Thursday, September 18, 2014

A great course on science and religion

The Great Courses [also known as The Teaching Company] select the best university courses from the USA and make (and sell) videos/CDs of the lectures.

I just bought the course Science and Religion given by Lawrence Principe, a Professor of History of Science, Medicine and Technology and a Professor of Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University. It is currently on special, at a much reduced price.

I highly recommend it. The 12 lectures focus mostly on the historical interactions of science with theology, but makes connections to issues of the present day.

Some of the points made in the first lecture include:

to early scientists such as Kepler, the distinction between science and religion was not clear

both science and religion involve faith

the conflict thesis is not supported by historians and should be replaced with a complexity thesis

rather than reading into the past our current notions and prejudices we should look to the past for fresh ideas about how we face issues today.

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