Navigation

Breadcrumbs

News Archive

Science falling victim to 'crisis of narcissism'

Cut-throat atmosphere in world-class labs and conferences closer to House of Cards than Big Bang Theory, says Swiss academic.

 

Big data, human rights and the ethics of scientific research

As we all know, digitization is radically transforming our lives. The internet, mobile devices, massive data collections and the analytics applied to them are propelling a digital revolution. The World Economic Forum spoke recently of a Fourth Industrial Revolution.
 
 
 

The nature of things: rediscovering the spiritual in God's creation

A new book entitled The Nature of Things: Rediscovering the Spiritual in God's Creation, edited by Graham Buxton and Norman Habel, with foreword by David Rhoads.
 
This book arises out of 2015's international conference in South Australia on ecology and creation care, 'Rediscovering the Spiritual in God's Creation'.

 

 

Between science and theology: how science learns about unobservable entities

In 1800, someone took the temperature of a rainbow. This story isn’t as strange as it sounds because that ‘someone’ was not the sort of person to look for a pot of gold, but a scientist called William Herschel.
 
 

Beauty in the brain: sleep, disease, and family life

A podcast by Anna Goodman, neuroscientist, and Ruth Bancewicz asking what we can find out from studying neurological disease. How has Anna found a way to fit family life and career together, and how do both of those aspects of life complement her faith and role in the church?

 

2016-11-19 Vic: Faith: what's in a word?

Allan Day Memorial Lecture

Date: Saturday 19 November

Time: 7.30 pm

Topic: Faith: What's in a Word?

Speakers:

  • James Garth - Fellow, ISCAST: Christians in Science & Technology
  • Meredith Doig - President, Rationalist Society of Australia
  • Robert Martin - Director, City Bible Forum Melbourne
  • Michael Clarke - Head of School of Life Sciences, Professor of Zoology, La Trobe University (Chair)

 

Life & faith: going nuclear

Nuclear fusion energy has been heralded as the answer to the global energy crisis, a virtually endless – and cleaner – source of power that will last several generations.
 
 
 

Freewill and the brain: choices, constraints, and community

Have you ever had that slightly disturbing experience of arriving at work and realising that you have very little recollection of how you got there?

 

 

Science alone does not have all the answers

The assumption that science and religion are in conflict is a view that never diminishes.

Many assume that modern science has rendered religious explanations irrelevant, and some go further to say that science alone can answer all of the questions of life.

 

What is a person?

How would you know that a person was a person, if they didn’t come in human form? This is one of the questions that David Lahti, Professor of Biology at Queens College in New York, asked in his lecture on Biology and Personhood at the Faraday Institute this summer.

 

2016-11-24 NSW: Fine-tuning, the multiverse and life workshop

Dates: Thusday 24 - Friday 25 November 2016

Topic: Fine-tuning, the Multiverse and Life Workshop
 
Venue: The Sydney Nanoscience Hub, School of Physics,University of Sydney
 
 

A single migration from Africa populated the world, studies find.

Modern humans evolved in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. But how did our species go on to populate the rest of the globe?

 
 
 
 
 

Scientists use 'virtual unwrapping' to read ancient biblical scroll reduced to 'lump of charcoal'

Scientists use 'virtual unwrapping' to read ancient biblical scroll reduced to 'lump of charcoal'.
 
Turned to charcoal in a blaze nearly 1,500 years ago, using groundbreaking digital reconstruction the scroll has finally been read and identified as biblical.

 

Cut-throat academia leads to 'natural selection of bad science', claims study

Scientists incentivised to publish surprising results frequently in major journals, despite risk that such findings are likely to be wrong, suggests research.
 
 
 

2016-10-22 Vic: Fire in the Belly

Date: Saturday 22 October

Time: 6.30 pm

Topic: Fire in the Belly: Complex problems: science alone can only take us so far!

Speakers: Kerryn Gijsbers, Richard Gijsbers

The Bible and human origins

Science may have changed the way we read the opening chapters of Genesis, but we still need to respect the historical integrity of the text. This was Mark Harris’s reflection as he opened his lecture on The Bible and Human Origins at the Faraday summer course last month.
 
 

Genetics, evolution, cancer, suffering and God : video

Dr Graeme Finlay presents on Genetics, Evolution, Cancer, Suffering and God at Tabor College.

 

 

 

Science cannot be an exclusive guide to reality

Science is not sufficient to explain all dimensions of existence, and to see science as our only valid guide to understanding reality is a great mistake, argues a new book by British philosopher Professor Roger Trigg. John Pilbrow, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Monash University and a Life Fellow of ISCAST (Christians in Science and Technology), explains.

Cosmologists should be more skeptical of dark matter

To get computer models to look similar to the Universe around us, cosmologists have assumed that around 96 per cent of matter and energy are in forms that we cannot directly detect. You might think that this would make cosmologists wary of relying on such hypothetical substances. Yet for the majority working today, dark matter and dark energy are every bit as real as the stars and galaxies that we can see.

Why are we here?

Why are we here? is a new four part TV series airing on Foxtel, The History Channel from Saturday 9 July at 6.30 pm.
 
 Episode two will air at 6.30 pm on Saturday 16 July.
 
 
 
 
 

Mind meld - controlling an aircraft with your brain

After HOTAS, HMDs, touchscreens and gesture control - is ‘thought control’ the final evolution of the human-machine interface for pilots? TIM ROBINSON talks to Honeywell Aerospace about its cutting edge research into neural technology.
 
 
 

Logos Live 43: The X Files returns: is the truth still out there?

The return of the X Files to our television screens earlier this year has prompted many questions about the existence of aliens and the paranormal. Are we alone in the universe? Will the existence of aliens change our perception of Christianity? Is the truth still out there?

Speakers: Christina and Michael Smith

Can we live by science alone?

New Atheist leader Richard Dawkins, who was to be in Melbourne in March, was invited to dialogue with ISCAST Executive Officer, Rev. Dr Chris Mulherin, on the City Bible Forum’s “Logos Live” radio program, but Professor Dawkins fell ill, cancelling his trip.

However, the program, on the question "Can we live by science alone?", went ahead, and Chris was interviewed by Rob Martin, Director of CBF in Melbourne.

 

Life & faith: freedom regained

In this episode of Life & Faith, Baggini takes back the reins on the free will debate and guides us through his thoughts on this question of whether we have free will, and what true freedom might look like.

 

Why teleology isn't dead

Mention teleology in scientific circles and you’ll usually get a skeptical response. Purpose in the way the world is evolving? Patterns certainly—but purpose? No.

 

June Digest available online

The ISCAST Digest is a periodic circulation of collated news, views and wider events of interest to the ISCAST community.

Volume 8, Issue 2 of the ISCAST Digest is now available for download.

 

 

Artificial intelligence: machines, minds or both?

Is your smart phone really smart? Do you ever fear it will get too smart? Will it wake up one morning and decide to start running your life – deleting contacts it doesn’t like, booking holidays online that it wants to go on with you or shifting your calendar appointments to suit its tastes? Perhaps, more realistically, you may be inclined to feel that your printer has a mind and mood swings of its own, seemingly out to get you when you are facing the most desperate deadline.

 

ISCAST Fellow recognised in Queen's Birthday honours

We would like to share the news with you that Prof. John White FRS has received the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) award.

 

 

Stories of life

We want you to tell your stories of life and faith. That isn’t easy at the best of times, and to do so in an interesting way is doubly difficult. But a competition like this provides a clear forum for doing just that, and a way for each of us to start thinking about the difference Jesus makes in our lives, and how to put that into words.

We need more AI in armed conflict, not less

Jerry Kaplan speaks in this video on our moral obligations to all the victims of war.

 

 

Artificial intelligence should be protected by human rights, says Oxford mathematician

With huge leaps taking place in the world of artificial intelligence (AI), right now, experts have started asking questions about the new forms of protection we might need against the formidable smarts and potential dangers of computers and robots of the near future.

 

 

 

The deep problem evangelicalism has with evolution

Why are so many evangelicals on full alert over evolution?
Because they are afraid—afraid that, if evolution is correct, their evangelical heritage is called into question.
Their personal narrative is threatened.

 

International Science Film Festival 2016

Join us around Australia for the festival premier screenings as we announce the winners of the 2016 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival. SCINEMA showcases not only the best, but also the diversity of science films from across the globe.

 

Dr Graeme Finlay visit and annual lectures in Australia

Dr Graeme Finlay will be visiting Australia in July 2016. He will be presenting lectures and speaking at events across the country.

Click here for further information.

 

Experimentation continues on chimera embryos

A group of scientists in the US are continuing to conduct research on human-animal hybrid embryos, despite a moratorium on funding from the National Institutes of Health. Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist from the University of California, Davis, has been working with a research team to implant human induced pluripotent cells in pig embryos, with the hope of growing human organs in developing porcine fetuses.

Washington Post features symposium on transhumanism

As a sign of growing interest in transhumanism, the Washington Post recently featured a symposium with several distinguished writers. It may indicate a growing interest in its aspirations, in an election year when a transhumanist, Zoltan Istvan, is seriously running for President.

 

Australian religious thought: A history of believers, doubters and disbelievers

When I was tutoring a philosophy of religion unit at my university, I often started the discussion by asking students if they believed in God. Many said that they didn’t believe in the God of the Bible but that they did believe in the existence of some kind of spiritual presence in the world. It was hard to know whether their spirituality was an inconsequential residue left by the death of religion or a stubborn refusal to leave it behind.

 

The partly predictable world

The Hebrew Bible starts off by giving an account of the world that is at odds with well-established scientific findings. It is a book that says that heaven and earth were made in one week, yet careful analysis of astronomical data suggests otherwise. It says that various sorts of animals were brought into being just days apart, whereas the fossil record points to an incremental evolution of one species from another over millions of years.

 

Space, the brain and natural disasters - challenges in communicating science and faith

Eleanor Puttock has spent the last few years building up a successful podcast series on science and faith. It’s time to turn the tables and ask her a few questions about her own views on science and faith.

 

Confronting stem cell hype

The way science is represented to the public can influence understanding and expectations, frame policy debates, and affect the implementation and use of emerging technologies.

 

 

Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of the Prime Directive

NASA's chief scientist recently announced that "…we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years." Such a discovery would clearly rank as one of the most important in human history and immediately open up a series of complex social and moral questions.

 

Neuroscientists create ‘atlas’ showing how words are organised in the brain

Scientists have created an “atlas of the brain” that reveals how the meanings of words are arranged across different regions of the organ. Like a colourful quilt laid over the cortex, the atlas displays in rainbow hues how individual words and the concepts they convey can be grouped together in clumps of white matter.

 

'Universe of Wonder, Universe of Life'

Dr Jennifer Wiseman is an astronomer, author, and speaker.  She studies the process of star and planet formation in our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes.

 

AI upgrade from MIT, Northeastern gets NASA robot ready for space

The universities will work with NASA on a research and development project to improve two prototype robots, who could demonstrate humanoid robots' use for space missions.

 
 

What are the odds of other intelligent life in the universe?

What are the odds that intelligent life evolved on Earth and nowhere else among the 20 billion trillion stars in the observable universe across 13.8 billion years of cosmic history?

 

Have you ever seen a three? Mathematics joins the science-religion dialogue

For a scientist and the mathematician, the question of ‘what is real’ is very strongly linked to proof. In his Faraday seminar last month, “Is There a Place at the Science-Religion Table for Mathematics,” the mathematician and philosopher P. Douglas Kindschi, pointed out that proofs are the building blocks of mathematics so, historically, maths has had the strongest claim on what is real. Great scientific and mathematical minds of the past have been quoted saying similar things.

 

A madman dreams of tuning machines

A madman dreams of tuning machines : the story of Joseph Weber, the tragic hero of science who followed Einstein’s vision and pioneered the sound of space-time
 

 

The death of moral relativism

Considered by conservatives to be one of postmodern society’s greatest threats, moral relativism may now be a relic of the past.

 

 

The most detailed map of the Universe ever

The Universe is staggeringly huge. This is where we sit in a map of more than 100,000 galaxies.

 

 

Scientific regress

Scientific regress / by William A Wilson
May 2016
 
The problem with ­science is that so much of it simply isn’t. Last summer, the Open Science Collaboration announced that it had tried to replicate one hundred published psychology experiments sampled from three of the most prestigious journals in the field.

 

NYT columnist interviews MIT nuclear physicist on cold fusion and his path to faith

New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, interviews MIT professor of nuclear science and engineering, Ian Hutchinson, on the future of nuclear science, and the history of science and Christianity – in general, and in his own life.

 

 

 

Evangelicals and space exploration: do we have Curiosity?

In between the high-res images of the grainy Martian landscape and a “hot” mohawked NASA technician, the safe landing of the new-and-improved, SUV-sized Mars rover Curiosity has reignited public debate on the United States’ place in the world of space exploration.

 

Did we just discover aliens? Scientists aren’t ruling it out

Aliens are not a thing. We know this, right? Well, maybe. Turns out that, almost despite themselves, some of the world’s leading astronomers are taking seriously the question of whether or not we are alone on Earth. Among them, Yale’s Tabetha Boyajian, who has stumbled into what might be one of the biggest mysteries in the galaxy.

 

Scientists unveil new ‘Tree of Life’

A team of scientists unveiled a new tree of life on Monday, a diagram outlining the evolution of all living things. The researchers found that bacteria make up most of life’s branches. And they found that much of that diversity has been waiting in plain sight to be discovered, dwelling in river mud and meadow soils.

 

Devotion from April 2016 Board meeting

Devotion led by Peter Eyland at the ISCAST Board meeting of 5 April 2016

 

 

 

Mars Society to launch Mars 160 twin desert-arctic analog missions

ISCAST Fellow and Board member Jonathan Clarke has been selected to go to Mars ... well not quite (yet!) ... he and six others will spend 160 days in a Mars simulation in the desert and the arctic in the next year.
 
 
 
 

Beyond matter: why science needs metaphysics

Beyond matter : why science needs metaphysics / Ruth M. Bancewicz
 
What did you do on your leap day this year? I listened to a talk by Roger Trigg, who is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick and a Senior Research Fellow of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion in Oxford.
 
 

How we are made : embryos, biology and belief

How does a single fertilised cell become an infant? What does that process say about us – and God? These were the questions that Professor Jeff Hardin asked in his lecture at the Faraday Institute last month.

 
 

Quantum mechanics and the question of divine knowledge

Quantum mechanics and the question of divine knowledge / by Stephen J. Robinson
 
Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 contains the following dialogue (with omissions for brevity) between Yossarian, an American bombardier in World War II who wishes to be removed from combat, and his doctor, Doc Daneeka.

Conversations with Chris Mulherin on science and Christianity

Interview with ISCAST EO Chris Mulherin about science and religion.

 

 

 

Why so many scientists are so ignorant

Why so many scientists are so ignorant - on Bill Nye, science and philosophy

 

 

 

Inventing the universe

Inventing the universe : why we can't stop talking about science, faith and God / Alister McGrath

A new book by Alister McGrath on the big questions around science and faith.

