1 Read the passage and answer questions (a) - (d) which follow.
“ There is no need for science to oppose religion on the subject of the creation of the universe. The Steady State theory may challenge religious views, but when the Big Bang theory was proposed it was welcomed by many believers as confirmation of what they already believed.”
(a) Outline the scientific view of the origin of the universe known as the Big Bang theory. (10 marks)
(b) Explain the main points of one religious understanding of creation. (10 marks)
(c) Outline the Steady State theory, and explain why it may challenge some religious understandings of creation. (10 marks)
(d) Assess the view that the Big Bang theory is a confirmation of religious understandings of creation. (10 marks)
3 (a) Explain one religious and one scientific account of the origin of the universe. (20 marks)
(b) “Modern scientific theories have made religious accounts of the origins of the universe meaningless.”
Explain what this claim means and discuss how far it is true. (20 marks)
Science vs. religion How would you define the word ‘ religion ’? How would you define the word ‘ science ’? A set of beliefs about God(s) and the practises associated with these beliefs A way of looking at the world based on testing and experimenting
Even when suggesting definitions for words, people can find themselves in disagreement. Much of what we believe now, and therefore how we think and act, is dependent on prior beliefs and experiences.
How did you reach a decision?
Did the group agree?
Remember: Beliefs are often subjective and affected by what we have previously experienced. Belief systems Consider the following question: Which is the best month of the year?
Do you think this is a question for science or religion?
Can it be answered by both?
Scientism is the belief that science alone can offer the truth about the universe. Those who hold this view believe that only testable and therefore provable facts have any merit. Now consider this question: Where did the universe come from?
Right up until the Enlightenment religion ruled. The unknown was explain through religion
Science evolved as people began to question the world around them. It did not aim to disprove religion
By 18 th Century, it was widely believed that religion should be reasonable . Science aimed to strip religion of superstition. However, there was an increasing number who believed science would disprove and replace religion
Today Religion is as strong as ever . The relationship between the two ranges from: - both equally valid and in harmony with each other - both equally valid but cannot be harmonised - one excludes the other
Copernicus In around 1512, the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus hypothesized that the sun, and not the earth, was at the centre of the universe and that all planets revolved around it. This theory of planetary motion is known as the Copernican system .
Galileo In the early 1600s, the Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo supported the Copernican system by understanding and explaining the structure of the Milky Way. He was brought before the Inquisition in Rome and was made to renounce all his scientific discoveries which suggested that the earth was not the centre of the universe. Before this time, people followed in the Ptolemaic system which placed the earth motionless at the centre of the universe. Why do you think the Church were afraid of Galileo’s findings? Is religion as afraid of science as it was when Copernicus and Galileo were making their discoveries?
Gen 1&2 – literal, scientific, historic . Chronology and mechanism accurate. Fundamentalist, Creationist, Church pre-18 th century - Earth is 6000 yrs old - Evidence planted by the devil to deceive
Gen 1&2 – symbolic record Gen and Big Bang correlate. Gerald Schroeder says they are, “identical realities described in vastly different terms” “Let there be light” = “Breath of God” =
Gen 1&2 – mythological . ONIONS. What do they teach us about the world, God and humans?
Brahma the creator Shiva the destroyer Vishnu the preserver
Hinduism In a Hindu creation story we are told that this is only one universe of many:
What is the Hindu view of time?
How do you imagine Hindus have responded to the scientific theory that the world is billions of years old?
At first there is nothing but Lord Brahman who creates water. Out of the water comes Lord Vishnu who contains all the elements of creation, including the creator god, Brahma . Once Brahma emerges he creates the world from his own body. But then Lord Shiva gets annoyed and angry with this imperfect world and destroys it so that there is nothing again but Brahman who creates water…
Hindu cycle of creation Hindus believe that the universe is an endless cycle of creation and destruction. At first there was nothing but Lord Brahman Out of the water comes Lord Vishnu who contains all the elements of creation Vishnu also brings forth the creator god, Brahma Brahma creates the world from his own body Lord Shiva gets annoyed and angry with this imperfect world Shiva destroys it so that there is nothing again but Brahman
1996 Catholic church accepted the Big Bang as HOW the world was made
Telihard De Chardin. “Evolution is HOW God made life
Leibniz: “Even if we know how we’re still left with the question why?
Your views Are Science and Religion in Conflict?
In his Philosophical Investigations (1953), Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that it is very difficult for science and religion to converse because the meanings of the words they use are so different. Before you can play a game you need to understand the rules and language. Science and religion think they know and understand each other but do not.
Albert Einstein claimed that science, as well as religion, uses faith as a source of knowledge. ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind’.
Galileo believed that science can provide information about our universe’s workings but that only religion can give us with meaning.