Resources

The following PowerPoint slides and accompanying notes are freely available for use and/or modification by individuals and groups to promote understanding and dialogue in science and religion with the stipulation that they may not be sold or traded for any form of financial or material gain. Credited images or other materials must be so noted with proper attribution in any use or derivation of these materials.The contents of these notes and the accompanying slides reflect the views of the respective authors and should not be assumed to represent the position of Samford University or its employees.

If these materials are to be used in a church setting, you may find it helpful to review some general considerations pertaining to science and religion dialogue in congregations. Click here to access. 

What is the Relationship between Science and Religion? 

Looking through binoculars

The relationship between science and religion has typically been characterized as one of conflict, especially on the issue of origins (creationism vs. evolution).  The historical reality is that science and religion have more often been complementary to each other, and the relationship has been dynamic.  Science and religion are both important facets of modern life, and many of the questions in this series deal with issues that are at the intersection of science and religion.  The purpose of this unit is to expose participants various ways that others have categorized science and religion and to provide some strategies for evaluating the big questions of science and religion.

 PowerPoint Slides                Notes

  

Can There be Purpose in a World of Chance? 

 Coin flip

Everywhere we look in our culture we see the fingerprints of chance or randomness. Obvious examples include the gaming industry (including lotteries), stage plays, movies, literature, television shows, historical scholarship, weather forecasting, the economy and music. Chance is also a fundamental component in many scientific theories such as evolution and quantum mechanics. It is somewhat ironic to note that both atheists and Christians use the possible existence of chance as evidence that there can be no God and as such it has become a favored weapon for those viewing science and religion as locked in mortal combat. However, what is chance, really? Science has shown us many examples of how order emerges from randomness and vice versa. In fact, we humans use random processes to achieve any number of purposes. Might God do the same? That is, use chance to achieve his purposes? There have been a number of Christian responses that attempt to incorporate chance into the traditional view of God.

 PowerPoint Slides                Notes      

  

Where Did We Come From? 

Adam

This presentation concerns cosmology (the beginnings of the universe) and evolution (the beginnings and changes within the biological portion of our world). Cosmology presented the church of several hundred years ago with an interpretive dilemma that today seems rather pedantic even to many current church members who now struggle with evolution. It is suggested here that explanations which seem to be contradictory might both be true, that sometimes description is all one can achieve, that one need not necessarily be embarrassed by gaps in explanation (either scientific or religious), and that any conclusions are always best couched in humility.

 PowerPoint Slides                Notes

  

What is the Relationship Between Mind, Brain, Consciousness, Soul? 

Head and brain

The relationship between mind, brain, consciousness, and the soul may not be the first thing one thinks of with respect to science and religion issues but it is actually one of the oldest and, because of its intensely personal nature, also one of the most relevant. This is particularly true given the constant production of new scientific insights from those sciences devoted to a better understanding of brain and behavior. This study is therefore geared to help participants think about mind, brain, consciousness, the soul, and personal freedom from the perspectives of both modern science and Christian theology. The assumption is that enhanced understanding in this area is important to improved conceptions of God, the Bible, self, and others.

 PowerPoint Slides                 Notes