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FRSEMR 50S - From Galileo to the Big Bang Theory: Conflict and Dialogue between Religion and Science or return to Course Catalog Search

204929 – Section 001   

Faculty of Arts and SciencesFreshman SeminarsKarin Oberg
TermDay and TimeLocation
Fall 2017-2018  (show academic calendar)W   2:00 p.m. - 3:59 p.m.Sever 112 (FAS)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level

It is easy to find controversies at the intersection of science and religion, from the time of Galileo, to Darwin and the emergence of modern cosmology. Yet many scientists throughout the ages have been devoutly religious, challenging claims of an intrinsic enmity between science and religion. This seminar treats a number of historical conflicts between religious beliefs and scientific theories, among them the Galileo affair, the clockwork universe, evolution, and the Big Bang theory. The seminar will introduce students to the main protagonists through their own words, and through contemporary and modern-day commentaries. We will explore why these conflicts arose and, based on these historical lessons, what we can expect the future relationship between science and religion to be. The ultimate aim of this seminar is for students to form their own opinion of which kind of conflicts between science and religion are inevitable and which are accidents of time and place, and under which conditions, if any, interactions between science and religion can be mutually beneficial. Most of the course will focus on Christianity and the natural sciences, with emphasis on astronomy and cosmology, but the relationship between other ancient and contemporary religions and other sciences will be discussed as well to provide a broader context.

Course open to Freshman Students Only

Exam Group

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.