and readable summaries of the topics he covers.
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Format: Paperback
In this eminently readable volume, Kelly Clark leads the reader through centuries of dialogue between science and faith. What is science? Are faith and Darwinian evolution compatible? Is the universe designed? With refreshing balance and rigor in today's world dominated by stridor and sound bytes, Clark does not set out to answer these--and many other related--questions for the reader. Rather, he provides the reader with essential historical and conceptual context for the questions, empowering the reader to formulate his/her own responses to them without falling into the various philosophical, theological, and scientific pitfalls that surround them. Providing numerous quotations and references to the essential primary literature, Clark provides a detailed yet accessible--even amusing--roadmap through this fascinating terrain.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Kelly Clark, a philosopher and senior research fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, provides some much needed reflection and historical perspective on the often contentious relationship between scientists and religious believers. Clark begins by exploring possible models of engagement between the two realms:

* Conflict - If fiery spokesmen like Richard Dawkins, Maarten Boudry and Ken Ham are to be believed, the scientific and religious communities are locked in a mortal combat out of which one must ultimately emerge as victor. Which one? Depends on whom you ask....

* Separation - Stephen Gould's "non-overlapping magesteria" formulation compartmentalizes science and religion into separate, independent spheres.

* Integration - In this view, science and religion provide two different perspectives on the same underlying reality; therefore they reinforce and correct one another.

Clark espouses integration, pointing out ways that each discipline can inform the other. Neuroscience and biology can inform religious conceptions of personhood, and astrophysics and geology can help us discern what in ancient creation accounts are the essential points and what are the cultural accommodations. Perhaps more counterintuitive to advocates of the conflict and separation schools, religion can shape the scientific enterprise in return by providing an understanding of epistemology, the ethics of research methodologies, and the limits of what science can prove. The remainder of the book elaborates the often fruitful collaboration between the domains, both historically and today.
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It's high time a book like this has been published. Clark does a great job of elucidating the various views and informing the reader of the various views. Well-developed and thought provoking!
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A most most learned, informative, and well argued book breaking stereotypes about religion and science.
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