October 2005
volume 17 (2)

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Denis Alexander
Pages: 114-114


Has Science eliminated God? – Richard Dawkins and the Meaning of Life

Alister McGrath
Pages: 115-135


Science has swept God from the public arena, and relegated him to the margins of our culture. He hangs on in its backwaters – but only temporarily. It is only a matter of time before the relentless advance of science finally drives God from the human mind, and the world will be a better place. That, in a nutshell, is the popular perception of the take-home message of the writings of the Oxford scientific populariser and atheist apologist Richard Dawkins. In this article, I want to raise some fundamental concerns about this popular perception, and propose to do so by engaging directly with the writings of Dawkins himself.


Science and the Bible: Are They Incompatible?

Ernest Lucas
Pages: 137-154


Relative State or It-from-Bit: God and Contrasting Interpretations of Quantum Theory

Roger Paul
Pages: 155-175


In this article I explore theological implications of two contrasting interpretations of quantum theory: the Relative State interpretation of Hugh Everett III, and the It-from-Bit proposal of John A. Wheeler. The Relative State interpretation considers the Universal Wave Function to be a complete description of reality. Measurement results in a branching process that can be interpreted in terms of many worlds or many minds. I discuss issues of the identity of observers in a branching universe, the ways God may interact with the deterministic, isolated quantum universe and the relative nature of salvation history from a perspective within a branch. In contrast, irreversible, elementary acts of observation are considered to be the foundation of reality in the It-from-Bit proposal. Information gained through observer-participancy (the ‘bits’) constructs the fabric of the physical universe (‘it’), in a self-excited circuit. I discuss whether meaning, including religious faith, is a human construct, and whether creation is cocreation, in which divine power and supremacy are limited by the emergence of a participatory universe. By taking these two contrasting interpretations of quantum theory seriously, I hope to show that the interpretation of quantum mechanics we start from matters theologically.


God and Differing Interpretations of Quantum Theory – Response to Paul

Rodney D. Holder
Pages: 177-185


Fitness of the Universe for a Second Genesis

Julian Chela-Flores
Pages: 187-197


Responses to the Human Embryo and Embryonic Stem Cells: Scientific and Theological Assessments

D. Gareth Jones
Pages: 199-222


The prospect of employing embryonic stem cells for research has reignited debate over the status of the human embryo. However, the current debate centres on the very earliest stages of embryonic development, notably on the blastocyst at around 5-7 days’ gestation. After a scientific overview of early embryonic development, three theological perspectives are considered. These provide insight into the contrasting ways in which the interrelationship between biblical material, traditional moral positions and scientific concepts on reproduction are currently being approached. In assessing the part biblical perspectives play, four categories of response are outlined and discussed. Of these, the one advocated is that the Bible is one of a number of sources that inform our decision-making, but may not be the predominant one. It is argued that the environment in which blastocysts are encountered has considerable relevance for theological debate, and consequently for acceptance or otherwise of the legitimacy of utilising embryonic stem cells. Two sets of Christian stances towards proceeding with embryonic stem cell investigations are contrasted in order to highlight their respective theological, moral and scientific emphases. It is concluded that both represent valid Christian responses, even though they envisage different roles for blastocysts within the human community.



Psychobiosocial muddle or model?

David Booth
Pages: 243-246


MacKay/Jeeves and Torrance/Cartwright: Similarities and a Major Difference

Peter G.H. Clarke
Pages: 247-247


Book reviews

View book reviews

When Science and Christianity Meet

D. Lindberg & R. Numbers (eds.), (J. Hannam)
Pages: 249-250

The Ethics of Nature

C. Deane-Drummond (S. Holm)
Pages: 250-250

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

S. Barr (A. Garrett)
Pages: 250-252

Biology and Theology Today

C. E. Deane-Drummond (P. Moore)
Pages: 252-254

The Age of the Earth: from 4004 BC to AD 2002

C. Lewis & S. Knell (eds) (M. Roberts)
Pages: 254-255

Creation: from Nothing until Now

W. B. Drees (P. Bligh)
Pages: 255-256