The Creation of the Universe (Dover Science Books)

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Pandas makes no reference to a flood or worldwide geological catastrophe. Pandas never takes the viewpoint that life or the earth were created recently, and at various points incorporates a conventional geological time scale. Pandas makes no references to Genesis or Christian religious doctrines. While the textbook does question, on scientific grounds, the ability of mutation and selection to account for the complexity of life and at other points questions common ancestry of all living organisms, these views in themselves do not constitute a religious viewpoint and indeed are advocated by a number of scientists in mainstream scientific literature.

It is puzzling, to say the least, that Plaintiffs should rely upon early drafts of Pandas, in light of the burden on Plaintiffs to show that either of the first two prongs of the Lemon test have been violated. Perhaps plaintiffs recognized that what is presented in the book actually adopted by the school board does not support their claim of unconstitutionality—and so they shift attention to an earlier unused version.

But the earlier version was never adopted by the school board and will never be seen by students. Amicus thus urges that only the published version of Pandas is germane, and that previous drafts be ignored. Assuming, ad arguendo, that the Court looks to previous drafts of Pandas to interpret its meaning, however, Amicus urges the Court to draw precisely the opposite conclusions from those advanced by Plaintiffs. Finally, this same form of reasoning is normative among scholars of constitutional law, who refer to language rejected from drafts of constitutional amendments in order to determine what was not the intent of the Framers.

Miller was quick to point out that later versions of his textbooks removed such anti-religious statements. Miller actually published? As noted earlier, from the beginning Pandas specifically rejected the view that science could detect whether the intelligent cause identified was supernatural.

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One is the supernatural, and so to teach it in science classes would be out of place. If this case were being argued in , Pandas might be more dispositive as an authoritative guide to the theory of intelligent design.

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But there is now more than 15 years of scholarship by scientists and philosophers of science who think there are empirical means to detect design in nature. Pandas predates most of the major works of the contemporary design movement in science, including monographs by Cambridge University Press, and technical articles in peer-reviewed science and philosophy of science journals. The primary guide to the beliefs and views of intelligent design scholars today should be this record of scholarly and scientific and technical articles, not a supplementary high school textbook written more than a decade-and-a-half ago.

Skip to content Note: This is the third part of a multi-part series. Likewise, Jagadish Chandra Bose — , a theoretical physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist, and archaeologist, who worked on radio waves, saw the Hindu idea of unity reflected in the study of nature. He started the Bose institute in Kolkata in , the earliest interdisciplinary scientific institute in India Subbarayappa Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealth of topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, and consciousness.

Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning, in particular design arguments based on it e. Collins , the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance of the Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson have explored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possible multiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generated substantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action and the closely related topic of creation , and human origins.

Before scientists developed their views on cosmology and origins of the world, Western cultures already had an elaborate doctrine of creation, based on Biblical texts e. This doctrine of creation has the following interrelated features: first, God created the world ex nihilo, i. Differently put, God did not need any pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e.

Rather, God created the world freely. Third, the doctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good this is repeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1.

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The world does contain evil, but God does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does not merely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role in it, using special divine actions e. Fourth, God made provisions for the end of the world, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicating evil. Related to the doctrine of creation are views on divine action.

Theologians commonly draw a distinction between general and special divine action. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of these two concepts in the fields of theology or science and religion.

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One way to distinguish them Wildman is to regard general divine action as the creation and sustenance of reality, and special divine action as the collection of specific providential acts, often at particular times and places, such as miracles and revelations to prophets. Drawing this distinction allows for creatures to be autonomous and indicates that God does not micromanage every detail of creation.

Still, the distinction is not always clear-cut, as some phenomena are difficult to classify as either general or special divine action. Alston makes a related distinction between direct and indirect divine acts. God brings about direct acts without the use of natural causes, whereas indirect acts are achieved through natural causes. Using this distinction, there are four possible kinds of actions that God could do: God could not act in the world at all, God could act only directly, God could act only indirectly, or God could act both directly and indirectly.

In the science and religion literature, there are two central questions on creation and divine action. To what extent are the Christian doctrine of creation and traditional views of divine action compatible with science?

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How can these concepts be understood within a scientific context, e. Note that the doctrine of creation says nothing about the age of the Earth, nor that it specifies a mode of creation. This allows for a wide range of possible views within science and religion, of which Young Earth Creationism is but one that is consistent with scripture. The theory seems to support creatio ex nihilo as it specifies that the universe originated from an extremely hot and dense state around The net result of scientific findings since the seventeenth century has been that God was increasingly pushed into the margins.

This encroachment of science on the territory of religion happened in two ways: first, scientific findings—in particular from geology and evolutionary theory—challenged and replaced biblical accounts of creation. While the doctrine of creation does not contain details of the mode and timing of creation, the Bible was regarded as authoritative. Second, the emerging concept of scientific laws in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century physics seemed to leave no room for special divine action. These two challenges will be discussed below, along with proposed solutions in the contemporary science and religion literature.

Christian authors have traditionally used the Bible as a source of historical information. Biblical exegesis of the creation narratives, especially Genesis 1 and 2 and some other scattered passages, such as in the Book of Job , remains fraught with difficulties.

Are these texts to be interpreted in a historical, metaphorical, or poetic fashion, and what are we to make of the fact that the order of creation differs between these accounts Harris ? Although such literalist interpretations of the Biblical creation narratives were not uncommon, and are still used by Young Earth creationists today, theologians before Ussher already offered alternative, non-literalist readings of the biblical materials e.

From the seventeenth century onward, the Christian doctrine of creation came under pressure from geology, with findings suggesting that the Earth was significantly older than BCE. From the eighteenth century on, natural philosophers, such as de Maillet, Lamarck, Chambers, and Darwin, proposed transmutationist what would now be called evolutionary theories, which seem incompatible with scriptural interpretations of the special creation of species.

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Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett have outlined a divine action spectrum to clarify the distinct positions about creation and divine action in the contemporary science and religion literature. They discern two dimensions in this spectrum: the degree of divine action in the natural world, and the form of causal explanations that relate divine action to natural processes. At one extreme are creationists.

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  • Like other theists, they believe God has created the world and its fundamental laws, and that God occasionally performs special divine actions miracles that intervene in the fabric of laws. Creationists deny any role of natural selection in the origin of species. Within creationism, there are Old and Young Earth creationism, with the former accepting geology and rejecting evolutionary biology, and the latter rejecting both.

    Next to creationism is Intelligent Design, which affirms divine intervention in natural processes. Intelligent Design creationists e.

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    Like other creationists, they deny a significant role for natural selection in shaping organic complexity and they affirm an interventionist account of divine action. For political reasons they do not label their intelligent designer as God, as they hope to circumvent the constitutional separation of church and state in the US which prohibits teaching religious doctrines in public schools Forrest and Gross Theistic evolutionists hold a non-interventionist approach to divine action: God creates indirectly, through the laws of nature e. For example, the theologian John Haught regards divine providence as self-giving love, and natural selection and other natural processes as manifestations of this love, as they foster autonomy and independence.

    While theistic evolutionists allow for special divine action, particularly the miracle of the Incarnation in Christ e. Deism is still a long distance from ontological materialism, the idea that the material world is all there is. Views on divine action were influenced by developments in physics and their philosophical interpretation.