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VOL. XV, NO. 16
6/10/97 - SEE YOU
IN SEPTEMBER
STILL FREE

Inside:
Editorial
Life Forms
Letters to the Editor
Community Calendar
Open Pit Mining
Doonesbury
Where is My Teacher?
Modern Composer
Gary James Interview
Events, Etc.
Book Review
The Great Blue Turaco
Mobile Then & Now
Graduation Story
Clark Powell

The Future in the Relationship Between Religion and Science:

How Can They Get Along?

by Ed. M. Bunnell

I want to begin the discussion by thinking about the question that Walter Darring asked in a letter to The Harbinger, and that question was this: Why is there conflict between science and western religions, that is Christianity, Judaism and Islam, but there is little conflict between science and eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism? In order to answer that question, we must understand what the early church was like, and here I will be addressing primarily the relationship between Christianity and Science. (...Full Story)


The Basis of Morality:
Scientific Vs. Religious Explanations

by Timothy J. Madigan

Editor, Free Inquiry

"A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones. . . . If he acts for the good of others, he will receive the approbation of his fellow men and gain the love of those with whom he lives."

- Charles Darwin[1]

The above quote, taken from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, addresses a central issue in the ongoing debate between science and religion: How does one best understand the origins of human morality? There is still a popular assumption that religion and morality are synonymous. This is not surprising, since almost everyone is raised within some type of religious community, which teaches various rules for how to act, and sanctions these rules by claiming they were created by a deity. This so-called "Divine Command Theory" of morality has had many prominent defenders. And yet, it is by no means self- evident that our sense of right and wrong, and the codes of behavior we are expected to follow, come from a supernatural source. The following analysis will criticize the claim that morality comes from and is sanctioned by a deity or deities, and will present a naturalistic alternative view regarding the origins of our moral sense. (...Full Story)


ACHE Adopts Plan to Trim Higher Education

by Edmund Tsang

The commissioners of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) met on June 5 and voted to adopt all the recommendations of its staff to begin implementing the state legislation, Act 96-557, to reduce the number of academic programs in the state's institutions of higher education, which many critics of higher learning in Alabama, including Gov. Fob James, call "unnecessary and wasteful duplication."

The recommendations adopted by ACHE include a process for carrying out the review to identify "viable" from "non-viable" programs, the criteria for petitioning a waiver, and the process for phasing out the non-viable programs. As part of that plan, ACHE will publish in August, 1997 a report to identify the academic programs that meet the "viability standards" established by Legislative Act 96-557 and those that do not. (...Full Story)


SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER

When The Harbinger started out 14 years ago, the paper took summers off so the editors could concentrate on their research and scholarly activities.

The Harbinger is taking the Summer of 1997 off for the same reason. To our readers and loyal supporters: "See you in September."


The Harbinger, Mobile, AL