Wilkins and Griffiths (2013) hold that the epistemic premise cansometimes be resisted: evolutionary processes do track truth, forinstance, in the case of commonsense beliefs and, by extension,scientific beliefs. However, they hold that this move does not workfor religious and moral beliefs, because such beliefs are assumed notto be the result of truth-tracking cognitive processes. Some authors(e.g., McCauley 2011) indeed think there is a large difference betweenthe cognitive processes involved in science and in religion, but moreempirical work has to be done on this front.
In recent decades, Church leaders have issued conciliatory publicstatements on evolutionary theory. Pope John Paul II (1996) affirmedevolutionary theory in his message to the Pontifical Academy ofSciences, but rejected it for the human soul, which he saw as theresult of a separate, special creation. The Church of England publiclyendorsed evolutionary theory (e.g., M. Brown 2008), including anapology to Charles Darwin for its initial rejection of his theory.
27/05/2010 · Science and Religion – Essay
While integration seems attractive (especially to theologians), it isdifficult to do justice to both the science and religion aspects of agiven domain, especially given their complexities. For example, PierreTeilhard de Chardin (1971), who was both knowledgeable inpaleoanthropology and theology, ended up with an unconventional viewof evolution as teleological (which brought him into trouble with thescientific establishment), and with an unorthodox theology (with anunconventional interpretation of original sin that brought him intotrouble with the Roman Catholic Church). Theological heterodoxy, byitself, is no reason to doubt a model, but it points to difficultiesfor the integration model in becoming successful in the broadercommunity of theologians and philosophers. Moreover, integration seemsskewed towards theism as Barbour described arguments based onscientific results that support (but do not demonstrate) theism, butfailed to discuss arguments based on scientific results that support(but do not demonstrate) the denial of theism.
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Natural philosophers, such as Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, RobertHooke, and Robert Boyle, sometimes appealed to supernatural agents intheir natural philosophy (which we now call “science”).Still, overall there was a tendency to favor naturalistic explanationsin natural philosophy. This preference for naturalistic causes mayhave been encouraged by past successes of naturalistic explanations,leading authors such as Paul Draper (2005) to argue that the successof methodological naturalism could be evidence for ontologicalnaturalism. Explicit methodological naturalism arose in thenineteenth century with the X-club, a lobby group for theprofessionalization of science founded in 1864 by Thomas Huxley andfriends, which aimed to promote a science that would be free fromreligious dogmas. The X-club may have been in part motivated by thedesire to remove competition by amateur-clergymen scientists in thefield of science, and thus to open up the field to full-timeprofessionals (Garwood 2008).
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We chose “faith” instead of “religion” because it felt like a more active and immersive word—more existential, less like a philosophical category. However dogged by doubt one’s faith may be, it is ultimately a verb as much as a noun—an ongoing (if fraught and daunting) act rather than something static and settled. And to the extent that faith sounds like a verb, it reverberates, so to speak, with the word art, reminding us of the importance of art as making, an ongoing creative act.