|A 1998 religion vs science debate between English physical chemist and noted thermodynamicist Peter Atkins and American theologian-philosopher William Craig. |
Analysis | List
The following is a work-in-progress list of overly-typical religion vs. science debate issues that are often seen or encountered in the fall of religion rise of science void discussions that ensue, i.e. namely that without religious belief, modern science yields but the seeming cold explanation that human existence is without meaning (meaninglessness) and that people are "accidents", or "mistakes", caused by blind random chance mutation, among others pejoratives:
“I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”— Aldous Huxley (1937), Ends and Means: an Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals (Ѻ) (vid | 3:41) 
“Today's children are taught by our culture that we are a cosmic accident. Something slithered out of the primal slime and over billions of years evolved into a human being. We are cousins, ten times removed, to the ape at the zoo eating his own excrement.”
“Science says that a series of genetic mistakes, genetic mutations led to the great complexity of our world.”— Shmuley Boteach (2009), La Ciudad de las Ideas Re-evolution (vid | 3:58)
“Religion isn't really only about how the world was created. That's just the sideshow. The chapters in Genesis that deal with creation of the world are only two or three. What religion really is, is the most radical statement in the history of the world, which is that every single one of you possesses the power to ‘choose’ the kind of person you want to be. There is a god who gave us moral commandments and that without god, the laws of do not kill, do not steal, do not commit adultery, are nothing but euphemisms for personal taste, because if there isn’t a god who is the ultimate arbiter and thee standard by which these laws have definition then all we have are two different people who are disagreeing.
I want Sam Harris to please address: a child is born and he has severe Down syndrome. He will never be anything but a burden to his parents. He is a financial strain. Special needs children often even ruin the marriages of their parents. Why should we not euthanize that child? We get so upset that Hitler euthanize the infirm, but doesn't that sort of makes sense? In fact Francis Crick, who won the Nobel Prize for mapping the DNA molecule, said that we should really define birth as two days after parturition so that a baby could be examined for defects and if those defects were sufficiently deleterious we could declare the child to not yet have been born. The only reason we keep that child alive, even though we all live in a society of limited resources, is because life is ‘sacred’, not because of the quality of life, but the sanctity of life. There's no rational reason.
Somewhere right now, there is a police officer in the north of Mexico and he barely arms enough money to support his family and that drug dealer wants to give them a few extra bucks to look at the other way while they smuggle cocaine into the United States, and no one's ever going to find out, and no one's ever going to see, and no one’s ever going to know. Tell me one reason why the police officer should not take the money when he needs it for his family? Give me one moral reason other than the idea that there is justice in the world and that we have the power to choose our moral character? Everything we’ve heard in this conference is that people almost have no choice. Science seems to be going against choice. Biological determinism. Genetic predisposition. Freud said we’re far less far less masters of our own mental household than we otherwise suppose, an out of control id and ego. But religion says that at every moment you have the power to choose.”— Shmuley Boteach (2009), The City of Ideas Re-evolution (vid | 6:41-9:30)
To quickly address some of these latter objections or points made by American orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach, in order of descending easiness, firstly there are some cultures, as discussed in the evolutionary psychology literature, possibly in David Buss (or Helen Fisher), where a baby is not considered alive or real until the age of one. Secondly, there is no god (see: existence of god), this was dismissed two hundred years ago as unneeded hypothesis by Pierre Laplace (1802); but, nevertheless, this conceptualized belief (or node) is the linchpin of the entire debate (see: nodal belief system theory | Christopher Redford). Thirdly, the so-called moral commandments (no killing, stealing, or adultery), i.e. 10 commandments cited here, which didn’t come from a god (which, again, is something that doesn’t exist), are truncated condensed summarizes of the 42 negative confessions of Anunian theology.
Fourthly, the Down syndrome child and police officer examples are simply one of many so-called ‘moral quagmires’ or ‘thorny moral issues’ in need of address, in a post-Christian world. Goethe, initiator of the post-Christian, human chemical theory upgrade, moral symbols, Goethean revolution reform, addressed variations of these moral quagmires, in his law degree exam, e.g. should the mother who kills her newly born child be given the death penalty? The list is not the issue, but rather the reformulation of the new moral system based in the logic of physical chemistry and universal order is what is needed.
Fifthly, in citing Francis Crick, whereas Boteach, using defunct terminology, discusses reasons for ‘keeping the child alive’, Crick was the first to correctly state, in 1966 (Of Molecules and Men), according to modern physical chemistry, that we should ‘abandon the term alive’.
