Creation: Law and Probability

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More About This Textbook


In an older, mechanical view of the universe, the place of God was assumed to be fixed and sovereign. But, in the latest hundred years, newer notions of randomness, indeterminism, and probability have sidelined older notions of both the operational regularity of the universe and the deity who ruled it. Entering this fray, Fraser Watts leads a stellar cast of philosophers, scientists, and theologians in a state-of-the-art discussion of the relevance of contemporary scientific notions of lawfulness for vital matters in theology and philosophy.

The eleven illustrious contributors explore the relationship between law and probability within creation from a variety of disciplines-including history and philosophy, as well as theology and science-and in relation to a variety of different sciences, including cosmology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience, as well as in dialogue with different faith traditions.

From cosmology to neuroscience, Creation: Law and Probability offers a surprisingly coherent look at the new state of questions and paradigms at the nexus of religion and scientific inquiry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800662783
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Series: Theology and the Sciences Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

1 Concepts of Law and Probability in Theology and Science Fraser Watts Watts, Fraser 1

2 The Development of the Concept of Laws of Nature Peter Harrison Harrison, Peter 13

3 Contemporary Philosophical Concepts of Laws of Nature: The Quest for Broad Explanatory Consonance Philip Clayton Clayton, Philip 37

4 Multiverses and Ultimate Causation George F. R. Ellis Ellis, George F. R. 59

5 Laws of Physics, Principles of Self-Organization, and Natural Capacities: On Explaining a Self-Organizing World Niels Henrik Gregersen Gregersen, Niels Henrik 81

6 Chance and Evolution Michael Ruse Ruse, Michael 101

7 Neuroscience, Determinism, and Downward Causation: Defusing the Free-Will Problem Nancey Murphy Murphy, Nancey 123

8 God and Probability David J. Bartholomew Bartholomew, David J. 139

9 From Law and Chance in Nature to Ultimate Reality Wesley J. Wildman Wildman, Wesley J. 155

10 Creation, Law and Probability: A World Religions' Perspective John Bowker Bowker, John 181

Afterword: Some Further Reflections John Polkinghorne Polkinghorne, John 189

Index 193

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