Previously, biology was conceived as reductive to chemistry and chemistry as reductive to physics. But today these sciences have distinct features. Biology, as an example, by virtue of its structure, makes possible the requisite degree of conceptual origination, having the characteristic of “life,” which is not true of chemistry or physics.
The reduction of chemistry to physics, of biology to chemistry, of animal conscious or subconscious experience to biology, and of consciousness itself and the creativeness of the human mind to animal experience, are all problems that are unlikely if not impossible to succeed.
The important frontiers of the future are spiritual, psychological and social, not technical and industrial. This vision of the world stands in strong contrast to supernaturalistic dualism and materialistic atheism.
A broad description of contemporary views of the relationship between the methods of science and those of religion: Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and Integration.
The notion of evil is related to the fact that our universe is not only a process in which everything perishes but a process in which novelty is continually entering onto the cosmic scene, causing the breakdown of previous orderly arrangements and bringing about suffering.
The complementarity of science and religion may be formulated in terms of our hierarchical conception. Science is a mode of knowing adequate to grasp what lies below consciousness in the hierarchy. Religion, on the other hand, complements science by relating us to fields, dimensions or levels that lie above, or deeper than, consciousness in the cosmic hierarchy.
In fostering the necessity of human bonding in the image of the “body of Christ” or “the people of God,” Christianity promotes the preparation of a base suitable for a deeper incarnation of God in the cosmos. For this reason being a Christian is an acceptable way of endorsing and fostering the scientific discoveries of modernity.
The first ethical principle is that we should treat subjects as ends in themselves and not merely as means to our own ends. Compassion must be extended to all creatures who share the Earth with us. And we also have a responsibility to the non-animate world.
The metaphysical background of process thought is far more germane to the evolutionary picture provided by biology than is the mechanistic philosophy. The only sort of universe in which evolution of organisms can occur is one in which the entities have subjective aim.
This chapter examines some parallels between the methods of science and those of religion: the interaction of data and theory (or experience and interpretation); the historical character of the interpretive community; the use of models; and the influence of paradigms or programs.