Page 6. These are the materials for a course titled "Religion & Scientific Naturalism" which I taught at the Montview Blvd Presbyterian Church, Denver, Colorado, on five Sunday mornings, January 5 to February 2, 2003. The class size was 25 to 30 people. Last updated on
Week 1:

Overview -- mid life crisis

Religion and science are two ways of knowing. Over both of these is philosophy. We will be talking about all three areas, and about where they necessarily meet -- in ethical issues.

What is "Religion?"
Foil -- Agnostic fleas
What is "Science?" (Added note on Popper's philosophy 4/16/2003)

Week 2:

Plato's parable on "reality"
The Science-Religion relationship
Ethical principles - beginning of life issues
The case of the deaths of Molly Nash's brothers and Jorge Morales
Molly Nash and her surviving brother
Jorge Morales
The death of Katherine Grace Costello
Partial birth abortion -- six testimonies
Three ways of making an ethical argument -- courtesy of Dr. Dana Wilbanks, The Iliff School of Theology.
Week 3:

The universe is 15 billion years old, according to the latest scientific estimate, and very large.
The next two links illustrate this:

The time scale of the universe
The size scale of the universe (external link) -- A graphic display from Florida State (my alma mater)

Then there is the question, when did humanity begin?

There are those who don't accept those findings.
Foil -- Some do not accept science

There are three Christian positions to take on the "creation/evolution" question. Each of these has many variations:
Foil -- three positions
The question of the origin of life

There are conceptual difficulties in the Young Earth position:
Foil -- Conceptual difficulty #1 (of many)
A critique of the young earth position
Foil -- conceptual difficulty #2

Why the flood of Noah was NOT global.
Book review -- The Biblical Flood, by Davis Young.

One way to save the young earth hypothesis is to posit that God created the world 6000 or so years ago with the appearance of age. This model was proposed in 1857 by Phillip Gosse, a respected biologist of the day -- also a Christian who took Genesis literally -- in his book OMPHALOS.

Book Review -- Omphalos, by Phillip Henry Gosse
Russell's Hypothesis

More on the young earth position may be found on page 2, section 5 of this web site.

There is the question whether evolution has a purpose (goal) or not:
Foil -- does evolution have a purpose?

Evidences of evolution,

There is the question of how evolution takes place:
Foil -- How humming birds evolved (not)

It's not "creation vs. evolution," but "purpose vs. accidentalism."

The religion of scientism (philosophical naturalism
Foil -- the thrill of scientific discovery -- not

Evolution is a FACT -- but is it? The NABT controversy.

All Christians are creationists. R. Schneider

Week 4
An expanded version of the passout material

Pascal's "wager" and the conversion of C. S. Lewis

Quantum Mechanics -- the problem
Other materials on quantum mechanics

Review of David Ray Griffin's Religion & Scientific Naturalism (scence & process theology)
An interview with David Ray Griffin
Paths and Crossroads toward God, by John Burgeson

Week 5 Passout material
External link to an article on the relationships between science and pseudoscience
External link to a graph of belief in paranormal phenomena
Christmas Carols by Rudolf Bultmann
Several class members are concerned about the global warming controversy. The following appears below in partial response to this. I claim no particular expertise in this matter.

Is global warming real? Most scientists think so, although the evidence to date is scanty. Some think not. A Google search on global warming will turn up both kinds. Below are links (external) to some of the more controversial debates:

A view from a well known scientist who believes there is no problem
A very controversial debate on environmentalism
Bjorn Lomborg's web site on the controversy

An essay on emergent teleology, by Dr. Robert Koons
Bjorn Lomberg's home page

John Burgeson's home page