U Mass Lowell, Philosophy Course 45.357, Tu. Th. 11:30-12:45

SCIENCE & RELIGION: Cosmos to Consciousness

Paul Henry Carr (http://paul.carr2.home.comcast.net)

From 1967 to 1995, Paul Henry Carr, Ph.D., (physics) led the Component Technology Branch, AF Research Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA 01731-3010, where he is now emeritus. His 80 research papers and 10 patents include contributions to microwave ultrasonics, surface acoustic waves (SAW), superconductivity, and laser-activated antennas. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a life member of the Am. Phys. Soc. He has studied religion at Harvard (Paul Tillich), B. U. School of Theology, and Andover Newton.

This lecture and discussion course examines such questions as

(1) How did the universe and I originate?

(2) What is the meaning and purpose of life and the world?

Science, the understanding of natural phenomena, coupled with religion, a source of meaning, morals, and purpose, can illuminate these questions. We will study the evolution of the cosmos from the "Big Bang" to the emergence of life and consciousness. This will be contrasted with the religious doctrine of creation and the symbols "alpha" and "omega" ("the beginning" & "the end.")

We will examine scientific and religious attempts to answer the questions:

"What is Life?"

Are "free decisions" actually the result of genetic determinism?

Does God Play Dice?

Creative imagination connects scientific data to theory and religious experience to belief. Einstein exemplifies creativity in science. He once said: "Science without religion is blind, religion without science is lame." Galileoís scientific creativity led to conflict with the organized church, yet faith in his "God in Heaven" was a source of courage.

Scientific knowledge and spirtutal values can work together to address the environmental crisis.


Dr. Henry T. Wadzinski, Harvard Center for Astrophysics


Prof. Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


†††††† Prof. James Skehan, S.J., Chairman Emeritus, Geology Department, B. C.

4) JACOBíS LADDER: Connecting Heaven and Earth (Cosmology & Theology)

†††† Rev. Barbara Smith-Moran, Society of Ordained Scientists,

†††† Founder, Faith and Science Exchange (FASE); Boston Theological Institute (BTI).

Upon completing this course, students should:

1. Grasp the nature of concepts in science and religion and four ways of relating them,

2. Understand both evolution from the "Big Bang" to complexity & consciousness and the religious doctrines of creation, contingency, and "alpha" & "omega.

3. Know scientific & religious views on: "Is evolution due to chance or/and design?"

4. Deepen and articulate their own beliefs by broadening their understanding of others.í

†††††† 1) Ian Barbour, RELIGION & SCIENCE: Historical and Contemporary Issues (Main Text)

†††††† 2) COURSE READER: Paul Tillich, The Spiritual Situation in our Technical Society,

††††††††††††† Einstein, Science and Religion; Robert Russell, Cosmology from Alpha to Omega

†††††† 3) Ted Peters, PLAYING GOD: Genetic Determinism and Human Freedom

†††††† 4) Rollo May, THE COURAGE TO CREATE

For Dialogues: John F. Haught, SCIENCE AND RELIGION: From Conflict to Convesation

Student Science and Religion QuotesSRQUOTES.htm

Three Significant Features of the Course

Course Teaching Methods & Grades

Weekly Course Syllabus