Hi there. I'm Denis Lamoreaux, Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College in the University of Alberta. I want to thank you for your interests in my introductory course that explores the various ways in which we can relate science and religion. In this brief episode, I'm going to give you a summary of each of the main topics in the course. We begin with a brief introduction that asks the question, only warfare? The common perception of science and religion is that they are entrenched in a never ending conflict, but is this the only way to view their relationship? This diagram presents the warfare relationship of science and religion. Many people today assume that there are only two credible ways to look at the world. One is either on the so-called side of science or the so-called side of religion. Note my quotation marks. I'm being a bit facetious. One accepts either so-called evolution or so-called creation and sadly, some assume that science and evolution are godless. But throughout this course, we are going to challenge this common perception and we are going to see that there are many different intellectually credible middle ground positions. In the two sections entitled categories and principals, I will introduce basic terms and concepts used in science and religion dialogue today. We need to standardize the terminology so that we don't talk past one another. In particular, I will encourage you to move away from the common understanding of words and use academic definitions. Let me give you an example. The common understanding of the term evolution is that it is connected to atheism. Similarly, for many people, the word creation refers to the origin of the world in just six literal days, 6000 years ago. But as you can appreciate, these common definitions trap people in either or thinking and force us to choose between evolution and creation. This leads to the common perception of the science religion warfare. However, the academic definition of the word evolution refers to a scientific theory describing the origin of life through natural processes and the academic definition of the term creation is that it is a religious belief that the world was made by a creator without mentioning the method of creation. By using these definitions, we can move beyond the common belief that there are just two positions on origins, either atheistic evolution or six-day creation. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to accept the scientific theory of evolution and also to believe in a creator. If you hold this view as I do, then you are both an evolutionist and a creationist. This view of origins is known as evolutionary creation. So, you can see that with academic categories and principals, we widen the range of possibilities and this frees us so that we can make informed choices regarding our personal beliefs. In these two sections on categories and principles, I will also begin to introduce the first of 11 hermeneutical principles. The term hermeneutics refers simply to the rules used for interpreting a written work like a book. A longstanding issue in science and religion is whether the Bible reveals some basic scientific facts, or to cast this as a question, is the Bible a book of science? In order to answer this critical question, we will focus on passages in the Bible that deal with the natural world. For example, this is a sketch of the Three Tier Universe. People in the ancient world believed this was the structure of the world. We will try to see if this ancient understanding of the structure of the world also appears in the Bible. My students tell me that learning hermeneutical principles is the best part of my course. Now, by this point in the course, you will be equipped with some basic definitions, and I will introduce some models and relationships between science and religion. It's important to understand that a model attempts to include as many relationships as possible, along with those we don't accept. One of the great pioneers of science and religion that we'll study is Ian Barbour. His model of science and religion has four basic relationships, which he labels as conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. Barbour's personal position rejects the conflict relationship, and then he incorporates parts of independence, dialogue and integration relationships in his personal view. As you will discover in this section, there are a wide variety of ways to relate science and religion, not just one and I will encourage you to combine any of these relationships, as you develop your own personal position. The next section of the course deals with the fascinating topic of Nature and Intelligent Design. When you look at the natural world, does the beauty, complexity and functionality give you the impression or if you wish the inkling, that it's been designed by some sort of creative intelligence? If you do, then you believe in intelligent design and the traditional religious idea that nature is a revelation that points us to a creator. Let me offer you an example. When you look at these stunning images of the heavens, thanks to the amazing Hubble telescope, do they inspire you to believe that there is an astonishing creative mind behind the natural world? Psalm 19:1 in the Bible is the classic verse that supports Intelligent Design. Its states, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the skies proclaim the work of his hands." From your perspective, do the heavens call out, that there is a creator? Throughout this course, I will attempt to present as many sides of a topic as possible, because I think that's good education. In this section on Intelligent Design, we will examine the views of Richard Dawkins, who is the most important atheist in the world. He argues that Intelligent Design in nature is nothing but an illusion. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with Richard Dawkins? In the next two sections of the course, we will turn to history to see if we can draw some lessons regarding science and religion that can be applied today. We begin by examining the religious beliefs of the famous astronomer Galileo in the 1600s. To be sure, there were religious people who attacked Galileo for his scientific discoveries and regrettably, Galileo is often seen today as the symbol of science and religion warfare. However, we don't often hear that Galileo had a firm belief in both God and the Bible. Galileo was not only a great scientist, but he had an amazing understanding of the relationship between science and religion. In particular, Galileo's approach to interpreting the Bible was truly remarkable. For example, he firmly believed, the intention of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the Bible is to teach us how one goes to heaven and not how heaven goes. In other words, the Bible deals with religious matters, like spending eternity with God, and not scientific issues like astronomy and the movement of the sun, the moon and the Earth. Our second historical section deals with the religious beliefs of Charles Darwin. Regrettably, many people today assume that Darwin and his theory of biological evolution are ultimately atheistic. But in this section, we will challenge this common misperception by exploring Darwin's books and letters. For example, in his most famous book, On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin states that he believes in a creator who used evolution to create living organisms. Late in life, Darwin reveals that he also believed in intelligent design when he wrote this very same book. The interpretation of the biblical creation accounts in Genesis 1-3 is a critical topic in developing a peaceful relationship between science and religion. Many religious people assume that these chapters outline some basic scientific facts regarding the origin of the universe and life. But is this the correct interpretation of the opening chapters of the Bible? Take for example the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1, and the six day creation account. It features a poetic structure that is termed parallel panels, where God deals with the formless and empty earth mentioned at the beginning of this account. In the first panel of three days, God brings form into the world by setting the boundaries of the universe. In the second panel of three days, God fills the world with wonderful creations like astronomical bodies and living creatures. In the light of this poetic structure in Genesis 1, does this creation account strike you as being science? What do you think? Nearly every course in science and religion deals with the modern origins debate. This is always a fun topic. In this section, we will challenge directly the idea that there are only two positions on origins, either evolution or creation. I will present the five best known views of origins. Young Earth creation believes that the world was created in six literal days, just 6,000 years ago. Progressive creation asserts that the universe is very old and that God intervene to create living organisms at different times. Evolutionary creation claims that a personal God created the world through evolution. Deism is the belief in an impersonal god that does not interact with humans. Therefore deistic evolution believes an impersonal god who creates through evolution. Finally, atheistic evolution asserts that the world arose through blind chance and that we are nothing but a fluke of nature. Yes indeed, in this section on origins, we will ask directly the question, who was Adam? He is the first man specifically mentioned in the Bible. Was he a real person in history or is he a figurative character in an allegory or parable? To ask the provocative question, can Adam be connected to evolution? To be sure, the topic of Adam will be especially challenging to many religious people. The course conclusion is entitled with the question, possible peace? My view is that science and religion can be in a peaceful relationship, but more importantly, what do you think? By the end of this course, I guarantee you will have a firm view whether peace is possible between science and religion. So that's a brief summary of the topics in my introductory course, Science and Religion 101. Students over the years have found this course to be helpful in developing their personal beliefs and worldview and hopefully you will as well. So thank you for listening to this video and thank you for considering my course.