Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?

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One of today's most controversial and heated issues is whether or not the conflict between science and religion can be reconciled. In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?, renowned philosophers Daniel C. Dennett and Alvin Plantinga expand upon the arguments that they presented in an exciting live debate held at the 2009 American Philosophical Association Central Division conference.

An enlightening discussion that will motivate students to think critically, Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? opens with Plantinga's assertion that Christianity is compatible with evolutionary theory because Christians believe that God created the living world, and it is entirely possible that God did so by using a process of evolution. Dennett vigorously rejects this argument, provoking a reply from Plantinga, another response from Dennett, and final statements from both sides. As philosophers, the authors possess expert skills in critical analysis; their arguments provide a model of dialogue between those who strongly disagree. Ideal for courses in philosophy of religion, science and religion, and philosophy of science, Science and Religion is also captivating reading for general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Given the stature of its two protagonists, this book will become something of an instant classic, occupying a unique and special place in the literature on this topic, and enjoying wide and long-lasting readership and usefulness as a supplementary text."—Gary Rosenkrantz, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"This engaging little book treats key issues of chance and design in the science-religion dialogue. It would be appropriate for courses in the philosophy of religion, religion and culture, and science and religion. I would be highly likely to adopt the book in my philosophy of science course because it is brief, clear, and to the point."—Michael L. Peterson, Asbury College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199738427
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2010
  • Series: POINT/COUNTER Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 366,944
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel C. Dennett is the Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, University Professor, and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is the author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006) and Freedom Evolves (2003).

Alvin Plantinga is John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality (OUP, 2003) and Warranted Christian Belief (OUP, 2000).

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Table of Contents

Foreword James P. Sterba vii

Chapter 1 Science and Religion: Where the Conflict Really Lies Alvin Plantinga 1

Chapter 2 Truths that Miss their Mark: Naturalism Unscathed Daniel C. Dennett 25

Chapter 3 Superman vs. God? Alvin Plantinga 39

Chapter 4 Habits of Imagination and their Effect on Incredulity: Reply to Plantinga (Essay 2) Daniel C. Dennett 45

Chapter 5 Naturalism Against Science Alvin Plantinga 57

Chapter 6 No Miracles Needed Daniel C. Dennett 73

Index 79

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Short Airplane Read The book is inspired by a real encounter be

    Short Airplane Read

    The book is inspired by a real encounter between the two thinkers held at the American Philosophical Association (APA) Central Division Meeting in Chicago back in 2009. In an effort to outsmart each other, Alvin Plantinga and Daniel C. Dennett provide us with impressive reasons for believing in their respective positions, Plantinga defending the side of theistic religion and Dennett the side of science. Whether their reasons are indeed objective and rational is for the reader to judge. However, the title of the book is perhaps slightly misleading. The question actually dealt with in this book is whether contemporary evolutionary biology and theistic religion are mutually incompatible.

    I think the two are highly competent philosophers. Plantinga's work on modal logic is extremely well known, though his opinions are often controversial and I don't think most philosophers share them (surveys actually show that most philosophers are atheists, while Plantinga is a kind of champion of Christian philosophy). Dennett is well known for his work in philosophy of mind, evolution, and more recently, his work on atheism. It was actually the fact that both are heavy weights that made the book really exciting to get and to read. In this debate, audiences might be convinced one way or other depending on the makeup of their background beliefs.

    This book adds a valuable debate to the contemporary dialogue to the philosophy religion. Would I receommend it? Surely, as I would Reasoned Faith: Essays in Philosophical Theology in Honor of Norman Kretzmann.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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