 

 

Stocktake sale

In the ISCAST office we have recently held our annual stocktake. We have put together the following bargain deals and packages for your perusal. 
 
Check back as more sales are being added during the next week.
 

 

Stocktake Sale

In the ISCAST Office we have recently held our annual Stocktake. We have put together the following bargain deals and packages for your perusal. 
 
Check back as more sales are being added during the next week.

 

The Penultimate Curiosity: Oxford launch

The Penultimate Curiosity / Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs
 
 
 
 

Digest available online

The ISCAST Digest is a periodic circulation of collated news, views and wider events of interest to the ISCAST community.

Volume 8, Issue 1 of the ISCAST Digest is now available for download.

 

Download Volume 8, Issue 1

Past issues of the Digest are available for download here.
 
 

A galaxy (very) far, far away

A galaxy (very) far, far away

Meet GN-z11. We've found it 13.4 billion light years away - and it's a big one / by Michele Trenti

 

The Simeon Network: Write 2016 - call for papers

The Simeon Network - Write 2016: Call for papers

We received notification of a call for papers from our friends at The Simeon Network. Read below for more information or contact write@simeonnetwork.org

 

Earth scientists, bishops and fracking ... a heady mix at Durham

Earth Scientists, Bishops and Fracking ... a heady mix at Durham / Tom McLeish
 
David Wilkinson has a succinct way to say it: ‘Learn to see Science not as a secular threat, but as God’s Gift’. From that notion follows everything we are excited about.

The big story: from stardust to new creation

The big story: from stardust to new creation
 
What if we told the story of the Bible from the perspective of what science has learned about God's world?

 

Faith, wisdom and gravitational waves

Faith, Wisdom and Gravitational Waves / Tom McLeish
 
Prof. Tom McLeish talks Gravitational Waves.

 

 

Strange bedfellows

Strange bedfellows: an article originally published in The Church Times, 19th February 2016 / Gillian Straine
 
‘Sundays are your busy day, eh vicar?’ I cannot imagine that anyone in full time ministry would have not heard this one before. It may be funny (at least the first time) but it reflects a very common idea in our society today: religion happens on a Sunday, and the rest of life, including business, commerce and science, happens elsewhere and at another time.

Human trials for Australian-made bionic spine to start next year

Patients left paralysed by injury or illness could be back on their feet again, thanks to a breakthrough by Melbourne researchers who have designed a revolutionary bionic spine.

 

 

Denis Alexander defending the compatibility of Christianity and science

Is there a conflict between science and religion?

 

 

 

 

A global lab: religion among scientists in international context

A Global Lab: Religion among Scientists in International Context, a conference report.
 
BioScience Research Collaborative. Religion and Public Life Program

 

Gravitational waves: 6 cosmic questions they can tackle

The discovery of ripples in space-time has vindicated Einstein - but it can also do so much more.

 

 

Faith Survey Report - February 2016

The quantitative analysis of ISCAST Fellow James Garth's Perceptions of Faith survey is complete. Findings show a statistical significance between the survey responses and affiliation. Other trends regarding the gender and age of responders have been identified.
 
 
The qualitative analysis is underway. This is working towards being complete by the end of March 2016.
 
 

Legends of rock: CSIRO geologists making a name for themselves

When most people think of Australian rock stars, they probably picture Johnny Farnham, Tim Rogers or Sarah Blasko – famous musicians that capture the hearts and minds of our nation. But if we say our favourite rock stars are Drs E Ralph Segnit, Dave Wadsley, Ernie Nickel and Ian Grey, we’re more likely to get a few blank stares.
 
 

Should the polluter pay?

Should the Polluter Pay? Historical Responsibility, Reparative Justice and Climate Change

 
One of the sticking points in negotiations between developed and developing countries about the contributions they should make to alleviate the effects of climate change is whether developed countries should bear the greater share of the burden because of their historical responsibility for causing the problem.
 

Cosmology and Creation: how do they relate to one another?

Professor Alister McGrath's lecture titled Cosmology and Creation: how do they relate to one another?

Lecture transcript and materials.

 

 

NASA's next great space telescope: the quest begins

The hunt is on! NASA has begun a quest to select its next big instrument to sudy the cosmos.

 

 

 

Parkinson's disease and faith

Parkinson's disease and faith. A talk given by Revd Prof Alasdair Coles

 

 

Were you there?

Simon Smart interviews Tom McLeish on how science tips him towards faith, and living with open questions.

 

 

 

Zika Virus: an emerging health threat

For decades, the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus was mainly seen in equatorial regions of Africa and Asia, where it caused a mild, flu-like illness and rash in some people. About 10 years ago, the picture began to expand with the appearance of Zika outbreaks in the Pacific islands.
 
 

Why science needs metaphysics

Technology cannot keep pace with theoretical predictions about subatomic reality coming from physics. The same applies to our ability to observe the far reaches of the universe.

 

 

We asked 12 scientists how their faith affects their work

Twelve scientists reflect on how faith influences their work.

 

 

 

Nature's witness: how science inspires faith

Nature's witness: how science inspires faith

A TEDxEdina talk by Daniel Harrell


 

Modern science's Christian sources

Modern science's Christian sources: exploding the persistant myth that Christianity impeded the growth of science / by James Hannam

 

The Cathedral of Computation

We're not living in an algorithmic culture so much as a computational theocracy.

 

 

 

Order, chaos, and creation

Order, chaos, and creation - Tom McLeish on the creation stories in Job

Simon Smart interviews Tom McLeish

 

Winston Churchill and COP21

Winston Churchill reflections on the dawn of the atomic era.
 
Comments and reflections by ISCAST Fellow Ian Hore-Lacy

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Ian Graeme Barbour (1923-2013)

Ted Peters reflects on the life of Ian Barbour.

 
 
 
 
 

The future of war

US strategist P W Singer on the future of 21st century warfare.

 

 

 

Technology and the church

Technology and the church explored in the latest issue of God and Nature magazine.

 

 

"Improving" Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Debate among Scientists

Medicine or meddling? Researchers at a gene-editing summit grapple with the future of genetic enhancement.

By Dina Fine Maron

 

 

Art Bridges Communication Between Science and Religion

Art can open a communication portal between science and religion, but it is much more than that, speakers said during "The Art of Science and Spirit," a 2 December holiday lecture and discussion at AAAS headquarters by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER).

 
 

Biotech Enhancement and the History of Redemption

In 2003 the President's Council on Bioethics released a report titled Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is a very striking document - both in its own right as an exploration of its topic, and also as a government document that is highly philosophical in character and entirely without any policy recommendations.

 

Scientists debate boundaries, ethics of human gene editing

Rewriting your DNA is getting closer to reality: A revolutionary technology is opening new frontiers for genetic engineering - a promise of cures for intractable diseases along with anxiety about designer babies.

 

 

Back issues of Science and Christian Belief

Back issues of Science & Christian Belief more than five years old are now free online.

 

 

 

Mobile technology: a complication in the human condition

Mobile technology: a complication in the human condition, by Michah Harris.
 
On the surface, this is another book [Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Difigal Age -- by Sherry Turkle] about how smartphones disrupt conversation.

 

December Digest now available online

Volume 7, Issue 3 of the ISCAST Digest is now available for download.

 

 

 

 

Space mining opens door to Mars missions

Australia's mining boom might be over, but some of our brightest engineers say we shouldn't be looking at the ground in search of another economic windfall -- we should be looking to the stars.

 

 

Talking Science and God with the Pope's new Chief Astronomer

On 18 September, Pope Francis appointed Jesuit brother Guy Consolmagno as the new director of the Vatican Observatory, which employs a dozen astronomers to study asteroids, meteorites, extrasolar planets, stellar evolution, and cosmology.
 

 

Science and Faith: Exploring an Intellectual Frontier

Science and Faith: Exploring an Intellectual Frontier, by Alister McGrath
 
My first love was science. I've never stopped loving it.
 
Science is great at taking things to pieces to find out how they work, helping us grasp the mechanisms underlying the processes we see around us in the world.
 

Pew: Churchgoers Least Likely to See Science and Regligion in Conflict

The more you go to church, the less likely you are to see science and religion as incompatible, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey.

 

 

Do science and religion conflict? It's all in how you 'see' it

Pew survey: Do science and religion conflict? It’s all in how you ‘see’ it

 

 

 

ISCAST Research Fund

The Board has commissioned James to complete the statistical analysis and write up the results of his 'perceptions of faith' survey. Read more about James' research here.

It will take $10k to complete the research and write it up. We are inviting friends and members of ISCAST to donate to this fund to get this project completed.

If you wish to help this project along, please make a donation and specify that it is for the "Research Fund".

Read more

 

 

No wonder believers and sceptics disagree - they use different definitions

Sometimes believers and their critics, each frustrated at their inability to make the other side "see", feel they are speaking a different language. New Australian research suggests there is some justification for thinking so.

 

The Territories of Science and Religion

Nick Spencer, Research Director at Theos, reviews Peter Harrison's book The Territories of Science and Religion.

 

 

 

NASA astronaut's view of Australia's landscape

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly has shared on social media a series of amazing pictures of the Australian continent taken from space.

 

 

What Aussies think of "faith" - Eternity News (p2)

James Garth discusses the Perceptions of Faith survey for Eternity News (p2)

 

 

 

Who holds extraordinary beliefs: Christians or atheists?

Richard Shumack writes on epistemology and believing extraordinary things.

 

 

 

Facebook Forum: Tom McLeish

Tom McLeish answers your questions on physics, faith and suffering for CPX

 

 

 

Faith, hope, and love in science - an interview with Tom McLeish

Chris Mulherin interviews Tom McLeish.
 
Tom McLeish is professor of physics at Durham University in the UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a passionate defender of the God-given harmony between science and Christian faith.

 

 

 

 

 

Ask an expert: Five things we would need for people to go to Mars

In the new film The Martian, marooned astronaut Mark Watney has to survive the Red Planet's harsh environment. Just how close to reality is a manned mission to Mars?
 
ISCAST Fellow Dr Jonathan Clarke speaks to ABC Science on Mars technology.
 

Pleasure, Meaning and the Death of God

Drawing on Nietzsche, Professor Volf explores two pervasive and mutually reinforcing nihilisms of our time.
 
 
 
 

Top science book prize won by woman for first time

Adventures in the Anthropocene, a study of human plundering of Earth’s resources, makes Gaia Vince first female outright winner of Royal Society Winton prize in award’s 28-year history.
 
 
 
 

Purpose and Pleasure - Exploring Addiction Science

What is the interface between ideas of purpose of science, and in faith - or life in general? This was one of the main topics of conversation during my [Ruth Bancewicz] interview with Alan Gijsbers.

 

Alan is the President of ISCAST

 

The question doctors fear most: 'Do you believe in God?'

My patient was sweaty and unsettled. He denied pain but reported thirst, taking a grateful sip of water from the glass I held up to him.

 

 

Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results

Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 70% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test.

 

 

Order your copy of Graeme Clark's biography by Mark Worthing

Graeme Clark : the man who invented the bionic ear by Mark Worthing is now available for purchase through the ISCAST office.

Copies are $29.99 plus $10 postage and handling.

 Simply fill in the below form or pay via paypal.

 

 

 

Perceptions of "faith" Research

When I say I live by "faith" what do I mean? What do you understand? Are these the same things? The chances are they are not.
The latest research conducted by ISCAST Fellow James Garth is that this little word can have so many different meanings depending on at least your religion or your age.
 

Click here to download James' overview of the survey.

Mere Christianity meets mainstream science

Whenever I mention that I specialize in religion and science, one of the first questions is "Are you a scientist?" Well, actually, I'm not. And there's a reason. I'm a Christian -- as well as a pastor and theologian specializing in this field -- who has found that scientific insights enhance, challenge, and strengthen my faith. Moreover, I've discovered, for the Christian message to have any impact today, it must engage science.
 
 

Life and Faith: The Ethical Imagination

Do we - or should we - have the right to choose when and how we die?

 

 

 

'Faith vs. Fact:' why religion and science are mutually incompatible

Jeffrey Schloss reviews Jerry Coyne's 'Faith versus Fact'.
 
 
 

 

 

Self-building 3D printed bricks hint at future without assembly lines

A new study has shown that high frequency vibrations can cause bricks to self-assemble into a larger 3D object, a finding that may one day help do away with the need for factory assembly lines.

 

 

YouTube's Rock Stars of Science Make a Splash at VidCon

Who are today's science rockstars? Jade Lovell reports from VidCon.

 

 

 

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers

Over 1,000 AI & robotics experts call for ban on autonomous offensive weapons.

 

 

 

15 Questions about Science and Religion, answered

An interesting link for ISCAST readers. 15 Questions about science and religion, answered.
 
Questions include: How can evolutionary psychology inform the science and religion dialogue? Can science ever replace religion? Why should scientists care about religion?

 

 

Bionic ear inventor Graeme Clark 'excited' about new project

The inventor of the bionic ear has revealed new Australian university trials that could help with treatment of paraplegics, epileptics and also dramatically improve the bionic eye implant unveiled in the UK last week.

 

 

Skeptical about Skeptics - website

A website that may be of interest to ISCAST members, Skeptical About Skeptics.

 

 

 

NASA spies Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting Sun-like star

Astronomers have spotted the closest thing yet to the first true 'Earth twin' - a small planet orbiting the bright star Kepler 452, at a distance where liquid water could exist.

 

 

Does Science Increasingly Make the Case for God?

On Christmas Day 2014, the Wall Street Journal published a provocative piece by Christian thinker Eric Metaxas, arguing that the extraordinary odds against life existing on another planet supports an inference to intelligent design. The article has since gone viral on social media and provoked considerable discussion and criticism. Aerospace engineer and Fellow of ISCAST James Garth weighs into the debate.

 

Curiosity: The search for life on other planets

Being chosen to pick the name for a major piece of space exploration must be one of the coolest things that could ever happen to a kid.

 

 

A Crisis at the Edge of Physics

Do physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

 

 

 

Faith in Science? A contradiction in terms? Event Information

The program for the 2015-09-12 Vic: Faith in Science? conference is now available for download from the event listing.

For full information, visit the event listing.

Pope on the Pope

Pope on the Pope: An evangelical climate scientist reflects on Laudato Si'
 
As a climate scientist cum budding eco-theologian, it is hard to contain my excitement that the head of the largest Christian denomination has made such a pronouncement on climate change, ecological issues and their underlying socio-political drivers.
 
 

The Pope's encyclical, theology and ecology

Oddly enough for a pronouncement by a religious leader, Pope Francis' latest encyclical (teaching letter) Laudato Si gets reaction not on the basis of theology, but ecology.

 

 

 

Science v. religion

Science vs religion? Peter Harrison and John Dickson talk atheism, Darwin, Galileo & more.

 

 

Responsible Dominion – a Christian approach to Sustainable Development

A new edition of  ISCAST Fellow, Ian Hore-lacy’s 2006 Responsible Dominion – a Christian approach to Sustainable Development has just been published in Kindle format.
 

 

 

 

Science and Faith in Dialogue - Guest Podcast

As well as being the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, the theologian and biophysicist Alister McGrath is now also the Gresham Professor of Divinity, a role that will involve him giving a series of lunch time lectures on science and religion in 2015-16.
 
