Author: Jerry A. Coyne
Release Date: 2015-05-19
The New York Times bestselling author explains why any attempt to make religion compatible with science is doomed to fail. What we read in the news today is full of subjectivity, half-truths, and blatant falsehoods; and thus it is more necessary now than ever to safeguard the truth with facts. In his provocative new book, evolutionary biologist Jerry A. Coyne aims to do exactly that in the arena of religion. In clear, dispassionate detail he explains why the toolkit of science, based on reason and empirical study, is reliable, while that of religion—including faith, dogma, and revelation—leads to incorrect, untestable, or conflicting conclusions. Coyne is responding to a national climate in which over half of Americans don’t believe in evolution (and congressmen deny global warming), and warns that religious prejudices and strictures in politics, education, medicine, and social policy are on the rise. Extending the bestselling works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, he demolishes the claims of religion to provide verifiable “truth” by subjecting those claims to the same tests we use to establish truth in science. Coyne irrefutably demonstrates the grave harm—to individuals and to our planet—in mistaking faith for fact in making the most important decisions about the world we live in.
This book is designed to share the research on the origins of the universe and the origins of life with those who are truly interested in making their decisions regarding origins as well as those who are simply curious about opposing views.
This book is about thought—not the basic thought that we use to determine what to eat or wear or buy—but the Free Thought we use to make personal choices about the higher things of life: faith or unbelief, justice, morality, and the development and use of our creativity. Free Thought can have any outcome, including unbelief or faith, which is defined here as personal belief and trust in God, not as a religious affiliation. Free Thought is founded on free will. Everyone is a unique combination of a material body-mind and a spiritual soul. Free Thought is the integrated and iterative processing of information from the material and spiritual realms, in one or more common nonmaterial formats, across a mind-soul interface. Through our Free Thought, God and the spiritual force for evil change us and we change the material realm. All truthful spiritual insights and truthful disclosures through mathematics and science come from God, and it is through faith and science that we approach one whole body of truth. Free Thought, Faith, and Science includes definitions of terms, summaries of the author’s beliefs and background, a literature review, and a questionnaire for readers. It’s a comprehensive and thought-provoking book that will contribute to bringing more believers and nonbelievers together in an expansion of the faith-science quest for truth.
Why do men's testicles hang outside the body? Why does our appendix sometimes explode and kill us? And who does the Designer like better, anyway--us or squid? These and other questions are addressed in The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not. Dr. Abby Hafer argues that the human body has many faulty design features that would never have been the choice of an intelligent creator. She also points out that there are other animals that got better body parts, which makes the Designer look a bit strange; discusses the history and politics of Intelligent Design and creationism; reveals animals that shouldn't exist according to Intelligent Design; and disposes of the idea of irreducible complexity. Her points are illustrated with pictures, wit, and erudition.
Author: Kenan B. Osborne
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2014-01-31
In the past one hundred years, two major realities have changed both science and religion. The world of science has been enriched by quantum physics, the computation of the age of the universe, archaeological data in the Middle East, and a scientific stress on historical writing. The world of religion has been enriched by the establishment of the World Council of Churches and the Second Vatican Council. In the past fifty years, major scientists and major religious leaders have met together again and again. In the past fifty years, religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have held a number of thought-provoking conferences. In this volume, these gatherings are reviewed and evaluated. Two major religious problems have challenged the science-religion discussions, namely, which God should the scientists agree on, the Trinitarian God, Allah, or Yahweh? Which history of the universe sponsored by these three religions should scientists be looking for? This volume raises questions and suggests some preliminary forms of serious discussion.
Author: R. Ford Denison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2012
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved. Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.
Author: Kent Blevins
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2014-03-10
Does reading the Bible sometimes leave you confused? Do you have difficulty seeing the relevance of the Bible to modern concerns or to important issues in your life? Do you believe Bible reading and intellectual inquiry are mutually exclusive? This book explores how the Bible can serve as a resource for discovering truth. It provides a method that accepts and incorporates the knowledge gained from modern scholarship while also recognizing that truth-discovery is a personal, multifaceted journey. It honors the integrity of Scripture while remaining open to insight from additional truth-sources. In exploring what we mean when we speak of the Bible's authority, it is honest about the challenges presented to modern readers by the cultural chasm separating the biblical writers from today's world. How to Read the Bible Without Losing Your Mind shows how the Bible can be read with full engagement of both mind and heart.
Science is not a danger to the faith of Christian youth. In fact, Sara Sybesma Tolsma, an award-winning scientist, and Jason Lief, a leading practical theologian, argue that youth ministry needs science to help young people explore their relationship to God and engage their world faithfully. Jesus Loves You and Evolution Is True invites the church and its leaders to open their minds and hearts to what science can tell us about our human lives and our connections to, and role in, our natural world. But it does not stop there: evolutionary science is theological, argues Lief and Tolsma, and so it must have a central place in the day-to-day work of youth ministry. If the church wants to help youth develop robust spiritual lives and prepare them for the challenges that life will bring them, pastors, faith leaders, and youth workers must not only engage science but embrace its lessons for the life and practice of Christian faith today.
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, arguably the most important book written in English in the nineteenth century, transformed the way we looked at the world. It is usually assumed that this is because the idea of evolution was so staggeringly powerful. Prize-winning author George Levine suggests that much of its influence was due, in fact, to its artistry; to the way it was written. Alive with metaphor, vivid descriptions, twists, hesitations, personal exclamations, and humour, the prose is imbued with the sorts of tensions, ambivalences, and feelings characteristic of great literature. Although it is certainly a work of "science," the Origin is equally a work of "literature," at home in the company of celebrated Victorian novels such as Middlemarch and Bleak House, books that give us a unique yet recognisable sense of what the world is really like, while not being literally 'true'. Darwin's enormous cultural success, Levine contends, depended as much on the construction of his argument and the nature of his language, as it did on the power of his ideas and his evidence. By challenging the dominant reading of his work, this impassioned and energetic book gives us a Darwin who is comic rather than tragic, ebullient rather than austere, and who takes delight in the wild and fluid entanglement of things.
The natural world around us is in crisis. We know it has a dynamic, evolutionary character. How might we understand this world in relationship to God? Partaking of God builds on the foundations of the dynamic trinitarian theology of Athanasius. It develops into a theology of the Word as the divine Attractor and the Spirit as the Energy of Love in evolutionary emergence. Then it explores God’s suffering with creatures, the humility of God in creation, church teaching on the human soul in relation to neuroscience, and grace and original sin in relationship to evolution. It culminates in a Christian theology of ecological conversion.
Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism—understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods'—in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.
Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-11-05
One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.