Relationship between science religion and philosophy graduate

Religion and Science (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

relationship between science religion and philosophy graduate

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes and Science Upon successful completion of all three courses, students will: (1) a tour of the relationship between the various brain sciences and religious belief. Are you looking for a Masters degree in Philosophy of Science? Compare Masters in Theology and Religion at The University of Edinburgh This course is about analysing the relation of philosophy and science in terms of their historical . Section 2 looks at the relationship between science and religion in three It had contributors from philosophy and theology (e.g., Nancey Murphy) and .. e.g., in hospitals where students learned about medicine in a practical.

The Church had merely sided with the scientific consensus of the time. Only the latter was fulfilled by Galileo.

Although the preface of his book claims that the character is named after a famous Aristotelian philosopher Simplicius in Latin, Simplicio in Italianthe name "Simplicio" in Italian also has the connotation of "simpleton". Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings. Graylingstill believes there is competition between science and religions and point to the origin of the universe, the nature of human beings and the possibility of miracles [66] Independence[ edit ] A modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as " non-overlapping magisteria " NOMAis that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-exist peacefully.

Stace viewed independence from the perspective of the philosophy of religion. Stace felt that science and religion, when each is viewed in its own domain, are both consistent and complete. In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Scientifically based observations or experiments that conflict with an explanation eventually must lead to modification or even abandonment of that explanation. Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities.

Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to put science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist.

He views science as descriptive and religion as prescriptive. He stated that if science and mathematics concentrate on what the world ought to be, in the way that religion does, it may lead to improperly ascribing properties to the natural world as happened among the followers of Pythagoras in the sixth century B.

Habgood also stated that he believed that the reverse situation, where religion attempts to be descriptive, can also lead to inappropriately assigning properties to the natural world. A notable example is the now defunct belief in the Ptolemaic geocentric planetary model that held sway until changes in scientific and religious thinking were brought about by Galileo and proponents of his views.

Kuhn asserted that science is made up of paradigms that arise from cultural traditions, which is similar to the secular perspective on religion. Polanyi further asserted that all knowledge is personal and therefore the scientist must be performing a very personal if not necessarily subjective role when doing science.

Coulson and Harold K. Schillingboth claimed that "the methods of science and religion have much in common. Dialogue[ edit ] Clerks studying astronomy and geometry France, early 15th century. The religion and science community consists of those scholars who involve themselves with what has been called the "religion-and-science dialogue" or the "religion-and-science field. Journals addressing the relationship between science and religion include Theology and Science and Zygon.

Eugenie Scott has written that the "science and religion" movement is, overall, composed mainly of theists who have a healthy respect for science and may be beneficial to the public understanding of science. She contends that the "Christian scholarship" movement is not a problem for science, but that the "Theistic science" movement, which proposes abandoning methodological materialism, does cause problems in understanding of the nature of science.

This annual series continues and has included William JamesJohn DeweyCarl Sagan, and many other professors from various fields. Science, Religion, and Naturalism, heavily contests the linkage of naturalism with science, as conceived by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and like-minded thinkers; while Daniel Dennett thinks that Plantinga stretches science to an unacceptable extent. Barrettby contrast, reviews the same book and writes that "those most needing to hear Plantinga's message may fail to give it a fair hearing for rhetorical rather than analytical reasons.

Scientific and theological perspectives often coexist peacefully. Christians and some non-Christian religions have historically integrated well with scientific ideas, as in the ancient Egyptian technological mastery applied to monotheistic ends, the flourishing of logic and mathematics under Hinduism and Buddhismand the scientific advances made by Muslim scholars during the Ottoman empire.

Even many 19th-century Christian communities welcomed scientists who claimed that science was not at all concerned with discovering the ultimate nature of reality.

Principethe Johns Hopkins University Drew Professor of the Humanities, from a historical perspective this points out that much of the current-day clashes occur between limited extremists—both religious and scientistic fundamentalists—over a very few topics, and that the movement of ideas back and forth between scientific and theological thought has been more usual.

He also admonished that true religion must conform to the conclusions of science. Buddhism and science Buddhism and science have been regarded as compatible by numerous authors.