 

The pope’s encyclical on climate change – will evangelicals care?

Pope Francis released an unprecedented encyclical last Thursday. For those in the know, it's a big deal.

 

 

 

There is no conflict between our faiths and the science of climate change

Image attribution: presidencia.gov.ar

On Thursday, Pope Francis issued a powerful and timely encyclical on the environment, urging humanity to come to its senses and cease its reckless onslaught against God's creation.

 

 

 

Pope's climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor

Pope Francis has called on the world's rich nations to begin paying their "grave social debt" to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change,

 

 

 

Religion’s influence on public office to be explored at UQ

Religion’s influence on public office to be explored at UQ

To what extent should personal faith influence the performance of duties in public office?

 

 

When I Pray, What does God do?

A new book on prayer by David Wilkinson of Durham University.
 

The question of how, and whether, God answers prayer has been intellectually shaped by the rise of science, the problem of evil and the nature of the biblical records. Scientist and theologian David Wilkinson shares his own struggles with the question of how God answers prayer.

"Faith in Science?" — Professor Tom McLeish Visit

Prof. Tom McLeish FRS will be visiting Australia in September 2015. He will be speaking at events across the country.

Click for further information.

 

 

 

Prof. Bob White responds to the Nepal Earthquake

Prof. Bob White (Director of the Faraday Institute) talks to Eleanor Puttock about the recent earthquakes in Nepal as well as the implications of 'natural disasters' over time.
 
 

ISCAST Board Devotional: 26 May 2015

At the ISCAST Board meeting on Tuesday 26 May 2015, Peter Eyland opened the meeting with a Devotion. He touched on some of the disasters recorded in Scripture and their seemingly random nature.
 
His concluding thoughts are: A randomness in life's fortunes is the built into this universe, providing spontaneity and interest but, at the same time making people vulnerable to various kinds of disappointments and tragedy. It is, in Robert [Stening's] words, "a universe which invites faith".
 
 

'The Magazine', May-June 2015 Issue

Check out "The Magazine", with titles including:
~ 'Three parent families: miracle or menace?'
~ 'Creation and Evolution – do we have to choose?'
~ 'Engineering the earth’s climate: Can We? Should We?'
~ 'Face to Faith: God in the Lab' and much more ...

 

 

Digest now available online

Volume 7, Issue 1 of the ISCAST Digest is now available for download.

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Awe

Philosopher Immanuel Kant famously remarked that two things filled him with awe and wonder: “the starry heaven above me and the moral law within me.”

 

 

A New Era: A review of 'God's Planet'

Stephen M. Barr reviews Owen Gingerich's book God's Planet.
 
According to a famous formulation of Stephen Jay Gould, science and religion constitute "non-overlapping magisteria" or "NOMA". What he meant is that they are separate domains, deal with different questions, and can never conflict if they keep within their own boundaries.
 
 
 

In Memoriam: Dr. Jack Templeton

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. (Jack), president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Templeton's family and friends during this difficult time.

 

Peter Boghossian vs Tim McGrew - A Manual for Creating Atheists

In advance of Peter Boghossian's discussion with Richard Schumack in Melbourne on 19 June, listen to the podcast that kicked off the 'faith debate'.

 

 

 

Sexism in Science: one step back, two steps forward

Two postdoctoral researchers took to the internet last month after having their research paper rejected for publication on laughably sexist grounds.

 
 
 

The Multiverse - Science or Theology? Interview with Prof Robert Mann

The Centre for the Study of Science, Religion and Society (http://centressrs.org) at Emmanuel College presents Robert Mann, Professor of Physics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in conversation with Ross McKenzie, CSSRS Fellow and Professor of Physics at The University of Queensland. 

The Territories of Science and Religion

The Territories of Science and Religion, a new book by Prof Peter Harrison The conflict between science and religion seems indelivle, even eternal. Surely two such divergent views of the universe have always been in fierce opposition? Actually, that's not the case, says Peter Harrison.

 

Tesla batteries: just the beginning of how technology will transform the electric grid

Tesla Motors already makes batteries for its electric cars. On Thursday it's expected to introduce battery systems for homes, businesses and electric utilities.

 

 

Understanding the Times (abridged from A Climate of Hope)

Understanding the Times (abridged from A Climate of Hope) - Claire Dawson

I remember learning about ‘global warming’ in geography class back in the late 1980s. Even then things seemed so bad to me that I felt quite convinced that I would never choose to have children of my own. The future seemed bleak, and humanity seemed to be failing miserably in its responsibility to care for the planet.

Chance or Necessity in the Origin of Life?

Was the living world desitined to look the way we find it? Or to ask a question that's closer to home, were our bodies meant to be the way they are?

A podcast interview between Ruth Bancewicz and Stephen Freeland.
 

Perceptions of Faith Survey

One of the sticking points when discussing science and religion is how we use the word “faith”. It seems that everyone is adamant that there is only one use of the word – and that is the way they are using it!
 
Out of interest, James Garth, an ISCAST Fellow, with the help of people from The City Bible Forum and the Rationalist Society of Australia, has put together a survey asking how we each use the word.
 
 

2015-05-07 NSW: Richard Johnson Lecture

Event: The End of Faith: Has science made religion redundant? [Richard Johnson Lecture 2015]

Speaker: Professor Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland and formerly the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. He is the author or editor of six books (most recently The Territories of Science and Religion) and one of the most important scholars working in the area of science and religion today. 

Date: Thursday May 7th, 2015 starting 7:00pm

Venue: Scots Church, 44 Margaret St, Sydney

Can Christians Believe in Science and the Resurrection?

Was the resurrection of Jesus Christ an anti-scientific event? This question was discussed at a March 13 conference on science and religion hosted by The American Association of the Advancement of Science's Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion.

 

 

Large Hadron Collider successfully restarts

Large Hadron Collider successfully restarts with potential particle smashing power doubled.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The exile of the mind by Julian Rivers

The exile of the mind: Christian service in the secular university - by Julian Rivers
 
British higher education is increasingly secular in outlook. This paper identifies three aspects of that secularity: specialisation, instrumentalisation and globalisation.
 

The Atheist and His Metal Detector

The Atheist and His Metal Detector - by Frank Turek
 
I grew up on the Jersey shore. (No, it wasn’t like the TV show.) Every summer morning I’d see several men combing the beach with metal detectors looking for jewelry and change lost the day before. 
 

If C.S. Lewis met E.T.

If C.S. Lewis met E.T.
Scientists and Theologians on the possibility of extraterrestrial life

 

 

Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome

A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited.

 
 

Annual Lecture Review

ISCAST Vic Annual Lecture Review
 
 
This was the topic of this year’s ISCAST (Vic) annual lecture given by Prof. Bob White (FRS). We are all acutely conscious of natural disasters – tsunamis, bushfires, and the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and so on.
 

How the digital age has changed our approach to death and grief

How the digital age has changed our approach to death and grief

In the days and weeks leading up to the death of Leonard Nimoy, the actor and director most known for playing the gravel-voiced Vulcan Mr Spock in Star Trek, knew he was dying. 

 

Spacecraft Dawn has arrived at Ceres, one of solar system’s last unexplored planets

Spacecraft Dawn has arrived at Ceres, one of the solar system's last unexplored planets - By Rachel Feltman.
 
NASA has confirmed that its Dawn spacecraft entered the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday (6/3/15) morning, making history twice over. 
 

2015-03-21 Gippsland Chapter: 'Chappie': Film & Theology

Event:  'Chappie': Film & Theology
Date:
 Saturday 21st March 2015
Time: Meet at box office at 7:45pm, pre-show talk commences at 7:50pm, movie starts at 8:pm sharp. 

Venue: Peninsula Cinemas (Cinema Arcade, Victoria St, Warragul)
Cost: $10 for pre-reserved tickets, $15 at the door on the night
Link: Visit Facebook page for further updates
 

The Changing Face of Evolutionary Theory?

An interesting development is taking place in the biological and anthropological sciences today that has its roots in a decades-old discussion. Whispers in the halls of scientific faculties and hushed conversations in laboratories have solidified into outright dialogue and debate in top scientific journals.
 

The Sacrament of Creation: What Can We Expect from Pope Francis' Ecological Encyclical?

The Sacrament of Creation: What can we expect from Pope Francis' Ecological Encyclical? - By Clive Hamilton

 
 

3D printing raises ethical issues in medicine

3D printing can offer great benefits in medicine, but it also raises a number of ethical questions as the technology develops, says Susan Dodds.
 

 

Geoengineering might work in a rational world … sadly we don’t live in one

Geoengineering might work in a rational world … sadly we don’t live in one

The publication of a hefty two-volume report on geoengineering by the US National Research Council represents a marked shift in the global debate over how to respond to global warming.
 

New survey finds Creationism in Britain has been overstated

Dr Amy Unsworth is a research fellow at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, S. Edmund's College, Cambridge University. Over several months last year, she conducted a survey with Yougov to dig deeper into the question of people's attitudes to evolution in the U.K.

 

COSAC 2015 - Participants' Information


Participants' Information (you can also dowload the participants information here)

Time
Saturday 7 March: First session at 2pm (registration from 1pm)
Download the Draft Program for session details on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Download Draft Program

Prof Graeme Clark receives prestigious US Bioengineering award.

 Professor Graeme Clark AC from the University of Melbourne is the first Australian to receive the US Russ Prize for an outstanding achievement in bioengineering innovation that is in widespread use to improve health and well-being: the cochlear implant.

2015-05-09 Vic Chapter: Book Discussion

Theme: Faith and Wisdom in Science - Prof. Tom McLeish

Presenter: Philippa Thomson

Time6:30pm "BYO meal to share", 8:00pm presentations/discussions.

Venue: Denise's home at 32 Fordham Avenue, Camberwell, Vic

Beauty and Wonder in Science

A podcast from the Faraday Institute book club.  John Polkinghorne talks to Ruth Bancewicz on 'God in the Lab'.
 

 

 

Book: Who is to blame?: Disasters, Nature and Acts of God

Bob White, a geophysicist, tackles one of the biggest conundrums in Christian thinking. He combines a profound knowledge of the science behind natural processes with thorough research into their impact, and underpins it with a carefully reasoned theological response.

 

 

Unbelievable: why we believe and why we don't - Book Review

Review of Graham Ward's book, Unbelievable: why we believe and why we don't
Rowan Williams - Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, January 2015

 

 

2015-03-09 Annual Lecture

ISCAST Vic Annual Lecture

Date: Monday 09 March

Venue: Ridley College. 170 The Avenue, Parkville

Time: 5.30 pm for a 5.45 start.

Cost: $20 (members/concession: $15)

Topic: Who is to Blame? Disasters, Nature and Acts of God

Speaker: Prof. Bob White
Director of the Faraday Institute UK

BioLogos Annual Report

 BioLogos 2013 Annual Report is now availble for download. 
To download the report, visit the Biologos webite
here.

 

 

 

Executive Director Fund


Donations in support of our Executive Director, (ex-Executive Officer) Chris Mulherin, are rolling in. We thank each of you who have donated already for your support.

If each member of ISCAST was to donate $300 we would cover our target easily (although we are happy to receive more if you are able).
 
 
 
 
 
 

COSAC 2015 January Update

Stop the Press! 
We are pleased to announce that the parallel stream, Science & Religion 101: Conflict? What conflict? has been included in the COSAC program.

Robert Stening Tribute

 Vale Robert Stening

It is with great sorrow that we report that Robert Stening passed away on Monday night 5 January 2015. Robert had chronic myeloid leukemia and for some eleven years and finally succumbed and died quietly just after 10:00pm. 

EPO fundraising target for 2014 reached

Dear Members and Friends of ISCAST,

Your response to my last email asking that we "blitz" the target to raise $35k in order to pay Chris Mulherin's salary as the ISCAST Executive Project Officer has been breathtaking. Thank you all so much.

We have now achieved the target and are well placed to continue his employment with us next year.

Event: Spirituality and Mental Health Conference - Hong Kong

ISCAST Fellow Michael Wong will be speaking at the "Spirituality and Mental Health Conference" in Hong Kong in January 2015. He will be one of the keynote speakers. His topic will be "The Role of Hermeneutics in the Dialogue Between Psychiatry and Spirituality".

Through Michael, ISCAST is pleased to support the conference run by the Alliance Holistic Care Centre (www.allianceholistic.com.hk)

Download Poster

Australians unsure on how to engage with science and technology

Dr Suzette Searle, from the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, designed a survey to investigate how Australians engage with science and technology. It showed that the majority of Australians have positive attitudes towards both science and technology but are not always clear on the details.

What Can Evolutionary Biology Learn From Creationists?

You might expect a professional evolutionary biologist like myself to claim that my discipline has nothing to learn from creationists. And I certainly do find all flavors of evolution-denialism sadly misguided. But I also find it reasonable to assume that any serious and dedicated critic should uncover something interesting about the object of their obsession. I’m not talking about passing trolls here. I’m talking about earnest and sometimes talented people whose sincerely held anti-evolution convictions do not preclude engagement, and who invest a lot of time thinking about evolution from an unconventional perspective...

Did Someone Say Science?

ISCAST alumni Jayde Lovell has launched a YouTube show and blog, titled 'Did Someone Say Science', aiming to demystify and explain science issues in the public domain. Based from the YouTube studio in New York City, the show spans topics from chemicals in the environment, to the role of science in politics, to the development of human-like artificial intelligence. Produced by filmmaker Bec Susan Gill, the overall aim of the show is to make science accessible and interesting.

Electromagnetic force hasn't changed in 10 billion years

Astronomers using three of the world's most powerful telescopes say they've found no change in one of nature's fundamental forces over the past 10 billion years.

 

ABC report:  http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/09/23/4085961.htm

Published study: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1923

James Gregory Lectures podcast

We have just launched a podcast for our series of James Gregory Lectures (www.jamesgregory.org.uk):https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/james-gregory-lectures-on/id917410241?mt. These include lectures on science and religion from such figures as John Polkinghorne, N.T. Wright, David Wilkinson, John Humphreys, Denis Alexander, Keith Ward, Ken Miller, Pauline Rudd.... and there will be many more to come.

Scientists turn to Pope Francis and world’s religions to save the planet

Forget past arguments over Darwin or Galileo – scientists set sights on unlikely alliance with the world’s religious leaders to combat climate change.

It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.
But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction - on religion.

In the Beginning Was Laughter

What does joy look like, and from where does it come?

We tend to think about what God is like in relation to us. God is love because he loves us despite our sin. God can be angry because he hates to see sin destroy the people he created. But are God’s so-called emotions entirely dependent on us and what we do? Does not God have a life within himself? Of course. In Proverbs 8—a passage that extols wisdom—we see a surprising picture of what was going on within the Trinity before sin ever entered the world.

Where’s the proof in science? There is none

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Those people looking for proof to come from any research in science will be sadly disappointed.

As an astrophysicist, I live and breathe science. Much of what I read and hear is couched in the language of science which to outsiders can seem little more than jargon and gibberish. But one word is rarely spoken or printed in science and that word is “proof”. In fact, science has little to do with “proving” anything.

