A STUDY OF MODELS IN SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY, PARTICULARLY THE MODELS CONCERNED IN THE VARIOUS CONCEPTS OF CREATION

Shone, Ursula R (1988). A STUDY OF MODELS IN SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY, PARTICULARLY THE MODELS CONCERNED IN THE VARIOUS CONCEPTS OF CREATION. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f936

Abstract

The thesis is a study of the use of models in science and theology, particularly those concerned in the various concepts of creation. After a brief review of the philosophical background which looks at models of science, the discussion begins with the understanding and use of models in science. These are defined, their functions and applications are classified and the limitations are noted. It is then shown how the language of models is at the present time used much more widely and includes its use in theology. The relationship of this to metaphor, analogy and symbol is briefly discussed. The study continues with the understanding and use of models in theology and this compared with that in science. From this theoretical base, specific examples are considered and it is shown how model language can be used of the Biblical understanding of God the creator, and of the creation. The question is asked of the ways in which models change or are changed, and this is considered in the context of T. S. Kuhn's book, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"; and it is asked if change occurs by revolution or development. Four particular topics are then considered to illustrate the themes; cosmological models from early times to Kepler (the Copernican Revolution); models of the origins of the earth (the genesis/geology debates); present day theories of cosmology; and some further biblical and theological aspects. In conclusion some general suggestions are proposed about the inter-relationships between models in science and theology.

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