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by Lawrence M. Principe,The Great Courses
Download Science and Religion fb2
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  • Author:
    Lawrence M. Principe,The Great Courses
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Very Good - I was aware of many; this course is a good explanationn of them and more
Informative if you can abide the narrator's overly intellectualized vocabulary and annoying accent. The product of a fabulously intelligent professor who probably loses a fair portion of his audience due to the recondite nature of the presentation. Liked the information. Disliked the style. I would recommend only to those who enjoy looking words up in the dictionary or who enjoy listening to smart people talking in such a manner as to convince the listener they are smarter than the listener.
Don't bother with this DVD cause it is really boring. Can't really call it multimedia presentation since the lecturer just stands in front of a podium. Too much time spent defining terms. Got it to use in a class but switched to a much better DVD by Francis Collins who was the Director of the Genome Project called Religion and Science. The Collins DVD is really well done with over 9 different interviews and truly multimedia presentation. Our class really enjoyed the Collins DVD.

I hope amazon gets it back in stock http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Science-Pathways-Truth-course/dp/B004N9E0U0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356558035&sr=1-1&keywords=francis+collins+religion+and+science+dvd
Prince Persie
This is a very enjoyable, content-rich, and interesting lecture series, but know what you are getting. The title of the series should have been something different than the misleadingly general title of "Science and Religion." The series is about science and religion, but it is not the kind of series that deals with the incendiary topic of "science versus religion." In fact, this series is the opposite of that: it traces (very briefly for 12 lectures to handle) the history of the relationship between science and religion. What the series shows is that religion and science have not been at odds historically, and, in reality, both have been entangle with one another because they were seeking truth. However, the two have not been at odds with one another, but the tension existed between camps within science, and, on each occasion, religious (and non-religious) individuals found themselves on both sides of any given debate. It should also be noted that this series only deals with Western science and religion.

The biggest benefit of this lecture series is its dual lecture treatment of Galileo's run-in with the Church. Principe masterfully puts to rights the history that is so often misunderstood by popularizers of the affair. Principe uses letters between Bellarmine and Galileo, as well as coherent accounts of the interactions between Pope Urban VIII, to put into perspective what really happen --that is, to within a certain degree of error, as there are many aspects of the affair that are debated. By and large, Principe elucidates the issue, eliminating whatever myths so freely float around in popular culture.

While I did thoroughly enjoy Lawrence Principe's presentation, there are a number of qualifications I need to add. Principe keeps the discussion lively, but he does not make very good use of the added visual advantage of the DVD format, so I think that many will be better served by the (often cheaper) CDs. As for myself, I enjoy watching the lectures because I am much more a visual learner. For those not similarly inclined with such a baseline preference, CDs will do just as well.

One further qualification is that some may find Principe a little to "scholarly feeling" in his presentation. There is a give and take, here. On the one hand, whatever information you get from Principe is assuredly correct, being that the caliber of his scholarship is remarkable. On the other, he does present and speak with a decided lack of flamboyance that one might find with lecturers whose strong suit is lecturing rather than scholarship. Nonetheless, I maintain that Principe is by no means a poor lecturer, just that he has that "scholarly feel" to him, which many may find to be less than thrilling.

I recommend this to all (laypeople, college students, and at-large intellectuals), qualifications accepted.
In our era of Outrage Culture and widespread Groupthink, it's very difficult to find high quality, careful academic work on contentious issues like the relation between science and religion. Professor Principe does an excellent job of walking a careful line through the wilds of the tit-for-tats that get hurled across the border zone by nefarious players on each side. If you find yourself in one of these groups, you will not appreciate what Professor Principe arrives at in his analysis. If you are truly a Cosmopolite like Diogones, there is much to be gleaned in these lectures from the realm of science and from the realm of religion. These domains of human existence enrich each other when adequately appreciated and apprehended, and Professor Principe outlines a pathway for this happy state of affairs. If you are looking for anti-intellectual propaganda, I recommend deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos 2.0 or the Young Earth Creation Institute.