Professor Suzanne Cory on the need for female scientists

In the final 2014 Boyer Lecture, Professor Suzanne Cory addressed Australia’s other brain drain—the lack of women at science’s highest levels. The former head of the Australian Academy of Science says we need to engage girls early and make room for female scientists to have families, writes Maria Tickle. [Source: ABC RN]

 

EPO Support

Many of you will have met Chris Mulherin, our Executive Project Officer, who has started visiting the ISCAST Chapters. He has also sent out emails describing what he has been doing.

He has made a considerable difference in raising our ISCAST profile and has shown how effective someone of his calibre can be. Currently, at the Board's request, he has locked himself away to complete his PhD thesis on science and religion although he will make an appearance from time to time.

Christians in Science book sale

Christians in Science have had a couple of big book orders in the last few weeks - it's so good to be able to resource you as you think, pray, and talk your way through lots of science-faith topics! There's still stock left though, you can find it at http://tinyurl.com/q2gfzt8 and email Emily on do@cis.org.uk

 

Read more...

Evolution, God and the problem of evil

Cambridge palaeobiologist Simon Conway Morris explains why he accepts evolution and how he reconciles it with belief in a creator God.

 

Read more and watch video...

Palliative Care: What It Is and What It Is Not

An interesting article on palliative care on ethos.org.au

Palliative care has its modern roots in the UK with the establishment of St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967 by (Dame) Cecily Saunders. Saunders had become concerned about poor medical care being provided to dying hospital patients. With the developments occurring in medicine at that time, the focus had shifted away from the needs of those who could no longer benefit from the evolving technology and life-saving treatment.

Categories of creationists… and their views on science

An article on The Conversation by Chris Mulherin

John Long provoked a comments barrage on The Conversation last week after defending the theory of evolution in the face of creationist views. Unfortunately, while some of the comments were thoughtful, others were dogmatic statements of position, mostly against vaguely and misunderstood “creationism”.

Event: Bridging the Two Cultures

Date: July 2015 and July 2016

The seminars will focus on the need for participants to develop the interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the field of science and religion, within the unique setting of Oxford.

Event: Exploring The Territories Of Science And Religion

PROFESSOR PETER HARRISON, BSc, BA (Hons), PhD (Qld), MA (Yale), MA, DLitt (Oxford), FAHA

EXPLORING THE TERRITORIES OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION

(also being supported by ISCAST – Sydney)

ISCAST journal seeks a new editor

The ISCAST journal Christian Perspectives on Science and Technology is in need of a voluntary editor (or co-editors). 

CPOSAT is a serious journal and the role of editor is an important one. Do you know anyone who might fit the bill? 

Videos of Faraday courses available

Videos of Faraday courses, lectures and seminars are available from
http://upload.sms.cam.ac.uk/institution/FARADAY and on iTunes U, as well as on the Faraday web site http://www.faraday.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/Multimedia.php.

Wading through the chemical soup: how science can miss the point

There's been a bit of activity of late surrounding popular concerns over chemicals and their proliferation in our lives.

Unfortunately, scientists and their science communicator brethren have made a dog's breakfast of trying to bring a bit of light and clarity to the discussion.

 

Science and Belief - Models

...[Prof. Tom] McLeish’s task was to set the scene for the week, exploring the relationship between science and religion. He spent much of the time looking at two questions: ‘What is science?’ and ‘What is religion?’

The main point of his talk was that the problem with the science and religion dialogue can be found in the word ‘and’. When we use the phrase ‘science and religion’, are we setting up a separation between the two that is not necessary? What do we mean when we relate the two together?

Read more...

Event: Myth or Truth?

Myth or Truth?

Friday 8th August - 12:30-1:15pm, Donkey Wheel House (673 Bourke St)

Be part of the audience of Logos Live, a radio show recorded in the CBD, where you can ask your questions and work out truth from myth. Has science buried God? with Prof John Lennox (Professor of Mathematics, Oxford University)

Event: Cosmic Chemistry: do science and God mix?

Cosmic Chemistry: do science and God mix?

Friday 8th August: 7:00 – 9:00pm Melbourne City Conference Centre (333 Swanston St)

What do scientists make of Genesis? Do you like to wrestle with ideas of faith and scientific claims? Don't miss Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox as he distills the turbulent debate about science and faith in God. A cosmic event for the skeptically minded, the scientifically curious and the believer who likes to wrestle with questions of science and belief. Prof John Lennox will speak followed by a discussion with moderator Rafael Epstein (774 ABC Melbourne), there will be opportunity for questions from the audience.

Event: Rediscovering the Spiritual in God's Creation

Date: March 2015

Venue: Serafino McLaren Vale (McLaren Vale, SA)

The international conference, Rediscovering the Spiritual in God's Creation, is being hosted by Tabor Adelaide...

Agriculture and Theology project

CLIMATE CHANGE, FAITH AND RURAL COMMUNITIES 

How rural communities are affected by climate change and peak oil. What will be the future? 

MARTIN J. HODSON AND MARGOT R. HODSON

Climate change is a major issue for this century with significant impact on the future of the countryside. The first part of this paper considers the expected impacts of climate change on rural communities in the UK and the contribution that these communities make to climate change. Climate change is complex and interacts with many other factors...

Conflict? What conflict? - Science, Religion and the Conflict Myth

Brunswick Uniting Church invites you to join the conversation

Thursday 17 July, 7.30pm: Science and Christianity: a crucial conversation

Thursday 31 July, 7.30pm: Science and Christianity: unravelling the Conflict Myth

Presented by Chris Mulherin

Anglican EcoCare Journal - Papers on Environment & Spirituality

The Anglican EcoCare Journal is an Australian, peer-reviewed journal presenting an environmental contribution to theology and are currently calling for papers.

This journal will be published in September 2014 by the Anglican EcoCare Commission, an entity of the Diocese of Perth and will be available in both print and electronic form.

All papers for the first edition must be received by 16 July 2014

Event: Exploring the Territories of Science and Religion

 2014 New College Lectures - September, NSW

Some see science and religion as in direct competition with one another, offering incompatible explanations for the same phenomena. Conflict is seen as inevitable. Projecting this idea back in time, the whole of Western history can be understood as a protracted battle between science and religion. Science is now winning the battle, in spite of minor religious resistance...

Mick Pope on 'Harmony in Diversity'

An ISCAST fellow, Mick Pope, has recently been on the community television program 'Harmony in Diversity'. These clips are available on Youtube (links below).

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5cv-7ekwRA

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Mq38xt430

 

Is It Rational to Believe in Miracles?

Whether it is rational to believe in miracles depends a great deal on what one might call the ‘big picture’ we have of reality, the assumptions and ideas that form the canvas or background to the way in which we interpret and understand the world. Even the word ‘miracle’, from the Latin miraculum meaning ‘object of wonder,’ implies a contrast with a background, an event that is remarkable and different from what is experienced ordinarily.

Read more...

Put down the smart drugs – cognitive enhancement is ethically risky business

Cognitive performance enhancers promise to deliver a better version of ourselves: smarter, more alert and more mentally agile. But what if such enhancement was no longer a personal choice but a socially and legally enforced responsibility? In the final instalment of Biology and Blame, Nicole A Vincent and Emma A. Jane explore the risks of normalising this emerging trend.

Is there a natural death?

Is there a natural death? Can death be a natural part of a ‘good’ creation? Robert Martin from the City Bible Forum explores this question.

Read more...

God & Nature magazine

God & Nature magazine is a literary resource promoting conversation beyond the origins controversy in science and Christian faith.

 

 

Read More...

Human Evolution: Genes, Genealogies and Phylogenies

 Ever since I entered university I have been interested in cells and their large molecules – DNA, RNA and proteins. It is said that small things amuse small minds, and I must confess that my interest waned with entities larger than about 20 µm. That’s approximately the diameter of a cell. Naturally, I became a cell biologist.

I was certainly not interested in evolutionary biology. Its subject matter was the wrong size, and besides, I was aware that on-going controversy was associated with this scientific field...

Read More...

ISCAST Executive Project Officer

A new appointment

In February 2014, Rev. Chris Mulherin was appointed one day per week to the role of Executive Project Officer for ISCAST. Chris says:

In an increasingly globalised secular scientific culture the cutting edge of Christian engagement is the conversation about science and faith.

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life

 Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to new research. The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says the lead researcher.

Read more...

 

Churches Empowered When Informed About Science

 From the Templeton Report...

 

Science is often presumed to be a tricky matter for people of faith. Pew Research has found that Americans can feel uncomfortable accepting scientific discoveries when they are perceived to contradict their religious beliefs. But Scientists in Congregations is discovering that the apparent opposition can be overcome.

Do the Miracles of Jesus Contradict Science?

Dr Mark Harris presents a lecture on "Do the Miracles of Jesus Contradict Science?", followed by a question and answer session.

 

 

View videos...

An elegant chaos

Universal theories are few and far between in ecology, but that is what makes it fascinating.

To some scientists in other fields, ecology must seem relatively straightforward. Many of the organisms live at a very human scale and are easy to access, especially in community ecology. Ecologists do not need special equipment to see and count elk. There are no electron microscopes, space telescopes or drilling rigs that can go wrong. Easy.

A Note on the Passing of Alison Lyons

ISCAST notes with sadness the passing this month of Alison Lyons the widow of Professor Lawrie Lyons the founder of ISCAST.

No one operates on their own and Alison must be recognised for her contribution for at least some of Lawrie's significant achievements as well as for her own.

The neuromyths of the classrooms

Philip Ball for Prospect Magazine writes "It’s not just that the science itself might be poorly interpreted or over-extrapolated. The problem is deeper: whether there exists, or can exist, a firm and reliable link between the objective functioning of neural circuits and the subjective experience of people. Psychology is as much about providing a framework for thinking and talking about the latter as it is about pursuing a reductive explanation in terms of another obscurely named part of the brain anatomy such as the “superior frontal gyrus”."

Minority view should not frame false dichotomy

The relationship between faith and reason — particularly between faith and science — goes to the credibility of being a Christian in the modern world. It is important that a minority view within Christianity is not allowed to frame a false dichotomy between religion and science, writes Fr Chris Middleton SJ, Principal of St Aloysius College in Sydney.

Religious Communities, Science, Scientists and Perceptions: A Comprehensive Survey

A paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University, PI.

MH370, mystery and tracking down truth

The tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has captured the attention of the world and generated a mystery unprecedented in modern aviation. My aeronautical friends and I have watched the story unfold with a mixture of shock and perplexity: how could this have happened?

At the time of writing, the aircraft has still not been found, and a potential search area the size of Australia is currently being scoured for any sign of airliner debris, ten days after the Boeing 777 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

Reflections on Tyson’s Cosmos, Episode 1

"Reflections on Tyson’s Cosmos, Episode 1" by distinguished astronomer Owen Gingerich

From The BioLogos Forum: "Harvard Professor Emeritus Owen Gingerich has written a brief critique of a historical story featured prominently in the first episode of the new series [of Cosmos]. His post is part of a longer discussion taking place on the American Scientific Affiliation’s webpage about the new Cosmos series in general."

Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun

...he discovered what might have made the universe bang to begin with. A potential hitch in the presumed course of cosmic evolution could have infused space itself with a special energy that exerted a repulsive force, causing the universe to swell faster than the speed of light for a prodigiously violent instant.

 

Interview with our new Executive Project Officer: Chris Mulherin

Thankyou to all who have contributed to ISCAST hiring an Executive Project Officer. We have announced that Chris Mulherin will fill the role, and so we provide an interview so that you can find out a little more about him and the job he is going to do.

Templeton Prize Announcement

Tomáš Halík, a Czech priest and philosopher who risked imprisonment for illegally advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, and has since become a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers, has won the 2014 Templeton Prize.

 

 

The Heavens Declare His Glory

Recently my wife Vivian and I went to the Sydney Observatory at night for our first wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful experience. We managed to learn a bit about astronomy, but we also had a real sense of the 'heavens declaring the glory of God'...

Read more...

AARE Conference: 'iConnect, iDiscover, I AM'

AARE Conference: 'iConnect, iDiscover, I AM'

Please find below the online version of the brochure for our Australian Association for Religious Education 25th National Conference, to be held at the Amora Hotel, Richmond, Victoria, from Monday, September 29th to Wednesday, October 1st, 2014.

International Congress on Science and/or Religion

International Congress on Science and/or Religion: a 21st Century Debate (Vienna, 27-29 August 2015)

Call for Papers

The congress welcomes papers from all pertinent academic disciplines that take a multi-/interdisciplinary approach as well as religious, theistic, and philosophical scholarly pieces, and reports of comparative, cross-cultural and cross-religious studies.

God is Friendship: A Theology of Spirituality, Community and Society

 In this Facebook age of “friending” anyone and everyone, it is incumbent on the church to articulate a rich and accessible theology of friendship for the world. Dr. Brian Edgar [fellow of ISCAST] has done it in God is Friendship: A Theology of Spirituality, Community and Society. The book explores friendship as spiritual formation, as the life of the church, and as a public good.

 

Are we nearing the end of science?

 Are we nearing the end of science? That is, are we running out of answerable questions, leaving us with only some mop-up duty, working around the edges of the great scientific achievements of Darwin, Einstein, Copernicus, et al.?

 

New Atheism - New Apologetics: The Use of Science in Recent Christian Apologetic Writings

 The rise of the New Atheism has stimulated a new interest in Christian apologetics, both in the academy and the churches. The appeal to science in the writings of leading 'New Atheists', such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, is reflected in two apologetic strategies.

 

Study Reveals It’s Almost Impossible for Life to Exist on ‘Super-Earths’

 A newly published study reveals that many of the super-Earth planets discovered in the last twenty years may have captured the equivalent of between 100 and 1000 times the hydrogen in the Earth’s oceans, but may only lose a few percent of it over their lifetime, making it almost impossible for life as we know it to exist.

Rowan Williams on ‘Science, Faith and Knowledge’

...The siege took place in a school, and few could forget the harrowing images of the hall, in which the children were assembled, being rigged with explosives and flanked by armed terrorists. Humphrys’ question was blunt and to the point: ‘Where was God yesterday morning?’ Williams’ response and the ensuing discussion were played to the audience...

Christian Women in STEM Are a Vulnerable Minority

 From the Huffington Post:

...Rochelle was a high school biology student who was excited about the advances in genetics... However, when her church youth leader told her that there were too many gaps in the fossil record to believe evolution... Rochelle's sense of direction began to waver. If she became a medical researcher, would she have to give up her Christian friends?

Can a Scientist Trust the New Testament?

The written version and also a video of the last James Gregory Lecture by Tom Wright on "Can a Scientist Trust the New Testament?" can now be found at

Cutting carbon – Australian answers to a world problem

Next Wednesday 12 March will be our first Archbishop's Conversation for the year, and it's an opportunity to reflect on the practical steps Australians can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

Ancient wisdom for a modern age

John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, gives an insight into what the Old Testament meant to its original audience, and what relevance these ancient texts have for modern readers today.

