Science, Evolution, and Religion: A Debate About Atheism and Theism

ISBN : 9780199379378

Michael Peterson; Michael Ruse
288 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Comprehensive, up to date, and engaging, Science, Evolution, and Religion provides detailed coverage of the science-religion debate in contemporary culture and academia. The two authors, Michael Peterson and Michael Ruse, present theism and atheism, respectively, and argue for their positions. Peterson occasionally draws from Christian doctrine to supplement theism; Ruse often supplements his atheism with elements drawn from the larger context of philosophical naturalism. The result is a rich and respectful dialogure and debate on the nature of science, cosmic origins, biological origins, the anthropic principle, and the meaning of life, among other important subjects.


1. Autobiographical Reflections
Peterson: A Life Observed
Formative Experiences
Witnessing God Make a Comeback
Considering Intellectual Journeys to God
Engaging Science and Religion
Ruse: Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Early Years
Loss of Faith and Finding Darwin
2. Science
Ruse: Thinking about Science
What Is Science?
What Is Naturalism?
The Limits of Metaphor
Peterson: The Harmony of Science and Religion
Where the Conflict Really Lies
Does the Method of Science Support Naturalism?
Do the Laws of Science Disprove Miracles?
Theism as the Worldview Home of Science
3. Cosmic Origins
Peterson: A Theistic Understanding of the Universe
The Beginning According to Science
A Metaphysical Explanation of the Cosmos
The Fine-Tuned Universe
Naturalist Objections
Beauty, Elegance, Intelligibility
Ruse: In the Beginning
The Big Bang Theory
Religious Implications?
The Fundamental Question
Why Skepticism?
One God or Two?
4. Origin of Life
Ruse: It's All Purely Natural
Defining Life
A Natural Solution?
Where Do We Stand?
Peterson: There is Grandeur in This View of Life
The Biological and the Pre-Biological
Origin of Life Research
The Mystery of Life
God or Natural Process?
Theistic and Christian Belief
5. Darwin and Design
Peterson: A Wider Teleology
Darwin's Discovery
Natural Selection and Design
Understanding Evolution
Darwin's Gift
Teleology and Natural Theology
Ruse: Darwin Destroys Design
The Darwinian Theory of Evolution
The Problem of Final Causes
Does Darwinian Selection Refute Christianity?
So, What's the Answer?
6. Evolutionary Directionality
Ruse: No Direction to Evolution
Bottom-Line Demands
Does Evolution Go Anywhere?
Christian Escapes?
Is God Too Complex?
Peterson: The Trajectory of Evolution
How Did We Get Here From There?
Scientific and Meta-Scientific Questions
God and the World of Science
Creation, Providence, and Evolution
7. Mind and Rationality
Peterson: The Preeminence of Mind
Consciousness and Self-Consciousness
Neuroscience and the Metaphysics of Mind
Evolution and Human Uniqueness
Rationality and Evolution
Ruse: Humans According to Evolutionary Naturalism
Naturalism Defeated?
A Sensus Divinitatis?
8. Morality
Ruse: An Evolutionary Perspective on Ethics
The Moral Argument for God's Existence
Explaining Morality
Implications for the Science/Religion Interface
Christianity on Morality: Beyond Rescue?
Peterson: Morality and Personhood
A Darwinian Genealogy of Morals
A Moral Argument against Evolutionary Naturalism
Theism and Personal Dignity
A Theistic Genealogy of Morals
9. Evil and Suffering
Peterson: Theism, Atheism, and Evil
The Argument from Evil and Suffering
Science and Approaches to Theodicy
Theodicy for a Scientific Age
Evil and the Clash of Worldviews
Ruse: Darwinism and Evil
Does Darwinism Intensify the Problem?
Original Sin
Free Will
Natural Evil
10. Meaning and Purpose
Ruse: A Stark Picture Indeed
Where Are We?
Why Do We Believe?
Evolutionary Debunking?
Evolutionism as Religious Substitute
Peterson: The Deep Structure of the Universe
Science, Evolution, and the Search for Meaning
Naturalism and the Denial of Meaning
Theism and Meaning
Follow the Argument Wherever It Leads
Name Index
Subject Index


Michael Peterson is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has written or edited several books including Reason and Religious Belief, Fifth Edition (OUP 2012), and Philosophy of Religion, Fifth Edition (OUP 2015). He is also managing editor of Faith and Philosophy, and winner of Templeton grants in science/religion. Michael Ruse is Lucycle T. Werkmeister Professor and Director of History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. He is well known for his work on the relationship between science and religion and is founding editor of the journal Philosophy and Biology.