Krauss, the Universe and Nothing

From The Centre for Public Christianity.

David Wilkinson works in the Theology and Religion department at Durham University. His background is research in theoretical astrophysics, where his PhD was in the study of star formation, the chemical evolution of galaxies and terrestrial mass extinctions such as the event which wiped out the dinosaurs. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and has published a wide range of papers on these subjects. His latest book is called Science, Religion and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

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Life, The Universe & Nothing (Lawrence Krauss/William Lane Craig)


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A three-part conversation …

Brisbane Aug 7: Has science buried God?
Sydney Aug 13: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Melbourne Aug 16:  Is it reasonable to believe there is a God?

Speakers:

Prof Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence M. Krauss is a renowned cosmologist and science popularizer, and is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. Hailed by Scientific American as a rare public intellectual, he is also the author of more than three hundred scientific publications and nine books, including the international bestseller, The Physics of Star Trek, and his most recent bestseller entitled A Universe from Nothing, now being translated into 20 languages.

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Dr William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity. In 1987  he moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994. He runs a Christian apologetics ministry called Reasonable Faith, and is the author of numerous books and articles for both scholarly and popular consumption.

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More information on these debates is available here.

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Origins Today: Genesis through Ancient Eyes

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ORIGINS TODAY: Genesis through Ancient Eyes

(Dr. John Walton, Wheaton College)

The rift between faith and science in Christian circles today often results in the marginalization of Christians engaged in the sciences, impediments to evangelism, and the attrition of young believers who are told that Christianity is incompatible with the acceptance of evolution or an old earth.

A close reading of Genesis 1–3 offers a fresh perspective on this complex issue by seeking to understand the message of Scripture within its ancient context. Analysis of the Genesis creation account and an evaluation of its ancient Near Eastern setting raise the question of whether the Bible provides modern scientific information related to our understanding of the natural world (e.g., cosmology, biology, or human origins), or whether it offers a theological, rather than material, framework for thinking about the cosmos–for example, God made everything and is sovereign over it. This question in turn leads us to inquire whether today’s scientific conclusions regarding old earth, common descent, and parentage of the human race necessarily conflict with the Bible or theology.

ORIGINS TODAY: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes is a speaking initiative allowing engagement with diverse audiences on these critical topics throughout the United States and internationally during Dr. Walton’s sabbatical in 2013.

ORIGINS TODAY does not presuppose or promote a particular scientific standpoint, but rather aims to facilitate a deeper reading of Scripture among Christians seeking to take the Bible seriously. In the process Christians who identify themselves with a variety of scientific conclusions will be offered insight into the broader compatibility between Bible and science.

This project is supported by The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution & Christian Faith program.

 

The following two hour video contains lecture, interviews, and personal testimonies from Old Testament scholar John Walton about understanding the book of Genesis in light of ancient culture.

Watch it here or here.

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2013 Conference on Science and Christianity (COSAC) – Adelaide, South Australia

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The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology (ISCAST) is an Australian organisation dedicated to exploring the interface between science and the Christian faith. Its membership consists of scientists, theologians and professionals with standing in their own fields and a commitment to the Christian faith.

The rapid development of science has left many either to follow blindly where science is taking them or to crawl into a fundamentalist mindset. We argue there is a third way: a dynamic dialogue, critically reviewing both science and religion, allowing each to influence our understanding of the other.

Conference On Science And Christianity

Date: 19 – 21 July 2013

Venue: Tabor Adelaide, South Australia

Keynote presenter: Reverend Doctor David Wilkinson

Topic: “Faith, Hope and Quarks: Scientific and Theological Perspectives on the Future”

Registrations open!

Reverend Doctor David Wilkinson, astrophysicist and Principal of St John’s College, Durham University, UK and author of Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe (T&T Clark 2010) and many other works on Christianity and Science in today’s world.

For more information visit the ISCAST (Christians in Science & Technology) website here.

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Finally – A Rational Philosophical Voice on Gun Control

71TJM1IRckL__SL500_AA300_The question of whether private gun ownership is reasonable polarises opinion, particulary in the United States. Jeff McMahan examines the arguments in conversation with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

If anything has annoyed me and turned me off North American Evangelical Christianity in the last year or so, it has been the staunch refusal of many (if not most) American Evangelicals to speak up and condemn the American obsession with firearms. In fact, because so many American Evangelicals seem so hopelessly deluded in their thinking that to be a ‘Christian’ means to be a right-wing, politically-conservative, libertarian Republican voter, they seem not only unwilling to be a rational voice amidst anachronistic Second Amendment rights madness, but are in a great number of examples completely complicit with the pro-gun lobby. In the NRA’s pocket, you might say. Not surprising really when you see how the same group of American Evangelicals have been so successfully manipulated by the political right.

Hence they seem not to see the irrationality of a world view which virulently opposes the killing of children in the womb, while limply shrugging their collective shoulders about the en masse killing of children in school yards by a madman with a cache of automatic weapons. If there is anything that clearly highlights the mistaken conflation of religious belief with political ideology, it is most certainly this issue.

Pro Life yet also Pro Gun. Fail.

To me, this is not just irrational. It is shameful. Irrational and shameful enough for me to lose almost all respect I had for American Evangelicalism as a worthy representative of 21st Century international Christianity. Here, it takes a secular philosopher like Jeff McMaham to be an uncommon rational philosophical voice in the gun control debate.

Listen to the podcast episode here.