 

http://cpx.createsend1.com/t/r-l-phyldz-xkrlhhykt-b/

Pseudoscientists Podcast

Recently one of our ISCAST fellows, James Garth, has appeared as a guest on the Pseudoscientists podcast. There is interesting discussion about science, faith, evolution, climate change, and other topics that may be of interest.

Exploring The God Question: Science, God and the Search for Truth

A review of the DVD "Exploring the God Question: Science, God and the Search for Truth"

"Exploring the God Question is a six-part documentary with accompanying group study material that explores the scientific evidence for and against God. This is a high production value series aimed at a wide audience, which challenges the viewers to decide for themselves whether God exists. A three-part version has also been produced for TV. The six part study version is reviewed here.

Rodney Holder, Big Bang, Big God: Is the Universe Designed for Life?

A review of Rodney Holder's "Big Bang, Big God"

"The development of the Big Bang theory is an example of how faith responses can contribute to the scientific discussion in a positive way. Rodney Holder, an Anglican priest and former cosmologist, has contributed to this conversation for a number of years. He has just published a new book, ‘Big Bang Big God: A Universe designed for life?’ that aims to bring the debate to a wider audience."...

 

EPO Applications Open

Following the successful establishment of the team support for the Executive Project Officer, the board have requested that we find a suitable applicant for the position and appoint that person early in the new year.

Executive Project Officer - Going Forward

Based on the excellent initial response to the EPO team support request through pledged support from ISCAST members and meeting our interim target, the board has decided to go ahead with hiring an ISCAST Executive Project Officer for 2014. Job description is available on request. We will advertise for the position soon.

Read More... 

Symposium on Spirituality and Mental Health

 ISCAST members may be interested to know that Dr Michael Wong, an ISCAST fellow, will be presenting on "Spirituality and Psychiatry" at a Hong Kong symposium on 30 November.

Prof. Allan Day obituary

Pioneering researcher's work co-existed with Christian faith

Allan Day's obituary has been published in The Age this last Friday 1 November 2013.

 

 

Can Christianity and population control co-exist?

Can Christianity and population control co-exist?

Despite the views of some church leaders - such as George Pell - who deny global warming, most Christians understand the need to care for the natural world and have embraced the scientific consensus on global warming.

Where Did We Come From?

Where Did We Come From?
How Milton, Paley, and Darwin help us answer the question.
Andrew J.Wılson

 

...For Hawking, the only reason to believe in a creator is to explain the existence of the universe; when you find an explanation, the need for a creator disappears. For Dawkins, Darwinian evolution makes it "almost certain" that there is no God. At the same time, I know lots of Christians who argue the opposite: Since the Bible is true, you shouldn't believe in evolution, or the Big Bang, or whatever...

Conflict, What Conflict?

ISCAST fellow, Chris Mulherin, at the "In The Beginning" conference hosted by the City Bible Forum presenting with the topic "Conflict, What Conflict?" now available on Youtube. (approx. 35 mins)

http://youtu.be/3Siggdv_26Q

Templeton Report: Where Science and Religion Can Overlap

See the link below for the Templeton Report released on 17 October

Where Science and Religion Can Overlap

It is a common thought that the worldviews of science and religion are very different and are best not mixed.

Towards Belief

Towards Belief for your Church

Looking for a fresh idea for your church outreach program?
Something to use in small groups and/or your services?
Towards Belief is a contemporary resource that is perfectly suited for a variety of uses within a church context. 

Read More...

RIP Prof. Allan Day

Friends and members of ISCAST will be sorry to hear that Allan Day died on Monday 29 July after a short illness.

Allan was very active in ISCAST and, before that, the Research Scientists' Christian Fellowship. He was Victoria's first Executive Officer and very much the reason for its strength here.

Executive Project Officer - Team Support

The ISCAST Board has decided to appoint an executive project officer (EPO) to help us advance our mission. Rather than rely on (and be dependent on and beholden to) outside funding, we decided to seek funding from the ISCAST members by developing Team Support for our EPO.

Read more...

RIP Prof. Jim Ward

We at ISCAST note the passing of Prof. Jim Ward, physicist and Christian. We thank God for his scholarship and his commitment to Jesus Christ his Lord. Attached is the eulogy presented by Brian Bayston at the interment of his body. It is exciting to think that all that knowledge he pursued in his lifetime is now available to him and that he now "knows fully even as he is known" (1 Cor. 13:12).

Science + Faith: What is the Problem

 ISCAST fellow, Richard Prideaux, has recently co-authored with Dr Tony Peppe a book called "Science + Faith: What is the Problem?".

The Lost World of Genesis

Wheaton College's John Walton on why Genesis 1 shouldn't be read as a science text but taken seriously for what it is.

 

 

Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

Yes, writes Owen Gingerich.

"Frankly," Gingerich writes, "I am psychologically incapable of believing that the universe is meaningless. I believe the universe has a purpose, and our greatest intellectual challenge as human beings is to glimpse what this purpose might be."

 

The Libet experiment and its implications for conscious will

Peter G.H. Clarke explores the controversy around the Libet experiment.

 

 

A theory of everything won't provide all the answers

We shouldn't be obsessed with finding a theory of everything, says Lisa Randall, one of the world's most prominent theoretical physicists

 

Does Evolution Compromise Human Morality?

An excerpt published on the BioLogos Forum of Loren Haarsma's essay, 'Evolution and Divine Revelation: Synergy, not Conflict, in Understanding Morality', asks whether evolution compromises human morality.

 

Made in the Image of God: Theological Implications of Human Genomics

Denis Alexander writes on the Biologos Forum on the theological implications of human genomics.

 

 

Incredible Journeys: What to Make of Visits to Heaven

Does it matter that people who have had near-heaven experiences are confused theologically, so long as good news is preached?

 

Genes, Determinism and God

The 2012 Gifford Lectures featuring Denis Alexander are available to view online.

 

Top-down causation: an integrating theme within and across the sciences?

George F. R. Ellis, Denis Noble and Timothy O'Connor discuss top-down causation.

 

 

Do We Have Souls?

Do we have souls?Tim O'Connor asks whether we have a soul.

 

Largest structure challenges Einstein's smooth cosmos

A collection of galaxies that is a whopping four billion light years long is the biggest cosmic structure ever seen.

 

Bait and Switch: Plantinga reviews 'Free Will' by Sam Harris

Free WillAlvin Plantinga reviews Sam Harris' book, Free Will. "Sam Harris claims that free will is an illusion. What we ordinarily believe in this neighborhood, he says, is completely mistaken: "You will do whatever it is you do, and it is meaningless to assert that you could have done otherwise"; "we know that determinism, in every sense relevant to human behavior, is true." Doesn't that imply that we human beings are not responsible for what we do?"

 

Test of FAITH homeschool resource

Isn’t it tough for homeschooling parents to discern how to address the relationship between science and faith? Homeschool families need resources that portray the range of Christian views in a gracious way. And Christian young people need a resource that will equip them to think clearly, broadly, and biblically about current hot topics in science and religion.

From Cooling System to Thinking Machine

Carl Zimmer writes on Hilary Putnam and “the Long, Strange History of Ideas About the Brain” in an article for the new website ‘Being Human’.

...one of Putnam’s thought experiments is familiar to millions of people: what it would be like to be a brain in a vat?

 

Warming to nuclear option?

Leslie Kemeny makes the case that nuclear power, long considered a politically incorrect power source in Australia, is the best way to a clean energy future and to mitigate climate change.

The deepest into space we've ever seen

Ten years' worth of images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has created a photograph of the farthest we've ever seen into the universe.
It's a photo so spectacular that it needs a designation all to its own. Named the XDF, or eXtreme Deep Field, it represents 10 years' worth of photographs taken of a small patch of space at the centre of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which is located in the Fornax constellation.

Is Information the Basis of Reality?

Is Information the Basis of Reality?

No, but it may be an important component. Imagine trying to spend a week without any information. No books or broadcasts, no entertainment or news. No communication with another person, whether written or spoken or visual or just touching. It would be a diminished kind of existence. That is why extended solitary confinement is such a terrible punishment. Information plays a vital role in everyday human life. But to what extent is information the basis of reality?

Biography of indigenous Anglican priest wins top literature award

23/08/2012
By Mark Brolly
Source: The Melbourne Anglican

​A biography of Northern Territory indigenous leader and Anglican priest, Gumbuli of Ngukurr, has been chosen as Australian Christian Book of the Year from more than 40 entrants – and given Melbourne publishing house Acorn Press, co-founded by the late Bishop John Wilson, its second consecutive win in the awards.

Seeking life on other worlds - and what it means for this one

NASA has pulled off an amazing technical achievement with its latest Mars landing. What are we hoping to find on Mars and what does it mean for us? Dr Roger Morris, Fellow of ISCAST, explores this groundbreaking mission.

 

Bionic eye goes live in world first by Australian researchers

A blind woman can now see spots of light after being implanted with an early prototype bionic eye, confirming the potential of the world-first technology.

Taking over from evolution: how technology could enhance humanity

Rcp7ncxg-1345427085"The 21st century and beyond promises an array of novel methods for enhancing human cognition. Perhaps such improvements will enable future humans to find long-lasting solutions to global problems, as well as to go to the stars. Such promises, however, can be fulfilled only if we all value learning and intellectual development over short-term commercial gains."

Melbourne researchers rewrite Big Bang theory

New theory ... "The biggest problem with the big bang model is the bang itself."Melbourne researchers believe they may be on the brink of rewriting the history of the universe.
A paper being published in a US physics journal suggests it may be possible to view ‘‘cracks’’ in the universe that would support the theory of Quantum Graphity - considered to be the holy grail of physics.

The Case Against Peter Singer

Australian bioethicist and philosopher Peter SingerStella Young criticises the Australian philosopher Peter Singer over his position on selective infanticide:
"Singer's argument is not about the right to terminate pregnancy based on the presence of a disabled foetus, although he does believe this as well, but the active killing of babies born with particular disabilities. I was once one of these babies."

 

5 Designers Working Hard to Save Babies

Designers are fighting neonatal mortality with a variety of innovative inventions, including a sleeping bag that saves lives, an infant respirator designed by students, jaundice treatment for rural hospitals and a sleep apnea monitor made from bike parts.

But Does it Move? John Lennox writes for BioLogos on Science and the Bible

But Does it Move? John Lennox on Science and the Bible, Part 3Dr Lennox writes: "Most of us would surely agree that it is important to distinguish between matters that belong to the core message of the Bible and issues that are less central, where there is room for variation in opinion.

We also need to be prepared to distinguish between what Scripture actually says and what we think it means. It is Scripture that has the final authority, not our understanding of it." 

Curiosity Video Update Shows Descent Of Heat Shield

The Wired (8/9, Mann) "Wired Science" blog reports, "This new video from NASA gives you the chance to experience that pit-of-the-stomach feeling right before dropping down to the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover. An update to their previous film of the harrowing descent, it provides a higher frame rate to let you watch the spacecraft's heat shield plummet away."

Images from Curiosity Landing Sent Back To Earth

<p>               This late Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 PDT photo made available by NASA shows the Curiosity rover, bottom, and its parachute descending to the surface from the vantage point of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (AP Photo)"NASA's Curiosity rover on Monday transmitted a low-resolution video showing the last 2 1/2 minutes of its white-knuckle dive through the Mars atmosphere, giving Earthlings a sneak peek of a spacecraft landing on another world." reports Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer.

It is a "sneak preview" of the high-resolution video to come that has yet to be transmitted back.

Test of Faith website update for iPad

After four years of activity, the Test of Faith website (www.testoffaith.com) has been given a face-lift, and is now iPad friendly. New resources this month are a series of interview clips with Professor Peter Harrison (http://tinyurl.com/crzz9vu) and a review of BioLogos's new DVD, 'From the Dust: Conversations in Creation'.

Interview with John Updike

John Updike.A conversation with the novelist John Updike about the mystery of existence and the Origin of the Universe and what constitutes 'Nothing'.

Interview with Chris Mulherin

EUREKA STREETChris Mulherin, featured on Eureka Street TV, is an Anglican clergyman with a substantial academic background studying and lecturing in science and the philosophy of science.

Australian Government resists calls for nano-materials register

Carbon nanotubeThe ABC's revelations that some sunscreen brands are inaccurately promoting themselves as nanotechnology-free have prompted calls for better regulation of nano-materials.

But the push for a mandatory register has suffered a blow, with a Federal Government report labelling it questionable.

The science games

ABC ScienceBehind every elite athlete is an army of scientists helping them shave seconds off world records. ABC science journalist Stephen Pincock looks at how science helps athletes get faster, higher and stronger.

Astronomers find rare spiral galaxy in early Universe

BX442 is the first "grand design" spiral galaxy to be observed so early in history.Astronomers have stumbled upon an astonishing spiral galaxy that was born nearly 11 billion years ago, a finding that could spur a rethink of how galaxies formed after the Big Bang.

Test of Faith Video now available

Video is now available from the "Test of Faith: Science and Christianity Discussion Panel" event held on Monday 16th April 2012 at the State Library of Victoria. The event was organized by ISCAST and the City Bible Forum as part of the Reason For Faith Festival 2012.

Am I My Brother's Keeper - A book by Dr Philip Pattermore

Am I My Keeper's Brother?

How did human life come to be?

Can a scientific view of human origins ever be reconciled with the Biblical account of human nature?

When scientific ideas appear to contradict the Bible, how do we react – and how do we evaluate what is true?

Why Scientists Don't Like the Term 'God Particle' for the Higgs boson

650px-CMS_Higgs-event.jpgScientists claim they have discovered the Higgs boson, also called the "God particle," that could help explain what gives all matter in the universe size and shape.

Christianity Today's blog on how the term evolved. 
 

Does the Higgs Boson Discovery Resolve the Religion-Science Debate?

religionDr Philip Clayton, Provost of Claremont Lincoln University and Dean of Claremont School of Theology, writes in The Huffington Post: "In the huge hype that has broken out over the last few days, you can see the whole pattern of religion-science discussions in microcosm".

Why bother? On fighting a losing battle

Is the prospect of technological success the motivating factor for ecological concern, or does Christian eschatology give a hope that transcends consequentialist reasoning?

Byron Smith writes on Engage Mail

'Higgs Boson helps us find out more about God', says Christian scientist

Premier Media GroupPhysicists have announced they believe they may have found the elusive "God particle".

Science, superstition and rational belief

Nancey Murphy is professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Seminary. Her areas of interest include theology and science, philosophy of mind, Christian anthropology, and neuroscience. She is the author of Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, Did my neurons make me do it? and Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?

Big Questions Online

John Templeton FoundationThe new Big Questions Online has launched! Please visit the site and join the conversation at www.bigquestionsonline.com.

PZ Myers: Not Functioning as a Scientist on the Subject of Religion

religion"Imagine Myers teaching a class on his academic specialty -- evolutionary developmental biology - and telling his students that all they must do to understand the topic is to open their eyes. This would be absurd. The whole point of science is to understand topics that are too complex to be self-evident."

What Believers and Atheists Can Learn From Each Other

religionIn The Huffington Post, a piece co-authored by Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman and Sam McNerney.

Guilty, but not responsible?

