RELIGION / CHRISTIANITY versus SCIENCE – CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE – PRO & CON !

JUST A PEEK!  … FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER  YEARS OF TEDIOUS PREPARATION AND DELAYED PROMISED PUBLICATION – AN EXCERPT FROM ONE OF THE IMPORTANT FINAL CHAPTERS OF:

Harold L Carter, The Human Osyssey:  The AfOCrican Odyssey:  The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History:  From Prehistoric Times:  4.6 Billion Years Ago And The Eearliest Civilizations:  5000 Years Ago:  To the 21st Century (2014):

Chapter 38:  Religion and Science in American Society

Controversial Debate:  Pro and Con

Science versus Religion / Christianity – Is Religion Compatible With Science or Has Science Made Religion Obsolete?

  1. The Case for Science:

Books on the Controversial Debate:  Religion and Science

Origin of the Universe and Humankind – The Scientific Version:

  1. Camilo J. Cela-Conde and Francisco J. Ayala in Human Evolution:  Trails from the Past (Oxford University Press:  Oxford, NewYork), 2007, Chapter 1:  “Evolution, Genetics, and Systematics,” indicated:
  2. “All organisms are related by descent from cmmon ancestors Y and all plants and animals derive from bacteria-like micro-organisms that originated more than 3 billion years ago. … Biological evolution is a process of descent with modification.  The process consists of two components.  (1) Lineages of organisms change through the generations (anagenesis or phyletic evolution):  (2) Diversity arises because the lineages that descend from common ancestors diverge through time (cladogenesis or lineage splitting, the process by which new species arise).
  3.  Joseph Silk, A Short History of the Universe (Scientific American Library:  A Division of HPHLP:  New York), 1994

Joseph Silk, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of California, Berkeley and also the author of The Big Bang (Freeman, 1989) and co-author of The Left Hand of Creation (Oxford University Press, 1993),

[Commentaries on Professor Silk’s Book A Short History Of The Universe:

“A Short History of the Universe is a superb book that gives an entertaining and enlightening overview of modern cosmology.”

William J. Kaufmann, III, author of Universe and (with Larry L. Smarr), Supercomputing and the Transformation of Science

The book is an authoritative view of contemporary cosmology by a respected cosmologist and is a fine addition to the Scientific American Library.”

Jay M. Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College

“Joseph Silk is one of our generation’s most articulate scientists.  In A Short History of the Universe, he masterfully weaves the latest and most compelling features of our Big Bang world view into a grand tapestry.  The result is a wonderful synopsis of current cosmology.  The perspective is huge, the details rich and unassailable, the exposition clear and accessible.  I warmly recommend it to lay and professional Cosmologists alike.

Eric J. Chaisson, Director, Wright Center for Science Education and Professor of Physics, Tufts university

Professor Silk in the opening paragraph of the Prologue stated:

The universe began in a violent explosion that occurred about 15 billion years ago: this is the modern hypothesis that has replaced the myths of classical Greece and Rome, of ancient China and India.  We feel certain that our theories have more truth than the beliefs of our ancestors, yet are we so much smarter than they were?  Perhaps a thousand years in the future, the big bang theory will itself be regarded as a twentieth century myth. I am an optimist, however, who finds our current paradigm so compelling that I can only imagine it will eventually be subsumed into a greater theory, without losing it essential featuresThis conviction provides justification enough to describe the archaeology of the universe by probing fossil fluctuations in the distribution of matter on the one hand and fully formed galaxies on the other, the oldest stars and the largest structures, one can reconstruct almost the entire history of cosmic evolution.

“ … One of the perennial fascinatinations of the science of cosmology is that people, both lay cosmologist as well as the professionals, view it as having the potential to answer the ‘ultimate questions’ about our place in the universe, the creation and existence of the universe, and indeed the existence of God.  It is by no means coincidental that the big bang epic has excited the attention of theologians and philosophers as well as astronomers, mathematicians, and physicists.

“Some of these thinkers have viewed the theory as providing confirmation of religious views of creation.  The science historian and mathematical physicist E. T. Whitaker declared in 1942 that ‘when by purely scientific methods we trace the development of the material universe backwards in time, we arrive ultimately at a critical state of affairs beyond which the laws of nature, as we know them, cannot have operated:  a Creation in fact.  Physics and astronomy can lead us through the paths to the beginning of things, and show that there must have been a Creation.’  In 1951, Pope Pius XII, under the influence of Whitaker, went the additional step.  He averred in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that ‘thus with concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, it (science) has confirmed … the well-founded deduction as to the epoch some five billion years ago when the cosmos came forth from the hands of the Creator.  Hence, creation took place in time.  Therefore, there is a Creator.  Therefore, God exists!’  1-2

“On hearing these words, one can well imagine that the President of the Pontifical Academy, eminent cosmologist and cofounder of the big bang theory Abbe Georges Lemaitre, must have stirred uneasily.  To compare the primeval explosion from which the universe emerged to the miracle of creation must have seemed to leave him, a proponent of the Primeval Atom phase that preceded the big bang, on somewhat uncertain and heretical ground.  Lemaitre insisted that physics would suffice to describe the beginning of the universe:

