About this course

A decade ago, Richard Dawkins published The God Delusion, which triggered an explosion of public debates about God, the universe, and everything. This course will focus on the ways in which the apparently obvious conflict between science and religion is far more complicated than its most vocal advocates would assert. It aims to equip students with the information, insight, and skills necessary to evaluate the popular debates and to construct charitable, well-reasoned, nuanced, and persuasive arguments to the debates.

We will consider the roles of and relationships between science, religion/s, and philosophy, and we will use logical, critical reasoning to assess the claims and construct arguments. Course materials include contemporary debaters (Dawkins, McGrath, Dennett, Hitchens); influential ancient, premodern and postmodern writers (Aquinus, Aristotle, Coakley, Darwin, Galileo, Hume, Kuhn, Pigliucci, Plantinga, Popper, Williams and more); editorials; and recordings of debates.

No previous philosophical or scientific background is required.


Check with your home institution for specific information on fulfillment of major / course requirements.