The Guardian homeIn The Guardian: "Monsters are born, not made: the latest round in the debate about criminal responsibility questions the very existence of intuitive morality".

Autism study strengthens idea that we read God's mind

New ScientistIn New Scientist: "People with autism appear less likely to believe in God - a discovery that has strengthened theories that religious belief relies on being able to imagine what God is thinking, a capacity known as 'mentalising'."

Review of "The Heavens Declare" by Rodney Holder

Cover imageRodney Holder's book "The Heavens Declare: Natural Theology and the Legacy of Karl Barth" has been reveiwed by Ruth Bancewicz, Test of FAITH Project Leader, The Faraday Institute.

She writes: "Natural theology is what we can discover about God outside of ‘special revelation’ (which for Christians is mainly the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ). If you are itching to add to or clarify this one-liner you’re not alone, because so many scholars have addressed natural theology that one could easily convene a very large international conference to address the issue of definitions alone."

Time-lapse from space

Astronaut Don Pettit's series of stunning time-lapse images taken from aboard the International Space Station.Stunning time-lapse photographs from the International Space Station taken by Astronaut Don Pettit.

Read more

Can science produce art?

Can science produce art? If the following images are any indication, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Created by nanotechnologists around the world, these images, most of which show materials smaller than the period at the end of this sentence, beautifully meld microengineering with aesthetics. In this slide show, enjoy some award-winning art while learning about some compelling new nanoscale materials and their potential uses.

Big Questions Thrill at World Science Festival

World Science FestivalThe World Science Festival was held from May 30–June 3, 2012 in New York City and aims to bring together leading scientists, world-renowned artists, and innovative thinkers to discuss and exchange ideas. Tens of thousands of people join in. The John Templeton Foundation (JTF) sponsored five events as part of a Big Ideas Series.

Science & Scripture align, professor says in BioLogos exchange

This story is the second to appear on Baptist Press about the ongoing dialogue about evolution in a series on the BioLogos website.

 

Welcome to newly appointed ISCAST Fellows

File:ISCAST logo.png- Dr Roger Morris from the Sunshine Coast,
- Rev. Dr Denis Edwards from Adelaide,
- Dr Nick Hawkes from Adelaide, and
- Rev. Chris Mulherin from Melbourne

have recently been appointed fellows of ISCAST.

Uses and Abuses of Biology - Essay Competition

Uses and Abuses of Biology logo 
The Uses and Abuses of Biology (UAB) Programme is inviting students and recent graduates aged 30 or younger to enter its 2012 essay competition.
 

Christianity and the Rise of Western Science

Those who magnify recent controversies about science and religion, projecting conflict back into historical time, perpetuate a historical myth to which no historian of science would subscribe.In an article on ABC Religion and Ethics, 8 May 2012, Peter Harrison writes "It is often assumed that the relationship between Christianity and science has been a long and troubled one. Such assumptions draw support from a variety of sources."

Theology Must Save Science From Naturalism

Those that celebrate restrictive naturalism do so because they want to banish the divine, whatever the cost. These fundamentalist atheists will bring the whole house down to leave no room for God.In an opinion piece on ABC Religion and Ethics, 22 May 2012, Conor Cunningham writes "The conversation between science and theology has been hijacked by a restrictive naturalism, which rests on an impoverished understanding of science, one that is underwritten by an atrophied imagination, and that leaves us bereft of nature."

Free new online course - Science & Religion: Cognitive Neuroscience

University of California, IrvineThe University of California, Irvine are offering a free new online course called Social Science 130B: Science and Religion II - Cognitive Neuroscience.

Can Physics and Philosophy Get Along?

Gary GuttingGary Gutting (pictured), professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, editor of Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, and author, also joins the debate on physics and philosophy stating that "I’d like to see if I can raise the level of the discussion a bit."

His post on The Stone has received over 300 comments since May 10, 2012.

Is Philosophy Relevant to Physics?

On Buzz Blog we read "Over the past few months, a controversy has erupted between members of the fields of physics and philosophy. It all started in January when Lawrence Krauss, a well-known cosmologist and science writer, published his book titled A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing. Krauss' book attempts to show how the universe could have come from "nothing," as implied by quantum field theory."

Physics vs Philosophy: Really?

Scientist leaving the world, an engraving c.1520 representing changes in the medieval conception or interpretation of the heavens.Marcelo Gleiser joins the heated discussion and puts forward his view on the relationship between physics and philosophy. 

This post has received 200 comments since being written on May 2, 2012. 

Australian companies get first shot at green energy cash

Wind EnergyOn May 23, 2012, David Wroe reported that "Australian companies will be guaranteed the chance to pitch for business flowing from the Gillard government's $10 billion clean energy fund that Labor will announce today in an effort to sell the benefits of green jobs at home."

Can a better understanding of sacred values help us resolve inter-group conflicts?

science + religion today

This question is explored in a post on Science & Religion Today by Scott Atran, a research scientist at the Research Center for Group Dynamics and a professor of psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan and a research director in anthropology at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris.

Reason for Faith Festival podcasts now online

Reason for Faith LogoPodcasts from the Reason for Faith Festival, held across Melbourne in April 2012, are now available online.

Congregations gripped by conversations with scientists

Scientists in CongregationsThrough Scientists in Congregations, a grant program funded by the John Templeton Foundation, over thirty congregations have been awarded grants which will enable them to develop local initiatives. 

Romans Remixed - Ethos Annual Conference & Dinner

Romans Remixed
Topic:
Gospel, Culture, Empire - and Finding the Way Home
Date: Friday 29 June - Dinner, and Saturday 30 June - Workshops
Venue: Ridley Melbourne, Parkville

Plan now to come along!

Australian Institute of Archaeology - Upcoming Events

2012 PETRIE ORATION on Friday 20 April 2012  -

"Reflections on the Death of Biblical Archaeology"
The Petrie Oration for 2012 is to be given by Professor William G. Dever

Physics and the final frontier

Fpolkinghorne1.jpgIn Third Way: Is there a scientific argument for an afterlife? Theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne constructs a case for a human destiny beyond death - and finds grounds for Christian hope.

 

Link to article

A Universe from Nothing?

Professor of Philosophy David Albert criticizes Lawrence Krauss' "A Universe From Nothing" in The New York Times. Albert finds Krauss' explanation of the origin and configuration of the fundamental physical laws - including the laws of relativistic quantum field theories - to be wanting.

Book Review: Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism

A book review on Alvin Plantinga latest book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism was posted by Brian Auten in the Apologetics 315 blog on 25 February 2012.

Brian writes that 'there are few names bigger than Alvin Plantinga when it comes to philosophy of religion and there are few topics more hotly debated than science and religion. [The book has] therefore generated much interest as it has one of the foremost philosophers of religion taking on this highly contentious topic.'

Introducing Robot Ethics

Joshua Rothman, a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, has written a post on 'Introducing Robot Ethics' in the Boston Globe ideas blog, known as Brainiac

In his post he writes: 'Thirty years ago, few people envisioned just how completely computers would be integrated into our everyday lives; today, they're everywhere.
 

Infanticide and the spectre of eugenics

Right to kill newbornsMichael Mullins, editor of Eureka Street, wrote an article in response to the news reported on Friday 2 March in the Sydney Morning Herald that 'killing newborns is morally the same as abortion and should be permissible if the mother wishes it'.

Why Science needs the Christian worldview

Christians can be confident in a discussion on the nature and use of science, precisely because only the Christian worldview can provide the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of scientific inquiry. Science requires a significant number of philosophical assumptions just to conduct empirical investigation.

Can Science End War?

Can Science End War?The Fixed Point FIX blog examines Steven Pinker's thesis that violence within democratic constitutional states is in decline as a result of the spread of "Enlightment humanism" ideals:

The science of violence seems to be en vogue at the moment; we already highlighted Steven Pinker's (silly) book at the end of last year, and now John Horgan has a book out on the subject titled "The End of War," which the Atlantic recently excerpted. Horgan's analysis is intriguing, as he looks at the history of both biological explanations and solutions to violence.

Top-down causation

Royal Society Publishing has just published an issue of Interface Focus: ‘Top-down causation’, organized by George FR Ellis, Denis Noble and Timothy O'Connor.

Link

PDF version

 

Nano-transistor breakthrough to offer billion times faster computer

"A single phosphorus atom precisely positioned within a silicon crystal could become a building block for a super-fast quantum computer."Sydney scientists have built the world's tiniest transistor by precisely positioning a single phosphorus atom in a silicon crystal.
 

Science Has Not Killed Philosophy

What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of CosmologyOver the past couple of months, leading philosophers in the United States and Great Britain launched initiatives to develop a new field within the philosophy of science: the philosophy of cosmology.

Science no match for angels at our tables

What can feasting tell us about what it means to be human? And can it reveal the limits of science? Simon Smart digs in.

For an extended version of this article click here.

Am I My Keepers Brother? The significance of shared genetic errors

Am I My Keeper's Brother?Dr Philip Pattemore, author of Am I My Keepers Brother? writes about a recent blog he posted on his website:

Mathematics experiencing 'identity crisis'

Geoff Prince says a lack of awareness about the opportunities in the field is turning away potential students.A peak body representing Australia's mathematical community is calling for the appointment of a national adviser to help revive the subject in schools and universities.

Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute director Geoff Prince says a lack of awareness about the opportunities in the field is turning away potential students.

Knowing the Other through prayer

Woman prayingIn The Guardian: “We are impoverished when we discount the evidence of our own experience merely because it is not ‘scientific’”, writes Brian Conway.

Link to article

Review – The Spirituality of Science

Cover image 
Review – The Spirituality of Science: How Science Strengthens Faith in God, Norton Herbst & Gabe Lyons (DVD & book, Zondervan, 2010)

Link to review

New Online Content

Test of FAITH interview clips – John Polkinghorne Click here

These are the first of many new clips that will be posted on www.testoffaith.com and YouTube over the coming months.

 

Complex Islamic response to evolution emerges from study

426123Educated Muslims vary widely in their approach to evolutionary theory but their views could gel within the next few years, a researcher has found.

SciDev.Net (Science and Development Network), T. V. Padma, 29 June 2011.

Top Ten Peacemakers in the Science-Religion Wars

 
Science writer and teacher Paul Wallace argues: “This year has marked, I believe, the beginning of the end of the war between science and religion.”
 

The search for the God particle goes beyond mere physics

Michael Gerson'The wild improbability of a universe that allows us to be aware of it seems to demand some explanation.' writes Michael Gerson in this Opinion column in the Washington Post.

 

Report finds Australian students are ditching science

The proportion of Australian students studying science in Year 12 has almost halved in the past two decades, with a report from the saying teenagers find the subject boring.

Plantinga argues for deep concord between theistic religion and science

 In an interview with Christianity Today, acclaimed philosopher of religion Alvin Plantinga discusses his new book, which extensively engages with the proposition that there's superficial conflict but deep concord between theistic religion and science:

"In certain areas, the right word would be alleged conflict. For example, I argue that there's no real conflict between evolutionary theory—that is, the scientific theory of evolution apart from any naturalistic spin—and what C. S. Lewis called "mere Christianity."

Higgs boson: the particle of faith

 A graphic showing traces of two high-energy photons measured at Cern - A quantum leapThere are parallels between the search for the ‘God particle’ and the search for God Himself, writes Alister McGrath.

Link to article

Mixed report card for environment

Port Phillip Bay could be the marine ecosystem most invaded by foreign pests in the southern hemisphere.Current government spending has been unable to arrest Australia's alarming decline in native animal and plant populations, one of the biggest probes into our environmental health has found.

 

H5N1 super virus debate

This  transmission electron micrograph taken at a magnification of 150,000x, reveals the ultrastructural details of an avian influenza A (H5N1) virion, pictured by the United States government's Centre for Disease Control.Scientists are debating whether or not to publish a recent H5N1 study after virologists said they had developed a bird flu virus - with a 60 per cent human mortality rate - that could spread as easily as the common cold.
Some fear the virus, if it fell into the wrong hands, could be modified by bioterrorists into a weapon that kills billions of people. But supporters said publishing the H5N1 study would have the opposite effect, by helping governments and other scientists learn about how they could counter such pandemics - whether they occurred naturally or artificially.

Australia aims high in telescope bid

Through space and time (Video Thumbnail)Australia has ramped up its multimillion-dollar bid to host the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope, before a February decision on where to put the 3000-dish instrument.

The story behind the world's most famous drawing

da-vincis-ghost-book_175.jpgLeonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is the most widely recognised drawing on the planet, an iconic study of human form and proportion depicting a man standing with arms outstretched, framed by a circle and square. In his new book, Da Vinci's Ghost, Toby Lester uncovers its long and intricate history, explaining how the drawing built on the idea that the human form was a precisely proportioned structure representing the measure of all things - a philosophy developed by the Roman architect Vitruvius during the rule of Caesar Augustus.

Climate change is a matter of justice

COP17 in Durban : Environmental activists demonstrate at United Nations Climate Change conferenceThe richest countries caused the problem, but it is the world's poorest who are already suffering from its effects, and the international community must commit to righting that wrong, argue Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson at the Durbin climate talks.

Where God meets physics

Credit: Faraday Institute for Science and ReligionEminent thinker and commentator Revd Dr John , Fellow of the Royal Society, gives an overview of his talk at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, entitled A Destiny Beyond Death, sharing his understanding of the relationship between science and religion.

The Magic of Reality: Review

Cover ImageRuth Bancewicz reviews Richard Dawkins' latest book "The Magic of Reality" on the Test of Faith website. The review finds that there is much to appreciate in this book, especially Dawkins' sense of wonder at the natural world and the many beautiful illustrations and analogies, notwithstanding his underlying reliance on a logical positivist philosophy and a rather blunt treatment of metaphysics and myths.

 

Can a Christian be a Scientist? Ian Hutchinson at The Veritas Forum at MIT

Is it possible to be both a Christian and a scientist? Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, argues that it is, drawing from the testimony of history and of his own life.

 

The State of Science

The ConversationLeading Australian scientists including Ian Chubb, Penny Sackett and Stephan Lewandowsky share their thoughts on science education, scepticism, self-criticism and other topics in an extensive twelve-part series called "The State of Science" published by The Conversation.

Florey Medal Winner Prof. Graeme Clark

Prof. Graeme Clark, deveolper of the Bionic Ear wins the Florey medal.Prof. Clark is an ISCAST fellow and the Florey medal is awarded biennially to an Australian biomedical researcher for significant achievements in biomedical science and / or human health advancement.

The case for moral enhancement - 2011 Adelaide Festival of Ideas.

1043922The controversial Australian bioethicist Julian Savulescu has argued the case for a 'new eugenics' and that we have a moral obligation to pursue human perfection. Now, on ABC's All in the Mind program, Savulescu proposes that we should be using science and technology for moral enhancement itself.

Is the world unfinished?

Current IssueAn interesting article in the latest issue of Theology, (Nov.c 2011, Vol 114 #6, pages 403-413_ ), "Is the world unfinished? On interactions between science and theology in the concepts of nature, time and the future" by Jürgen Moltmann (the Boyle Lecture for 2011), with an acute response from Alan Torrance.

