A series of programs to explore what is religion and what is science; the contributions that religion and science have made and continue to make to society; the ethical challenges posed by advances in science and technology; if religion and science can co-exist in an intellectually supportive and nurturing environment; and if so, how each can help humankind understand and use science and technology wisely.
Sponsored by The Harbinger
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship-Mobile
Sigma Xi-University of South Alabama
Philosophy Club-Spring Hill College
Funding for this series is provided by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In recent years there has been much concern about the degree of scientific illiteracy in society. One problem is the inability of people to distinguish between science and religion; fact and faith. Emphasis will be placed on the underlying premises of science and religion; their similarities and differences and the nature of evidence and how it is obtained.
The tension between religion and science will be reviewed from a historical perspective, using Galileo, Darwin, and modern events as examples. The case of Sir Issac Newton illustrates a way that religion and science can co-exist and cooperate in addressing human endeavors.
It has been generally taken for granted that ethical systems must be based upon devine commandments and/or a system of eternal rewards and punishments. However, many people argue strongly for an evolutionary understanding of the origins of human morality. Mr. Madigan will emphasize the non-religious bases of ethics and morality and their implications for understanding the human condition.
Soon science will know all of the genetic information in a human being. What does that mean? What will be the impact of this knowledge to the future of humankind?
Since the writings of Darwin, the entrenched beliefs and ideas of the human being in nature have been seriously challenged by advances in knowledge. Dr. Birx will focus his discussion on the changes of the religious concepts of humankind in light of recent discoveries in anthropology.
Dr. Fox will review the scientific discussions on evolution which he made before the Pope and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on three separate occasions. He will talk about the laboratory creation of living cells from non-living materials and their unique evolutionary significance in explaining natural genesis.
The pages of history have been filled with reports of conflict, even open hostility, between the advocates of religion and of science: between faith and reason. What does the future hold? Will these conflicts disappear, abate, or exacerbate? Or, will these differing world views learn to live together cooperatively as our scientifically and technologically oriented society moves into the 21st century?
Outside links to this page