This course examines the nature of both science and religion and attempts to explore the possible relationships between them. The primary purpose is to dispel the popular myth that science and religion are entrenched in a never-ending conflict. As a result, this course argues that if the limits of both science and religion are respected, then their relationship can be complementary.
Topics include: Science and Religion Categories and Foundational Principles, Definitions of Science and Religion, Science-Religion Models and Relationships, Intelligent Design and Natural Revelation, the Galileo Affair, Geology and Noah’s Flood, Evolution and Darwin’s Religious Beliefs, the Modern “Evolution” vs. “Creation” Debate, the Problem of Evil, and Interpretations of the Biblical Accounts of Origins in Genesis 1-11.
The course employs a Constructive Teaching Style in order that students can develop their personal views on the relationship between science and religion and on each of the topics listed above.
St. Joseph's College is a Catholic, undergraduate, liberal arts college on the University of Alberta campus. It is an independent institution that is affiliated with the University of Alberta.
From the lesson
Evolution & Darwin’s Religious Beliefs
This week we deal with the fascinating topic of the religious beliefs of Charles Darwin. To be sure, the theory of biological evolution has significant implications for religion. Evidence is drawn from Darwin’s notebooks, diaries, letters, and books, including his most famous book outlining the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species (1859). To the surprise of most people, the belief in Intelligent Design was a concept that consumed Darwin throughout his life. In addition, we will also discover that only a few years before his death, he firmly stated, “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man [or woman] may be an ardent theist & an evolutionist.” In other words, Charles Darwin thought it was perfectly logical to be both a religious person and also one who accepts biological evolution. Finally, this section considers the well-known proclamation of Richard Dawkins that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”