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Back cover copy The relationship between science and religion SR has often been portrayed as combative. However, the interface of the two disciplines is complex and nuanced, and they have much to learn from one another. This helpful introductory work is simultaneously an encyclopedia, an annotated bibliography, and a survey. Boyd, Azusa Pacific University Four substantive introductory essays set the book's background. The second, and primary, section of the book provides an A-Z listing of almost entries dealing with a variety of philosophical, historical, scientific, and theological concepts, individuals, or events related to the SR dialogue.

A Science and Religion Primer promotes a respectful, intelligent conversation between science and faith.

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It is an indispensable source in its own right and a springboard for more in-depth research. Most of the articles are apt. This volume will serve as a very handy reference guide for both scholars and laypersons. Lindberg, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison "This new book by Campbell and Looy provides an excellent point of entry into the burgeoning international dialogue on science and religion. A conflict approach assumes that science and religion are competitors for cultural authority. Either science sets the standard for truth to which religion must adhere or be dismissed, or religion sets the standard to which science must conform.

For example, some atheists adopt this approach and argue that science reduces religion to a merely natural phenomenon. Conversely, some religious adherents, while claiming to accept science, will identify specific points at which mainstream scientific findings must be distorted or abandoned for the sake of religious convictions. Such an adversarial approach tends to rule out any constructive engagement between science and religion. Individuals who prefer a separation approach hold that science and religion use different languages, ask different questions and have different objects of interest e.

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By highlighting the differences between science and religion, conflict is avoided. While this approach allows a person to explore what science has learned about human origins without fear of conflict with religious beliefs, it also encourages that the science be left, so to speak, at the museum threshold so that it has no impact on other non-scientific explorations of what it means to be human. A consequence of separation is that the science of human origins can be viewed as irrelevant to what might be the deepest of human concerns. It should be noted that it is true that science is practiced without reference to religion.

God may be an ultimate explanation, but God is not a scientific explanation. This approach to science is called methodological naturalism. However, this method of isolating religious interests from scientific research is not an example of the separation approach. Historically, this bracketing out of religious questions in the practice of scientific inquiry was promoted by religious thinkers in the 18th and 19th centuries as the most fruitful way to discover penultimate rather than ultimate explanations of the structures and processes of nature.

A third possibility for the relationship between science and religion, one of interaction , at minimum holds that dialogue between science and religion can be valuable, more that science and religion can constructively benefit from engagement, and at maximum envisions a convergence of scientific and religious perspectives.

Generally, this view encourages an effort to explore the significance of scientific understanding for religious understanding and vice versa. With this approach science remains relevant beyond the museum for many people who might otherwise ignore scientific findings.

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The National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution has a responsibility due to its charter to provide the public with an opportunity to explore for themselves the most recent scientific understandings of the natural world, including human origins. People are well aware that insights from the humanities, including the arts, literature and religious traditions, have much to say on this topic as well. For some people an evolutionary account of human origins may be greeted with skepticism because it challenges their particular religious commitments. In contrast, other people find their religious perspectives are deepened and enriched by an evolutionary understanding of human origins.

Although the questions below recognize this range of perspectives, many of the questions reflect expectations that are especially characteristic of people from those religious communities that are skeptical about the science of evolution. Ironically, people in these latter communities often value science and seek scientific support for their particular religious commitments.

In this sense of the word, many creationists accept an evolutionary understanding of natural history. However, at least four types of creationism can be identified, and each has a distinctive view of the evolutionary sciences and human origins. Human beings were created through a direct act of divine intervention in the order of nature. While many aspects of nature may be the consequence of direct acts of divine creation, at very least they hold that the very beginning of the universe, the origin of life and the origin of humankind are the consequence of distinct acts of divine intervention in the order of nature.

Theistic evolutionists also hold that the sacred text provides an infallible account of why the universe, all life and humankind came into existence. However, they also hold that for the most part, the diversity of nature from stars to planets to living organisms, including the human body, is a consequence of the divine using processes of evolution to create indirectly.

Still, for many who hold this position, the very beginning of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin of what is distinctive about humankind are the consequence of direct acts of divine intervention in the order of nature.