For example, Buddhism encourages the impartial investigation of nature an activity referred to as Dhamma-Vicaya in the Pali Canon —the principal object of study being oneself. Buddhism and science both show a strong emphasis on causality. However, Buddhism doesn't focus on materialism. In his book The Universe in a Single Atom he wrote, "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science, so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation.

Christianity and science Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education Francis Collins, a scientist who happens to be a Christian, is the current director of the National Institutes of Health.

Among early Christian teachers, Tertullian c. These ideas were significantly countered by later findings of universal patterns of biological cooperation.

According to John Habgoodall man really knows here is that the universe seems to be a mix of good and evilbeauty and painand that suffering may somehow be part of the process of creation. Habgood holds that Christians should not be surprised that suffering may be used creatively by Godgiven their faith in the symbol of the Cross.

The "Handmaiden" tradition, which saw secular studies of the universe as a very important and helpful part of arriving at a better understanding of scripture, was adopted throughout Christian history from early on. Heilbron[] Alistair Cameron CrombieDavid Lindberg[] Edward GrantThomas Goldstein, [] and Ted Davis have reviewed the popular notion that medieval Christianity was a negative influence in the development of civilization and science.

In their views, not only did the monks save and cultivate the remnants of ancient civilization during the barbarian invasions, but the medieval church promoted learning and science through its sponsorship of many universities which, under its leadership, grew rapidly in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Church's "model theologian", not only argued that reason is in harmony with faith, he even recognized that reason can contribute to understanding revelation, and so encouraged intellectual development. He was not unlike other medieval theologians who sought out reason in the effort to defend his faith.

Lindberg states that the widespread popular belief that the Middle Ages was a time of ignorance and superstition due to the Christian church is a "caricature".

According to Lindberg, while there are some portions of the classical tradition which suggest this view, these were exceptional cases.

It was common to tolerate and encourage critical thinking about the nature of the world. Barbour introduced this view into the science and religion literature; it has been further developed by theologians such as Arthur Peacocke and Wentzel van Huyssteen Critical realism has distinct flavors in the works of different authors, for instance, van Huyssteendevelops a weak form of critical realism set within a postfoundationalist notion of rationality, where theological views are shaped by social, cultural, and evolved biological factors.

Peter Harrison thinks the doctrine of original sin played a crucial role in this, arguing there was a widespread belief in the early modern period that Adam, prior to the fall, had superior senses, intellect, and understanding. As a result of the fall, human senses became duller, our ability to make correct inferences was diminished, and nature itself became less intelligible.

They must supplement their reasoning and senses with observation through specialized instruments, such as microscopes and telescopes. As Robert Hooke wrote in the introduction to his Micrographia: As a result, the Condemnation opened up intellectual space to think beyond ancient Greek natural philosophy.

For example, medieval philosophers such as John Buridan fl. As further evidence for a formative role of Christianity in the development of science, some authors point to the Christian beliefs of prominent natural philosophers of the seventeenth century.

For example, Clark writes, Exclude God from the definition of science and, in one fell definitional swoop, you exclude the greatest natural philosophers of the so-called scientific revolution—Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, and Newton to name just a few. In spite of these positive readings of the relationship between science and religion in Christianity, there are sources of enduring tension. For example, there is still vocal opposition to the theory of evolution among Christian fundamentalists.

Additionally, it refers to a culture which flourished within this political and religious context, with its own philosophical and scientific traditions Dhanani As the second largest religion in the world, Islam shows a wide variety of beliefs. Beyond this, Muslims disagree on a number of doctrinal issues. The relationship between Islam and science is complex. Today, predominantly Muslim countries, such as the United Arabic Emirates, enjoy high urbanization and technological development, but they underperform in common metrics of scientific research, such as publications in leading journals and number of citations per scientist see Edis Moreover, Islamic countries are also hotbeds for pseudoscientific ideas, such as Old Earth creationism, the creation of human bodies on the day of resurrection from the tailbone, and the superiority of prayer in treating lower-back pain instead of conventional methods Guessoum The contemporary lack of scientific prominence is remarkable given that the Islamic world far exceeded European cultures in the range and quality of its scientific knowledge between approximately the ninth and the fifteenth century, excelling in domains such as mathematics algebra and geometry, trigonometry in particularastronomy seriously considering, but not adopting, heliocentrismoptics, and medicine.

