About this Course
4.3
344 ratings
103 reviews
Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing. This course, entitled ‘Science and Philosophy’, is the first of three related courses in our Philosophy, Science and Religion Online series. The first launch is now closed to enrolments. We will launch a new version of the course in July 2018. The course will address four themes each presented by guest lecturers: 1. Are Science and Religion in conflict? (Professor Michael Murray, Franklin & Marshall) 2. Neuroscience and Free Will (Professor Al Mele, Florida State) 3. Creationism and Evolutionary Biology--Science or Pseudo-science? (Dr. Mark Harris and Dr. David de Pomerai, University of Edinburgh) 4. Do Scientific claims constitute absolute truths? (Professor Martin Kusch, University of Vienna) The second and third courses in the Philosophy, Science and Religion series are ‘Philosophy and Religion’ and ‘Religion and Science’. They may be taken in any order and completing all three courses will give you a broader understanding of this fascinating topic. Look for: • Philosophy, Science and Religion II: Philosophy and Religion • Philosophy, Science and Religion III: Religion and Science Check out our trailer to hear more: https://youtu.be/OifqTI5VKek You can also follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EdiPhilOnline and you can follow the hashtag #psrmooc...
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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study

Approx. 8 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study

Approx. 8 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
19 minutes to complete

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Introduction and Overview

In this module, Dr Orestis Palermos provides a short introduction and overview of the key themes that will be discussed in the ‘Science and Philosophy’ course. ...
Reading
1 video (Total 4 min), 1 reading
Reading1 reading
Accompanying Textbook: Philosophy, Science and Religion for Everyone10m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Neuroscience and Free Will

In this module Professor Al Mele presents experiments that purport to show that there is no such thing as free will. He then presents three criticisms of this interpretation of the evidence....
Reading
7 videos (Total 52 min), 5 readings, 6 quizzes
Video7 videos
Study 110m
Study 2 and 34m
Problem 18m
Problem 28m
Problem 38m
Conclusion1m
Reading5 readings
[YouTube video] The Libet Experiment: Is Free Will Just an Illusion?10m
Free Will and Science10m
Al Mele - Free Will and Neuroscience10m
Free Will - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy10m
Podcasts10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
1: Libet’s experiment5m
2: Observing changes in the brain5m
3: Is there a problem with the three studies presented?5m
4: The point of no returnm
5: Libet studies5m

3

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Are Science and Religion in Conflict?

Guest lecturer: Dr Michael Murray. Are science and religion compatible with one another? Are they incompatible? What do these questions even mean, and how do we go about answering them? Philosophical tools are helpful to make progress with these very important questions. In this module, Dr Michael Murray offers a philosophical analysis of the complex and easily misunderstood issue of the relationship between science and religion. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 50 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video7 videos
Non-Conflicting in Principle8m
Potentially Conflicting6m
Can Science Support Religious Beliefs?5m
A Theoretical Challenge6m
A Challenge from Evolutionary Psychology10m
Summarym
Reading2 readings
Further Reading on Religion & Sciencem
[Video Lecture] Tom McLeish on the Theology of Science30m
Quiz3 practice exercises
1: Definition of science6m
2: The relationship between science and religion6m
3: Evolutionary psychology6m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Do Scientific Claims Constitute Absolute Truths?

Guest lecturer: Professor Martin Kusch. This module will focus on a central challenge for scientific knowledge: Are there any scientific claims that are absolutely true, or are they all true relative to the system of thought that generated them? If we accept the latter, does this also hold true of any claims we might make, including within the domains of philosophy and religion? ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 71 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video5 videos
The Sociology of Science19m
Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions10m
Relativism and Science17m
The Future of Relativism in the Study of Science16m
Reading3 readings
[Video Lecture] Stathis Psillos on Scientific Realism45m
Further Reading on Relativismm
Podcasts, Interviews, and Videosm
Quiz3 practice exercises
1: Relativists about morality6m
2: Karl Popper and scientific rationality6m
3: Paul Feyerabend and scientific experiment and theoretician6m
4.3

Top Reviews

By SRNov 14th 2017

A very interesting course and it has given a great knowleddge to me about the concept of science and religion . just amazed and the professors taught this in a very impressive way . very nyccc .

By CBFeb 6th 2017

I really enjoyed this course and the effort it put forth to open the dialogue of religion, science and philosophy. Thank you for creating a space to openly discuss belief.

Instructors

Dr J Adam Carter

Researcher
Epistemology - Philosphy

Dr Orestis Palermos

Research Explorer
School of Philosophy

Dr Mark Harris

Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion
School of Divinity

Professor Duncan Pritchard

Professor of Philosophy
University of Edinburgh

About The University of Edinburgh

Influencing the world since 1583, The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world's top 50 universities. Today, we are an established and global leader in online learning, providing degree-level education to 3,000 online students in addition to 36,000 students on-campus. We also offer a wide range of free online courses in a variety of subjects. To find out more about studying for one of our online degrees, search for ‘Edinburgh online’ or visit www.ed.ac.uk/studying/online-learning/postgraduate ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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