Read Clayton’s Religion and Science – Chapter 2.Compose your reflection essay (minimum of 400 words) and post it on the discussion board.
Your reflection essay should respond to one of the following sets of discussion questions:
- Think of the categories in Barbour’s (or Haught’s) typology. Which of the four categories do you think most accurately describes the relationship between science and religion, and what reservations do you have about the other three? Can you come up with a fifth category that you think better describes the relationship?
- The author claims that the well-known skeptic Michael Shermer can be of service to theologians by helping them to formulate their faith in stronger ways. This might seem like a rather strange claim, since Shermer is an agnostic about the existence of God. So is the author right? In the end, what is the role of skepticism in religion? In science? Are skeptics more helpful in the one than the other?
- The famous biologist Francis Collins maintains that one can be a biologist and a believing Christian at the same time. Take a careful look at his quotations and the summaries of his position. Which parts of his argument do you think are successful and which not? Theistic evolution is widespread across multiple religions, and many believe that it may be the only way to reconcile God and evolution. Is it the best strategy for accomplishing this reconciliation, or can you think of others? And (to name the most controversial part) can science and miracles ever be reconciled?
- The chapter ends by considering forms of naturalism that are not anti-religious, focusing in particular on Neil deGrasse Tyson. Try to specify more clearly what the word ‘naturalism’ might mean in this new context. Can religious people find allies in these naturalists who are no longer dismissive of religion? If so, what does this tell you about their understanding of religion?