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The Science and Religion Dialogue

Past and Future

Edited By Michael Welker

This book documents the conference on The Science and Religion Dialogue: Past and Future, held at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, October 25-29, 2012. The conference commemorated the 100 th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Templeton and the 25 th anniversary of the establishment of the John Templeton Foundation. It brought together about 60 active participants, all of them prominent scholars from many countries and many academic fields. Most of them have been engaged in the Science and Religion Dialogue for the last two or three decades. This book reports on multi-year international and interdisciplinary research projects at leading institutions. The contributions start with presentations by Hans Joas, Martin Nowak and John Polkinghorne and range from Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics and Biology to Philosophical Theology and Religious Ethics. Special topics of the dialogue between Science and Religion are also dealt with, such as Eschatology and Anthropology; Cosmology, Creation, and Redemption; Evolutionary Biology and the Spirit; and The Role of Thought Experiments in Science and Theology.
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If the Evolution of Intelligence is inevitable, then what are the Metaphysical Consequences?

Acknowledgements

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If you could meet anybody from anytime, who might it be? For historians may be Tacitus (what were in those missing books?) or perhaps Thucydides? For artists maybe a conversation with Giorgione, or failing that Constable? And what about evolutionary biologists? For many of them first in the list would surely be Charles Darwin. I think that I might be less enthused. Does this surprise you? After all he comes with the highest credentials. A genius, of course. But more than that. Where he felt his ideas fell short he could be painfully self-critical, although I do not think we should underestimate his rhetorical skill (If any one fact should conspire to show the opposite then my theory will be utterly destroyed, and so on and so forth…). Definitely one of the greatest of scientists, but also devoted to his children, not least the luckless Annie. Not so far as we know, and in contrast to many other Victorians, an adulterer, a frequenter of brothels, a gambler or even a wife-beater. And yet, and yet. Am I alone in wondering about his valetudinarism, the hovering women acting as ministering angels,1 the dogged reclusiveness that ironically found its apotheosis with his permanent interment in Westminster Abbey? His mood swings of triumphalism as against a remarkably short temper with those who crossed him, not least the curious, neglected and ultimately tragic figure of St. George Mivart.

Darwin? A complex chap, alright. But why I suspect this hypothetical...

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