About this 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
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100% online courses

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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 8 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 8 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Introduction and Overview

In this module, course instructors Dr Orestis Palermos and Dr Adam Carter provide a short introduction and overview of the key themes that will be discussed in the ‘Science and Philosophy’ course. Some background to the research question concerning the status of scientific claims is offered as well as an overview of some of the central philosophical issues concerning the relationship between science and religion, and creationism and evolutionary biology. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 17 min), 1 reading
Video4 videos
Lecture 1.2 - Relativism and Science8m
Lecture 1.3 - Faith and Physics3m
Lecture 1.4 - Evolutionary Biology and Creationism1m
Reading1 readings
Accompanying Textbook: Philosophy, Science and Religion for Everyone10m

2

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Do Scientific Claims Constitute Absolute Truths?

Guest lecturer: Professor Martin Kusch. This module will focus on a central challenge for scientific knowledge: Are there any scientific claims that are absolutely true, or are they all true relative to the system of thought that generated them? If we accept the latter, does this also hold true of any claims we might make, including within the domains of philosophy and religion? ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 71 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video5 videos
Lecture 2.2 - The Sociology of Science19m
Lecture 2.3 - Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions10m
Lecture 2.4 - Relativism and Science17m
Lecture 2.5 - The Future of Relativism in the Study of Science16m
Reading3 readings
[Video Lecture] Stathis Psillos on Scientific Realism45m
Further Reading on Relativism0m
Podcasts, Interviews, and Videos0m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Quiz 16m
Quiz 26m
Quiz 36m

3

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Are Science and Religion in Conflict?

Guest lecturer: Dr Michael Murray. Are science and religion compatible with one another? Are they incompatible? What do these questions even mean, and how do we go about answering them? Philosophical tools are helpful to make progress with these very important questions. In this module, Dr Michael Murray offers a philosophical analysis of the complex and easily misunderstood issue of the relationship between science and religion. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 50 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video7 videos
Lecture 3.2 - Non-Conflicting in Principle8m
Lecture 3.3 - Potentially Conflicting6m
Lecture 3.4 - Can Science Support Religious Beliefs?5m
Lecture 3.5 - A Theoretical Challenge6m
Lecture 3.6 - A Challenge from Evolutionary Psychology10m
Lecture 3.7 - Summary0m
Reading2 readings
[Video Lecture] Tom McLeish on the Theology of Science30m
Further Reading on Religion & Science0m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Quiz 16m
Quiz 26m
Quiz 36m

4

Section
Clock
5 hours to complete

Creationism and Evolutionary Biology—Science or Pseudo-Science?

Guest lecturer: Professor Conor Cunningham. This module examines the scientific status of evolutionary biology. What may count as a scientific theory? Is evolutionary biology scientific? Is it likely to change in the future? Approaching these questions from a philosophical perspective can help clarify the ongoing debate between evolutionary biology and religion. ...
Reading
25 videos (Total 143 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video25 videos
Lecture 4.1- The Return of Scientia3m
Lecture 4.2 - Fundamentalism: "My Precious"8m
Lecture 4.3 - Nihilism and Pseudo-Science7m
Lecture 4.4 - The Return of Science9m
Lecture 4.5 - Dawkins and the Selfish Gene8m
Lecture 4.6 - Conclusion1m
Lecture 4.7 - Creationism vs Evolutionary Biology3m
Lecture 4.8 - Is Creationism Scientific?5m
Lecture 4.9 - Is Evolutionary Biology Scientific?9m
Introduction3m
The creation of creationism5m
The concept of evolution3m
Selection2m
The species concept and evolution3m
Gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium2m
The origin of life3m
Evolution of human culture1m
Introduction10m
Study 110m
Study 2 and 34m
Problem 18m
Problem 28m
Problem 38m
Conclusion1m
Reading2 readings
Further Reading on Creationism and Evolutionary Biology0m
Podcasts, Interviews, and Videos0m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Quiz 16m
Quiz 26m
Quiz 32m
4.3

Top Reviews

By SRNov 14th 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 .

By RRMay 14th 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.

Instructors

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Dr Orestis Palermos

Research Explorer
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Dr Mark Harris

Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion
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Professor Duncan Pritchard

Professor of Philosophy

About The University of Edinburgh

Influencing the world since 1583, The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world's top 50 universities. Today, we are an established and global leader in online learning, providing degree-level education to 3,000 online students in addition to 36,000 students on-campus. We also offer a wide range of free online courses in a variety of subjects. To find out more about studying for one of our online degrees, search for ‘Edinburgh online’ or visit www.ed.ac.uk ...

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