Philosophy - Science and Religion revision

Revision for the first module of Philosophy.

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  • Created by: Jenny
  • Created on: 18-01-11 19:19

What is the Big Bang theory?

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The Big Bang theory is the belief that the creation of the Universe was caused by a giant explosion at the start of time.

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What did Edwin Hubble do which supports the Big Bang theory?

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Edwin Hubble observed the speed at which stars move away from each other.

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What is the Steady State theory?

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The Steady State theory is the belief that the Universe is expanding at a regular speed. However since the discovery of cosmic background radiation, this theory has little stature.

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What is the 'God of the Gaps' theory?

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The 'God of the Gaps' theory is the belief that when science currently doesn't know an answer to a question, the use of 'God' fills in as an answer.

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What is the theological argument for the creation of the Universe?

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The theological argument for the creation of the Universe can be found in Genesis 1:1, where there is the belief that the Earth was created in six days.

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What is the argument between the theologist view of the creation of the Universe?

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Scientists disagree with the idea that the world was created in six days, deeming this an 'inaccurate' number. However, ancient Jewish theologians have said that the concept of a 'day' is not limited to our understanding of time - a 'day' could be hundreds of thousands of years long, making the idea more plausible.

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What is the link between science and religion in relation to the creation of the Universe?

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In Genesis 1:1 God says "let there be light" as the first thing to be created, and scientists now believe that the Big Bang first produced a gargantuan amount of light.

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What is Young Earth Creationism?

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Young Earth Creationism, first theorised by Bishop Ussher, is the belief that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

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What island is used as evidence for the validity of Young Earth Creationism?

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The Isle of Sertsey was only created 40 years ago, but has tricked carbon dating into thinking it is thousands of years old. From within two months of its creation, the isle had a full ecosystem and was beginning to show signs of erosion.

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What do scientists argue as evidence against Young Earth Creationism?

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Scientists say that there is evidence for dinosaurs living millions of years before humans, as well as geographical evidence to contradict the theory uch as the discovery of thousands of years old bacteria. Also, we can now see stars which are billions of light years away, meaning that for the light to travel to Earth it must have been created billions of years ago.

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Who first noticed geological changes on the Earth?

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Charles Lyell noted how the Earth seemed to be ever changing and evolving.

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What was said to counter Lyell's ideas?

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Phillip Gosse said that fossils on the Earth were merely placed there by God in order to test humankind's faith.

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What did Charles Darwin discover?

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After years of travelling, Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution - the belief that animals evolve and adapt from genetic mutations in order to survive. Genetic mutations which favour the animal in question would have been passed on in offspring - this is called natural selection.

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What opposition is there against evolution?

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Michael Behe suggested that one cell organisms were exempt from the theory, which then undermines it. He says that the organisms would not have evolved enough enzymes in order to heal injuries and would therefore have bled to death. However, there are much clearer examples of evolution and the organisms may have had another defence mechanism to heal themselves - there is no way of telling.

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What is the Intelligent Design theory?

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The Intelligent Design theory is the belief that the Universe was created by an intelligent designer - the most logical answer being God.

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What is the Intelligent Design theory supported by?

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The Intelligent Design theory is supported by the anthropic principle - the idea that the Universe is exactly fine-tuned in order to sustain life on Earth.

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What does Paul Davies say about the Intelligent Design theory?

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Paul Davies says that the idea of the universe being fine-tuned is a 'Goldilocks Enigma' - that everything is 'just right'.

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What opposition is there for intelligent design?

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Scientists believe that the Intelligent Design theory is just another attempt at sneaking Creationism back into the spotlight, and therefore has no credit. It is also accused of being another 'God of the Gaps' theory.

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Who is John Polkinghorne and what does he believe about religion and science?

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John Polkinghorne is an Anglican priest and respected physicist who is credited with the discovery of quarks. He says that religious people must begin to take science seriously, but both science and religion require a leap of faith to believe in them.

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Who is Alister McGrath and what does he believe about religion and science?

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Alister McGrath is the first person to gain a doctorate in both Natural Sciences and Theology. He believes that whilst science is valid and should be taken seriously, it is limited by reality and will therefore never be able to find all of the answers about the creation of the Universe.

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