A major impetus for Arabic science was the patronage of the Abbasid caliphate —centered in Baghdad. The former founded the Bayt al-Hikma House of Wisdomwhich commissioned translations of major works by Aristotle, Galen, and many Persian and Indian scholars into Arabic. It was cosmopolitan in its outlook, employing astronomers, mathematicians, and physicians from abroad, including Indian mathematicians and Nestorian Christian astronomers.

Throughout the Arabic world, public libraries attached to mosques provided access to a vast compendium of knowledge, which spread Islam, Greek philosophy, and Arabic science. The use of a common language Arabicas well as common religious and political institutions and flourishing trade relations encouraged the spread of scientific ideas throughout the empire.

Some of this transmission was informal, e. The decline and fall of the Abbasid caliphate dealt a blow to Arabic science, but it remains unclear why it ultimately stagnated, and why it did not experience something analogous to the scientific revolution in Western Europe.

Some liberal Muslim authors, such as Fatima Mernissiargue that the rise of conservative forms of Islamic philosophical theology stifled more scientifically-minded natural philosophers.

This book vindicated more orthodox Muslim religious views. As Muslim intellectual life became more orthodox, it became less open to non-Muslim philosophical ideas, which led to the decline of Arabic science. The study of law fiqh was more stifling for Arabic science than developments in theology. The eleventh century saw changes in Islamic law that discouraged heterodox thought: Given that heterodox thoughts could be interpreted as apostasy, this created a stifling climate for Arabic science.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, as science and technology became firmly entrenched in western society, Muslim empires were languishing or colonized. Scientific ideas, such as evolutionary theory, were equated with European colonialism, and thus met with distrust. In spite of this negative association between science and western modernity, there is an emerging literature on science and religion by Muslim scholars mostly scientists.

relationship between science religion and philosophy graduate

The physicist Nidhal Guessoum holds that science and religion are not only compatible, but in harmony. Nevertheless, Muslim scientists such as Guessoum and Rana Dajani have advocated acceptance of evolution. In contrast to the major monotheistic religions, Hinduism does not draw a sharp distinction between God and creation while there are pantheistic and panentheistic views in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, these are minority positions. Many Hindus believe in a personal God, and identify this God as immanent in creation.

This view has ramifications for the science and religion debate, in that there is no sharp ontological distinction between creator and creature Subbarayappa Philosophical theology in Hinduism and other Indic religions is usually referred to as dharma, and religious traditions originating on the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, are referred to as dharmic religions.

One factor that unites dharmic religions is the importance of foundational texts, which were formulated during the Vedic period, between ca. More gods were added in the following centuries e. Ancient Vedic rituals encouraged knowledge of diverse sciences, including astronomy, linguistics, and mathematics. Astronomical knowledge was required to determine the timing of rituals and the construction of sacrificial altars. Linguistics developed out of a need to formalize grammatical rules for classical Sanskrit, which was used in rituals.

Large public offerings also required the construction of elaborate altars, which posed geometrical problems and thus led to advances in geometry. Classic Vedic texts also frequently used very large numbers, for instance, to denote the age of humanity and the Earth, which required a system to represent numbers parsimoniously, giving rise to a base positional system and a symbolic representation for zero as a placeholder, which would later be imported in other mathematical traditions Joseph In this way, ancient Indian dharma encouraged the emergence of the sciences.

Around the sixth—fifth century BCE, the northern part of the Indian subcontinent experienced an extensive urbanization. The latter defended a form of metaphysical naturalism, denying the existence of gods or karma. The relationship between science and religion on the Indian subcontinent is complex, in part because the dharmic religions and philosophical schools are so diverse. Such views were close to philosophical naturalism in modern science, but this school disappeared in the twelfth century.

He formulated design and cosmological arguments, drawing on analogies between the world and artifacts: Given that the universe is so complex that even an intelligent craftsman cannot comprehend it, how could it have been created by non-intelligent natural forces? From toIndia was under British colonial rule. This had a profound influence on its culture. Hindus came into contact with Western science and technology. For local intellectuals, the contact with Western science presented a challenge: Mahendrahal Sircar — was one of the first authors to examine evolutionary theory and its implications for Hindu religious beliefs.

Sircar was an evolutionary theist, who believed that God used evolution to create the current life forms. Evolutionary theism was not a new hypothesis in Hinduism, but the many lines of empirical evidence Darwin provided for evolution gave it a fresh impetus.

