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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Philosophy, Science and Religion: Science and Philosophy by The University of Edinburgh

4.4
stars
692 ratings
189 reviews

About the Course

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing. This course, entitled ‘Science and Philosophy’, is the first of three related courses in our Philosophy, Science and Religion Online series. The first launch is now closed to enrolments. We will launch a new version of the course in July 2018. The course will address four themes each presented by guest lecturers: 1. Are Science and Religion in conflict? (Professor Michael Murray, Franklin & Marshall) 2. Neuroscience and Free Will (Professor Al Mele, Florida State) 3. Creationism and Evolutionary Biology--Science or Pseudo-science? (Dr. Mark Harris and Dr. David de Pomerai, University of Edinburgh) 4. Do Scientific claims constitute absolute truths? (Professor Martin Kusch, University of Vienna) The second and third courses in the Philosophy, Science and Religion series are ‘Philosophy and Religion’ and ‘Religion and Science’. They may be taken in any order and completing all three courses will give you a broader understanding of this fascinating topic. Look for: • Philosophy, Science and Religion II: Philosophy and Religion • Philosophy, Science and Religion III: Religion and Science Check out our trailer to hear more: https://youtu.be/OifqTI5VKek You can also follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EdiPhilOnline and you can follow the hashtag #psrmooc...

Top reviews

SR

Nov 14, 2017

A very interesting course and it has given a great knowleddge to me about the concept of science and religion . just amazed and the professors taught this in a very impressive way . very nyccc .

RR

May 14, 2017

Fine course, nice references for further reading, clear and nice instructors. Only two where a little odd: Statis Psillos, talking too fast, and Conor Cunningham, a bit too theatrical.

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151 - 175 of 186 Reviews for Philosophy, Science and Religion: Science and Philosophy

By Keith P

Jul 10, 2019

Very enjoyable course! Highly recommended!

By Aaron F A C

Apr 11, 2018

Very good. It was awesome, I learnt a lot.

By A L G

Aug 13, 2020

It was an enlightening course, Thank you

By kiran D

Jun 06, 2020

excellent.

By Nikhil R

Mar 05, 2017

Week 1 of the course seemed very interesting. A lot of interesting questions were raised - enough to lead me to view the course in a rather positive light. As I progressed through the course however, I noticed that some rather contentious claims were made to seem to have more credibility than they in fact do. Take for example something that was said in week 4, lesson 3. It was insinuated that Lamarckism plays a significant role in evolutionary biology, something that is widely questioned by eminent specialists in evolutionary biology (for ex. Jerry Coyne).

Furthermore, it sometimes seemed that rather than presenting the facts for the learners to judge, the lecturers were presenting their own views (this was especially the case in week 4).

This course is being funded by Templeton Foundation, an organization that promotes religious apologetics. It seems that rather than presenting facts as they are, the course is disseminating material deeply influenced by a religious agenda.

By Åke G

Aug 19, 2017

Interesting course in virtue of prompting new viewpoints. However, it kinda ends there. Thought much of the content was exaggerated to provoke discussion, losing it's value of giving an accurate evaluation of the topics involved.

For example, it is suggested in week 4 that, if humanity could evolve better through Adolf Hitler, and the ultra-darwinian is right, he would be morally right. Since Hitler cannot be morally right in any stretch of the moral imagination, ultra-darwinianism is wrong.

However, if Hitler wouldn't have initiated concentration camps and war, thus helping humanity prosper by creating room for more evolutionary diversity (which is key to progress), he wouldn't have been Adolf Hitler as we know him.

Nevertheless, thought-provoking as hell. Going to apply for Edinburgh this semester, hope I get in! :)

By Bob R

Jan 07, 2020

I'm thrilled that there is a course that surveys these topics and the content, for the most part, is good. The accompanying ebook is actually better than the course and is worth reading for anyone new to these disciplines. For future iterations, I would consider gathering feedback about the assessments. The questions are often confusing and a bit tedious. It's very possible to completely grasp the content but to struggle with the quizzes due to poor wording or the fact that often what's being assessed is not grasp of the subjects covered but instead whether or not the learner could recall the ways in which the instructor talked about the subjects, which is different.

By Cem Y

Jul 13, 2019

I know it was a beginner level course but I feel the subjects were presented very, very superficially. The recommended readings do flesh out things a bit. The lessons of the last week, those about evolution and creationism, turned out to be simple explanations about what evolution is, and not very much about how it relates to creationism or the philosohy of science.

The structure of the lessons were also odd. There are several 3 to 5 minute lectures followed by a one-question quiz. This breaks concentration. I feel it would have been much more engaging if the subjects were presented in 20-30 minute lectures followed by 5-10 question quizzes.

