Origins in Science and Religion Letters and Science 121 T-Th 2: 00-3: 30, 2040 VLSB Spring 2013 This course explores the concepts of origins in science and religion and their cultural contexts and entanglements, from antiquity to the present. Popular culture tends to emphasize the conflict between science and religion on such issues, particularly, in recent times, with respect to the origin of life and its evolution (including human evolution). We hold that science must acknowledge history, both the history of the natural world and the history of concepts about it, and that religion must deal with the changing knowledge of science, including issues of origins, causation, and teleology. Our guiding questions include: What are origins, and why do we want to know about them? How does this desire manifest itself in different ways of constructing and analyzing knowledge? What sorts of intellectual processes, standards, and tests can be applied to different concepts of origins? What happens when different notions of origins clash? How do we negotiate these clashes in today’s world? Instructors Professor Kevin Padian Professor Ronald Hendel Department of Integrative Biology Department of Near Eastern Studies 5099 VLSB, [email protected] edu 276 Barrows, [email protected] edu office hours: W 11-12 and by appt. office hours: Tu 11-12 and by appt. GSIs Dale Loepp, [email protected] edu office hours: Th 3: 30-4: 30 and by appt. Nick Matzke, [email protected] edu office hours: Tu 3: 30-4: 30 and by appt. Yosefa Raz, [email protected] edu office hours: Th 1-2 and by appt. Course requirements Participation (sections), 20%; two short papers (5 pgs), 20% each; Midterm exam, 20%; Final exam, 20% Required texts Ronald Hendel, The Book of Genesis: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2012) Charles Darwin, The Annotated Origin: A Facsimile of the First Edition of the First Edition, ed. James T. Costa (Harvard University Press, 2011) (paperback) Other readings posted on class bSpace site Schedule and readings Part I. Science, Religion, and Origins Jan. 22 (T) Introduction: What do origins mean, and how should we study them? Note: discussion sections will not meet in this first week Jan. 24 (Th) Science and religion: Contradiction or complement? Read: Gould, “ Non-overlapping Magisteria, ” at http://www. stephenjaygould. org/library/gould_noma. html ; Coyne, “ Seeing and Believing”; Miller, Finding Darwin’s God (excerpt); Collins, “ Faith and the Human Genome” Jan. 29 (T) The structure of science Read: Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, ch. 2-3 (pp. 10-34); and “ How Science Works, ” at http://undsci. berkeley. edu/article/howscienceworks_01 and be sure that you read all 21 webpages in this section. Jan. 31 (Th) The structure of religion Read: Geertz, “ Religion as a Cultural System” Feb. 5 (T) The structure of secularism (Dale) Read: Taylor, A Secular Age (excerpt) Feb. 7 (Th) Atheism, agnosticism, theism: What’s the difference and the difference it makes Read: Onfray, The Atheist Manifesto (excerpt); Dawkins, The God Delusion (excerpt); Hitchens, God is Not Great (excerpt); Rosenbaum, “ An Agnostic Manifesto; ” Haught, “ Evolution and Faith” Feb. 12 (T) Origins of the universe (Eliot Quataert) Read: Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (excerpt) Feb. 14 (Th) Origins of life (Nick) Read: Pross, What is Life? (excerpt) Part II. History of the Present Feb. 19 (T) Creation myths: How and what they mean Read: Enuma Elish; Hesiod’s Theogony, lines 104-233, 535-615, 807-885; Hopi creation myth; and Chinese creation myth (bSpace). Web texts at: http://www. etana. org/node/581; https://www. msu. edu/~tyrrell/theogon. pdf; http://www. indianlegend. com/hopi/hopi_001. htm Feb. 22 (Th) Cosmology in the Bible and the ancient Near East Read: Genesis 1-3; Hendel, Genesis, pp. 15-44 Feb. 26 (T) Theodicy: God and the problem of evil Read: Job 1-11, 38-42; Ecclesiastes 1-12; and Babylonian Theodicy at http://www. etana. org/node/582 Feb. 28 (Th) From myth to philosophy in ancient Greece Read: Vernant, The Origins of Greek Thought (excerpt) Mar. 5 (T) Science and religion in the middle ages Read: Hendel, Genesis, pp. 83-90, 146-156; Dallal, Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History (excerpt); Overbye, “ How Islam Won, and Lost, the Lead in Science; ” Hannam, “ Magic and Medicine” Mar. 7 (Th) The heresy of Galileo Hendel, Genesis, pp. 156-166; Galileo, “ Starry Messenger, ” pp. 1-5, 12-15; and “ Letter to Duchess Christina, ” pp. 1-6. Web texts at http://people. rit. edu/wlrgsh/Galileo. pdf http://www. disf. org/en/documentation/03-Galileo_Cristina. asp Mar. 12 (T) New worlds and deep time Read: Hendel, Genesis, pp. 176-182; Cutler, The Seashell on the Mountaintop (excerpt) and the reading guide to Cutler. SHORT PAPER DUE Mar. 14 (Th) The rise of the Cultural Bible (Yosefa) Hendel, Genesis, pp. 166-176; Sheehan, The Enlightenment Bible (excerpt) Mar. 19 (T) Midterm exam Part III. Darwin’s Shadow Mar 22 (Th) Narrative in science Read: Landau, “ Narratives of Human Evolution” and the reading guide to Landau, plus “ How to read a scientific paper” and skim the paper on Tiktaalik Apr. 2 (T) The origin of species: What Darwin said and didn’t say Read: Darwin, Origin of Species, chs. 1-4, and particularly the reading guide to Darwin; Padian, “ Darwin’s Enduring Legacy” and “ Ten Myths about Darwin” Apr. 4 (Th) Origins of humans and sexual selection Read: Darwin, Descent of Man, Vol. II, Chapter 21, beginning on page 385 at http://darwin-online. org. uk/contents. html#descent Apr. 9 (T) The descent of humans: Race, slavery, power Read: Genesis 6-11; Hendel, Genesis, pp. 197-208 Apr. 11 (Th) Origins of sex and gender Read: Genesis 1-4, 18-19; Hendel, Kronfeld, and Pardes, “ Gender and Sexuality” Apr. 16 (T) Ethics in evolution Read: Darwin, Descent of Man, pp. 84-104; at http://darwin-online. org. uk/content/frameset? pageseq= 171&itemID= F937. 1&viewtype= side Apr. 18 (Th) The rise of fundamentalism Read: Hendel, Genesis, pp. 182-95; Bryan, “ The Menace of Evolution” at http://law2. umkc. edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/bryanonevol. html Apr. 23 (T) Intelligent design and “ intelligent design” Read: Padian and Matzke, “ Darwin, Dover, ‘ Intelligent Design’ and textbooks” Apr. 25 (Th) The missing link: How we know about evolutionary transitions Read: Lebo, The Devil in Dover (excerpt) Apr. 30 (T) How we know about evolutionary transitions (part II) Read: Padian Dover trial testimony at www. sciohost. org/ncse/kvd/Padian/Padian_transcript. html (begin reading after the first recess in the transcript) May 2 (Th) The end of the world: Apocalypse, extinction, or entropy? Read: Hendel, Genesis, 63-82; SHORT PAPER DUE FINAL EXAM: Monday, May 13, 11: 30-1: 00 ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Be sure to get this exact version; other editions will be useless.
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