God and Science

Francis Collins, Director of National Human Genome Research Institute has just published a new book entitled The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

The book was featured in an article in this week’s issue of Time Magazine entitled Reconciling God and Science. Collins, not only is a scientist but is a Christian who takes aim in his book at not only the atheist scientists but the creationists and intelligent designers.

This new book brought to mind three other books that have attempted to deal with questions involving God and science. Here they are. If you haven’t read them, I do recommend them.

The first is Dr. Tim Johnson’s book (2004), Finding God in the Questions. Johnson, an MD and a faculty member at Harvard University, and medical advisor for ABC News, is also an ordained minister. In the first part of his book, Johnson explores the “evidence” from science to deal with questions about God’s existence, the existence of the universe, and why we are here, and who we are.

The second book is Kenneth Miller’s book, Finding Darwin’s God. On his webpage, Miller says: “Finding Darwin’s God, “A scientist’s search for common ground between God and evolution,” is a book in which I analyze the religious implications of evolution. If you are interested in such questions, I think you will find it interesting, especially in light of the continuing “evolution – creation” controversies around the country.”

The third book is Stephen Jay Gould’s Rock of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life. Gould’s approach is to accord each, science and religion dignity and distinction in each realm.

The books, taken together, would give high school students and science teachers a good foundation for a unit of teaching on the “nature of science.” Perhaps integrated with a literature or social studies educator, it could provide the basis for an interesting course or unit.

Comments

  1. Dan Powers says

    I appreciate the attempts of both this group of authors and yourself for suggesting this as an approach to teaching the philosophy of science. High school students rarely consider the “culture” of science. While it does not excuse us from trying, the sad truth is that unless it can be tied to a specific test item (“What did Dr. Gould say in chapter six about God and Darwin’s finches?”) my students don’t read anything. And who says No Child Left Behind isn’t working! They know what’s important… MCAS, IBST. PSAT, SAT, ACT…

  2. says

    The culture of science is an important goal of science teaching. For years we worked with American and Russian (and students from other countries, too) in which they collaborated on local environmental studies, and used the internet (and exchanges to each other’s country) to “do science.” I am not sure how this impacted their view of the nature of science, but we felt (I guess to make ourselves feel good), that the proejcts were contributing to that end. Debate and discussion are, of course, other methods to help students understand the culture of science. It may be that the “culture of schooling” (not only high school, but college/university, as well), determines the nature of how students do school, e.g. read only specific material. It’s certainly a dilemma for educators, but over the years lots of science teachers–perhaps like yourself—have worked hard to change science teaching and engage students in the “culture of science.” Jack

Trackbacks

What do you think?