Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
30 (3), September 1995

Table of Contents


September 1995 Editorial by Philip Hefner

This journal is a programmatic enterprise, in that it espouses a point of view—namely, that religious and scientific thought can be integrated, and ought to be, in the interest of fashioning worldviews that will sustain more adequate ways of living for human beings at this critical juncture in our history. We work under the assumption that, over the long haul, the articles that we publish should contribute directly or indirectly to this program. Thirty years of editorial and publishing experience have been informed by this program and have been accountable to it. This third issue of our thirtieth year attests to the almost bewildering range of different fields and points of view that are relevant to the basic Zygon program. The breadth and depth of this range is a testimony to the fundamental accuracy of the founding editor, Ralph Wendell Burhoe, and the team of persons who joined him in establishing the journal. To be accountable to our original programmatic emphasis today requires that we represent this broad swath of fields and perspectives.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00077.x


If Our Genes Are for Us Who Can Be against Us? Thoughts of a Pragmatist on Science and Morality by J. Wesley Robbins

The philosopher Michael Ruse accounts for the difference between hypothetical and categorical imperatives, and thus the origin of distinctively moral obligations like that of altruism, in genetic terms. This is part of an attempt to develop a philosophy that takes Darwin seriously by substituting respectable scientific entities, specifically those of evolutionary biology, for suspect theological or philosophical ones, like God or the transcendental ego, as a basis for addressing philosophical questions. Pragmatists take Darwin seriously, but in a very different way from that proposed by Ruse. Darwin introduced a “logic” into the study of living things—including human beings, the human mind, and culture—that leads philosophers to ask new and different questions about morality rather than trying to supply new answers to the same old questions. This essay contrasts these two different ways of taking Darwin seriously for purposes of philosophy and claims certain advantages for the pragmatist way over Ruse’s.
altruism • authorizing entities • logic of transition • Michael Ruse • moral obligation • pragmatism • sociobiology
J. Wesley Robbins is Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University South Bend, P.O. Box 7111, South Bend, IN 46634.
DOI: DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00078.x

Instability and Dissonance: Provocations from Sandra Harding by Ann Milliken Pederson

Sandra Harding’s work is useful, not only as a critique of the scientific method and its epistemological constructs, but also in providing new energy and insights to the discussions about epistemology between theology and science.

Feminist theory has been critical of the worldviews inherited from the Enlightenment. No longer is there one unambiguous way of knowing ourselves and the world around us, a single vision of reality. Feminist philosophers of science like Sandra Harding and Donna Haraway have redefined the scientific method and its analytic categories. They have contributed significantly to this discussion by moving the Enlightenment epistemological issues into the arena of politics and ethics. Feminist theory continues to remind us that what is important is not only how or what we know but what we do with that knowledge and how we use it.
dissonance • feminist philosophy of science • situated knowledge • “strong objectivity”
Ann Milliken Pederson is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Augustana College, 29th and Summit, Sioux Falls, SD 57197.
DOI: DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00079.x

The Doctrine of the Trinity as a Model for Structuring the Relations between Science and Theology by K. Helmut Reich

A strategy for dealing systematically with such complex relationships as those between science and theology is presented after a brief overview of the historical record and illustrated in terms of the concept of divinity. The application of that strategy to the title relationships yields a multilogical/multilevel solution which presents certain analogies to or isomorphisms with the doctrine of the Trinity. These concern mainly the multilogical/multilevel character of both conceptualizations and the relational and contextual reasoning required to conceive them. Furthermore, certain characteristics of the doctrine facilitate the dialogue between theologians and scientists on account of their similarity with such scientific concepts as diversity in unity, multiplicity of relationships, nonseparability, and nonclassical logic.
cognitive complexity • epistemology • logic • metaphysics • science and religion/theology • systematics in the context of discovery • thought forms • Trinity
K. Helmut Reich is Research Associate and Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Fribourg, Rue Faucigny 2, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland. The Hochschulrat der Universität Freiburg provided financial support for the work.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00080.x

B. F. Skinner and the Grand Inquisitor by William A. Rottschaefer

B. F. Skinner allures us with the possibilities of turning the stones of materialistic rewards into the bread of human values. He tempts us by assuring success in achieving our goals through behavioral science, if only we give up our autonomy. He offers the power of complete control over our behaviors, on condition that we relinquish responsibility for our lives to a technological elite. Is B. F. Skinner a flesh-and-blood Grand Inquisitor? This essay tries to persuade the reader that Skinner’s offers are worth considering.
freedom • Grand Inquisitor • science and technology of behavior • science of values • B. F. Skinner • values
William A. Rottschaefer is Professor of Philosophy, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR 97219.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00081.x

Bernard Meland on the New Formative Imagery of Our Time by Jerome Stone

One of the key influences on radical empiricist theology, the thought of Bernard Meland is a challenge to overemphasis on precision and rigor of proof. This article (1) provides an introduction to Meland, (2) summarizes his view of the significance of post-Newtonian physics and of Darwin for religion, (3) discusses his relationship to Henry Nelson Wieman, and (4) assesses his contribution to current discussion in science and theology.
Bernard Meland • science and theology • Henry Nelson Wieman
Jerome Stone is Professor of Philosophy at William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL 60067.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00082.x

Islam and Environmental Ethics: Tradition Responds to Contemporary Challenges by Lisa Wersal

