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Religious Studies/Philosophy: Religion & Science With Dr David Bather Woods From University of Warwick
November 24 @ 11:10 - 11:55
In this Religious Studies/Philosophy session, Dr David Bather Woods, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Warwick, will run an interactive talk for students on Religion & Science.
Religion and science are often assumed to be in conflict with one another. However, some recent versions of classic argument for the existence of God have attempted to incorporate scientific findings into their premises. In this session, we will introduce and examine a selection of these arguments.
We will begin with the “fine-tuning” version of the teleological argument. The teleological argument, also commonly known as the argument from design, states that the universe appears to have specialised features that are best explained by the existence of an intelligent divine creator. In the fine-tuning version of the argument, the special feature that is taken as evidence for the existence of God is the fact that the universe is “fine-tuned” to permit human life, a fact which many scientists have themselves formulated and supported. We will state this argument clearly and carefully, and subject its claims and inferences to critical examination.
We will also examine the “kalām” cosmological argument. Cosmological arguments infer the existence of God from more general facts about the universe, such as the fact that it even exists. The “kalām” version – so called because its origins go as far back as the Islamic philosopher Al-Ghazali, although it has recently been revived by contemporary Christian thinkers – argues that the universe has a beginning in time, and since everything that begins must have a cause, the universe itself must have a cause. The argument proceeds to locate this cause in God. Among the support for the claim that the universe has a beginning are scientific findings and theories, such as the Big Bang. As before, we will state this argument and investigate it critically.
Overall, in this session we will ask whether incorporating scientific premises into these contemporary versions of classic arguments helps their cause – or rather whether these arguments still suffer from fatal flaws in their claims and reasoning.
The session will develop thinking, skills and approaches to support students in their Religious Studies, Philosophy or Sociology studies and future aspirations.
Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Dr David Bather Woods
Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.
As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.
Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Sociology and related disciplines.
Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance and questions they have. Students can also think about questions about studying Religious Studies, Philosophy, Sociology at university level.
The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.
Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below: