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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Science and Religion
Module Code TP205
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Joseph Rivera
Semester 2: Joseph Rivera
Autumn: Joseph Rivera
Module TeachersJoseph Rivera
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module is designed to introduce students to core themes that highlight the ever-changing interface between religion and science. In particular, we’ll focus on the historical narrative in tandem with contemporary debates. Classical figures such as Galileo, Descartes, Newton and Darwin will be read and discussed. After Darwin, theological approaches to science evolve, especially in the twentieth-century, with important voices emerging such as Teilhard de Chardin and Alfred North Whitehead; finally, contemporary trajectories shall fall within our purview, such as those evolutionists who submit Christianity to radical critique, known as the “New Atheists” (Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett).

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the extent to which historical issues (such as the Galileo and the Darwin controversies) have lent credence to the view that religion is opposed to, and indeed fears the progress of science
2. Offer a critical analysis of notions of biblical truth and other religious truth claims in the light of recent developments in science
3. Show how recent developments in evolutionary theory have provided for a sophisticated secular theory of meaning
4. Grasp the ramifications for the credibility of a theistic worldview posed by the problem of natural or existential evil, something made even more challenging by the high level of popular acceptance of a deist image of God.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Assignment Completion30essay
Lecture24No Description
Class Presentation30No Description
Independent Study41No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Galileo and Darwin

Fideism and relativism

Truth matters: the bible and science

Evolution v’s contemporary Intelligent Design theory

Deism and the problem of Evil

Empiricism / positivism: from Hume to Wittgenstein

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Essayn/a50%Sem 2 End
PresentationClass participation and presentation50%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Darwin Charles: 1859, On the Origin of the Species by means of Natural Selection, John Murray, London,
  • Dawkins, Richard: 2006, The God Delusion (revised 2011), Mariner Books, London.,
  • Hawking, Stephen: 1998, A Brief History of Time, Bantham Press, London,
  • Cunningham, Conor: 2010, Darwin’s Pius Idea: Why the Ultra Darwinians and Creationists Both Get It Wrong, Eerdmanns, Cambridge.,,
  • Cassidy Eoin: 2004, The Search For Meaning and Values, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Dawkins, Richard: 2009, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Bantham Press, London,
  • Hitchens, Christopher: 2007, The Portable Atheist, De Capo Press, Philadelphia.,
  • McCarthy, Fachtna and Mc Cann Joseph: 2003, Science and Religion, in Dialogue, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Purcell Brendan: 2011, From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the light of Evolution and Creation, Veritas, Dublin,
Other Resources

43826, Podcast, 0, The Oxford Debate on Science and Religion between Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins, February 2012, http://media.podcasts.ox.ac.uk/theofac/origins_nature/2012-02-23_dawkins.mp4?CAMEFROM=itunesu,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English
BRHBachelor of Religious Education &History
BRMBachelor of Religious Education & Music

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