History and Philosophy Of Science | Debating Science and Religion Today
X100 | 18029 | Larry Glass

Larry Glass
Debating Science and Religion Today

Debates about the proper relationship of science and religion are as
active now as they have ever been. In the middle of the last century
pundits believed that science was in ascendancy and religion in
decline, that we would see the end of religion with the end of the
twentieth century. We need only open today's newspaper to see how
wrong the pundits were. Old issues (evolution) and new (cloning)
make debates between science and religion as lively today as they
were one hundred years ago.  How should we think about the
relationship between science and religion? Should one determine the
role of the other? Who gets to decide the boundaries? What are the
terms on which dialogue or debate proceed? What is really at stake?
These are the questions that we will formulate in this class. We
will look at how different thinkers are approaching the questions
and the issues that underlie them.

The goal of the course is to develop a vocabulary for talking about
the relationship between science and religion, and to gain
experience in using that vocabulary. Students are expected to
approach the topic with an open mind and a willingness to critique
their own positions.