Scientists no longer had to refer to God in order to explain all their theories. What implications did this have for religious belief?
The Christian faith no longer had control over all branches of knowledge.
Religion was reduced to become the explanation for things still not understood by science – God of the Gaps theology.
George Gamow calculated that if the galaxies were moving apart you could assume that there was once a time when they were closer together – how long ago did he estimate that all matter was compressed into an infinitely small volume?
10-15 million years
Scientists are unable to account for the extreme conditions that existed at the moment of the Big Bang – how would a theist answer this question?
They may argue that it was God who started the Big Bang
Religious thought is usually based on what?
Revelation (often through scripture), reflection and abstract ideas, and is concerned with values and belief rather than just facts.
What is Survival of the Fittest?
The idea that all offspring are not all identical: variations exist within them. Some offspring will survive and some will not. Those that have specific variations to suit the environment will survive and pass their advantages onto their own offspring.
According to Laplace, what is scientific determinism?
The principle that all information and events embody natural laws – Every event in the universe is controlled by these natural laws.
What do scientists do when their theories are seen to be weak or are proved false?
New theories may replace older ones if there is a greater weight of evidence in their favour.
What is Natural selection?
The belief that certain beneficial characteristics that help a species survive are passed on to new generations until all members of the species have inherited it.
Scientific findings in the 16th century and beyond were to have significant consequences for religious belief – what were these?
Some believers were able to accept the ‘new philosophy’ without losing their faith whilst others abandoned their religious belief altogether.
Scientists no longer regarded God as immanent and as the controller of everything – the world and the universe ran like clockwork. What implications does this have for religious belief?
This led to the development of Deism – the belief that God started the creation process off and then stood back and does not intervene.
One issue that may cast doubt on evolution is the fact that it seems to have taken place too quickly – human being s should not be here yet. How has science reacted to this?
They have developed a theory that the process was not gradual but may have happened in ‘leaps’ or ‘jumps’ which result in sudden changes taking place at certain times.
Scientists have no explanation at this time to say why or how these fast changes happen.
Who published a book called ‘Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems’ in which he set out to show that the language of the universe is mathematics?
What do some scientists believe provided the necessary materials for life to develop on our planet?
The death of the earliest stars.
Why was there no concept of natural law in the Middle Ages?
Because everything was explained by God’s actions
Who dismissed Napoleon’s comments about a lack of reference to God in his work by saying ‘I have no need for that hypothesis’?
Pierre Laplace – a French mathematician and astronomer who believed the idea of a God was irrelevant in a modern scientific world.
Why did Stephen Hawking say that Laplace was wrong not to include God in the explanation of the universe?
He said that Laplace had failed to address who put the laws in place in the initial configuration of the universe – Hawking said this was left to God.
How did Darwin’s theory of evolution of animals undermine Christian teaching?
1. He showed how living things developed in small ‘chance’ steps and were not in their final form at the time of creation – no need for a designer or creator.
2. He showed that living things adapted to suit their environment rather than the environment being created to suit living things.
3. He showed that nature was ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’ (violent) and this did not match the idea of a gentle loving creator God.
What contributions did Galileo Galilei bring to the table?
He showed that…
- the universe was a vast immeasurable space
- the universe was not unchanging but actively varying
- the movement of planets was a ‘natural’ thing and not the result of God’s constant actions
the universe was heliocentric
How does Deism affect religious belief?
It means religion can speak of ‘beginnings’ and ‘endings’ but can have no significance of events in between.
When would religion reject a scientific claim?
When it conflicts with the basic beliefs of that faith.
Who believed that because man was made in the image of God he had a perception on God's creation? - man could discover what God had done.
blank card - question coming soon
Scientists began to see the universe as a machine with all moving parts working together. What implications did this have for religious belief?
It was no longer necessary to believe God caused the movements in the universe
Man was no longer at the centre of God’s creation but inhabited a tiny planet that circled the sun.
Human life was no longer regarded as unique as now there was the possibility that life may exist on other planets.
According to many theists, how long did God take to make the earth and all that is upon it?
What is the common name given to the idea that all matter in the universe was created from a gigantic explosion?
The Big Bang Theory
Isaac Newton showed that science was not just restricted to observation along but other principles could be applied. What are these principles which govern modern science?
Modern science seeks to back up observations with evidence, data and accepted natural laws
What are the names of those who first proposed the theory of evolution?
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin
Who first sought to explain the cosmos in the form of natural laws which could be applied universally to the whole of creation?
What is ‘God of the Gaps’?
The theory that God is the answer to questions and problems that science is otherwise unable to resolve.
Up until what century did religion and science almost always agree?
The 16th century