Points of Contact: Science, Religion, and the Search for Truth

Points of Contact: Science, Religion, and the Search for Truth

by Glenn Sauer


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As a scientist and Catholic, Glenn Sauer brings a unique perspective to several of the deeper issues connected to the sometimes opposing fields of science and religion. Drawing from the four-fold typology of Ian Barbour, the founder of the modern field of science and religion, the author introduces some of the ideas and common misconceptions regarding the interface of science and religion. He also incorporates the life and writings of Teilhard de Chardin as a model for integrating scientific knowledge and religious faith in one's life, and delves into the scientific evidence for the Big Bang and the multiverse, the origins of life, evolution, and the history of life leading to the emergence of humankind. Each of these areas is explored in terms of scientific evidence and theory as well as their religious implications.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626983731
Publisher: Orbis Books
Publication date: 06/01/2020
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Glenn Sauer is an endowed chair of biology and biochemistry and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, and he has published numerous articles in academic scientific journals. He is also a spiritual director in the university's Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Part I Foundations 1

1 Enemies or Friends? 3

Ian Barbour's Four Typologies of Science and Religion 5

Conflict 5

Independence 7

Dialogue 8

Integration 12

Christian Responses to Darwin 14

The Nature of Reality 19

2 Humility 26

Faith and Reason 31

Knowledge and Belief 33

Repetition and Revelation 37

Spirituality 40

Critical Realism 43

Paradigms 46

Hubris 51

Humility in Science and Religion 54

3 The Voice of God 57

Our Disciplinary Education 59

Shift toward Science 60

Beyond the Sciences 63

Teilhard de Chardin's Life of Science and Faith 67

Early Sparks of Interest 67

Mining the Secrets of Fossils 68

Teilhard the Theologian 70

A New Theology 72

Cosmic Significance of Human Evolution 73

The Inevitability of Consciousness? 77

Listening to the Voice of God 79

Part II Big Questions 85

4 Creation 87

Models of the Cosmos 88

Aristotle 88

Galileo 91

Isaac Newton 98

The Big Bang 100

Albert Einstein 101

Edwin Hubble 103

Georges Lemaître 103

Confirmation of the Big Bang 106

The Anthropic Principle 109

The Multiverse 111

The Theory of Everything 112

How Can We Be Sure? 115

Ultimate Explanations 117

5 Life 122

Stardust 123

There's No Place like Home 125

The Water of Life 127

The Vital Element 129

The Secret of Slime 130

Origins of Life 130

Thermodynamics 134

Forms of Life? 135

The Search for the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) 139

Life Energy 142

A Living Planet 143

Why Can't We lust Live Together? 145

Our Interconnected World 148

Is There Anybody Out There? 151

6 Evolution 158

Charles Darwin 157

The HMS Beagle 160

Natural Selection and Population 165

On the Origin of Species 167

Collateral Damage 170

Darwinism Gone Wrong 174

Creationism and Its Descendants 177

The Scopes Trial 177

Laws and Specific Types of Creationism 179

Intelligent Design 180

Lasting Effects on Science Education 185

Wonderful Life 186

These Old Bones 192

7 Humans 196

The Secrets of Inheritance 198

Biology Grows Up 201

Let's Go for a Walk 204

Apocalypse and Opportunity 207

Theodicy 209

And the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth 211

Human Evolution 214

Body 216

Mind 222

Spirit 226

Becoming Human 229

Index 233

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