Science and Theology: Upcoming Auckland Events

How do we understand the relationship between theology and science? This question has had a troubled history, with proponents on both sides offering rival interpretations that have produced an uneasy, often bitter relationship between the two disciplines. Should we understand each as concerned with distinct realms of reality? And even if we do believe they describe the same reality, should we take them as impossible to harmonize; each having different language games and different mental attitudes that permit no overlap? Is it science that generates the picture of reality that theology then picks up and applies or is it perhaps theology that provides the worldview for the presuppositions of science (for a discussion of how science requires the assumption of certain basic judgements to get off the ground, see Bnonn’s post)?

Anyone concerned with these questions and who in fact do believe that there is scope for integration, mutual reinforcement and conflict between science and theology, there are two upcoming events in Auckland in September and October that may be of interest. For Christians, often it is the account of Genesis that provides the flashpoint for this debate, and these two events will focus on the issues thrown up particularly by the creation narrative in the Bible.

“An astrophysicist looks at Genesis” A L’abri Seminar with Dr Frank Stootman.

Saturday, September 6, 1.15pm.

Dr Stootman is associate Professor of astrophysics, computing and mathematics at the University of Western Sydney and the Head of the Australia L’abri (an international apologetics organisation originally founded by Francis Schaeffer). He will be comparing the Genesis account with the prevailing scientific view and examing whether Adam and Eve are historical or mythological figures, among other issues.

The seminar is at 76 Esplanade Rd Mt Eden but places are limited to 40 so registration is absolutely essential. A donation of $20 is suggested ($10 for students). Contact Peter Bowden 09 6304887 or email psbowden@vodafone.co.nz

“Resolving the Creation versus Evolution Controversy”

The first session is on Saturday September 27 and the second is on October 4, both at 9.30am – 12.30pm

The speaker will be Dr Graeme Finlay, Senior Lecturer in cancer biology and scientific pathology. He will be examining the positions of special creationism and intelligent design, different religious/metaphysical perspectives and their relationship with science and how we should reconcile the Biblical doctrine of creation with the claims of science.

The event will be held on the Auckland Uni Campus, Room 336, Level 3, Building No. 810, 1 – 11 Short Street. Places are limited to 35.

For further information and enrollment, you can go to the Auckland University website.

3 replies
  1. Dale Campbell
    Dale Campbell says:

    No offense, but my impression is that the views of the editors of this site and the journal would disagree with Finlay’s views on evolution? Me personally, I think he’s great, but just thought I’d check! :)

    -d-

  2. jason
    jason says:

    Dale: We would disagree with both Finlay and Stootman’s views on theistic evolution. There are some commitments entailed by the Gospel that I believe cannot be surrendered without losing what Christianity is all about. However I think we can recognise that there is scope for discussion and different positions on the creation issue. Christians should be able to open up their views to rational scrutiny and be able to explore these matters, hence the promotion of these events here.

    MCAS: I don’t believe the Finlay event will be available online but I think you may be able to get hold of the audio from the Stootman lectures. When it pops up online, I’ll be sure to link to it.

    – Jason

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