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Evolutionary theists hold that the sacred text, while giving witness to the ultimate divine source of all of nature, in no way specifies the means of creation. Further, they hold that the witness of creation itself is that the divine creates only indirectly through evolutionary processes without any intervention in the order of nature. It is intended that those Americans who do not accept evolution will experience in this exhibition an open invitation to engage the science presented, explore the supporting materials, and participate in conversation with staff and volunteers without fear of ridicule or antagonism.

Though the viewpoints of those who do not accept the scientific explanation of human origins are not affirmed in the exhibition, the personal importance of their perspectives is appreciated. What the exhibition intends to create is an environment for an enriching and respectful dialogue on human origins that currently can be found in no other venue.

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Scientific theories change in the light of new discoveries. Why should we believe what science has to say today about human origins when it may change tomorrow? The perception that scientists completely change their mind with each new discovery is mistaken. Although this has occurred occasionally in the history of science, it is relatively rare. What is frequently missed is the broad consensus among scientists in a field, like that of human origins research, which provides the basis for seeking new discoveries.

As you enter the story of ongoing research, try to understand a variety of opinions. Do not articulate an opinion until you are ready. It is okay to say: Could you explain what you think? Scientific evidence can only provide inductive proofs of faith.

Science Faith and Religion

On the contrary, deductive proofs narrow from broad statements to conclusions; that is, they confirm. These are, in general, the proofs provided by philosophy and theology. One may argue metaphysically that past time is either finite or infinite. If it can be reasoned that infinite time is highly unlikely, then by default finite time is highly likely. Therefore, do not invoke science as any kind of absolute proof of a theological conclusion.

The Big Bang, fine-tuning in nature, design in living things, and order in the periodic table are all inductive proofs of the opening lines of the Christian Creed, but only in the same way rainbows, sunsets, and yellow Labrador puppies are proofs of God. Science should inspire awe and wonder because we see it as the study of Creation. God creates everything and holds all things visible and invisible in existence; He is the first cause, the Creator, not subject to secondary causes such as change and motion in the physical realm.

Physical scientists think within this strictly physical realm. It is not a foreign concept though. Just as bakers try to figure out how much oil to put in dough, chemists and physicists define isolated systems to the best of their abilities and control the variables, very rigorously. In his book Miracles , C. If a tomato sauce is invaded with basil, for example, nature rushes to accommodate the newcomer.

If the sauce is stirred, heated, or spread on a crust and topped with cheese, physical laws follow suit, and these physical laws are the same throughout the universe, all other things being the same. All other things are not the same, which is why we cannot fly to Mars and make pizza. If you like me prefer not to think of nature as a female serving up munchies, think of matter and energy as the physical medium in which we live. This medium, nature, accommodates the actions of our free will, which is why human life on this planet has rendered Earth vastly different than it would have been left to its own devices.

Beyond the realm of physical matter is the realm of beings with wills, such as angels, humans, and possibly other animals. These beings are movers too. God can move particles, and if it is outside the order of nature known to us, we call it a miracle ST I. Then there are angels. They can move matter too, possibly in ways we do not understand. And there is us. We are body and soul. With our free will, we can move matter in limited ways.

For instance, we can kick rocks, control anger, create symphonies, and build smart phones, but we cannot turn paper into gold, flap our arms and fly, live without food, or ungrow children. Actually, the scientific method is a perfect example of how body and soul unite. We take in data with our senses.

Science and Religion

We process it abstractly with our intellects. We desire to learn more, so we design experiments for further observation. Determinism is a philosophical idea that all events are determined by strict laws of nature, such that every motion of every particle is preset by an initial state of matter. If you scratch your arm, so the argument goes, you did it because that was the next event your matter and energy were destined to do.

If there were nothing except the created physical realm, like on Mars, strict physical determinism would apply. But as Christians we understand that the total system of reality includes both the natural and the supernatural. So while atheists are stuck with the problem of free will and how it would break the laws of physics to declare that they think they freely proclaim there is no free will, Christians have accepted the existence of the soul and moved on with life.

We understand that free will is a spiritual power, and we use our intellects to grow in the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance so that we may strive to reach our fullest potential as human persons. In fact, go further. Catholics should not frown when people say humans evolved from atoms and primates.

We should add that we evolved from the beginning. Atoms constitute the matter that makes us up, and every atom in our bodies came from the Earth, whose particles seem to have come from supernovas, whose matter and energy probably came from the earliest moments after the Big Bang. Did you ever wonder what path the ever-fluctuating particles of your body traversed in the last 4.