While Sircar accepted organic evolution through common descent, he questioned the mechanism of natural selection as it was not teleological, which went against his evolutionary theism—this was a widespread problem for the acceptance of evolutionary theory, one that Christian evolutionary theists also wrestled with Bowler The assimilation of western culture prompted various revivalist movements that sought to reaffirm the cultural value of Hinduism.

Responses to evolutionary theory were as diverse as Christian views on this subject, ranging from creationism denial of evolutionary theory based on a perceived incompatibility with Vedic texts to acceptance see C. Brown for a thorough overview. Authors such as Dayananda Saraswati — rejected evolutionary theory.

More generally, he claimed that Hinduism and science are in harmony: Hinduism is scientific in spirit, as is evident from its long history of scientific discovery Vivekananda Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a yogi and Indian nationalist, who was educated in the West, formulated a synthesis of evolutionary thought and Hinduism. He interpreted the classic avatara doctrine, according to which God incarnates into the world repeatedly throughout time, in evolutionary terms.

He proposed a metaphysical picture where both spiritual evolution reincarnation and avatars and physical evolution are ultimately a manifestation of God Brahman. Brown for discussion.

During the twentieth century, Indian scientists began to gain prominence, including C. Raman —a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and Satyendra Nath Bose —a theoretical physicist who described the behavior of photons statistically, and who gave his name to bosons.

However, these authors were silent on the relationship between their scientific work and their religious beliefs. By contrast, the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan — was open about his religious beliefs and their influence on his mathematical work. He claimed that the goddess Namagiri helped him to intuit solutions to mathematical problems. Likewise, Jagadish Chandra Bose —a theoretical physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist, and archaeologist, who worked on radio waves, saw the Hindu idea of unity reflected in the study of nature.

He started the Bose institute in Kolkata inthe earliest interdisciplinary scientific institute in India Subbarayappa Contemporary connections between science and religion Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealth of topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, and consciousness.

Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning, in particular design arguments based on it e. Collinsthe interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance of the Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson have explored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possible multiverses.

Here follows an overview of two topics that generated substantial interest and debate over the past decades: This doctrine of creation has the following interrelated features: Differently put, God did not need any pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e. Rather, God created the world freely. This introduces a radical asymmetry between creator and creature: Third, the doctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good this is repeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1.

The world does contain evil, but God does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does not merely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role in it, using special divine actions e. Fourth, God made provisions for the end of the world, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicating evil.

Related to the doctrine of creation are views on divine action. Theologians commonly draw a distinction between general and special divine action. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of these two concepts in the fields of theology or science and religion. One way to distinguish them Wildman Drawing this distinction allows for creatures to be autonomous and indicates that God does not micromanage every detail of creation.

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Still, the distinction is not always clear-cut, as some phenomena are difficult to classify as either general or special divine action. Alston makes a related distinction between direct and indirect divine acts. God brings about direct acts without the use of natural causes, whereas indirect acts are achieved through natural causes. Using this distinction, there are four possible kinds of actions that God could do: God could not act in the world at all, God could act only directly, God could act only indirectly, or God could act both directly and indirectly.

In the science and religion literature, there are two central questions on creation and divine action. To what extent are the Christian doctrine of creation and traditional views of divine action compatible with science? How can these concepts be understood within a scientific context, e. Note that the doctrine of creation says nothing about the age of the Earth, nor that it specifies a mode of creation.

This allows for a wide range of possible views within science and religion, of which Young Earth Creationism is but one that is consistent with scripture. The theory seems to support creatio ex nihilo as it specifies that the universe originated from an extremely hot and dense state around The net result of scientific findings since the seventeenth century has been that God was increasingly pushed into the margins. This encroachment of science on the territory of religion happened in two ways: While the doctrine of creation does not contain details of the mode and timing of creation, the Bible was regarded as authoritative.

Second, the emerging concept of scientific laws in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century physics seemed to leave no room for special divine action. These two challenges will be discussed below, along with proposed solutions in the contemporary science and religion literature. Christian authors have traditionally used the Bible as a source of historical information. Biblical exegesis of the creation narratives, especially Genesis 1 and 2 and some other scattered passages, such as in the Book of Jobremains fraught with difficulties.

