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Modern culture is profoundly shaped by science—by its methods, its products, and its public authority. The centrality of science in modern society affects how we think, what we think about, the kinds of conclusions we come to, and the kinds of assumptions that we hold—including assumptions about what sort of creatures we are and what sort of lives are most fitting for our nature. Theologian Lesslie Newbigin has argued that science has effectively eliminated “Why” questions from our culture. Modern Western people, he wrote, have “a disposition to believe that purpose has no place as a category of explanation in any exercise that claims to be ‘scientific,’ and thus to look for the explanation of everything, including both animal and human behavior, without reference to purpose.
This anthology features philosophers, theologians, historians, and research scientists, all of whom have thought deeply about the interaction of science with other disciplines and with the settings in which science is practiced and exerts its influence. One theme that emerges is how science in answering “How?” sometimes obscures the “What?” of specific things, as well as the “Why?” of all things.
1 hour 47 minutes. $6.