GCE Religious Studies Explanation of Terms Unit 1D: Religion, Philosophy and Science

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1 hij Teacher Resource Bank GCE Religious Studies Explanation of s Unit 1D: Religion, Philosophy and Science The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number ) and a registered charity (registered charity number ). Registered address: AQA, Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX. Dr Michael Cresswell, Director General.

2 EXPLANATION OF TERMS GCE Religious Studies Unit 1D: Religion, Philosophy and Science Aquinas, Thomas Big Bang Theory Big Crunch Capra, Fritjof creation continuous creation / God as sustainer Dawkins, Richard deism Design Argument / Intelligent Design Theory Electron Evolutionary Theory God of the gaps A key thinker and spiritual leader of Christianity. He was a philosopher and theologian who adapted the philosophy of Aristotle to Christian theology. He remains famous for his writings, especially his Summa Theologiae, which contained a summary of five ways to prove the existence of God ( ). The scientific theory that the universe expanded from an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of energy called a singularity. The scientific theory that the universe will begin contracting and will end in a cataclysmic way: the reverse of its beginnings. Author of The Tao of Physics. Argues for connections between quantum mechanics and mysticism. The universe, as created by God; The act, or event, in which God is said to have created the universe. The belief that God continues to be involved in creation in every moment since the Big Bang. A modern scientist and a critic of religion. The belief that God is responsible for the start of creation but then takes no further interest. The various forms of the argument all share in common the inference of the existence of God from a particular aspect or character of the world, namely the presence of order, regularity and purpose. A negatively charged particle found in an atom. Famously championed by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871). He demonstrated that life on Earth is the result of purely natural, biological processes. The theory that God is the answer to questions and problems that science is otherwise unable to resolve. klm 1

3 healing Hume, David interventionist God light miracle mystical insights / experience Natural Law(s) nature of reality Usually a term used in the context of miracles. Unusual type of religious experience in that it brings about a physical and, therefore, observable change. A Scottish philosopher ( ) who was an empiricist and challenged the views about causality. He contributed to many debates in the Philosophy of Religion, such as design argument and miracles. A view of God, where he actively involves himself in human affairs. It is particularly associated with the concept of miracles and the idea of God breaking the laws of nature to bring about certain beneficial outcomes. The subject of much debate between scientists. Newton was convinced that light consisted of particles but Thomas Young demonstrated that it consisted of waves. Both understandings of light are now accepted as true even though they are mutually exclusive understandings. An event that lies beyond normal human knowledge and understanding. It is an event with religious significance. David Hume defined a miracle as a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity Others have focused on the beneficial aspects of the event and their religious significance. Nature miracle God intervening in nature e.g. the parting of the Red Sea. Healing miracle God intervenes to bring about healing. A special category of religious experience of a supernatural and spiritual nature. This is a complex term which has been explored by many writers such as William James and WT Stace. The highest form of mystical experience is considered to be a Mystical Union. In scientific terms, these are understandings of the way nature works. Initially, they were conceived of in prescriptive terms, i.e. that nature was required to behave in ways prescribed by scientists. In modern times, they are conceived of in descriptive terms, i.e. that scientists understandings merely describe what happens. In religious terms, natural law comes from God and guides human moral behaviour. The way that the real world is viewed by scientists and theologians. 2 klm

4 origin of life Paley, William particle Philosophy Philosophy of Religion progressive creationism / old earth quanta quantum mechanics religion science six day creationism / young earth stigmata Swinburne, Richard The Tao of Physics Usually a phrase used in connection with evolutionary theory, i.e. it refers to the origin of life on Earth. An eighteen century naturalist and priest who formulated the best known example of the design argument by using the analogy of the watch and the watchmaker. Any part of reality smaller than an atom. Academic subject devoted to the study of the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge and truth. The study of the philosophical principles of the subject of Religious Studies. This branch of philosophy examines the general philosophical problems about religion and God. The belief that the creation stories in Genesis are an accurate description of creation but that some elements of these stories may be interpreted liberally, i.e. that the 7 days of creation really refers to 7 eras. Literally meaning amounts (singular: quantum) and usually referring to indivisible units of energy such as quarks. The science of the very small. Quantum mechanics is the physics which deals with the relationships between sub-atomic particles. An organised faith system. The term may relate to both a person s identity with, or actual practice. A branch of knowledge or study that is characterised by obtaining its evidence through provable and repeatable experimentation and observation. A belief (originating from Archbishop Ussher) that the earth is relatively young and that it was created in exactly 6 days. Physical wounds which appear on religious believers in imitation of the wounds of Christ on the cross. A contemporary Christian philosopher ( ) who has written on many issues on the philosophy of religion, including a defence of the arguments for the existence of God. A book written by Fritjof Capra (see above). klm 3

5 wave world view (religious) The word used to describe the behaviour of phenomenon such as light or other sub-atomic particles. A belief that an explanation of reality without reference to a supernatural being is an incomplete explanation. 4 klm

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