College of Arts and Sciences | Philosophical Reflections on Religion and Evolution
E103 | 7762 | & 7769 O’Connor


7762 9:05 AM - 9:55 AM TR
See the Schedule of Classes for discussion section times.
7769 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM TR
See the Schedule of Classes for discussion section times.

Part of Themester 2009 “Evolution, Diversity and Change”

This course will invite students to reflect philosophically on the
relationship between the accepted frameworks of biological and
cosmic evolution and monotheistic religious doctrines of creation,
fall, and survival of death. We will begin by considering the nature
of scientific evidence and theory confirmation and the relationship
of faith and reason. We will then discuss whether and how specific
religious claims are compatible with contemporary scientific
accounts of the origin of the universe and of living systems on
earth, including human beings. We will also look at recent
speculative theories concerning the evolutionary origin of religion,
and ask what, if anything, the truth of some such theory would mean
for the truth of any particular set of religious claims. Throughout,
students will be exposed to historical reactions of religious
thinkers to scientific theories and to the religious views of
scientists, past and present. The goal of the course is not to
persuade students of the correctness of any particular view on these
matters, but to equip them to make informed and critical judgments
of their own.