Faith and Science: Origins and Belief

Next Session: Feb 21, 2022

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One of the greatest myths in history is the supposed warfare between science and religion. Indeed many people have the impression that there is a conflict between science and religion. Catholic scientists are sometimes asked whether it’s difficult to “reconcile” science with faith, but there’s no need to “reconcile” things that are in harmony to begin with. Both the Catholic Faith and science make sense of world. Science tells about the things that we can observe and measure. The Catholic Faith has a much broader scope and answers deeper questions: questions about the ultimate cause of the world’s existence and order, the purpose of human life and our ultimate destiny. The Catholic faith and empirical science are two perspectives on reality, which allow us to see things in different, but not conflicting, ways.

Course Content

Unit 1: Faith and Science: Clash or Harmony?

Unit 2: Beginning and Creation of the Universe

Unit 3: Cosmic Order and Design

Unit 4: Science and the Soul

Unit 5: Evolution and Catholic Faith

Course Format

  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • All lectures and supplemental readings provided online.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator-moderated chat sessions with participants in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 30 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.

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Dr. Stephen Barr

Dr. Stephen Barr

Prof. Stephen Barr teaches physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware. In addition to his research, Dr. Stephen M. Barr has also written and lectured extensively on the relationship between science and religion. He was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007 for service to the Church and elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010. He is the founder and President of the Society of Catholic Scientists and the author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (2003), A Student's Guide to Natural Science (2006) and The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion (2016).