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Science and Religion

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Scott Crothers

on 23 October 2018

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Transcript of Science and Religion

An Example: The Galileo Affair
The Puzzle
P1: Sometimes my religious text (authority) conflicts with our best scientific understanding.

P2: My religious text (authority) is never wrong.
C: Therefore, when my religion and science conflict, science is wrong.
Solution #2: Reject Premise 2
Galileo: "The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go."

Thus, we could claim that religion is authoritative on matters of morality and salvation.

On other matters, our religious authority might be wrong because it is not a proper authority.

Compare, Stephen Jay Gould's "Non-Overlapping Magisteria"
Solution #1: Accept the Conclusion
We could accept that religious authority is always to be preferred over scientific authority.

We could do so by creating alternate science, for example, so-called "creation science."
Science and Religion
Intro to Philosophy
Dr. Scott Crothers

Galileo Galilei was an important physicist and astronomer.

In 1632, he published "Dialogues on the Two Chief World Systems" which presented a debate between the geocentric (Ptolemeic) model of the solar system and the heliocentric (Copernican) model.

The Catholic Church was committed to the geocentric model of the solar system for scriptural and metaphysical reasons.

This led to Galileo's being called to trial in 1633.

He was ultimately convicted of heresy.
Solution #3: Reject Premise 1
We could claim that our religious text never conflicts with science because scientific claims in our religious texts are not meant to be understood literally.
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