  1.  Victor J. Stenger, Ph.D., is adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii.

“He is the autor of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, and many other books, including Quantum Gods, The Unconscious Quantum, Has Science Found God?, The Comprehensible Cosmos, Timeless Reality, Physics . Psychics, and The New Atheism.”   he Comprehensible Cosmos, Timeless Reality, The Unconscious Quantum, Physics and Psychics, Not by Design, and Has Science Found God? – and his book: God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist was endorsed by the following:

Richard Dawkins, author of the New York Times best seller The God Delusion;

Sam Harris, author of the New York Times best sellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation;

Mark Perakh, professor of physics emeritus, California State University, Fullerton, author of AUnintelligent Design;

Taneredis, associate professor of physics, Truman State University, author of The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science and Science and Nonbelief,

and Marcus Chown, author of The Quantum Zoo [Book Jacket]

Online at: http://www.templeton.org/belief and bigquestionstempleton.org

“Physicist Victor J. Stenger responded to the “laws of nature finely tuned” question in his book:  The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed For Us (Prometheus Books: Amherst, New York), 2011.

The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed For Us:

“In this much needed book physicist Victor Stenger isolates and then debunks the claims of two kinds of ‘quantum belief’ … With Stenger in charge … we are on sure ground.  He adds even more value by weaving a thorough beginner’s course in quantum physics into his debunking exercise. … Stenger is a pleasure to read.  And, pleasingly,the title … sounds just crockpot enough to attract those readers who will benefit most.”  – New Scientist

“Quantum Gods: Creation Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness” – “Victor Stenger … knows quantum theory as well as anybody and, unlike most of his colleagues, he’s willing to step outside the ivory tower and face those who misuse science. … The world has needed a book like this for a long time.  If you care about scientific literacy, Quantum Gods is not optional.”  – Geoff Gilpin author of The Maharishi Effect: A Personal Journey Through the Movement That Transformed American Spirituality

On the book jacket of The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed For Us appeared: “Praise for Recent Books by Victor J. Stenger”:

Among the comments on Victor J. Stenger’s New York Times bestseller, God: The Failed Hypothesis,” were the following:

“Faith is faith.  It is not science, and if it claims to be scientific in its evidence for God, then it is not good science, a thesis Stenger brilliantly develops in … God: The Failed Hypothesis.”  – The Quarterly Review of Biology

“Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit hole of physics.  The laws and constants of the universe, we were told, are too good to be true: a setup, carefully tuned to allow the eventual evolution of life.  It needed a good physicist to show us the fallacy, and Victor Stenger lucidly does so.  The faithful won’t change their minds, of

course (that is what faith means), but Victor Stenger drives a pack of energetic ferrets down the last major bolt hole and God is running out of refuges in which to hide.  I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book.”

– Richard Dawkins author of the New York Times best seller The God Delusion

“Marshaling converging arguments from physics, astronomy, biology, and philosophy, Stenger has delivered a masterful blow in defense of reason.  God: The Failed Hypothesis is a potrent, readable, and well-timed assault upon religious delusion.  It should be widely read.”  – Sam Harris author of the New York Times best sellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

  1. The Case for Religion:
  2. John Polkinghorne, former Physicist and Anglican Priest, author of Science and Providence, One World , and Science and Creation: The Search for Understanding (New Science Library: Shambhala: Boston), 1989, in Science and Creation: The Search for Understanding, indicated:
  3. “While it is true that cold intellectual thinking can never bring anyone into a warm personal relationship with God, it is also true that, while a subjective commitment to God may be satisfying to the self, it lacks credibility to others unless it can be shown that there are good reasons for the actual existence of the God to whom commitment has been given.”   [H. Montefiore, “The Probability of God,” SCM Press, 1985]:
  4. “Einstein once said, ‘Religion without science is blind.  Science without religion is lame.’  [A. Einstein, “E.T.:  Ideas and Opinions,” Souvenir Press, 1973, p. 55]  His instinct that they need each other was right, though I would not describe their separate shortcomings in quite the terms he chose.
  5. “Rather I would say, ‘Religion without science is confined; it fails to be completely open to reality.  Science without religion is incomplete; it fails to attain the deepest possible understanding.’  The remarkable insights that science affords us into the intelligible workings of the world cry out for an explanation more profound than that which it itself can provide.  Religion, if it is to take seriously its claim that the world is the creation of God, must be humble enough to learn from science what that world is actually like.  The dialogue between them can only be mutually enriching.
  6. “The scientist will find in theology a unifying principle more fundamental than the grandest unified field theory.  The theologian will encounter in science’s account of the pattern and structure of the physical world a reality which calls forth his admiration and wonder.  Together they can say with the psalmist:

‘O Lord how manifold are thy works!

In wisdom thou hast made them all.’  —  [Psalm 104: 24]

John Polkinghorne, is Dean and Chaplain of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, is a Fellow of the Royal Society and former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University.

  1. John F. Haught is Senior Fellow, Science and Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University and the author of fifteen books, including God After Darwin, The Promise of Nature, Theology in Global Perspective Series, Peter C. Phan, General Editor, Ignacio Ellacuria, and is a  Professor of Catholic Social Thought, at Georgetown University, in the Preface of Christianity and Science:  Toward a Theology of Nature (Orbis Books:  Maryknoll, New York), 2007, indicated:
  2. One of the most surprising scientific discoveries of the past century and a half is that the universe is an unfolding story.  The sense that the universe is still in the process of coming into being began to emerge faintly several hundred yeas ago when Tycho Brahe and Galileo Galilei produced visual evidence that the heavens are not changeless.  Today, however, developments in geology evolutionary biology,and cosmology have lefr no doubt: the whole of nature not just earth and human history has an essentially narrative character.  Before modern times the wider universe seemed to be the general context and container of local terrestrial stories, but not itself a story.  Now science has shown that our universe is still undergoing transformations that can best be represented inthe style of a drama.  Formerly the heavens seemed steady enough to frame all the stories unfolding on earth.  The firmament was a place of refuge to which worldlings could flee, at least in contemplation from the fatal flow of events here below.  But during the last century the heavens too were swallowed up by a story, one that now seems almost too big for the telling.  What is Christian theology going to make of this larger story?  The unfathomable reach of cosmic proceedings infinitely outstrips in time and space the brief span of human flourishing and the even more fleeting moments of Hebrew and Christian religious history.  Science has discovered a world that moves on a scale unimaginable to the prophets and evangelists.
  3. Is it possible that the universe has outgrown the biblical God who is said to be its Creator?  Many thoughtful people today have concluded that this is exactly what hashappened.  The very substance of Christian faith seems irreversiblyintertwined with the outworn imageryof an unoving planet nested in an unchanging cosmos.  Pictures of nature that had been fixed in the minds and feelings of people for centuries prior to the birth of science need to be redrawn.  But can this occur without a radical revision of faith and theology? [Footnote 1: Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, The History of Nature (Chicago University of Chicago Press, 1949) see also Stephen Toulmin and Jane Goodfield, The Discovery of Time (London: Hutchinson, 1965); Wolthhart Pannenberg, Toward a Theology of Nature: Essays on Science and Faith, ed. Ted Peters (Louisville: Westminister John Knox, 1993, 86-98.]
  4. “Can Christianity and its theological interpretations find a fresh foothold in the immense and mobile universe of contemporary science, or will science itself replace our inherited spiritualities altogether, as many now see happening?  The Jesuit geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin asks: ‘Is the Christ of the Gospels, imagined and loved within the dimensions of a Mediterranean world, capable of still embracing and still forming the centre of our prodigiously expanded universe?  Is it not the case that science has changed things too fast for Christianity and other faiths ever to catch up?  Isn’t it time for all people to wake up from their religious slumber and bind themselves to the more elegant creed of pure naturalism?  Isn’t nature itself now sufficiently immense to satisfy human theology as we venture forth into nature’s newly discovered depths?  Before beginning a response to these questions, let us first try to get a visual impression of the universe’s vast dimensions as science sees them today. … “

Comments on John F. Haught’s book and his response:

“John Haught cuts across established dialogues in religion and science by bringing attention to liberation from the desire to know.  He alerts us again to the immensely important contributions of Teilhard de Chardin in religion and cosmology.  And he serves that pessimistic fixation on skepticism so evident in existential materialism by pointing us towards hope in an unfinished universe of possibilities.  Unafraid of God-talk in the face of deep time, Haught provides us with one of the most promising intellectual visions in the Christian theological community.”

– John A. Grim, Yale University

“John Haught’s Christianity and Science provides a scholarly synthesis of the contemporary interface between theology and science, mounting a robust defense against the onslaught of anti-religious materialistic science.  A timely resource for all involved in the science vs. religion debate, with a number of valuable insights that will engage and inspire the non-academic reader.”  – Diarmuid O’Murchu, MSC, Evolutionary Faith

  1. Darrel R. Falk, (Syracuse Immanuel Church of the Nazarene, 1977-1984), Coming to Peace with Science:  Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology,” Foreword by Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (InterVarsity Press:  Downers Grove, Illinois), 2004

Robert Prichard, A Historyof the Episcopal Church, Revised Edition (Morehouse Publishing:  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), 1991, 1999,

Bart D. Ehrman,Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew (Oxford University Press:  Oxford, New York), 2003

Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Scriptures:  Books that Did Not Make It Into the New Testament (Oxford University Press:  Oxford, New York), 2003

Bart D. Ehrman, Did Jesus Exists?  The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Author of the New York Times Bestseller “Misquoting Jesus’ (Harper Collins Publishers: New York) 2012

The Lost Books of the Bible (Bell Publishing Company:  New York), 1926, 1979

The Forgotten Books of Eden, Edited by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., Assistant Editor J. Alden Brett (Bell Publishing Company:  New York), 1927, 1980, 1981″

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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