Are these texts to be interpreted in a historical, metaphorical, or poetic fashion, and what are we to make of the fact that the order of creation differs between these accounts Harris ?

Although such literalist interpretations of the Biblical creation narratives were not uncommon, and are still used by Young Earth creationists today, theologians before Ussher already offered alternative, non-literalist readings of the biblical materials e.

From the seventeenth century onward, the Christian doctrine of creation came under pressure from geology, with findings suggesting that the Earth was significantly older than BCE.

From the eighteenth century on, natural philosophers, such as de Maillet, Lamarck, Chambers, and Darwin, proposed transmutationist what would now be called evolutionary theories, which seem incompatible with scriptural interpretations of the special creation of species.

Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett have outlined a divine action spectrum to clarify the distinct positions about creation and divine action in the contemporary science and religion literature. They discern two dimensions in this spectrum: At one extreme are creationists. Like other theists, they believe God has created the world and its fundamental laws, and that God occasionally performs special divine actions miracles that intervene in the fabric of laws.

Creationists deny any role of natural selection in the origin of species. Within creationism, there are Old and Young Earth creationism, with the former accepting geology and rejecting evolutionary biology, and the latter rejecting both. Next to creationism is Intelligent Design, which affirms divine intervention in natural processes. Intelligent Design creationists e. Like other creationists, they deny a significant role for natural selection in shaping organic complexity and they affirm an interventionist account of divine action.

For political reasons they do not label their intelligent designer as God, as they hope to circumvent the constitutional separation of church and state in the US which prohibits teaching religious doctrines in public schools Forrest and Gross Theistic evolutionists hold a non-interventionist approach to divine action: God creates indirectly, through the laws of nature e. For example, the theologian John Haught regards divine providence as self-giving love, and natural selection and other natural processes as manifestations of this love, as they foster autonomy and independence.

While theistic evolutionists allow for special divine action, particularly the miracle of the Incarnation in Christ e. God has laid out the laws of nature and lets it run like clockwork without further interference. Deism is still a long distance from ontological materialism, the idea that the material world is all there is.

Views on divine action were influenced by developments in physics and their philosophical interpretation. In the seventeenth century, natural philosophers, such as Robert Boyle and John Wilkins, developed a mechanistic view of the world as governed by orderly and lawlike processes.

Laws, understood as immutable and stable, created difficulties for the concept of special divine action Pannenberg How could God act in a world that was determined by laws? One way to regard miracles and other forms of special divine action is to see them as actions that somehow suspend or ignore the laws of nature. This concept of divine action is commonly labeled interventionist. Interventionism regards the world as causally deterministic, so God has to create room for special divine actions.

By contrast, non-interventionist forms of divine action e. In the seventeenth century, the explanation of the workings of nature in terms of elegant physical laws suggested the ingenuity of a divine designer. For example, Samuel Clarke cited in Schliesser Another conclusion that the new laws-based physics suggested was that the universe was able to run smoothly without requiring an intervening God.

The increasingly deterministic understanding of the universe, ruled by deterministic causal laws as, for example, outlined by Pierre-Simon Laplace —seemed to leave no room for special divine action, which is a key element of the traditional Christian doctrine of creation.

Newton resisted interpretations like these in an addendum to the Principia in Alston argued, contra authors such as Polkinghornethat mechanistic, pre-twentieth century physics is compatible with divine action and divine free will. In such a mechanistic world, every event is an indirect divine act. Advances in twentieth-century physics, including the theories of general and special relativity, chaos theory, and quantum theory, overturned the mechanical clockwork view of creation.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, chaos theory and quantum physics have been explored as possible avenues to reinterpret divine action.

One difficulty with this model is that it moves from our knowledge of the world to assumptions about how the world is: Robert Russell proposed that God acts in quantum events.

This would allow God to directly act in nature without having to contravene the laws of nature, and is therefore a non-interventionist model. Since, under the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are no natural efficient causes at the quantum level, God is not reduced to a natural cause. Murphy outlined a similar bottom-up model where God acts in the space provided by quantum indeterminacy. After all, it is not even clear whether quantum theory would allow for free human action, let alone divine action, which we do not know much about Jaeger a.

Next to this, William Carrollbuilding on Thomistic philosophy, argues that authors such as Murphy and Polkinghorne are making a category mistake: God is not a cause in a way creatures are causes, competing with natural causes, and God does not need indeterminacy in order to act in the world. Rather, as primary cause God supports and grounds secondary causes.

