One in the series New Dialogues in Philosophy, edited by Dale Jacquette, Michael Ruse, a leading expert on Charles Darwin, presents a fictional dialogue among characters with sharply contrasting positions regarding the tensions between science and religious belief. Ruse's main characters?an atheist scientist, a skeptical historian and philosopher of science, a relatively liberal female Episcopalian priest, and a Southern Baptist pastor who denies evolution?passionately argue about pressing issues, in a context framed within a television show: "Science versus God? Who is Winning?" These characters represent the different positions concerning science and religion often held today: evolution versus creation, the implications of Christian beliefs upon technological advances in medicine, and the everlasting debate over free will.
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Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. Ruse has received two honorary doctorates, is a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, and is a recipient of the John Templeton Book Prize. He is the author of over 25 books, with many on Charles Darwin and related themes, including the widely reviewed Taking Darwin Seriously.Review:
This book is a splendid?indeed ingenious?presentation of the fascinating questions evolution raises for religion and theology. In the form of a cleverly fashioned dialogue it also summarizes, in a most readable and entertaining way, the main answers now being given to these questions. It will prove to be stimulating and enlightening to many different audiences, both academic and nonacademic. This dialogue will be especially useful for teachers and students interested in the sciences, religion, theology, philosophy, history, and contemporary cultural studies. (John F. Haught, Georgetown University)
Michael Ruse portrays a dispute that concerns the proper relationship between science and religion, about which the several clamorous representatives clash, often in comedic confusion. Yet from the din emerges rational clarity about the epistemic riches of science and the moral significance of religion. Reading Ruse rouses one from the lethargy of those boring sermons preached either from the pulpit or the laboratory. (Robert J. Richards, University of Chicago)
A promising new series that offers noteable contemporary philosophers the opportunity to write books in a neglected format that has proven historically to be remarkably fruitful. (Steven M. Cahn)
Clearly written and it does cover a lot of ground from various viewpoints. ( Metapsychology Online Reviews, March 2009)
Rife with historical and scientific facts, as well as useful philosophical distinctions, this book is sure to be a valuable tool in the classroom. ( Religious Studies Review, March 2010)
Ingeniously, in Evolution and Religion, Michael Ruse deftly tackles the evolution-religion controversies by devising a spirited dialogue among five mavens with disparate views. Highly entertaining as well as instructive. (Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine)
Evolution and Religion is the perfect entree into the evolution versus creationism debate, especially for American classrooms.... It is to get students thinking, really thinking, not only to appreciate evolutionary biology as the dynamic, exciting, and evidence-driven science that it is (that is a big one), but also to appreciate different interpretations of evolution and, most of all, to do further thinking and research on the topic. For this purpose one can do no better than Ruse's Evolution and Religion. ( Reports Of The National Center For Science Education, Jan-April 2010)
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