Michael Ruse offers a new analysis of the often troubled relationship between science and religion. Arguing against both extremes - in one corner, the New Atheists; in the other, the Creationists and their offspring the Intelligent Designers - he asserts that science is the highest source of human inquiry. Yet, by its very nature and its deep reliance on metaphor, science restricts itself and is unable to answer basic, significant questions about the meaning of the universe and humankind's place within it: why is there something rather than nothing? What is the meaning of it all? Ruse shows that one can legitimately be a skeptic about these questions, and yet why it is open for a Christian, or member of any faith, to offer answers. Scientists, he concludes, should be proud of their achievements but modest about their scope. Christians should be confident of their mission but respectful of the successes of science.
Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. Author and editor of numerous books, most recently Darwinism and its Discontents and The Cambridge Companion to the 'Origin of Species' (with Robert Richards), he has been a Herbert Spencer Lecturer at Oxford University, a Gifford Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, and Reynolds Lecturer at Baylor University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the recipient of three honorary degrees.
Introduction; 1. The world as an organism; 2. The world as a machine; 3. Organisms as machines; 4. Thinking machines; 5. Unasked questions, unsolved problems; 6. Organicism; 7. God; 8. Morality, souls, eternity, mystery; Conclusion.