Lecturer aims to dispel myth of conflict between science, religion

March 17, 2014 | Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Samantha Watson

There are some who believe there is a conflict between science and religion, but Dr. Alvin Plantinga says otherwise.

cosmos posterPlantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, is coming to The University of Toledo to discuss his view that there is no conflict between science and religion, but rather a conflict between naturalism and science.

Naturalism is the idea that nature is all there is, so there can be no supernatural God, and often includes elements of materialism, which is the idea that matter is all there is. Plantinga argues that if materialism is true, then beliefs and ideas created by brain structures would have a 50/50 chance of being true or false.

“If that’s all true, then the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable would be very low,” Plantinga said. “You would have to be skeptical about every belief you have, including naturalism and evolution.”

His lecture, “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism,” will take place Wednesday, March 19, at 5 p.m. in the Libbey Hall Dining Room. It will be followed by a reception.

“Dr. Alvin Plantinga is the elder statesman of American philosophy of religion, perhaps of all Western philosophy of religion,” said Dr. Jeanine Diller, UT assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Religious Understanding. “Any student interested in philosophy or religion should come just to be in his presence.”

To see what other events the Center for Religious Understanding is hosting this spring, visit utoledo.edu/llss/philosophy/cfru or on Facebook.

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