On When Science Meets Religion: The Book

Of all the books and articles that I’ve read the past few years about the science and theology interchange, this book by Ian Barbour, When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? is one that I wish I would have read it relatively early in my journey.

Dr. Barbour, a professor emeritus of Science, Society, and Technology at Carlton College, is a well-known author and authority in the field. Early in this book, Barbour establishes four models/views for examining the complex relationship between science and theology: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. However, readers will also find variations of the models – thus more models.

In the majority of the book, Barbour reinforces the four models by examining important issues in light of each model. Chapters/issues are the following:

  • Astronomy and Creation
  • The Implications of Quantum Physics (yes, for you John)
  • Evolution and Continuing Creation
  • Genetics, Neuroscience, and Human Nature
  • God and Nature

I can say that this book is very readable, however, some foundation knowledge on both the broad topic and the individual topics is helpful. Otherwise, it may be a difficult read. For instance, I admit having very limit knowledge about quantum physics. Throughout the journey, Barbour cites numerous examples to support the model he is explaining within the given topic.

The science and religion interchange as a topic is complex, therefore writing a book on the topic would not be easy. However, for anyone interested in the topic, this is a good one encounter early in your process. By the way, check your local library or the library-share organization that it may be a member because that is where I found it.

On Fair and Balanced

Every news watcher has the favorite news channel and newscaster. Although I continue to maintain that bias, no matter the channel, is a given; yet the channel may be less biased than the one listening.

Although they are the most-watched news source on television, FOX News seems to get in fair share of negative publicity; yet, its followers proclaim it as the ultimate source. The FOX News slogan is Fair and Balanced, and I’m quite certain that the slogan does not refer to the amount of negative and positive comments it receives.

With this in mind, below are the top 10 reasons why I believe FOX news is Fair and Balanced.

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On Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Memorial Day is on one of those three-day weekends that all of us enjoy. Although most of us will spend much of the extra time with fun and fellowship, let us not forget to take the time to remember those who are serving, have served, and died serving.

Your time may be somber and reflective, yet it can also be joyous and uplifting. Below are two wonderful versions of the Armed Forces Melody – one by a men’s chorus and one by a pops orchestra. The late Erich Kunzel, the King of Pops and longtime conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, leads the latter. Although we miss him, his memory also lives on through his concerts on the Washington Mall. Enjoy and be proud.

Chorus

Orchestra

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 97

On the Big Picture of Life
The images of a ravaged Joplin, Missouri are horrifying. Given the rash of recent disasters in this country alone (let alone the earthquake in Japan and other world events), please consider donating to a disaster relief fund of your choice.

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On Politics
I have a difficult time accepting Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) using assistance for Jopin to get more tax cuts.  “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.” “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”

Run Sarah Run – Long live the nincompoop!

Good reads

On the Rapture

  • Harold Camping insulted and embarrassed Christians.
  • Harold Camping has an engineering background. What if Boeing engineers miscalculate? What if nuclear engineers miscalculate?
  • I appreciate the following take from Bill Tammeus.

I don’t get it. Now Harold Camping, latest of the never-ever-ever-right date-setters, has changed  his end-of-the-world prediction from May 21 to Oct. 21. Why didn’t he pick Oct. 23? After all, that’s the date in 4004 BCE on which the world was created (at 9 a.m. Greenwich time), according to Archbishop James Ussher. What’s Camping got against symmetry? Just to cover his behind, however, Camping did say  that Judgment Day really did happen last Saturday, only in a spiritual — not a physical — sense. Yes, and I emptied the kitchen wastebasket in a spiritual — not a physical — sense, which is why it still appears to be full.

On Shorts of all Sorts
From today forward, if we Cincinnatians get average rainfall the rest of the year, we’ll end the year about 30 inches above our yearly average. Well, that could also mean here comes an abnormal dry spell to even.

Congratulations Oprah! To me, her most important decision was (many years ago) deciding that she didn’t need to follow the path of the crazy shows as Jerry Springer.

Here’s a wonderful, two-paragraph story that is worth your time. Thanks Moe.

Earlier this week I found this beautiful video from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Simply awesome, many thanks Tom, and I encourage readers to take a few minutes to enjoy.

Ask John

This blog, as well as others, know John well. Full of whit with answers tied to physics, science fiction, and military history, John uses his experience as an interpreter of goat-speak to share unlimited bits of information flowing from his neurological network. With that in mind, I present the inaugural edition of Ask John.

If you had dinner with Albert Einstein, what would you ask him first?
Hmm. Does he know what’s gone on following his death? If so, does he really think the Higgs boson, if found, is really the ultimate and completing particle of the sub-atomic family? If he only knew what he did at the time of his death, how the heck did he come up with the fact that the speed of light is insurmountable?

What if you could change places with General (MacArthur or Patton), which decision would you make differently?
This one’s the toughie. I could be flip and say, as Patton, I’d decide not to slap those soldiers. But I assume you mean military. As Patton, I’d say drive north in France to help US First Army close off the Falaise gap, thus encircling and destroying or capturing most or all of up to 14 German divisions. For direct action, while I hate to criticize Patton, being one of my favorites, it would be to put major effort up Monty’s left on Sicily. While Patton’s run to the west of the island certainly put the Italians and Germans in a nasty spot, if all Allied forces could have reached Messina sooner, they could have cut off some of the German forces that made the Italian campaign such a bloody, grinding effort.

For MacArthur, lower the priority of the Philippines because they were not as militarily important as other island groups like the Marshalls. I understand wanting to get an American colony back, but a lot of time and effort was wasted that could have been applied in the “island hopping” campaign.

What if you were a vegetable, what would you be?
Bizarre! I’d say corn, but I’m allergic to the pollen corn plants put out, so I’d make myself sneeze! Strange as it sounds, probably a potato. Part of you gets the warm summer sun, but most of you is in the cool, moist earth. I’ve always loved the feel of rich, black dirt!

Thanks John. To submit future questions for Ask John, submit them on the comments … and then we’ll see if John can overcome the urge to immediately provide answers. Then again, I can receive suggestions on Facebook or by email.