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Reading Genesis 1 For All It’s Worth

John Walton is Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton college and author of numerous books including The Lost World of Genesis One. He is a specialist in comparing the literature and culture of the Bible with that of the Ancient Near East.

In this interview, Professor Walton discusses approaching the Bible’s creation story from an Ancient Near Eastern perspective and why it is wrong to read Genesis 1 as a scientific text. In my opinion what is represented here is the most sensible, rational and informed manner in which to read and interpret the Genesis Creation Account.

 

 

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I’m listening to: “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity” Series (Rev Michael Dowd)

The Reverend Michael Dowd is a leading American evolutionary evangelist.

He is the author of the bestselling, bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (Viking: 2008, Plume: 2009) which has been endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, including noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer and gifted evolutionary educator, have spoken to more than 1,600 religious and secular groups—from Catholics to Quakers, to Baptists to Buddhists, to college and university students—since launching their itinerant ministry in April of 2002.

Celebrated by conservatives and liberals alike, and uniquely gifted at building bridges between religious and non-religious people, Michael shares big history, the epic of evolution—humanity’s common creation story—in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. His four-fold passion in life is…

1. Showing how an evolutionary understanding of human nature, death, and the trajectory of big history can inspire and empower each of us to live with greater integrity, joy, and zest for life.

2. Helping religious people of all kinds relate to scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence as divine revelation.

3. Offering his fellow Christians a way of thinking about physical, biological, and cultural evolution that is “God glorifying, Christ edifying, and scripture honoring.”

4. Evangelizing a sacred, science-based understanding of our inner and outer nature such that people of all backgrounds and beliefs are motivated to cooperate in service of a just, healthy, beautiful, and sustainably life-giving future.

More of Michael Dowd’s story here.

 

What Is Evolutionary Christianity?

EVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANITY reflects all forms of Christian faith practiced by those who not only accept but cherish the scientific evidence of a cosmos and Earth billions of years old, in which life forms evolved via natural processes. The thought leaders in the Evolutionary Christianity movement share deep-time eyes and a global heart. All embrace scientific discoveries in meaningful, faith-enriching, life-enhancing ways. In their quest to bridge or integrate traditional wisdom with scientific revelation, Christian evolutionaries place immense value on nurturing fresh and inspiring interpretations of scripture and doctrines that arose in pre-scientific times.

Michael Dowd has interviewed 38 Christian luminaries from nearly every denomination—including Nobel laureates and Templeton Prize-winners. His quest? To learn how they are personally and professionally inspired by what God is revealing today—through science. What quickly became apparent was that, regardless of theological or liturgical differences . . .

* They all see no conflict between faith & reason, head & heart, Jesus & Darwin.
* They all value scientific and historic evidence as divine communication.
* They all share a commitment to a just and healthy future

 

Michael Dowd was inspired to make this breakthrough series available in a way that makes it easy to facilitate individual reflection and group discussion. The audio series features compelling interviews with a widely diverse group of leading Christian thinkers:

Nobel Prize Winning Scientists
Charles H. Townes, William D. Phillips
Templeton Prize-Winners
Ian Barbour, John Polkinghorne

Roman Catholics
Joan Chittister, John F. Haught, Richard Rohr,
Ursula King, Kenneth R. Miller, Ilia Delio,
Diarmuid O’Murchu, Gail Worcelo,
Gloria Schaab, Mary Southard, Linda Gibler

Mainline Protestants
John Shelby Spong, Matthew Fox,
John Cobb, Philip Clayton, Joan Roughgarden

Evangelicals
Karl W. Giberson, Denis Lamoureux,
Owen Gingerich, Edward B. (Ted) Davis

Emergent / Postmodern Evangelicals
Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt,
Spencer Burke, Sally Morgenthaler

Progressive / Integral Christians
Gretta Vosper, Tom Thresher,
Ross Hostetter, Jim Burklo, Paul Smith

Evidential Mystics
Kevin Kelly, Michael Morwood,
Bruce Sanguin, Ian Lawton, Michael Dowd

Visit the Evolutionary Christianity blog here.

Order the full or part set of The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity audio interviews and transcripts here.

 

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Our Nearest Stellar Neighbours

Find out about the nearby Alpha Centauri star system and its newly-discovered Earth-size planet, in this SPACE.com infographic.

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

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I’m Currently Reading: “Darwin’s Pious Idea” (Conor Cunningham)

Darwin's Pious IdeaDarwin’s Pious Idea by Conor Cunningham

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Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get It Wrong
Author: Conor Cunningham
HARDCOVER; Published: 12/3/2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4838-3
580 Pages

According to British scholar Conor Cunningham, the debate today between religion and evolution has been hijacked by extremists: on one side stand fundamentalist believers who reject evolution outright, and opposing them are fundamentalist atheists who claim that Darwin’s theory rules out the possibility of God.

Both sides are dead wrong, argues Cunningham, who is at once a Christian and a firm believer in the theory of evolution. In Darwin’s Pious Idea Cunningham puts forth a trenchant, compelling case for both creation and evolution, drawing skillfully on an array of philosophical, theological, historical, and scientific sources to buttress his arguments.

About the author:

Conor Cunningham is assistant director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, England, author of Genealogy of Nihilism, and coeditor (with Peter M. Candler Jr.) of the Interventions series. Cunningham also wrote and presented the acclaimed BBC documentary Did Darwin Kill God? which originally aired in March 2009.

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The Challenge of Inter-Stellar Travel

Find out what humans would have to do to travel to the stars, in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

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