Department of Geology

Southwestern Adventist Univeristy
100 W. Hillcrest Drive, Keene, Texas 76059, USA
Tel: (800) 433-2240, (817) 645-3921
Fax: (817) 556-4737

Spring, 2005

GEOL 419

Philosophy of Science

Instructors: Drs. Chadwick and Willis

Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday 7:30 - 8:50 Scales Hall Rm 226

Course Description: A study of the philosophies and methodologies of science. Science is a method of inquiry whose goal is to obtain knowledge about the natural world through experimentation. The philosophy of science is a discipline that deals with the epistemology of science itself.  The discipline of philosophy of science examines science’s nature: its constituent methods and methodologies, its assumptions and limitations.  Our study includes a review of the history of scientific and religious thought, their interactions and the role each has played in the development of modern theories of origin.

Textbooks: Brand. Faith, Reason, and Earth History. Andrews University Press.1997. Johnson. Darwin on Trial. Regenery. 1991.

Objectives: This course is intended to acquaint the student with the modern philosophies of science and their applications and misapplications to problems of both a scientific nature and those that are outside the bounds of science. The student will become familiar with the literature in science and the philosophy and history of science, as well as with those figures who play a prominent role in these fields. It is expected that the student will come away from the class with a more mature mindset towards science. Issues on the frontiers and fringes of science will be confronted and this confrontation will encourage students to develop attitudes about problems they may have heretofore avoided.

General Requirements and Grading System:

1.     Attendance and Participation: Attendance and active classroom participation will be expected.  Although the grading of participation can be quite subjective, there are clear objective criteria for distinguishing between absent, present, but silent, present and participating solely for credit, and present and participating because, having thought through the issues, you have creative insights to share. Unnecessary absence is discouraged. It is almost impossible to experience philosophy from the reading of someone else's notes. Participation in class discussion is required. Grading will be on a point basis Attendance and Participation - 10%. 

2.      Exams: Two unit exams and a final will be given. The final will include a third unit exam and a comprehensive section covering the entire semester. These exams cover the factual material presented in class and in the assigned readings over that unit. Conceptual material is by its nature cumulative and some questions of this sort will require integration of conceptual material covered in previous units. Example: What is truth? Reading assignments are to be considered as a serious source of information for the course. Exams will include questions that require information from the outside reading assignments. The documents are all on reserve in the library. You may feel free to make a copy of the material so long as it is for your own use, and not for resale. Makeup exams will be permitted only when all of the following conditions have been met: 1) A serious illness or death makes meeting the scheduled exam impossible; 2) The Professor or the Department of Biology secretary is notified by you of this condition prior to the scheduled exam time; 3) The student reschedules and completes the exam within one week of the original date. Exams - 70% (20%, 20%, 30%) 

3.      Reading Project: A project will be required from every student taking this class for credit. All papers, including weekly reports must be done on a word processor. Grammar and syntax as well as spelling must be correct. This may entail the correcting of errors until you have it right! This project will consist of reading books and articles from the Reading List not otherwise assigned or other materials approved in advance on a weekly basis at the following rate - Journals 30 pages or books 50 pages per week. A two page analysis giving the authors and titles and pages read and a description of what you learned from the reading (not a summary, but a free wheeling interaction with the subject) must be turned in on Tuesday of each week. You may be quizzed over this outside reading material from time to time. The first reading report is due with lecture 3.   Deduct 50% if late.  Note that the Reading List includes a wide spectrum of choices, but is not intended to limit reading, only to give examples of the kinds of materials that are acceptable.

 Missing a deadline will lower your final grade by one letter for each deadline missed. No exceptions  Reading Project - 20%



Grading System:


Letter Grades:




Major tests




A=90% and above



Final exam




B=80% and above



Reading Project




C=70% and above



Attendance and




D=55% and above







F=below 55%






























  Severe Weather Protocol


In the rare event of severe weather, an announcement will be made between 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. indicating that classes will be delayed or cancelled - or that the university will be open as usual on the following day.  If it is not determined until early morning that classes must be delayed or cancelled, an announcement will be made by 6:00 a.m.  You may check the following for official delay or closing announcements: 88.3 FM KJCR,  NBC  5  KXAS  TV, or the University switchboard operator at (817) 645-3921.

Lecture Schedule and Reading Assignment:  Reading assignments are from one of three sources. The textbooks are indicated by authors' last names, and are those listed above. The documents are on reserve in the library.

Lecture                                                                                   Reading

Section I. Faith and Evidence in Science and Religion.

Jan 11 - What is Philosophy?                                                    Document 1;     Brand Fwd Preface

Jan 13 - The Nature of Philosophical Thought

Jan 18 - What is Science?                                                         Document 2      Brand 1

Jan 20 - The Nature of Scientific Thought                                                          Brand 2 Johnsn 1,2

Jan 25 - What is Religion?                                           

Jan 27 - The Nature of Religious Thought                                                          Brand 6

Feb 1- Limitations of Science                                        Document 3

Feb 3- History of Science-the Early Period                               Document 4      Brand 3

Feb 8 - History of Science-the Later Period                                                                  Johnsn 5, 6

Feb 10 - Development of the Theory of Evolution - Roots                                             Johnon 7, 8

Feb 15 - Development of the Theory of Evolution - Results   Document 5         

Feb 17 - Exam I

Section II Perspectives on Evolution, Earth History, and Geology and the Geology Minicourse

Feb 22 - Perspectives on Philosophy and Theology                   Document 3

Feb 24 - Perspectives on Science                                                                                 Johnsn 3, 4

Mar 1 - Evolution and Speciation                                                                      Brand 8

Mar 3 - Micro- and Macroevolution                                                                 Brand 9

Mar 8 - Thomas Kuhn and a Revolutionary View of Science Document 6          Brand 4

Mar 10 - Geology Minicourse: Rocks and Minerals                   Document 9    Brand 5

Mar 15 - Spring Break

Mar 17 - Spring Break

Mar 22 - Geology Minicourse: Sediment and Fossils                                           Johnson balance

Mar 24 - Origin of Life                                                                         Brand 7, 11

Mar 29 - Exam II

Section III. Scientific Perspectives on the Nature of Evidence and Earth History.

Mar 31 - Scientific Evidences and the C-E Controversy I          Document 7      Brand 12

Apr 5 - Scientific Evidences and the C-E Controversy II           Document 8      Brand 15

Apr 7 - Alternatives in Earth History: Biblical Perspectives                                 Brand 13

Apr 12 - The Scriptural Account and Source Criticism                          Brand 5

Apr 14 - The origin of man                                                                               Brand 12

Apr 19 - Evidences II - Dimensionality and Complexity                         Brand 14

Apr 21 - The Rocks Cry Out                                                                            Brand 16

Apr 26 - Philosophy, Science and Religion                                                        Brand 17

 Apr 28 - Conclusions

Final Exam will be in the location and at the time announced in the examination schedule












The following list of reading materials is only suggestive of the types of books acceptable for the reading portion of this class.  Reading is intended to be broad (in most cases no more than two successive reports from the same source) and rich (a variety of subjects and discourses).

Reading List

Author(s)                                              Title                                                                                          Call#

 Dembski, William A.                 Intelligent design : the bridge between science & theology             BL240.2 .D46 1999

Nash, Ronald H.                        Worldviews in conflict : choosing Christianity in a world of ideas     BT1102 .N37 1992

Aleksander, Igor.                        Designing intelligent systems : an introduction.                            Q335 A442 1984

Haken, H.                                  Synergetics : an introduction : nonequilibrium phase transitions aQ295 H35 1977

Waddington, Conrad Hal,            Tools for thought : how to understand and apply the latest scientiQ295 W3 1977b

Iberall, Arthur S.                         Toward a general science of viable systems                                 Q295 I24 1972

Barrow, John D.                         The anthropic cosmological principle                                            BD511 B34 1986

Bunge, Mario Augusto                Causality and modern science.                                                   BD541 B85 1979

Moreland, James Porter              Christianity and the nature of science.                                         BL240.2 M645 1989

Pagels, Heinz R.                        The cosmic code : quantum physics as the language of nature.     QC174.13 P33 1982

Cavalieri, Liebe F                       The double-edged helix : science in the real world.                        Q175 C435 1981

LeGrand, Homer Eugene            Drifting continents and shifting theories.                                       QE511.5 L44 1988

Knorr-Cetina, K. (Karin)              Epistemic cultures : how the sciences make knowledge        Q175.32.K45 K57 1999

Sokal, Alan D.                           Fashionable nonsense : postmodern intellectuals' abuse of scieQ175 .S3695 1998

Hummel, Charles E.                   The Galileo connection : resolving conflicts betw. science & the Q125.2 H86 1986

Ken Wilber (ed.)                         The Holographic paradigm and other paradoxes                            Q175 H773 1982

Perutz, Max F.                          I wish I'd made you angry earlier : essays on science, scientists, eQ175 .P386 1998

Kellert, Stephen H.                     In the wake of chaos : unpredictable order in dynamical systems.  Q172.5 C45K45 1993

Medawar, P. B.                          The limits of science                                                                  Q175 M433 1984

Butterfield, Herbert, Sir               The origins of modern science: 1300-1800.                                   Q125 B97 1957

Stent, Gunther Siegmund,          Paradoxes of progress                                                                Q175.5 S74 1978

Bridges, Horace James              Taking the name of science in vain.                                             B53 B8 1969

