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 .
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.
By Åke G•
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•
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•
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•
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•
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.
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•
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•
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•
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•
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 Florinda I•
Somewhat interesting, but I found the last module, which compares evolution through natural selection to young earth creationism, to have deliberately chosen a straw man so that it could be knocked down. There are far more defensible forms of intelligent design than young earth creationism. I was offended by the module.
By Craig S•
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•
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.
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•
Highly variable quality of lecturers. Some were quite good, many were just spouting quotes, personal beliefs without much evidence or support.
Mostly disappointing. I found only one week interesting and non-biased.
By Elena O•
Boring and basic. Not much learning
By Pedro A F•
Too long for its content.
By Daniel S R•
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•
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.
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.
By Philip M•
This course is clearly signposted as being supported by the Templeton Foundation and it shows. The course is short in terms of length and weak in the terms of developing ideas. The designers do not seem to understand properly what science is and what scientists do. This is particularly evident in the final week, an incoherent ramble. The course strengthens my positive opinions of Feynman's view of the philosophy of science.
In general. I enjoy Edinburgh University's Coursera courses, but I shall be wary of any of a similar ilk and certainly won't buy the certificate this time.
By Tãrún K•
The first week of the course about relativism was really interesting. The same can be said about the second week as well with Dr Murray describing about the relationship between science and religion. However the same cannot be said about the fourth week. It was clearly biased towards creationism. I took this course and was looking forward to see how science and religion can co-exist, however in the fourth week there is a clear misinterpretation of science, and most of the content in this week was about "evolutionists vs creationists" rather than "Evolution vs creationism".
By Matthew K•
I have always been appreciative of free courses that are provided by universities, but this course is clearly biased. The sophistry present in the final module is particularly dishonest. A university is meant to teach the whole story, and have a truthful account of facts. I am deeply disappointed that so much fallacious content could be distributed to individuals, on the pretext of unbiased learning. This course clearly has an agenda. I hope those who take it think critically about the subject matter and do their best to weed out what is reasonable and what is not.
By Yair R•
The course poorly understands the scientific method, and its main effort is to wield unconvincing critiques of science so as to elevate the status of religion in general and Creationism in particular. The last set of lectures is also just badly executed, a confusing meandering talk that amounts to nothing. The course did have a few bright points, like the second series of lectures explaining varieties of naturalism, but overall the course was just bad. Avoid this course, you can learn much more from other sources.