By Lenka G B

Oct 02, 2020

This course has design problems. There is no clear thread that gives coherence to the different parts. It is interesting that it addresses different topics, and that there are several teachers who explain them. However, it is clear that there is no joint work between the exhibitors. Despite the quality of some (very remarkable Martin Kusch), the total sum does not manage to present a good quality proposal.

By Nikki W

Mar 13, 2017

I was a little confused because for having a focus on "Science and Philosophy", it seemed to me to mostly talk about science and religion through a philosophical lens. The last module was very scattered and hard to follow. Other than that, very interesting, well-presented material.

By Kim

Aug 31, 2020

The course includes a wide range of topics that are well explained. I don't understand the concept of the course, how the different topics were selected or how they were assigned to the three parts of this course. It seems quite random and unstructured to me.

By Malladi R G K

Jun 17, 2020

philosophy and science relation is great but about science and religion, those facts are already known and nothing new is learnt. Free will is unnecessary topic I guess. Religious part can be developed.

By Francisco L

Jun 04, 2019

The course is somewhat interesting but my expectations were different, perhaps the description of the course should be expanded so that the student would know with greater certainty the content.

By Dorothy H

Feb 12, 2017

2 weeks were balanced and thought-provoking and one was silly, but entertaining... therefore three starts with 2 stars taken out for ending a good course with a week of silliness.

By Joy S

Jun 06, 2017

Interesting stuff. Part of a series that used to be on mega-difficult, hard to unerstand course. The splitting up is a good thing.

By Craig S

Feb 12, 2018

If you are a person of faith troubled by science and particularly the theory of evolution, this course will give you comfort. If you believe there is no God, this course offers nothing that might change your mind. If your interest is how religious apologists shape an argument for the transcendent, you will be satisfied.

By Steve L

Feb 11, 2017

Some interesting ideas. Unfortunately some of the presentation was so poor that it was impossible to work out what points, if any, were being presented. And for a course called "Science and Philosophy" there was far too much religious and/or anti-science content.

By Hosh

Feb 05, 2020

The lectures were not very effective. Some were personal ideas of the processor contradicting to actual facts.. Compared to several other courses I have taken, this one definitely had a lot missing!

By William Z

Dec 19, 2017

Highly variable quality of lecturers. Some were quite good, many were just spouting quotes, personal beliefs without much evidence or support.

By TM

Feb 28, 2017

Mostly disappointing. I found only one week interesting and non-biased.

By Elena O

May 16, 2020

Boring and basic. Not much learning

By Pedro A F

Apr 27, 2018

Too long for its content.

By Daniel S R

Sep 26, 2017

I was looking forward to an objective course in which the intersection of philosophy, science and religion was explained properly from an academic standpoint of view. However, when I saw that the John Templeton Foundation was involved in the production of the course, my expectations lowered exponentially.

They rocketed to the ground, however, when I saw how several lectures were biased towards treating scientific rigor as “fundamentalism” and when their religious ideas merged in an obscene and weird mixture with post modernism and critical theories to treat the scientific inquiry and knowledge with a relativistic approach. Only an ignorant religious fundamentalist would mistake the scientific inquiry with “naturalist fundamentalism” and misunderstand scientific discovery as an equal in a pseudo-intellectual war with religion, which the latter lost long time ago, rendering it obsolete.

I have no problem with considering the religious hypothesis and to examine them under the unbiased and objective glass of the scientific method. However once said hypothesis they are the subject of the scientific method they lose miserably, simply because they are based on faith and dogma.

This course is a shame. The only thing it misses for being an absolute joke is to have Ken Ham as a guest “scientist” guest. It is nothing more but a pathetic, uncovered attempt from creationist frauds to promote their ill-bred epistemologies.

By Ralph S

Jul 07, 2017

This is a course about Christianity and Science, not religion and Science. The basis of all the evidence given for religion is from a christian point of view and conducted from a defensive angle against science. I would not recommend this as a course that is honest or transparent in its approach, and is instead a defence of christianity and to some degree abrahamic religions. It completely neglects and schools of though regarding Hinduism, Buddhism or the vast swath of pagan, local and tribal religions. I fact there is not mention of religions own challenge to "Creationism" for example. Extreamlly disappointing course, I would not recommend this to anyone seeking truth with an open mind.

By Sarah

Aug 10, 2017

Parts of this course are thought-provoking, but as others have pointed out, it suffers from a lack of balance - scientific concepts are discussed at length without input from practicing experts in the relevant fields, and while some lip service is paid to other faiths, Christianity is heavily concentrated on without much consideration of how other religions might interface with philosophy and science. This course has so much potential, but students should be aware that it is largely funded by a religious studies foundation and this bias is evident in the course material. Not what I would expect of a university endorsed course.