Mounting global environmental challenges beg for cross-cultural discussions that highlight underlying cultural values regarding nature. This paper explores the insights of Islamic scholars as they examine the interaction of Islamic culture and the West. The Western worldview that separates religion and science, value and fact, in particular differs from Islamic tradition, which sees all facets of life and affairs as interconnected by virtue of their common source—the Creator. As traditional Islamic values have been abandoned to adopt modern Western technologies, environmental problems have intensified in the Muslim world. Islamic scholars urge a return to Islamic ideals that reflect a sacramental view of the physical universe, and they champion the revival of an Islamic science that synthesizes empirical study and symbolic cognition.
East/West relations • ecotheology, Islamic • environmental ethics • Islamic science • theology, Islamic
Lisa Wersal, an independent scholar, resides at 1992 Field Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55116.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00083.x

Quantitative and/or Qualitative Methods in the Scientific Study of Religion by T. L. Brink

Qualitative research methods are essential to provide richness, but they are vulnerable to distortion of data by theory. The quantitative approach is necessary for the precision of hypothesis testing, but, by itself, this method is too critical to be creative. Religious studies should use both methods in alternate phases, with the qualitative approach creating new hypotheses and the quantitative approach critically testing them.
methods • qualitative • quantitative • religious studies • research methods
T. L. Brink is Senior Book Editor at the Haworth Press and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Crafton Hills College. His mailing address is 1103 Church Street, Redlands, CA 92374.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00084.x

Book Symposium: The Physics of Immortality by Frank Tipler

Something to Offend Everyone: Tipler’s Vision of Immortality by Donald G. York

Frank Tipler’s The Physics of Immortality provides abundant cause for intellectual offense—including challenges to physics, to theology, and, seemingly, to common sense. Few philosophical conundrums remain unaddressed. Still, the book is stimulating and well presented.
immortality • information • Omega Point • resurrection
Donald G. York is Horace B. Horton Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637.

This article reviews The Physics of Immortality by Frank Tipler.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00085.x

Frank Tipler’s Physical Eschatology by Hans-Dieter Mutschler

Frank L. Tipler’s book The Physics of Immortality is a striking attempt by a scientist to resolve the conflict between theology and science on the basis of a physicalist position that identifies theology as a branch of physics, and that calculates God “in exactly the same way as physicists calculate the characteristics of electrons.” Tipler’s work may be seen as a scientistic myth, and its critique is organized around the three basic characteristics of such myths: (1) it is illogical in that it argues as if physics were in fact metaphysics; (2) it is grim in that its glorification of technology is insensitive to ethical issues; (3) it is meaningless in that its espousal of a strong theory of artificial intelligence empties concrete personal histories by subsuming them under abstractions that distort our understandings both of God and of resurrection.
computer • metaphysics • physicalism • physics • reductionism
Hans-Dieter Mutschler teaches theology and philosophy at the Jesuiten Hochschule Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt, Germany, and is a researcher in technology and ethics at the University of Frankfurt. His address: Leerbachstrasse 50, 60322 Frankfurt, Germany.

This article reviews The Physics of Immortality by Frank Tipler.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00086.x


The John Templeton Foundation Model Courses in Science and Religion by Margaret Wertheim

In 1994 the John Templeton Foundation Humility Theology Information Center launched a major initiative, the Science-Religion Course Program, to encourage the teaching of high-quality academic courses focusing on the relationship between science and religion. In the first phase of the program, six courses were selected—four from the United States, one from Canada, and one from New Zealand—to serve as models for other academics wishing to initiate their own classes on the science-religion interface. In particular these six model courses will serve as examples for the second phase of the Templeton Foundation program, which will provide financial support for up to 100 courses at universities, colleges, and seminaries around the world. This paper is a report on the pedagogical strategies and methodologies employed in each of the six selected model courses.
epistemology • faith in knowledge • historical interaction • Kantian separation • pedagogy
Margaret Wertheim is a free-lance science writer. She can be contacted through her literary agent Beth Vesel, at Sanford Greenburger Associates, 55 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10003.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00087.x


Religion, Interpretation and Diversity of Belief: The Framework Model from Kant to Durkheim to Davidson by Terry F. Goodlove, Jr., reviewed by John Hedley Brooke

John Hedley Brooke; Professor of the History of Science; Lancaster University; Lancaster LA1 4YG; United Kingdom
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

Ethics in an Age of Technology by Ian Barbour, reviewed by Loyal D. Rue

Loyal D. Rue; Professor of Religion and Philosophy; Luther College; Decorah, IA 52101
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity by Stephen E. Toulmin, reviewed by Russell Bradner Norris, Jr.

Russell Bradner Norris, Jr.; Associate Professor of Systematic Theology; Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary; Columbia, SC 29203
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

The Social Dimensions of Science edited by Ernan McMullin, reviewed by Michael J. Degnan

Michael J. Degnan; Assistant Professor of Philosophy; University of Saint Thomas; Saint Paul, MN 55101
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

Evolutionary Epistemology and Its Implications for Humankind by Franz M. Wuketits and Evolutionary Ethics edited by Matthew H. Nitecki and Doris V. Nitecki, reviewed by Holmes Rolston, III

Holmes Rolston, III; University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy; Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO 80523
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

Integrity in Depth by John Beebe, reviewed by Steven F. Walker

Steven F. Walker; Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ 08903
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00088.x

In Memoriam

Calla Butler Burhoe, 1908-1995

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00089.x

Carol D. Peters, 1937-1995

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00089.x

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