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A Reckless God? Currents and Challenges in the Christian Conversation with Science, edited by ISCAST EO  Chris Mulherin, Roland Ashby, and John Pilbrow, is being launched on the 23rd of November. This book is the first in the new "ISCAST Nexus" series. 

Press release from The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital congratulates Professor Graeme Clark, AC who was recently announced as the joint winner of the prestigious Shambaugh Prize.

One of the most highly respected science prizes in the world, the Shambaugh Prize recognizes a remarkable work in the field of Otology and related basic research.

This book will assist in creating a conversation on how to discuss the issues of science and faith, especially creation and evolution, in an open and honest way.

Controversies about science and faith – especially debates about creation and evolution – continue to engage Christian teachers and pastors. How do they deal with such questions and respond with answers that are both informed and intelligent?

A work of calmness and clarity, Thoughtful Theism speaks directly to our age’s uneasy relationship to religion. It lives up to its title by modelling an honesty, candour and rigorous commitment to rationality rarely seen in the public square.

Will Jones considers the challenges to traditional understandings of the fall in the light of his view that "modern scientific understandings of human origins do not envisage any period when

"Life extension – using science to slow or halt human aging so that people live far longer than they do naturally – may one day be possible.

"The [American Association for the Advancement of Science] had begun to wrestle with how they could address the country’s intensifying science-religion divide. The non-profit organization had become attuned to the fact that some Christians—and especially evangelicals—often went to religious leaders, instead of scientists, for answers to scientific questions. The society saw an opportunity: Educate future religious leaders in any and all things STEM."

"It’s been a scorching summer and you may have found yourself down at the beach a few times. But how much do you know about the wildlife that lives on our beaches and in our seas? Last year I was introduced to Sea Watch: a programme that encourages the public to help those who work in the field learn more about the species that use our seas. Exmoor National Park were running a Sea Watch Training Day for anyone interested and had asked Lee Abbey to host it.

Sociologist Tom Aechtner on why complexity is better than conflict and how we change our minds.

Tom Aechtner was a speaker at this year's COSAC and Dr Natasha Moore (from the Centre for Public Christianity) recorded this interview with him there.  In the interview, Tom tackles the vital and very current problem of, "...mass persuasion, why we believe and disbelieve things and how we can get past pointing fingers and yelling at each other." 

Michael Wong is an ISCAST fellow, a psychiatrist and a recent member of the ISCAST board until his move to Hong Kong. As you will see from the book he is also trained in theology and hermeneutics. The publisher's website says:

According to ISCAST Executive Director, Chris Mulherin, "sceptics should stop demanding proof of climate change, because that’s not how science works."

An interview with Denis Alexander

In September, ISCAST Executive Director Chris Mulherin interviewed well-known UK scientist Denis Alexander. Alexander holds a PhD in neurochemistry and conducted research in human genetics, molecular immunology, and cancer for forty years. In 2006 he founded the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge, where was director until 2012.

This interesting survey posted by the ABC begins:
 
A long-term study of Australian biology students reveals how attitudes towards creationism and evolution have shifted.
The survey, published in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach, was started 32 years ago by Mike Archer at the University of New South Wales.
"I wanted to know what percentage of our incoming university students held a [creationist] view, which in effect meant we were wasting our time trying to teach them about the science of evolution," Professor Archer said.
 

Some ISCASTians will remember Simon Conway Morris's visit to Australia and his reflections on 'convergent evolution' and what theological significance it may have. Here is an interview (without theological commentary) with a biologist that explains briefly the idea of evolution having a 'direction'.

The August issue of the ISCAST Digest is now available to download. The Digest is full of fascinating stories and resources.

Download Volume 10, Issue 3

Comic book writers love multiverses. It’s such an easy way to explain continuity problems; just say it happened in a different universe and move on.

Luke Barnes, who many of you may remember from his presentation at COSAC 2018, had a closer look at the multiverse concept.  

ISCAST president Alan Gijsbers speaks on ABC Radio National's show God Forbid

The history of life on Earth is almost as long as the history of Earth itself. The most precise scientific dating methods tell us that our planet formed 4567 million years ago, although there are no rock samples preserved from this ancient and chaotic time.

At ABC Religion and Ethics, ISCAST fellow Peter Harrison has written a review of (Harvard psychologist and popular atheist) Steven Pinker's new book Enlightenment Now. It's a review that many ISCAST friends might find interesting as it challenges (although a stronger word is probably in order) Pinker's grasp on history and the way he puts his misunderstanding to work in the interests of (a godless) "reason, science, humanism and progress". 

This very clearly written article delves into the nature of the universe and attempts to make sense of its apparent 'fine tuning' by proposing 'cosmo​ psychism'. It is posted here not because it coheres with orthodox Christianity (it doesn't!) but because (in the first half) it sets out clearly some of the current state of physics and the challenges it faces before going on to propose that the whole universe itself is 'conscious' and claiming that such a theory is a better one than either the multiverse theory or theism. (Chris Mulherin, ISCAST Exec. Director)​

ISCAST distinguished fellow Tom McLeish writes in Physics Today about the nature of the science–faith relationship and suggests that the conflict myth is harmful to science.

To say, “I believe in the Church” is to embrace and live into a reality that precedes us, encompasses us, and continues beyond us. Indeed, if we are to truly be the Church in the present, I believe that it is incumbent on us to listen to those who have gone before us, and recognize that our own “here and now” is not the whole of the Christian story.

ISCAST Director Chris Mulherin writes in Eternity news about last Friday's Doomsday Clock announcement and our attraction to apocalyptic scenarios.

ISCAST fellow (and COSAC speaker) Peter Harrison writes on the ABC Religion and Ethics website about being cautious about referring to "Western values".

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