Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
31 (2), June 1996

Table of Contents

Editorial

June 1996 Editorial by Philip Hefner

This issue of Zygon presents the first installment of a major project that we have had in mind for some time: to take the measure of the burgeoning and significant work of the neurosciences. This venture will occupy more than half of this issue and most of the remaining two issues of 1996. Altogether, this thirty-first volume of the journal may well provide the most extensive treatment of the neurosciences in the light of religion, theology, and values that has ever appeared. When we remember that just ten years ago, in volume 21 (1986), Zygon devoted two successive issues to this same theme, we conclude that the neurosciences constitute one of the most significant elements of our stated program of yoking religion and science, and they surely will continue to be so in the years ahead.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00018.x

Articles

Cognitive Theism: Sources of Accommodation between Secularism and Religion by Robert B. Glassman

Abstract:
Religion persists, even within enlightened secular society, because it has adaptive functions. In particular, Ralph Wendell Burhoe’s theory holds that religion is the repository of cultural wisdom that most encourages mutual altruism among nonkin, long-term social survival, and human progress. This article suggests a variant of Burhoe’s rationalized naturalistic view. Cognitive theism is a proposal that secularists sometimes take religion on its own terms by suspending disbelief about God. If we consider particular human capacities and limitations in memory, perception, personality, and motivation, the regulated “mind expansion” of cognitive theism may help us to evaluate, coordinate, and invigorate things in a modern environment. In this environment, communicative and travel technologies have led to a high loading of consciousness with a historically unusual diverse range of experiences and responsibilities, a high rate of cultural change relative to biological evolution, and a tendency to factionalize. Burhoe’s extension of the concept of symbiosis to the coevolution of culture and genes is modified here in recognition of individual differences and of individuals’ potential for choosing strategies, recombining in groups, and learning. In human biocultural symbiont pools, cultural phenomena can evolve while changing partners in a dance with genetic substrates, a dance that broadly supports these substrates. In the context of diversity and incessant change in a large predominantly secular community, Judeo-Christian monotheism can have a valuable advisory unifying function.
Keywords:
belief • biocultural evolution • Ralph Wendell Burhoe • civilization • doubt • gene-culture coevolution • intellectuals • memory • motivation • perception • personality • progress • purpose • psychology • secularism • stories • survival • symbiosis • theism
Robert B. Glassman is a neuroscientist who is Professor of Psychology and chair of that department at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL 60045.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00019.x

The Spiritual Limits of Neuropsychological Life by John A. Teske

Abstract:
How neuropsychology is necessary but insufficient for understanding spirituality is explored. Multileveled spiritual requisites are systematically examined in terms of their neuropsychological constituents and limitations. The central “problem of integrity” is articulated via the “modularity” of our neuropsychology, and evidence is presented for disunities of self and consciousness. It is argued that the integrity of self or spirit is a contingent achievement rather than a necessary given. Integrating possibilities include belief, emotion, and relationships. Understanding integrity, and the transformations of self-surrender and sacrifice, may require explicitly stepping beyond neuropsychology and including the self in a larger system.
Keywords:
levels of analysis • mind-brain relationship • neuropsychology • self • social cognition • spirituality
John A. Teske is Associate Professor of Psychology, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00020.x

Consciousness and the Machine by Eugene G. d’Aquili and Andrew B. Newberg

Abstract:
We consider only the relationship of consciousness to physical reality, whether physical reality is interpreted as the brain, artificial intelligence, or the universe as a whole. The difficulties with starting the analysis with physical reality on the one hand and with consciousness on the other are delineated. We consider how one may derive from the other. Concepts of universal or pure consciousness versus local or ego consciousness are explored with the possibility that consciousness may be physically creative. We examine whether artificial intelligence can possess consciousness as an extension of the interrelationship between consciousness and the brain or material reality.
Keywords:
artificial intelligence • brain • consciousness • material reality • neuroepistemology • subjective awareness
Eugene G. d’Aquili, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, may be reached at Limina, 2400 Chestnut Street, Suite 1503, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Andrew B. Newberg, a resident in internal medicine at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, also may be reached at Limina, 2400 Chestnut Street, Suite 1503, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00021.x

