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A Conflict Between Science and Religion

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Barbour explains that what appears to be a conflict between science and religion is really a conflict between a scientific philosophy (Scientific Materialism) and a particular understanding of religion (Biblical Literalism). He goes on to claim that this conflict can be resolved by understanding religion and science as Independent, or by developing a thoroughgoing Integration of the two. Explain why Barbour believes that we have to abandon both Biblical (and Qur'anic) Literalism and Scientific Materialism and one of the solutions he suggests. (Due: Monday, 1/30, 9:00 AM. Late entries will not be accepted.)

In the area of creation theories, Biblical/Quaranic Literalism and Scientific Materialism represent extreme ideologies in each field. Scientific Materialism claims that it is the only reliable path to knowledge (p7). However, that is with the presumption that all knowledge that can be obtained is quantifiable by some form of measure. It fails to address how we obtain knowledge about what makes one feel fulfilled, how to obtain peace; it fails incorporate other subjective areas such as aesthetic beauty. The second claim of science, that matter is the fundamental reality in the universe (p7), also fails to consider the aforementioned things that don't have a tangible form. Biblical Literalism cannot stand up to scientific scrutiny because it lacks sufficient measurable data. In areas where content falls short, or fails to hold up to a scientific standard, believers interject God's providence and sovereignty to compensate for any shortage. This immediately comes under attack from the scientific community who has reached a consensus on whether or not there actually is a God. Even areas scientists who acknowledge evidence of an "intelligent design" within nature, have not all embraced the idea that such evidence clearly points to the God of any specific faith/religion.

In order for there to avoid or resolve conflict between science and religion, Barbour advises that the extreme views of Scientific Materialism and Biblical Literalism must be avoided. He suggests that the two areas of science and religion can be integrated successfully if the most extreme arguments of each are avoided. Two suggestions for successful integration are natural theology and theology of nature. In natural theology, proponents assert that nature or creation itself provides testimony of a creator; a creator whose methods are further revealed through scientific inquiry and discovery. The theology of nature is similar, but seeks to redefine some theological doctrines based on proven scientific theories and new discoveries. Barbour aligns himself with the position of "theology of nature, coupled with a cautious use of process philosophy (p29)." He believes that strict adherence to scientific codes belittle tenants of faith regarding the redemption and sanctification processes. However, having



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