Lastly, the latter ‘give me one moral reason’, Freud citation, etc., commentary, is but parlay into the big power center publications of the Goethean-wake of external force (major) / internal force (minor) conceptualized realism philosophy thinkers: Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, inclusive of theories, including Freud-Schiller drive theory, Albert Einstein on the freedom of the will, and so on, all of which is but led into modern human chemical thermodynamics (e.g. ABC model of molecular choice; see: free will, retinal molecule) —the subject of ‘choice’, in a chemical and human sense, and the moral repercussions deriving therefrom, being the explicit focus of Goethe’s masterpiece Elective Affinities, the title of which, German-to-Decoded English translates as the ‘nature of the choice of one’s chemical affinities’ (see: title decoding). .
The gist of the debate, generally speaking, is between the Biblical view, and the world’s predominate belief system (32%), which itself is a derivative of Ra theology and its life-death cycle of the sun born out of the earth, and morality and purpose attached to this, and the newer findings arising following the various scientific revolutions: Copernican revolution, Chemical Revolution, Darwinian revolution, Carnotian revolution (thermodynamic revolution), quantum revolution, among others.
Into the early 21st century, the so-called “God debates”, science vs. religion debates, or religion vs. science debates are hot topics, with new books published yearly on this topic and with newly created discussion forums sprouting daily. 
|The Aug 15 2005 Time cover story "Evolution Wars on intelligent design and the teaching of humankinds's origins in high school the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. |
The Nov 13 2006 Time cover story "God vs Science" On the Origin of Species (1859) vs. the Book of Genesis (500BC) and whether science can replace religion as a worldview and a touchstone. 
|The 2009 The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate, by American Astrophysicist Adam Frank is said to "paranoid squabbling that plagues the religion vs. science dialogue."||A 2010 depiction of the "science vs religion debate", showing physics at odds with biology, history, philosophy, and the Bible, from the 2010 overview article on this subject by American psychologist Jefferson Fish. |
A timeline of the key debates and stops in the subject of the tension breaks between religion and science are summarized below:
|Vacuum debates|| In 350BC, Greek philosopher Aristotle adopted and employed Empedocles’ 485BC nature abhors a vacuum dictum, i.e. that vacuums are an impossibility in nature, into his standard model of physics, and shortly thereafter Aristotelian physics became the accepted and dogmatic model of the universal operation according to the Roman Catholic church for the 1,500-years.|
In circa 1640, a pump maker approached Galileo with his query of the pump problem, i.e. why pumps fail to work in wells deeper than 32 feet, a subject about which Galileo had to tip-toe around for fear of a second inquisition, but did manage to convince his pupil Evangelista Torricelli to investigate the problem in 1643 during which time he invented made a “Torricellian vacuum”, the barometer, and discovered the phenomenon of atmospheric pressure.
The experimental existence of this so-called “vacuum” when against the views of Aristotelian physics and hence the Church; although, to note, it is difficult to say what implications exactly vacuums have in relation to the Bible? In any event, owing to the state of tension in the air with the recent inquisitions of Galileo, Torricelli left the vacuum problem alone and moved on the more neutral domain of abstract mathematics.
|In 1657, supposedly aware of Torricelli’s 1643 vacuum experiment, German engineer Otto Guericke, the newly appointed mayor of Magdeburg, began to try to build an artificial vacuum making machine so to disprove Aristotle’s no-vacuum model and in this direction invented the famous 1657 Magdeburg hemispheres. |
Guericke was aware of the delicacy of his experiments and therefore avoided theological discussions by using a "clever linguistic ploy".
The evasive style of speech he choose to describe his findings was to replace the more offensive words "void" and in particular “emptiness” with the less intrusive physical term “empty space”, which allowed him to carry out public demonstrations of his vacuum creation technique without controversary. His empty space did not mean “void” but it was just an air-evacuated space. 
|Whewell-Coleridge debate||1833-1851||A debated which peaked at an 1833 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), chaired by William Whewell, in which English romantic philosopher Samuel Coleridge was drawn into a passionate discussion of semantics, revolving around the question of what exactly someone who works ‘in the real sciences’, as Coleridge had phrased it, should be called?||Resulted in the coining of the term ‘scientist’, i.e. a mathematician, physicist, chemist, astronomer, or naturalist, etc., in 1834, as a distinction from the older term ‘natural philosopher’, referring to one who embraces the broader philosophical, theological, and moral concerns.|
|Thermodynamics vs religion debates||1843-present|| In 1843, English brewer James Joule who showed that energy could be transformed into a number of different variations, heat, electrical, chemical, gravitational, etc., but always doing so according to a fixed ratio called the mechanical equivalent of heat, all the while doing so in attempt to prove or derive a law which showed the work of God: |
"I shall lose no time in repeating and extending these experiments, being satisfied that the grand agents of nature are by the Creator’s fiat, indestructible; and that wherever mechanical force is expended, an exact equivalent of heat is always obtained."
