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2010-07-05 “God's Deputy: Divine Law and the Laws of Nature”

ISCAST (NSW) Meeting: Monday 5 July 2010, 7.30 pm
Physics Library (Room 64), Old Main Building, The University of NSW

Dr Larissa Aldridge: “God's Deputy: Divine Law and the Laws of Nature”

She has a PhD in History & Philosophy of Science, UNSW.
(For abstract and more information, click on title)

Abstract: For most scientists, a fundamental assumption of modern science is that we live in a well-ordered universe, in which things happen according to the laws of nature. What is less well known is that this concept became prominent only in the seventeenth century, in connection with the theological doctrine of creation and the idea of a divine lawgiver. This talk will examine some of the theological foundations and implications of the laws of nature. We shall see how differing views of God’s nature led to distinct understandings of the laws he imposed on the world, and how Christian scientists understood God’s providence and the occurrence of miracles in a law-governed universe. We shall also consider how the concept of the laws of nature became secularised and, more recently, challenged by philosophers and sociologists of science. This challenge, if accepted, may require a new understanding of how God relates to his creation.

Parking is available in the multi-story car park at UNSW Gate 14 on Barker Street or on the adjacent suburban streets. A light supper will follow the presentation and discussion. For further details, please contact Prof. Peter Barry: email: p.barry [at] unsw.edu.au or work phone: 9385 1101 or mobile: 0419 243 685

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