GCSE Philosophy and Ethics (OCR): Religion and Science

These cards detail the Religion and Science unit for the OCR Religious Studies B (christianity) specification. Credit to the textbook that goes with this specification.

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Origins of the World: Scientific and Religious The

Scientific and Religious Theories on Creation

  • The Big Bang theory: Around 15 billion years ago, there was a cosmic explosion - a 'big bang' - that caused matter and gases to fly out in all directions. All the universes were formed from this and as the gases cooled, the stars and planets, including Earth took shape.
  • Evolution: The theory that animals and plants have adapted to their surroundings by a process called Natural Selection and we have evolved from simpler forms of life - the Survival of the Fittest
  • Creation Stories: Many Christians believe in the creation stories, which are found in the book of Genesis (meaning 'ex nihilo' - out of nothing') 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' (Genesis 1:1)
  • Day 1: night and day, Day 2: sky and water, Day 3: land and vegetation, Day 4: sun, moon and stars, Day 5: creatures of the sea and sky, Day 6: other living creatures and humans
  • Nothing was created by chance,it was all intended by God - there was a purpose
  • The world was created perfect
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Interpretations about the Origins of the World

How do Christians interpret the stories of creation?

  • Creationists/Literalists: They take the Bible literally, believing what it states word for word is true e.g. they believe that each 'day' of creation was literally 24 hours. They reject all scientific theories. In the 19th century, Philip Gosse, a naturalist, even suggested that fossil remains were put there as a test of faith from God.
  • Non-Literalists: They believe that the Creation stories provide important information but they are not factually accurate. They interpret the 'days' of creation as being periods of time. They believe that religion and science together give an accurate picture of life.
  • Intelligent Design: The theory that the universe is best explained by the existence of an 'intelligent designer' who planned and created it.

How do others interpret the stories of creation?

  • John Polkinghorne - he has written extensively about how religion and science are compatible
  • 'God is the terminal illness of reason' - Peter Atkins
  • Richard Dawkins - famous atheist who believes that religion is a myth and science is the only valid account- 'it is supported by lots and lots of evidence'
  • Some atheists have argued that the reason the universe seems designed for humans is simply because humanity has evolved to live in its conditions
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People and Animals (see Medical Ethics cards for m

What do Christians believe about animals?

According to Genesis, animals were created before humans. Therefore, Christians believe that humans have a responsibility of Stewardship over animals- the belief that humans should act as caretakers towards animals; 'The Lord God...put him [Adam] in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it' (Genesis 2:15)

Some Christians also believe in the idea of Dominion, where humans are better that animals and have control over them; 'Rule over...every living creature' (Genesis 1:28)

Christian beliefs about the relationship between humans and animals

  • Animals don't posess a soul - so humans are better
  • Roman Catholics believe that animals should be looked after and cared for but they are not equal to humans - human rights are better than animal rights
  • Quakers believe that human and animal rights should be balanced
  •  The Animal Liberation Movement
  • Andrew Linzey (famous Anglican Priest) 'God's love is intended for all'
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Treatment of Animals/Environmental Issues

Christian beliefs about the treatment of Animals: 

Most Christians believe that no unecessary pain to animals should be caused. They believe that they have a responsibility to care for and protect animals, so some are against Cosmetic Testing.

However, some argue that using animals for food is acceptable and medical testing which benefits humans - as this is necessary for survival.

Environmental Issues and Christian response to these issues:

  • Christians believe that humanity was given a responsibility from God to care for the planet (stewardship). Therefore, they apply these beliefs to God's creation
  • Pollution, deforestation, damage to habitats and global warming are all examples of environmental issues caused by humans.
  • Christians respond by; recycling, joining organisations such as Greenpeace, raising awareness, using products which aren't harmful to the environment, be less wasteful (e.g. turning off the lights), use cars with low emissions
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Quote Bank for Religion & Science

(Interpretation of) Origins of the World :

  • 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' (Genesis 1:1)
  • 'God is the terminal illness of reason' - Peter Atkins
  • John Polkinghorne - he has written extensively about how religion and science are compatible
  • Science is 'it is supported by lots and lots of evidence' - Richard Dawkins

People and Animals :

  • 'The Lord God...put him [Adam] in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it' (Genesis 2:15)
  • 'Rule over...every living creature' (Genesis 1:28)
  • Andrew Linzey (famous Anglican Priest) 'God's love is intended for all'
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Chris Threadgold

this is WICKED!

Chris Threadgold

any way we can download this?


yep, just click on 'printable pdf' at the top to print it off. Or, to save it to your computer, right click 'printable PDF' and click 'save target/link as...'

Ilsa Nazish

hi this resourse is really good any chance you have any other resources on religion and good and evil

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