The (quite brief) lecture sets discussion of these issues in the context of long-term historical reflection in a very helpful way including an illuminating discussion of the 'two books' model (the scriptures and nature).

Science as Religion

illustration by Ian HeubertBarney Zwartz examines the assumptions that form the
foundation of the scientific enterprise in The Religious Write blog. Zwartz reviews the recent debate between the atheist physicist Alan Lightman and the atheist philosopher Daniel Dennet, noting their highly divergent views on the connections between science and faith.

Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access

“Treasures in the archive include Isaac Newton’s first published scientific paper, geological work by a young Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin’s celebrated account of his electrical kite experiment.”
 

All due respect - “Reasonable Atheism” by Aikin and Talisse reviewed

reasonable_atheismA review of ‘Reasonable Atheism’ in The Philosopher’s Magazine finds that the book is “a worthwhile read” for believers, atheists, and agnostics.

 

Link to article

 

The 2011 Australian Humanitarian Engineering Conference

Date: 30 November – 2 December
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Educate, Activate, Celebrate

Engineers Australia and Engineers Without Borders are proud to bring you imagineering - the Humanitarian Engineering Conference 2011, held at Etihad Stadium.
 

Does scientific enquiry preclude belief in God?

It is important now to reappropriate the contribution of Christians to the development of science in order to retell the story of science and religion in a new key.

 
ABC Religion and Ethics posted an opinion piece by Neil Ormerod titled Does scientific enquiry preclude belief in God?.
 

The psychopath in us all

1254880On ABC radio, research fellow at The Faraday Institute Kevin Dutton discusses the personalities of psychopaths.

Link to article

 

God and science with the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Richard Dawkins and Lisa Randal

1059891On BBC Radio 4, Andrew Marr discusses the wonders of the universe with Lisa Randall, Richard Dawkins and the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

The cosmologist Professor Randall looks at the how the latest developments in physics have the potential to alter radically our view of the world around us, and our place within it.

Questioning God: Faith and Atheism in Australia

Will Australia’s future be godless? Should there be chaplains in public schools? Should faith inform politics? Should religious belief be reflected in Australian law? Does scientific inquiry preclude belief in God? These are questions raised by the emergence of the ‘new atheism’ in Australia. They are serious questions not only for people of faith but for Australian society as a whole.

Christianity, Paganism and the Environment

My PhotoMick Pope writes on the Ethos Environment Blog: "As someone who has suggested Christians become active in caring for 'the environment' or more theologically correct 'the creation', even if it means being involved with, following information from and copying those who do not share our faith, I have been labelled a pagan. Is this fair?"

Picking your brains: what’s going on inside your head?

4667287296_9930258a94_b_1_The past 30 years have seen the most remarkable advances in the study of the brain. And the past ten have seen more advances in our understanding than all the other years combined.

 

Australian scientist Brian Schmidt wins Nobel Physics Prize

Brian SchmidtFor the first time since 1915, an Australian has taken home the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Astrophysicist Brian Schmidt last night became only the 12th Australian to win a Nobel prize, recognised for his ground-breaking research on supernovae and the expansion of the universe.

Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? - Audio

910896Audio is now availalble from Prof. Nancey Murphy's presentation at the Rollie Busch Memorial Lecture delivered at 7.30pm, Wednesday 24th August 2011, at Trinity Theological College, Brisbane.

Download link: Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?

Did Darwin Defeat God?

Cooperation, as an evolutionary development, implies no facile moral optimism. Cooperation can ultimately lead, in its transformed human state, to very great good or very great evil.Sarah Coakley, Professor of Divinity, gives an honest appraisal of the key problems that evolution proposes for theism, and develops some sophisticated responses, drawing on the Christian doctrines of Incarnation, Trinity and kenosis.

Particle discovery challenges Einstein law

Light speedPhysicists report that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos can travel faster than light, a finding that, if verified, would blast a hole in Einstein's theory of relativity.
 

Aboriginal DNA dates Australian arrival

DNA evidence shows the ancestors of modern Australian Aboriginals separated from other populations some 64,000 to 75,000 years ago. (iStockphoto)DNA sequencing of a 100-year-old lock of hair has established that Aboriginal Australians have a longer continuous association with the land than any other race of people.

Military robotics and ethics: A world of killer apps

beyond the bomb imageP.W.Singer's article in Nature regarding military robotics urges us “to wrestle with the implications of our technologies”.

Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen

Star Voyager: Exploring Space on ScreenACMI presents the world premiere of Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen, a major exhibition charting the history and future of space exploration as experienced through the moving image.

Alister McGrath videos online

The following is is a compilation of online videos featuring Prof. Alister McGrath, courtesy of his official Facebook page:

 
 

Where is everybody? Doing the maths on extra-terrestrial life

3654891414_a4a3dae010_b-1316053256Jon Borwein and David H. Bailey provide a primer on the mystery of Fermi's Paradox, and discuss several proposed resolutions, in The Conversation.

 

ISCAST Gippsland Update

585360ISCAST Gippsland is pleased to report that our event last Saturday night (Science & Religion: Where the real conflict lies - Discussion of Alvin Plantinga lecture) was a fantastic evening attended by an enthusiastic small group of scientists, philosophers, teachers and students. We have had lots of positive feedback from the night, and are planning to follow it up with future events geared at thinking Christians in the Gippsland area.

 

Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method

Aapone-20110826000340074468-remnant_star_discovered-originalIt may come as a big surprise to many, but there is actually no difference between how science works in astronomy and climate change – or any other scientific discipline for that matter, writes Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University.

What would Jesus hack?

Cybertheology: Just how much does Christian doctrine have in common with the open-source software movement? Quite a lot, argues Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit priest.

Philosophers vs Neuroscientists

Many neuroscientists believe free will is an illusion—and that they are on track to prove it. But a new report in Nature (September 1) highlights efforts by philosophers to convince these scientists to re-think their approach.
 

The Weak Case for the Multiverse

Cover Image: August 2011 Scientific American MagazineIn the past decade, many scientists have come to believe that ours is only one of many universes, and that the laws of physics may be different in each one. If this “multiverse” theory is correct, it would appear to resolve many fundamental issues about the nature of existence.

 

 

Science and religion – is the gap widening?

From ABC Australia:  The gulf between science and religion it seems has never been greater, new atheists hurl invective at believers, and fundamentalists dig deeper into their trenches. In between most simply gaze at the fireworks with bemusement. But to what extent is this sideshow a symptom of a deeper disconnect, one that should disturb us all?

Science v Faith: What's The Problem?

1222919Melissa Mack writes for Australian online paper InDaily about the science and faith conference currently being held at Tabor College in Adelaide, jointly organised by The Faraday Institute and Tabor College.
 

A Leap of Truth: Expanding the Paradigm

The BioLogos’ website features a number of clips from the forthcoming documentary ‘A Leap of Truth’, featuring Faraday advisory board members Prof. Alister McGrath and Revd Dr John Polkinghorne.

Click here

 

 

A Sense of Awe: science, faith and wonder

ABC Radio National's Encounter program is hosting a conversation called A Sense of Awe: science, faith and wonder produced by Chris Mulherin.

Book Review: The Great Partnership

 
Jonathan Sacks' book The Great Partnership was reviewed in the Church Newspaper on Friday August 19, 2011.

 

The Nature of Nature

The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in ScienceISI has released an expansive compendium called 'The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science", which is now widely available at a very affordable price. At over 900 pages and 500,000 words, the book features over forty essays from an extremely diverse field of philosophers and thinkers including Alvin Plantinga, Robert Koons, Stephen Meyer, Michael Shermer, Alan Guth, Nancey Murphy, Roger Penrose, John Searle, Dallas Willard, Michael Behe, Michael Ruse, William Lane Craig and Howard Van Till.

Neuroethics

Table of contentsThe ethical challenges of memory-dampening drugs are likely to be manageable and the pay-offs considerable says Adam Kolber in Nature.

Link to story 

 

 

SciSpy Expo - This Weekend

Event Photo 
Sci-Spy, discover the science around you!

Celebrating National Science Week 2011 at Monash Gippsland on Sunday 21 August, 12 noon.

 

 

More Educated, More Religious

Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measuresCNN reports on a recent study in the US into the correlation between levels of education and levels of religious belief. It turns out that the secularist truism "more educated = less religious" is not accurate. It all boils down to what you mean by "religious".

The New Universe and the Human Future

accessA review of Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack’s Yale University Press-published book on developing a “shared cosmology”. The book has received positive reviews from Desmond Tutu, Martin Rees and Paul Davies.

Artificial life research triggers concerns

cell

Anna Salleh from ABC News discusses a debate held at the University of Sydney regarding synthetic biology.

 Read full article

Mars 500 crew breaks endurance record

MarsEnclosed in a metal spacecraft, the Mars500 crew have endured 438 days of isolation, living on a spartan diet of cereal bars and pasta with precious little contact with friends and family back home.

Artificial Life

Denis Overbye reports for the New York Times on the latest attempts by scientists to create life artificially in the lab. By some accounts, they are getting very close indeed.

Emergence: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

343377What is emergence? Ross McKenzie explains this key concept in science and religion using examples from different areas of science. The concept of emergence is examined from both philosophical and theological standpoints. The key question is, does it have an relevance for our lives today?

Pathways to development

P2D FlyerAre you interested in working in aid and development within Australia or overseas? Do you see Climate Change as a social justice issue but not sure how we can address this?

Engineers Without Borders presents 'Pathways to Development': a weekend-long workshop for anyone with an interest in development work. Gain skills, learn more and listen to experiences of returned develoment volunteers.

Malaria vaccine to be released in Queensland's Griffith University

mosquitoA malaria vaccine expected to protect against all known strains of the deadly disease will be launched at a Queensland university this week.

Medically Supervised Injecting Centres - A Good Idea or Not?

Engage Faith. Life. Together.The issue of medically supervised (“safe”) injecting rooms polarises the community, and many Christians are strongly opposed to the idea. But drug and alcohol physician Alan Gijsbers examines the arguments on both sides of the debate for Engage.mail.

Lennox/Singer debate streamed online

Is There a God?For those who cannot attend this week's debate between John Lennox / Peter Singer in Melbourne, you can catch the online stream one day later (delay due to time-zone difference) for only $1.99

The debate, on the topic "Is There a God?" will take place at 7pm on Wednesday July 20th at the Melbourne Town Hall. 

Climate debate 'appalling' says Chief Scientist

Professor 's retirement didn't last too long.Australia's Chief Scientist, , has lamented the quality of public debate on climate change, saying it ''borders on appalling'' and the level of scientific literacy among politicians is ''not high'', reports The Age.
 

2011 New College Lectures - The Future of Theology

The 2011 New College Lectures will be held from the 27-29 September and will feature three ‘younger’ theologians who will explore the theme, ‘The future of theology’. This is a theme that has an eschatological foundation and the hope that resurrection brings (1 Peter 1:3). 

New Zealand Course: The New Atheism - A Christian Response

The New Atheism - A Christian Response
Date: 2-3 September 2011
Where: Dunedin, New Zealand

The New Atheists claim that believers in ‘the god hypothesis’ should not be tolerated, but should be actively countered and the shoddy arguments supporting their beliefs should be exposed. Leaders among the New Atheists have launched a broadside against all religious beliefs, but have given special attention to the claims of Christianity.

Christian Union Event

Changed foreverEvent: Science & Religion seminar @ Christian Union 'Super Summit'
Date: Tuesday 5th July, 2010, 4:00-5:30pm
Location: Philip Island Adventure Resort, Cowes, Philip Island
Description: James Garth will be running a 90-minute workshop on “Science and Religion” as part of the Christian Union “Super Summit” event.

Borderlands Seminar

The first annual Borderlands Seminar was a great success, with Professor Tom McLeish, Durham University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research. Tom explored ‘the Borderlands of Science and Faith.'  If you would like to watch the seminar, it was broadcast online and is available here

Majority of U.S. students believe science and religion are not in conflict: survey

Journal for the Scientific Study of ReligionDr. Scot McKnight writes on the Jesus Creed blog about a recent study conducted by Christopher Scheitle from Penn State which was reported in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50, p. 175 (2011) U.S. College Students’ Perception of Religion and Science: Conflict, Collaboration, or Independence? A Research Note. Respondents were asked to select whether they believed the relationship between religion and science was once of independence, collaboration, or conflict:

Scientists trap antimatter

Cern: Globe of InnovationAt the Cern particle collider in Geneva, physicists have created and trapped 309 antihydrogen atoms for a record amount of time, up to 1,000 seconds (just over 16 minutes). Their findings are published in this month's edition of Nature Physics.

Life, science and... everything

Sir Gus Nossal.Prominent Australian research biologist Sir Gustav Nossal discusses science, vaccinations, climate change, uncertainty and belief in a wide-ranging interview with Jo Chandler in The Age.

 

Why God won’t go away: Lunchtime talk in St Margaret's Church with Prof. Alister McGrath

Prof. Alister McGrath, one of the world’s leading authorities on Richard Dawkins and the New Atheism, speaks about the challenges of radical secularism. Beginning from the premise that New Atheism is the start of an important theological conversation, Prof McGrath moves on to discuss some of the major themes and a Christian critique of them. *Please note the last few minutes of the talk was not recorded*

More than matter?

More Than Matter: Is Matter All We Really Are?, Keith Ward, PaperbackMark Vernon reviews Keith Ward's latest book "More Than Matter?" in the May/June issue of Philosophy Now magazine. In his book, Ward comes down squarely on the side of the dualists and idealists in the major intellectual battle currently underway about what it is to be human, suggesting that materialism is inadequate in areas of scientific investigation such as quantum physics and consciousness, and that "human persons are not accidental mistakes in a pointless perambulation of fundamental particles. They are a window into the inner reality, value, and purpose of the cosmos."

God's Undertaker: has science buried God?

Professor John Lennox will deliver a stimulating and provocative lecture on the alleged conflict between faith and science.

When July 22nd, 2011 7:30 PM through 10:30 PM

Location Melbourne City Conference Centre, The Auditorium, 333 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Hawking's view of heaven "sub-biblical", argues Wright

In the Bible "heaven" isn't the place where people go when they die. In the Bible heaven is God's space while earth (or "the cosmos" or "creation") is our spaceProminent scholar N.T. Wright has weighed into the debate over Stephen Hawking's recent comments dismissing heaven as a "fairy story for people afraid of the dark". According to Wright, Hawking's views on heaven are very low-grade and bear little resemblance to the sophisticated views of Christian theism: "In the Bible, "heaven" isn't "the place where people go when they die.", in the Bible heaven is God's space while earth - or, if you like, "the cosmos" or "creation" - is our space."

Is There a God?

Is There a God?

This summer Fixed Point will be sponsoring a debate in Melbourne, Australia on the topic "Is There a God?" The debate will feature Princeton University Bio-ethicist and atheist Peter Singer and Oxford University Professor and Christian John Lennox. When: July 20th, 2011.

Tickets are on sale now.

Event Invitation: Searching for God in a Time of Doubt

Searching for God in a Time of Doubt - Frank Brennan SJ will be interviewing a very interesting Czech thinker - Tomas Halik from Prague. 
Date: June 1st @ 6pm
Venue: Newman College, Parkville.