Kuhn, Thomas S.                       The structure of scientific revolutions                                            Q175 K95 1970

Pennock, Robert T                     Tower of Babel : the evidence against the new creationism            QH366.2 .P428 1999

Chargaff, Erwin.                         Voices in the labyrinth : nature, man, and science                        Q175.5 C49 1977

Greene, John C                          Science, ideology, and world view : essays in the history of evol QH331 G727 1981

White, Michael J.                       The continuous and the discrete : ancient physical theories from    Q175 W569 1992

NABT                                        A compendium of information on the theory of evolution and the     QH362 N3C6 1977

Kitcher, Philip                            Abusing science : the case against creationism                           QH371 K57 1982

Irvine, William                            Apes, angels, and Victorians : Darwin, Huxley, and evolution.        QH31 D2I7 1959

Mae Ho, P T. Saunders eds.       Beyond neo-Darwinism : an introduction to the new evolutionary QH366.2 B486 1984

Peth, Howard                             Blind faith : evolution exposed.                                                    BL293 P4B5 1990

Dawkins, Richard                       The blind watchmaker.                                                                QH366.2 D37 1987

Huggett, Richard J.                    Catastrophism : systems of earth history.                                    QE506 H9 1990

Horigan, James E                      Chance or design?                                                                     BD511 H67

Darwin, Charles                         Charles Darwin's notebooks, 1836-1844 : geology, transmutati       QH365 Z9B37 1987

Mason, Frances (Baker) ed.        Creation by evolution : a consensus of present-day knowledge       QH366 M47 1929

Wysong, R. L.                           The creation-evolution controversy (implications, methodology        QH325 W95 1976

Kofahl, Robert E.                       The creation explanation : a scientific alternative to evolution          BS651 K63

Baker, Alonza Lafayette             Creation - Not Evolution                                                              BL263 B3C7

Clark, Harold Willard                  Creation speaks : a study of the scientific aspects of the Genesis BS651.C5 C7 1947

Zimmerman, Paul Albert             Darwin, evolution, and creation                                                    BL263 Z58

Macbeth, Norman                      Darwin retried; an appeal to reason.                                             QH369 M12 1971

Marsh, Frank Lewis                    Evolution, creation and science                                                   BL263 .M416

Marsh, Frank Lewis                    Evolution or special creation?                                                      BL263M417

Eldredge, Niles.                         Fossils : the evolution and extinction of species                            QE711.2 .E47 1991

Price, George McCready            Genesis vindicated.                                                                    BL240 P74G4

Nichol, Francis David                  God's challenge to modern apostasy : a study of the three angels'BX6154 N53

Austin, Steven A.                       Grand Canyon : monument to catastrophe                                   GE508 G72 199

Brandon, Samuel George            Creation legends of the ancient Near East                                    BL325 C7B7

Utt, Richard H                            Creation : nature's designs and designer                                      BL262 C742

Heinze, Thomas F.                     The creation vs. evolution handbook.                                            BS659 H4 1972

Numbers, Ronald L.                   The creationists.                                                                        BS651 N85 1992

Gentry, Robert V.                       Creation's tiny mystery.                                                              QE 462 .G7G35 1986

Gilkey, Langdon Brown               Creationism on trial : evolution and God at Little Rock.                  KF228 M39G55 1985

Young, Davis A.                         Creation and the flood : an alternative to flood geology and theistic BS657 Y68

Coffin, Harold G.                        Creation; accident or design?                                                      BS 650 .C6C7 1969

Rachels, James,                        Created from animals : the moral implications of Darwinism.          B818 R32 1990

Pun, Pattle P. T.                        Evolution : nature and Scripture in conflict?                                  BS659 P86 1982

Patterson, Colin                         Evolution                                                                                   QH366.2 .P37 1978

Denton, Michael.                        Evolution : a theory in crisis                                                        QH371 D46 1986

Davidheiser, Bolton.                   Evolution and Christian faith.                                                       BS659 D3

Spetner, Lee M.                         Not By Chance.                                                                         Judaica Press 1998.

Coffin, Harold G.                        Origin by design                                                             BS651 .C585 1983

Arthur, Wallace                          The origin of animal body plans : a study in evolutionary developQH 491 A77 1997

Shapiro, Robert                          Origins : a skeptic's guide to the creation of life on earth                QH325 S47 1986

Dyson, Freeman J.                     Origins of life                                                                             QH325 .D88 1999

Miller, Stanley L.                        The origins of life on the earth                                                      QH325 M55 1974

Roth, Ariel A                              Origins, Linking Science and Scripture                                         (in library)

Wells, Jonathan                         Icons of Evolution                                                                       (in library)         

Behe, Michael                           Darwin's Black Box                                                                    (in Library)