In other words, Joule believed that the first law of thermodynamics was decreed by the act or will of a deity.
In 1865, German physicist Rudolf Clausius famous stated that the entire universe is governed by two laws, one that the energy of the universe is constant, two that the entropy of the universe tends to a maximum and shortly thereafter (or shortly before) stated that heat death theory that the universe will end at a point in the future when entropy reaches a maximum at which point “no further change could evermore take place”, or something to this effect.
|Initiated debates of the first kind|
Initiated debates of the second kind kind
|Evolution debates||1859-present||In 1859, English naturalist Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species, which concludes with the view that humans were not created by God 6,000 years ago, as the Bible holds, but by a process of slow natural selection (evolution), over millions of years, starting from a warm pond, filled with ammonia and phosphoric salts, in which a certain type of “protein compound” was “chemically formed” and came “alive” when it was “sparked” to “life” by a combination of light, heat, and or electricity.|
|Tyndall-Stewart-Tait debate||1874-1878||A growing controversy, at the Catholic University of Ireland, over whether or not to teach modern science to university students, resulted in a collision, at the 1874 British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) meeting, between Irish physicist John Tyndall, who was under the view that religion must relinquish all control to science, and Scottish physicists Balfour Stewart a Peter Tait, who were of the view that the two could be integrated so as to explain morality, life, death, and immortality.||Resulted in one book (The Unseen Universe: or Speculations of a Future State, 1875), one novel (Paradoxical Philosopher, 1878), both by Stewart and Tait, and Irish physicist James Maxwell’s last dying poem “A Paradoxical Ode” (1878), summarizing the state of matter of the big questions, in his view.|
|Pope Pius XII’s entropy proof of god||1951||In his notorious Nov 28 Christmas lecture, Pope Pius XII, the head the Catholic Church (1939-1958), argued that German physicist Rudolf Clausius' 1865 law of entropy provides "eloquent evidence of the existence of a Necessary Being."|
|A depiction of the divide between science and religion out of which a tension exists, resulting in science-religion trails.|
In 1926, American philosopher Alfred Whitehead summarized the future of the subject as follows: 
“When we consider what religion is for mankind and what science is, it is no exaggeration to say that the future course of history depends upon the decision of this generation as to the relations between them.”
In 1991, Englishman New Testament scholar Richard Burridge suggested to biochemist Christopher Southgate that he use his background in experimental science to teach a course on the "science-religion debate", which he began doing in 1993 at the University of Exeter. The first two books he assembled for a class reading list were Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and American physicist Ian Barbour’s Religion in an Age of Science. 
● Science-religion controversy
● Science-connected legal cases
|Depiction of the science vs religion debate from the 2010 article on this topic by American psychologist Jefferson Fish. |
1. Whitehead, Alfred. (1926). Science and the Modern World. MacMillan.
2. (a) Southgate, Christopher. (2004). “Environmental Ethics and the Science-Religion Debate: A British Perspective on Barbour”, in: Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and his Legacy (ch. 14, pgs. 239-). Ashgate Publishing.
(b) Ian Barbour – Wikipedia.
3. William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins – YouTube.com.
4. Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres – MK-Technology.com.
5. (a) Attridge, Harold W. (2009). The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does it Continue? (The Terry Lecture Series). Yale University Press.
(b) Shook, John R. (2010). The God Debates: a 21st Century Guide for Atheist and Believers (and Everyone in Between). Wiley and Sons.
6. Cray, Dan. (2006). “God vs. Science”, Time, Nov 05.
7. Wallis, Claudia. (2005). “The Evolution Wars”, Time, Aug 07.
8. Fish, Jefferson M. (2010). “Science vs Religion Debate: It’s Bigger than you might Think”, The Humanist, Jul/Aug.
9. Frank, Adam. (2010). The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate. University of California Press.
10. Huxley, Aldous. (1937). Ends and Means: an Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals (meaninglessness, 4+ pgs; quote, pg. 270). Harper Collins.
● Relationship between religion and science – Wikipedia.