Christianity and Evolutionary Ethics: Sketch toward a Reconciliation by Patricia A. Williams

Abstract:
Evolutionary ethics posits the evolution of dispositions to love self, kin, and friend. Christianity claims that God’s ethical demand is to love one’s neighbor. I argue that the distance between these two positions can be interpreted theologically as original sin, the disposition to disobey God’s command and practice self-love and nepotism rather than neighbor-love. Original sin requires Incarnation and Atonement to unite God and humanity. The ancient doctrine of the Atonement as educative does not invoke the Fall. Its revival may help reconcile Christianity and evolutionary ethics.
Keywords:
Atonement • Christianity • evolutionary ethics • love command • original sin • Michael Ruse
Patricia A. Williams is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Virginia State University. Her address is P.O. Box 69, Covesville, VA 22931.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00022.x

Metaphysics and Epistemology in Stephen Hawking’s Theory of the Creation of the Universe by Joseph M. Życiński

Abstract:
In 1981 S. W. Hawking and J. Hartle presented a quantum mechanical description of the early stages of possible cosmological evolution. Their proposal was interpreted by many authors as a pattern of cosmic creation from nothing in which no divine Creator is needed. In this approach, physically defined “nothing” was identified both with the empty set of set theory and with metaphysical nothingness. After defining philosophical presuppositions implicitly assumed in Hawking’s paper, one discovers that this alleged nothingness has all the properties of the philosophically conceived Logos accepted by Hellenic philosophers of the Neoplatonic tradition. Consequently, Hawking’s theory of creation remains consistent with Christian theism, and its only theological opponents can be found among defenders of Samuel Clark’s God of scientific gaps.
Keywords:
being • boundary conditions • cosmological models • creation • instrumentalism • logos • nothingness • physical vacuum • quantum cosmology • quantum mechanics • scientific realism • singularity • theism • time
Joseph M. Życiński is Professor of Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Craców, Poland. He is also Bishop of Tarnów, Moscickiego 9, 33 100 Tarnów, Poland.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00023.x

Donna Haraway’s Metatheory of Science and Religion: Cyborgs, Trickster, and Hermes by William Grassie

Abstract:
This article is a close reading of two essays by Donna Haraway on feminist philosophy, the biophysical sciences, and critical social theory. Haraway’s strong social constructionist approach to science is criticized by colleague Sandra Harding, resulting in an epistemological reconceptualization of objectivity by Haraway. Haraway’s notion of “situated knowledges” provides a workable epistemology for all social and biophysical sciences, while inviting the reintegration of religions as critical conversation partners in an emancipatory hermeneutics of nature, culture, and technology.
Keywords:
critical theory • cyborgs • epistemology • feminist philosophy • Donna Haraway • Sandra Harding • hermeneutics • nature and culture • religion and science • technology
William Grassie is Assistant Professor in the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00024.x

The Teachers’ File

A New Feature by Philip Hefner

One of the more dramatic new developments on the interface of religion and the sciences, to which Zygon has devoted itself for thirty years, is the rapid increase in the number of relevant courses taught in colleges, universities, and seminaries throughout the world. The emergence of this teaching field represents nothing less than the engagement of both the intellectual and religious worlds, as those worlds are embodied in academia, with the religion-and-science enterprise, in all its significance and scope.

We can speak in such lofty terms because the range and diversity of these courses is impressive. A conservative estimate reckons that at least 150 such courses will be taught during 1996 in the English-speaking world (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States), not to mention Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. The instructors of these courses include teachers from many disciplines: the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences, history, philosophy, religious studies, and theology. The institutions which accredit the courses range from state universities (e.g., Florida State University, University of California—Santa Cruz, University of Wisconsin at Madison and Oshkosh, Oxford University) to private colleges (e.g., Carleton College, Rollins College) and church-related colleges across the spectrum—Catholic, mainline Protestant, Evangelical. Theological seminaries and graduate schools also sponsor such curriculum features. …
Philip Hefner is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. His address is 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street, Chicago, IL 60615-5199; e-mail: philhef @ mcs.com.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00025.x

