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Title: Scientific and Christian thinking : learning form Albert Einstein
Author: Paul, Iain
ISNI:       0000 0004 2666 4534
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1982
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Several inveterate attitudes to modern science are discussed before raising the question, "Why think scientifically?", as the initial step toward sin understanding of science. Some popular misconceptions are considered. The relevance of Albert Einstein's writings is indicated, followed by a description of the personal dilemma of the scientific researcher. Einstein's insights on the role of experience in the origin of scientific concepts and their function in ordering experience are presented. His outline of the advancement of scientific theories is given. Einstein's ideas are illustrated using his assessment of Johannes Kepler's contribution. Next, the importance of the intuitive relation is stressed and the tension between the logical and creative elements of scientific thinking is discussed. Possible theological connections with Einstein's metaphysical framework for scientific research are faintly drawn before giving reasons for sketching the development of one brief phase of his researches. The contents of his four scientific papers published in Annalen der Physik in 1905 show the importance of scientific continuity and industry. Scientific commitment, action and freedom are considered in the context of Einstein's religious views. An assessment of his article on the mechanics of Newton underscores the consistency of his thinking and prepares the way for a discussion of various forms of subversive superficiality in Christian thinking. Differences in everyday, technological and scientific thinking are outlined as a prelude to a detailed examination of Rudolf Bultmann's defense of demythologism. A comparison of Einstein's epistemological utterances and his four papers represents an attempt to understand basic aspects of modern scientific thinking. Some events associated with those papers are also considered. His thoughts on the relation between science and religion are given before answering the question, "Why think scientifically?" from an Einsteinian perspective of openness and justification. Outlines of the similarities between scientific and Christian faith, scientific and theological knowledge, scientific and theological communication, the universe and God, universal and divine unity, universal and divine authority, the rationality of the universe and Jesus Christ, and the intuitive relation and the Holy Spirit are drawn from an Einsteinian perspective. A brief discussion of motivation and community concludes this essay.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy