Hps326 Assignment Questionnaire

April 25, 2018 Theology

William Whewell coined the term “scientist” in the year 1833. 2. The conflict myth was proposed by John Draper and Andrew Dickson on the relationship between science and religion. They termed the relationship as a mutual antagonism whose history was a conflict between the rationality of science opposed by the ignorance of religion. Two versions of this myth exist; the strong and the weak.

The strong version states that the inherent differences of science and religion have eclipsed through history as science is represented with a need to rival against religion, making conflict unavoidable. The weak version claims this conflict is haphazard and is purely based on historical fact. 3. The historiographical distinction between ‘modern science’ and ‘natural philosophy’ is that natural philosophy can be seen as a precursor of natural sciences (i. e physics etc. ). Natural philosophy is an entity that can explain properties that can not necessarily be verified, classified or quantified.

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On the other hand, modern science is a development, divisional field of natural philosophy. It relies on the scientific experimentation for the growth of knowledge and advances in society and technology. 4. The ‘Merton Thesis’, proposed by Robert Merton, states that the rise of science is linked to the values of Puritanism. It verifies the idea’s of Francis Bacon as being inspired by the puritan ‘work ethic’ which is accounted for by the volume of Puritans in the Royal Society. 5.

According to Margaret Osler, in the 20th century, the conflict myth’s support was attributable to; the positivism of Auguste Compte, and secularization of North American universities. In Compte’s positivist philosophy, he founded numerous principles in which he claimed direct observation is the only way assertions can be established. This influenced numerous historians when they looked upon the history of science and religion as they rejected all metaphysical thinking because it can not be proven empirically.

This asserted that all sciences could be minimized to mathematics and physics driving a larger conflict between science and religion. The secularization of North American universities played a large role in the support of the conflict myth. This is due to the fact that the schools pushed an anti-religious approach and completely expunged any supernatural reasoning from the realm of science. This reinforced the rejection of metaphysics and furthered the perception of a conflict. Question 1-3 (20% per question) 1.

The period form 1500 to 1700 was known as the ‘Scientific Revolution’. This period is considered the ‘revolution’ as historians believed science began progressively separating from religion. Thinkers like Copernicus and Newton began to change the way people thought about the concept of nature. However, this view of a ‘Scientific Revolution’ is still highly problematic. Shapin contested that no such revolution occurred. He asserted this as no single definition of science emerged and no specific method was employed.

He also eluded to the point that this period was only coined ‘revolutionary’ as the people of that time were interested in pursuing science and wanted to propel it as a professional field. Margaret Osler also termed this problematic as numerous individuals began challenging the fundamental principles of positivism. She also suggests that there was still an importance of theology in Newton’s projects and a requirement of biblical interpretation to development of scientific methods. This suggests that religion and science did not separate in the ‘Scientific Revolution’ as religion was still needed to discuss science. . The 19th century ‘Whigs’ – an english liberal political party- are amalgamated with ‘Whig’ history as people who perceived science as progressive. Science was the key to move humans along the road to a better life. However, ‘whiggish’ history is not acceptable today as it is too goal-centric. It claims that history has progressed along a predesignated path towards the goal of complete understanding. This was not welcome in ‘modern science’ as it suggested that science was purely cumulative.

However, scientific findings do not always continue building upon previous results. As well, Whiggish history focused too much on the ‘great men’ of science – the male geniuses like Darwin, and Einstein – even though modern science has been practiced and perfected by normal (even female) individuals. This is supported with Peter Harrison’s view on science and religion as he states a need of Protestant approaches in the development of modern empirical science. Harrison claims that biblical interpretations of Protestant texts is liked to the rise of modern science.

This favours ‘Whig’ history as they campaigned the Protestant values and behaviours which aligns with their view of science. 3. Early analytic philosophy avoided the study of philosophy of religion and opposed metaphysics. However, the emergence of an analytic philosophy of religion in the 1960s, was crucial for the emergence of science and religion as it’s own field. It brought about the collapse of logical positivism as it began to self-refute. Analytic philosophy then tried to get rid of traditional philosophy- claiming that it was too unscientific- and progressed to a more scientific way of thinking.

Yet, even with it’s new scientific way of thinking it was taken over by Christian theology allowing for a renewed interest in metaphysical thinking and the philosophy of religion. This then began to combine science and religion under one roof in terms of a relationship. Analytic philosophers, who were trained in science, then began bringing up religious problems in terms of using science as the best model for rationality. This allowed the rise of the field of science and religion because of the influence of scientific christian thinkers.


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