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Science and Religion: Are they compatible? By Alvin Plantinga and Daniel Dennett. This is a lengthy debate consisting of a series of articles compiled together in a short book. The debate (obviously) concerns the debate between Christianity and scientific naturalism.
Summarize the debate. Obviously, you can get really bogged down in the details, but you don’t have the space for that. Shoot for 3 or 4 pages of summary. After that, pick which side you agree with, and defend your view by explaining which argument of the side you’re against (the opposite of the one you picked) is wrong. To do this, you only need to pick and focus on one or two arguments out of the whole thing and focus on them (It’s also a good idea to mention these arguments in your summary once you’ve decided what they’re going to be).
Feel free to consult your textbook, the other readings from the course, or other outside readings and research for additional perspective. These are recommended but not required to do well on the assignment.
5-6 Pages (minimum) Double-Spaced

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In Science and Religion Plantinga (2011) provides a view on the compatibility of science and religion. Plantinga focuses on the specific religion of Christianity. Plantinga first reminds us that science is always changing and therefore incompatible with anything (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011).
A conflict is suggested between science and religion because science cannot explain divine actions such as miracles. For example, there is no scientific evidence of the Christian claim that Jesus rose from the dead. So for the topics of science and religion the conflict exists between the Christian beliefs of being created in God’s image and the theory of evolution (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011).
Plantinga focuses on four claims connected to evolution to express his view of science and religion being compatible. The claims include: the evolutionary theory is compatible with Christianity, anti-religious arguments about evolution fail, Christian belief is not irrational because of science and Naturalism or no such thing as God is incompatible with evolution (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011).
The first claim is that the evolutionary theory is compatible with Christianity. The evolutionary theory encompasses theories surrounding ancient earth, descendants with slight modifications, and common ancestors that link everyone (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011). Darwinism is a claim concerning the evolutionary theory that suggests the driving force of subtle modifications of descendants is a natural selection and not God (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011).
The conflict that exists that makes the evolutionary theory incompatible with Christianity is the Christian belief that God creates in his image. Plantinga suggests that God could have caused the subtle modifications and in turn this makes the evolutionary theory compatible with Christianity. Christians believe that Darwinism and evolution are unguided process and therefore incompatible. To counter the unguided claim of evolution, Plantinga offers the argument that experts make a false assumption. Experts make an assumption in thinking that the evolution of man is not guided by God by supposing that if done again today’s creatures would be different (Dennett & Plantinga, 2011).
The random modification claim also contributes to the conflict that God creates in his image. A random modification means that there is no adaptational need for the change. But there is also nothing inside the body that regulates or determines the importance of random modifications. So Plantinga suggests that in a sense, random modifications can be caused by God. If God is guiding the process then Darwinism and Christianity are compatible. Since naturalism is associated with the evolutionary theory, any aspects about evolution are associated with naturalism too. So denials of...
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