History And Philosophy Of Science | X320 Science and Religion
X320 | 2716 | Dickson

X320 Science and Religion
Time and Day: 9:30a-10:45a TR
Place: BH244
Section: 2716
Michael Dickson
Are science and religion compatible?  Do the claims of science give us reason to doubt the
beliefs of traditional religion?  Does traditional religion give us reason to doubt the claims of
science?  And what exactly *are* the claims of science?  Of religion?
In this class, we will examine these questions from both a historical and a contemporary
viewpoint.  We will begin by looking at how thinkers in earlier times viewed the relationship
between religion and science (‘the investigation of the physical world'), considering, for
example, the Greeks, the Babylonians, the Church Fathers, and the contributors to the Scientific
Revolution (Newton, Galileo, Descartes, among others).  Then we will turn to more
contemporary figures, including Darwin, Freud, and Einstein.  We will be interested in these
thinkers not merely for historical reasons, but also as a guide for our *own* thinking about the
relationship between religion and science.
Format for the class will be lecture and discussion.  There will be several short (1-3 page) papers,
and a final exam.