Religion and Science

There are PowerPoint slides that cover six of the interviews/figures: E.O. Wilson, Sam Harris, Karen Armstrong, Richard Dawkins, Michael Ruse, and Francis Collins.  I would like you to pick just one of these figures, read the interview, go through the appropriate section of the PowerPoint slide (which includes fairly extensive videos you will need to watch as well).  Your assignment will be to write an academic summary of the figure’s key ideas (including the interview, major concepts of that person, and what you learned from the videos – and not Wikipedia content copy).  The summary section should be 350+ words (that’s like a little more than one page on the low end) Then give me your response (separate, labeled section in your paper (250 words plus).  What do you think of the person and their arguments? These people are fascinating and important.  But let me quickly introduce them: E.O Wilson is the oldest, kid from Alabama who studies ants and becomes world leading ant expert.  Sounds interesting?  Well, he also saw how humans are more like ants than any other species; oh, he invented sociobiology (which is basically evolutionary psychology).  Today, he has been focused on biophilia and education on the human relationship to nature.  The documentaries on him (on PowerPoint slide) are amazing (Harrison Ford narrate sone).  Of all the figures we would study this semester – he is the kindest, and probably my favorite. Sam Harris (neuroscientist) is a controversial (and brilliant) new atheist who find religion to be harmful, and he is known for being outspoken on criticizing all faiths.  Check out the Bill Maher and Ben Affleck fight video.   Richard Dawkins (genetic scientist) is also a new atheist – the most famous one.  And he is super controversial.  His book God Delusion shows his antipathy to religion – the linked documentary is fascinating(and funny) at times. On the flip side: 3 thinkers who advocate for religion.   Karen Armstrong is extremely compelling (check out her Oprah interview).   Ruse is a philosopher and most recognized expert on the history of Creatonism vs Evolution debates in America.  Finally,  Francis Collins – that Francis Collins, the head of the NIH and Fauci’s boss.  He’s been on tv a lot because of the pandemic.  He also mapped the human genome, and he is an evangelical Christian. Hopefully you are interested in one of these figures.  Again, each of them has an interview in the course book by Paulson.  Start there and read the person’s interview  – the person that you picked.  Then follow through with the PowerPoint slide and click the links.  Then write your summary (described above), and your response.

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