The course examines the relations between science and religion, the two main institutions that have shaped human civilization and continue to influence the way people think about the world. The course will be non-sectarian, neither theistic nor anti-theistic. Its main aim is to get a little clearer about some fascinating arguments and debates.
Some of the issues addressed in the course will be discussed at a conference, “Faith and Reason: Themes from Swinburne,” to be held at Purdue, this fall, 25-27 September 2014. Alvin Plantinga, one of the participants, will also be giving a public lecture, “Religion, Science and Naturalism: Where the Conflict Really Lies” on Thursday, 25 September 2014, Fowler Hall 2-3:30pm.
Further details on topics, figures, and texts are included below my signature.
Martin Curd (Department of Philosophy)
Topics include:- include the Copernican, Newtonian, and Darwinian revolutions (and what they tell us
about the complex ways in which science and religion interact)
- miracles, attempts to test the efficacy of prayer
- design arguments for theism (both traditional and fine-tuning arguments from modern
- explaining religion scientifically using evolutionary biology and psychology (and their
possible significance for the cognitive content of religion).
Figures include:David Hume, Stephen Jay Gould, Alvin Plantinga, Daniel Dennett, Ernan McMullin, David Wilson, Elliott Sober
Texts include:T. S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1957) 978-0674171039
G. Galilei, Galileo: Selected Writings, trans by W. R. Shea and M. Davie (Oxford University
Press, 2012) 978-0-19-958369-0
C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species, ed. by J. Carroll (Broadview Press, 2003) 1-55111-
M. Ruse, The Darwinian Revolution, 2nd ed. (University of Chicago Press, 1999) 0-226-
D. S. Wilson, Darwin’s Cathedral (University of Chicago Press, 2002) 978-0-226-90135-0
D. C. Dennett and A. Plantinga, Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? (Oxford
University Press, 2011) 978-0-19-973842-7
Plantinga, Where the Conflict Really Lies (Oxford University Press, 2011) 978-0-19-