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In Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science, Michael Ruse offers a new analysis of the often troubled relationship between science and religion. Arguing against both extremes – in one corner, the New Atheists; in the other, the Creationists and their offspring the Intelligent Designers – he asserts that science is undoubtedly the highest and most fruitful source of human inquiry. Yet, by its very nature and its deep reliance on metaphor, science restricts itself and is unable to answer basic, significant, and potent questions about the meaning of the universe and humankind’s place within it: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate source and foundation of morality? What is the nature of consciousness? What is the meaning of it all? Ruse shows that one can legitimately be a skeptic about all of these questions, and yet why it is open for a Christian, or member of any faith, to offer answers. Scientists, he concludes, should be proud of their achievements but modest about their scope. Christians should be confident of their mission but respectful of the successes of science.Read more
- A major analysis of the science-religion relationship, now available in paperback, based on the deeply metaphorical nature of science, showing that for all its success, science is necessarily limited in its scope and that hence there can be full place for Christian beliefs and practices
- Incredibly timely, given on the one hand the great success and publicity of the so-called New Atheists (prominently Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion) and on the other hand the strong support (particularly in the USA) of various fundamentalist movements, most recently so-called Intelligent Design Theorists
- Michael Ruse is a very well-known figure who has been at the forefront of the science-religion debate for over 30 years
Reviews & endorsements
"… Ruse, a professor at Florida State University, is a skeptic who believes that the "central core claims [of Christianity] by their very nature go beyond the reach of science". He takes the reader through a thorough labyrinth of philosophers from Plato, John Henry Newman, and Reinhold Niebuhr in an attempt to show humans as a product of the environment …"
Publishers WeeklySee more reviews
"Ruse's book is one that tries to examine the issue from several points of view, from the matters that can be explained by science to those that cannot … Ruse does a good job of striking what feels like a proper balance that leaves the reader to come to his own conclusion."
"… The value and pleasure of Science and Spirituality for the lay reader is in embarking upon a fast - moving journey from the Ancient Greeks to the present while wrestling with our metaphysical Godzilla, to choose a name that invokes both divinity and the primitive lizard brain that continues to issue so many of our marching orders … Ruse offers an accessible distillation of the most pertinent great western thinkers and their great thoughts …"
Literary Review of Canada
"… The first half of this book is an episodic survey of the role of various metaphors (mechanism, organism) in the history of science through the 20th century. Readers familiar with this story - or comfortable with the idea of "metaphor" in science - can profitably start with the second half and capture the full thrust of the argument … this book does extend Ruse's argument and bring it up to date … Recommended …"
"… lays a broad foundation for understanding the debate between science and religion … Those investigating philosophies regarding morals, conscience or purpose of life will benefit from information [he] provides … Ruse does impressive work presenting others' beliefs, information and discoveries with little personal bias … a good overview of the evolution of scientists' philosophies …"
"Michael Ruse is considered one of the most prolific and influential authors in the study of the philosophical, religious and cultural impact of scientific theories. He is particularly well known for his studies on Darwin and evolution theory. They have had large diffusion among both specialists and the general public, and constitute a landmark on how to deal with the relationship between science and other human dimensions … Before this book, Ruse had never attempted to give any general insights on the relationship between science and religion. Science and Spirituality serves to cover this gap, offering a broad consideration of how to reconcile religion and science. He does not, however, lose the sharp and direct approach that has always characterized his work."
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- Date Published: March 2010
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521755948
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.51kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. The world as an organism
2. The world as a machine
3. Organisms as machines
4. Thinking machines
5. Unasked questions, unsolved problems
8. Morality, souls, eternity, mystery
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