Science-and-Religion and the Search for Meaning by Philip Hefner

Abstract:
A survey and interpretation is offered of the broad range of contemporary thinking that concerns itself with the relationships between religion and science. The survey consists of a spectrum of six types of thought: (1) The modern option: translating religious wisdom into scientific concepts; (2) the postmodern/new-age option: constructing new science-based myths; (3) the critical post-Enlightenment option: expressing the truth at the obscure margin of science; (4) the postmodern constructivist option: fashioning a new metaphysics for scientific knowledge; (5) the constructivist traditional option: interpreting science in dynamic traditional concepts; (6) the Christian evangelical option: reaffirming the rationality of traditional belief. The interpretive effort considers these options under the rubric of the contemporary search for meaning and takes note of controversy and convergence within this search. Thinking on the religion/science interface is representative of much contemporary thinking that deals with the question of meaning in the present intellectual and cultural situation.
Keywords:
credible understandings • meaning • postmodern religion-science • tradition • ultimacy
Philip Hefner is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. His address is 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street, Chicago, IL 60615-5199; e-mail: philhef @ mcs.com. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for class use, with this note: reprinted from Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00026.x

Theology and Science: Where Are We? by Ted Peters

Abstract:
Revolutionary developments in both science and theology are moving the relation between the two far beyond the nineteenth-century “warfare” model. Both scientists and theologians are engaged in a common search for shared understanding. Eight models of interaction are outlined: scientism, scientific imperialism, ecclesiastical authoritarianism, scientific creationism, the two-language theory, hypothetical consonance, ethical overlap, and New Age spirituality. Developments in hypothetical consonance are explored in the work of various scholars, including Ian Barbour, Philip Clayton, Paul Davies, Willem Drees, Langdon Gilkey, Philip Hefner, Nancey Murphy, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Robert John Russell, Thomas Torrence and Wenzel van Huyssteen.
Keywords:
consonance • cosmology • created cocreator • creation • critical realism • ecology • eschatology • evolution • falsification • fruitfulness • holism • New Age spirituality • postmodernism • scientific creationism • scientism • warfare between science and theology
Ted Peters is Professor of Systematic Theology at Pacific Lutheran Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, editor of Dialog: A Journal of Theology, and Research Associate at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. His address is 2770 Marin Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for class use, with this note: reprinted from Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00027.x

Reviews

Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology by William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, reviewed by John Leslie

John Leslie; Professor of Philosophy; University of Guelph; Ontario NlG 2W1; Canada
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory by Mary Douglas, reviewed by Robert Launay

Robert Launay; Professor of Anthropology; Northwestern University; Evanston, IL 60208
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming—Natural, Divine, and Human by Arthur Peacocke, reviewed by James E. Huchingson

James E. Huchingson; Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Florida International University; Miami, FL 33199
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

On the Nature and Existence of God by Richard Gale, reviewed by Kelly James Clark

Kelly James Clark; Associate Professor of Philosophy; Calvin College; Grand Rapids, MI 49506
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

The Natural Contract by Michel Serres, reviewed by Raymond D. Boisvert

Raymond D. Boisvert; Professor; Department of Philosophy; Siena College; Loudonville, NY 12211
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

Renè Girard and Myth: An Introduction by Richard J. Golsan, reviewed by Cesáreo Bandera

Cesáreo Bandera; Professor of Romance Languages; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill, NC 27514
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00029.x

Endmatter

A Feeling for the Future: The Process of Change as Explored by Fred L. Polak and Barbara McClintock by Henriette Kelker

Abstract:
Fred. L. Polak explored the mechanisms of social change in terms of “future-visions” held by a community. The future, says Polak, participates actively in the present, providing part of the context within which today’s decisions are made. Barbara McClintock acquired her insights in maize genetics by developing “a feeling for the organism.” New insights, she maintains, emerge through a mutual relationship between researcher and subject. Though scholars in different fields, both acknowledge the power of images in the creative process. There is a difference in the extent to which each scientist perceives this power to be available to create new ideas.
Keywords:
creativity • “feeling for the organism” • future-vision • myth of power • process of change • utopia
Henriette A. Kelker is a researcher at the Folklife Department of the Provincial Museum of Alberta. Her address is 5416 110 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3E1, Canada.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00030.x



Tables of Contents, Articles & Abstracts