Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ian Barbour - When Science Meets Religion

This is arguably one of the best books on Science and Religion for some time. Barbour is a deserving winner of the Templeton Award and I found his four facet model dealing with the relationship between these two avenues of human thought to be very useful

In summary Barbour sees the two mechanisms through the eyes of four different models

Conflict: Where they butt heads eg. - Scientific Materialism vs Biblical Literalism
Independence: Where they ignore one another - Separate Domains and Different Languages and Functions
Dialogue: Interaction in the area of Limit-Questions. Parallels and Common Methodologies
Integration: Incorporating the two dynamics together within the framework of Natural Theology, Theology of Nature or Barbour's favourite Systematic Synthesis.

I myself tend to agree with the Dialogue approach although a part of me yearns for a realistic Integration.

Barbour analyzes these models in the areas of Astronomy and Creation, Quantum Physics, Evolution and Continuing Creation, Neuroscience and Human Nature and finally God and Nature.

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