While this solution is compatible with determinism indeed, on this view, the precise details of physics do not matter muchit blurs the distinction between general and special divine action.

Moreover, the Incarnation suggests that the idea of God as a cause among natural causes is not an alien idea in theology, and that God at least sometimes acts as a natural cause Sollereder There has been a debate on the question to what extent randomness is a genuine feature of creation, and how divine action and chance interrelate.

Chance and stochasticity are important features of evolutionary theory the non-random retention of random variations.

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In a famous thought experiment, Gould imagined that we could rewind the tape of life back to the time of the Burgess Shale million years ago ; the chance we would end up with anything like the present-day life forms is vanishingly small. However, Simon Conway Morris has argued species very similar to the ones we know now including human-like intelligent species would evolve under a broad range of conditions.

Under a theist interpretation, randomness could either be a merely apparent aspect of creation, or a genuine feature. Plantinga suggests that randomness is a physicalist interpretation of the evidence.

God may have guided every mutation along the evolutionary process. In this way, God could guide the course of evolutionary history by causing the right mutations to arise at the right time and preserving the forms of life that lead to the results he intends.

Their challenge is to explain how divine providence is compatible with genuine randomness. Under a deistic view, one could simply say that God started the universe off and did not interfere with how it went, but that option is not open to the theist, and most authors in the field of science and religion are theists, rather than deists.

Elizabeth Johnsonusing a Thomistic view of divine action, argues that divine providence and true randomness are compatible: God gives creatures true causal powers, thus making creation more excellent than if they lacked such powers, and random occurrences are also secondary causes; chance is a form of divine creativity that creates novelty, variety, and freedom.

One implication of this view is that God may be a risk taker—although, if God has a providential plan for possible outcomes, there is unpredictability but not risk.

relationship between science religion and philosophy graduate

Johnson uses metaphors of risk taking that, on the whole, leave the creator in a position of control creation, then, is like jazz improvisationbut it is, to her, a risk nonetheless. Why would God take risks? There are several solutions to this question. The free will theodicy says that a creation that exhibits stochasticity can be truly free and autonomous: Authentic love requires freedom, not manipulation.

Such freedom is best supplied by the open contingency of evolution, and not by strings of divine direction attached to every living creature. According to Genesis, humans are the result of a special act of creation. Genesis 1 offers an account of the creation of the world in six days, with the creation of human beings on the sixth day. Islam has a creation narrative similar to Genesis 2, with Adam being fashioned out of clay. These handcrafted humans are regarded as the ancestors of all living humans today.

Humans occupy a privileged position in these creation accounts. In Christianity, Judaism, and some strands of Islam, humans are created in the image of God imago Dei. There are at least three different ways in which image-bearing is understood Cortez According to the functionalist account, humans are in the image of God by virtue of things they do, such as having dominion over nature.

The structuralist account emphasizes characteristics that humans uniquely possess, such as reason. The relational interpretation sees the image as a special relationship between God and humanity. Humans also occupy a special place in creation as a result of the fall. By eating from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil they fell from this state, and death, manual labor, as well as pain in childbirth were introduced.

The Augustinian interpretation of original sin also emphasizes the distorting effects of sin on our reasoning capacities the so-called noetic effects of sin. As a result of sin, our original perceptual and reasoning capacities have been marred.

Whereas Augustine believed that the prelapsarian state was one of perfection, Irenaeus second century saw Adam and Eve prior to the fall as innocent, like children still in development. Scientific findings and theories relevant to human origins come from a range of disciplines, in particular geology, paleoanthropology the study of ancestral hominins, using fossils and other evidencearchaeology, and evolutionary biology.

These findings challenge traditional religious accounts of humanity, including the special creation of humanity, the imago Dei, the historical Adam and Eve, and original sin. In natural philosophy, the dethroning of humanity from its position as a specially created species predates Darwin and can already be found in early transmutationist publications. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed chimpanzees as the ancestors to humans in his Philosophie Zoologique He proposed that the first organisms arose through spontaneous generation, and that all subsequent organisms evolved from them.

He argued that humans have a single evolutionary origin: Darwin was initially reluctant to publish on human origins.