Welcome to our website on science and religion. I am your host Albert Stetz, Professor of Physics at Oregon State University. There are many branches of science that impact on religion in one way or another: biology, paleontology, and psychology for example. Religion also has a lot to say about the moral and ethical uses of the consequences of scientific discoveries. These podcasts are a bit more focused. I will be looking at the interaction of science and religion through the eyes of a physicist. I will be investigating those issues where physics is directly relevant to religion, particularly cosmology where we come to terms with the age of the earth, the fine-tuning of the universe and the existence of physical laws. I will also consider topics where physics is more peripherally involved, particularly the philosophy of physicalism as it relates to human consciousness. Above all, I will be using the habits of thought that come naturally in the sciences: look to the data but use thought experiments where possible, pay attention to the logical structure of arguments and beware of sloppy reasoning.
My first topic will be the mystery of human consciousness and free will. In subsequent podcasts, I will discuss cosmology and later touch on the existence of miracles, the nature of belief, and proofs of the existence or non-existence of God.
I think that the weight of evidence supports some of the traditional claims of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but I am not here to proselytize. I will present the science as accurately as possible and highlight the areas where you can decide its relevance to your own beliefs.
The podcasts on consciousness are based on a series of lectures I gave for the Guerrilla Scholars at The Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis Oregon.