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Religion and the Sciences of Origins: Historical and Contemporary Discussions 2014th Edition
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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.
* 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.Read more ›