Christians In Science Northern Conference

Talks and resources from CiS's recent Northern Conference are now available online. Featured talks linclude:

Australia develops hypersonic spacecraft

blog post photoAustralia wants to show the world it is serious about space and is using years of well-honed hypersonic know-how to prove it by developing technology for a scramjet-based system for access to space, writes Guy Norris of Aviation Week.

Fractals and the Mind of God

AZ.jpgSir John Houghton discusses fractals, their intricacy, beauty and uncanny similiarity with patterns found in nature, in the May 2011 edition of Third Way magazine:
"Many scientists, in emphasizing the dominance of chance processes in the universe, have argued for the absence of purpose and meaning within it. The emergence of fractals over a very wide range of scientific disciplines, I believe, encourages us to question such arguments.

Science, certainty and value judgements

Ian LoweAustralian intellectual Ian Lowe discusses philosophy of science and the political impact of scientific uncertainty in his essay from Edition 31 of the Griffith Review; entitled "The crumbling wall: Science, certainty and value judgements". Lowe utilizes Kuhn's concept of "scientific revolutions" and its application to the progressive development of scientific theories of continental drift, big-bang cosmology, and climate change.

On the 'Moral Landscape'

imageCultural and intellectual historian Jackson Lears has published a comprehensive critique of Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values" in the May 16th edition of The Nation. Lears finds Harris' approach to be seriously deficient, based on underdeveloped neuroscientific inferences and relying on a confused philosophical blend of reductionism and consequentialism that is reminiscent of widely-discredited early 20th century positivism.

Christianity and Science in Historical Perspective, by Ted Davis

Ask the person on the street for an opinion about science and religion, and you are likely to hear something about a confrontation. This article by Prof. Ted Davis turns the debate upside down, and shows how Christianity played an important part in the emergence of science as we know it.

Faith confronts the ‘why’ of disaster

girl in rubble in japanWhile Science can tell us how an earthquake or tsunami happens, faith asks ‘why?', writes Canon Dr Andrew McGowan, Warden of Trinity College, the University of Melbourne:
 

Tabor-Faraday Conference 2011

Science and Faith: Conflict or Conversation?
Date: Tuesday 30 August – Thursday 1 September 2011

Graeme Clark Research Institute Launch

Graeme Clark Research Institute Launch
Date: 29 August 2011, 4pm
Venue: Tabor Adelaide

The Graeme Clark Research Institute (GCRI) is a new initiative that is being established to conduct, facilitate and promote research and development within Tabor Adelaide in the broad context of Christian service to the community.

The Elusive Notion of Proof

Faith & CommunityHow do non scientists assess scientific evidence? How certain is the science or can it be? Murray Hogg, engineer and theologian, discusses these issues in the latest Engage.mail.

 

University of Cambridge Video Archive

University of CambridgeThe University of Cambridge has developed a special section on their website where an extensive archive of lectures and seminars from the Faraday Institute can be streamed or downloaded in a number of convenient formats.

McGrath on ABC Blog

A century ago, the scientific consensus believed in the eternity of the universe. It had always existed. Religious language about "creation" or a "beginning" was seen as mythological nonsenseIn a new blog on the ABC Religion and Ethics site, Alister McGrath answers the question "Has Science Killed God?" with a resounding No, drawing on William Lane Craig, Peter Medawar, and even Stephen Jay Gould to make his case.

A Rosy Future For Planet Earth?

leafcutter antsMarek Kohn writes for The Guardian on a new book by Tim Flannery entitled "Here on Earth: A New Beginning". He reviews it critically, questioning the weight which its author assigns to the argument that the ideas of Alfred Russell Wallace hold the key to sustainable existence on earth.

Look, no embryos! The future of 'ethical stem cells'

stem cellsFor years, ethical issues hampered progress in stem cell research. Now, experts believe that developments in reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells will truly revolutionise the treatment of life-threatening illnesses. Alok Jha from the Guardian provides an informative overview of this technology.

Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?

Prof. Colin Humphreys

 

A movie, ppt slides, audio and a transcript of the James Gregory Public Lecture from 3rd March, 2011, "Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?" by Sir Colin Humphreys is now available.

Christian Reverence For Science

The UniverseAndrew Hamilton writes for Eureka Street on the relationship between science and Christianity, considering the conflicts associated with Galileo and Darwin, among other issues.

Read full article  

Community Conversations in Science and Christianity

111496Those involved with ISCAST are deeply aware of the suspicion, even the hostility, with which science and its practitioners are often met in the Christian community. It’s a situation which ISCAST aspires to remedy and so it was with no small excitement that we discovered the John Templeton Foundation addressing this very problem through their 2010 funding priority “Religious Leadership in an Age of Science.”

AAS Science of Climate Change Document

The Australian Academy of Sciences has produced a document called The Science of Climate Change - Questions and Answers which aims to explain the current situation in climate science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist.

New Book by Collins & Giberson

The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine QuestionsFamed geneticist Francis Collins and science/religion scholar Karl Giberson have just published The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions, a non-fiction volume for the general reader that tackles difficult and controversial questions in the religion-and-science dialogue in a style that is both intelligent and accessible.

The God Experiment

523941Jeremy Stangroom interviews physicist Russell Stannard on the further development of his prayer experiment, in which two groups of heart surgery patients are compared, one prayed for, and the other not.

Exoplanets, Life and Human Significance

1282239Prior to giving the Faraday Institute lecture on Tuesday 1st March, NASA astronomer Dr Jennifer Wiseman was interviewed by Woman's Hour about the search for exoplanets and how science and faith are integrated in her work and life.

Exploring the Universe

Ruth Bancewicz discusses exoplanets, intelligent life, human significance and C.S.Lewis on the Science and Belief blog

 

Only breed smart babies: Ethicist

Test tube in centrifugeAN Australian ethicist has advocated genetically screening embryos to create superior "designer babies" with higher IQs.

 

Bishop John Warwick Wilson 1937-2011

Bishop John Wilson, former Bishop of the Southern Region, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, died recently after a long battle with cancer. We in ISCAST are all of course saddened by John's death. He was a good friend to ISCAST and attended many meetings over the years as time permitted. Both he and his wife, Jill, attended COSAC07 at Geelong, to hear Professor Alister McGrath speaking about the nature of reality.

Responsible Dominion

Christian Books SummarizedResponsible Dominion: A Christian Approach to Sustainable Development 

Book by Ian Hore-Lacey

Christian Book Summaries have provided a summary of this book which you can download here or from their website.

Neuroscience And The Soul

Nancey MurphyDr Nancey Murphy surveys the history of personhood on the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences website, and asks whether modern reductionist accounts of what it means to be human are fundamentally incompatible with the Christian faith.

Link to article

McGrath wins 2011 Christianity Today Award

 Alister McGrath's recent book "The Passionate Intellect" has won the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award for Apologetics / Evangelism.

"McGrath illustrates how theology transforms our thinking and behavior, and how true apologetics engages not only the mind but also the heart and imagination. His critique of the New Atheism is brilliant."

Upcoming Events on Climate Change with Michael Northcott

Hobart: 25 February 2011
Climate Change and the Communion of Saints

Melbourne: 4 & 5 March 2011
Climate Change and the Call to Transformation
 

From Where I Stand: Evolution conference invites us all to a 'new beginning'

From Where I StandSr. Joan Chittister's lastest column has been posted to NCRonline.org.

The theological implications of evolution, the social and religious issues inherent in interfaith cooperation, and the kinds of personal spiritual conversion necessary if global justice and national accountability is ever to be achieved are boiling up everywhere while the world ignores them.

Preparing for a Close Encounter

An alien from Mars Attacks!An extraterrestrial-themed edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A has been published. In it, scientists examine all aspects of the search for extraterrestrial life, from astronomy and biology to the political and religious fallout that would result from alien contact.

Universe captured in mind-boggling detail by Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IIIAstronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey release SDSS-III, the most detailed picture of the universe ever made.

Read more

The Ethical Dilemmas of Euthanasia

imageDr Megan Best, a bioethicist and palliative care doctor in Sydney writes about the complex issues in the euthanasia debate in 'Life's End', the latest issue of CASE magazine.

A selection of more detailed articles from Dr Best are available on the CASE website:

It is not only humans that matter to God

butterfly on  flowersScripture supports the view that care for creation is an act of worship, argues Meteorologist Mick Pope in The Melbourne Anglican.

Read full article

Astrotheology: Religious Reflections On Extraterrestrial Lifeforms

Ted PetersTed Peters writes on the possible implications of discovering that we are not alone in the universe for the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

"How should theologians reflect on the religious implications of what seems to be the imminent discovery of extraterrestrial life? Will it make a difference if this extraterrestrial life is intelligent or not? Will it make a difference if this extraterrestrial life form is superior to us, perhaps more intelligent than we human earthlings?

Everything you think you know about the Dark Ages is wrong

Author Nancy Marie Brown has released a new book entitled The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages (Basic Books; December 2010) which explores the fascinating story of "The Scientist Pope", Gerbert of Aurillac, Pope Sylvester II.

The Cover Up: Wendy Sharpe and the poetry of Genesis

CPX Fellow Bronwen Hanna reflects on what art and Genesis have to communicate about what it means to be human.

Link to article 

Freedom And The Soul


A blog from the Thomas More Institute explains the traditional Christian understanding of the soul, and hence of human freedom. It is argued that determinism is an inadequate conception of the human person.

 

Christians In Science Conference

177967CiS held a conference entitled "The Christian Roots Of Modern Science - Learning from the Past" on Saturday 30th October 2010, at St Paul 's Church, Robert Adam Street , London.  The audio files can be downloaded at the site below, and the talks given were as follows:

New Book: Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics

Book cover: Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to MetaphysicsEdited by Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen

Cambridge University Press, November 2010

Many scientists regard mass and energy as the primary currency of nature. In recent years, however, the concept of information has gained importance. Why? In this book, eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians chart various aspects of information, from quantum information to biological and digital information, in order to understand how nature works.

Australian Centre for Space Engineering and Research

Regrowth in Murrindindi after the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, when the Country Fire Authority was helped by pictures from a Chinese satellite.UNSW has launched the Australian Centre for Space Engineering and Research (ACSER), using $4.7 million from Australia's space research program to investigate ways of flying satellites in formation to create super-accurate models of the Earth's surface. Australian researchers, in collaboration with some of the best minds around the world, will develop new satellite technologies that will greatly enhance earth observation and navigation services.

Upcoming John Lennox book responding to Stephen Hawking

The mathematician and philosopher of science Professor John Lennox will be releasing a short book in January entitled "God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway?"

Lennox recently gave a major interview in the Times on November 17th, during which he presented the case that God did indeed create the univese, and discussed in-depth his personal views on intelligent design, evolution and the relationship between science and the Christian faith.

Does The Universe Have A Purpose?

1005288This question was debated last weekend in Puebla Mexico, the newly dubbed Ciudad de las ideas (City of Ideas) at the third annual International Festival of Great Minds. Contributing speakers included Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig.

Pope lifts ban on condoms to fight AIDS

Thumbnail image for video asset.Pope Benedict XVI has given Catholics permission to use condoms to fight AIDS in a historic shift welcomed yesterday by theologians and health experts.

James Gregory Lecture

Pauline Rudd being presented with the James Gregory medal by Eric Priest and Alan TorranceProf Pauline Rudd's recent Gregory lecture on "Is there more to life than genes" is now available at:
http://www.jamesgregory.org/pauline_rudd.php

The next Gregory lecture will be on March 3rd 2011, entitled "Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?". It will be presented by Sir Colin Humphreys CBE from the Dept of Materials Science at Cambridge, who was knighted last June for services to physics.

The Great Brain Debate

Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE and Deloitte Digital’s Peter Williams debated "The role social technology plays in society and the knowledge community - is it a blessing or hindrance?" at the Keynote Plenary Session at the Melbourne 2010 Knowledge Cities World Summit on 18th November.

Hawking’s ‘theory of everything’ leaves out God

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (pictured left) says in his latest book* that the big questions of life can be answered “within the realms of science.” Stephen Ames explains why he thinks such a conclusion is flawed.

Stephen Hawking says the laws of nature tell us how our universe behaves but do not answer the big questions: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other? I agree. Hawking says he has a scientific answer for all three questions and so, goodbye God. I disagree, as I hope to make clear.

Lawrence Ernest (Lawrie) Lyons: 26 May 1922 - 14 October 2010

Lawrie Lyons was a fine Christian and excellent scientist, motivated in both by his strong faith in the Lord. And what a motivation that was! He was respected nationally and internationally for his pioneering work on the electrical and photo-conductivity of organic materials and in the Christian community for his long-standing commitment to the dialogue between Science and Christianity from an evangelical point of view. In 1989 he was the founder of ISCAST and its first President. Before moving to Brisbane in 1963, he was the prime mover in founding Christian Halls of Residence at Universities in Sydney.

Quantum Reality: Exploring the Cutting Edge

By Rod Dreher – Director of Publications, John Templeton Foundation

For centuries, Western science and philosophy has been built on the bedrock understanding that there is a clear difference between the material and the immaterial—or, in theological terms, between the natural and the supernatural. What if new scientific findings hinted that the distinction might present an inaccurate view of reality? Observations like that, if proven, would cause a revolution in thought.

Climate change: A Summary of the Science

Climate change continues to be a subject of intense public and political debate. Because of the level of interest in the topic the Royal Society has produced a new guide to the science of climate change. The guide summarises the current scientific evidence on climate change and its drivers, highlighting the areas where the science is well established, where there is still some debate, and where substantial uncertainties remain.

Bionic ear inventor receives Lister Medal

PROFESSOR Graeme Clark AC, the inventor of the bionic ear, has been recognised for his contribution to surgical science by being awarded the prestigious Lister Medal, the third Australian to receive the medal since it was established in the 1920s.

Sir Martin Rees on science, theology and cosmology

In this extended interview in The Independent, the Astronomer Royal and outgoing President of the Royal Society, Sir Martin Rees talks candidly about science education, climate change, philosophy and theology, and the challenges humanity faces in surviving the 21st century.

Converging on the Web - the Map of Life

Simon Conway Morris is one of the world’s top biologists and a leading scholar of evolutionary convergence, the idea that all life evolves toward similar adaptations, using very different routes. The Cambridge University paleobiologist has recently launched Map of Life, a comprehensive Web resource for students, academics, and other readers curious to learn more about convergence.

Religion Has Scant Effect on Environmental Views, Poll Suggests

Few Americans say their religion influences their environmental views, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

Scientists reveal HIV cell mystery

Melbourne researchers have discovered a crucial mechanism of HIV, boosting hopes of a cure for the virus that affects more than 33 million people worldwide.  

Curbs on war robots urged

The rapid proliferation of military drone planes and armed robots should be subject to international legal controls, conferences in London and Berlin will argue this month.

September's Conversations with the Archbishop

Join Archbishop Philip Freier as he discusses healing mental illness, with guests Professor Patrick McGorry and Kerry Graham, at 7.30 am on Wednesday the 15th of September at BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square.

Scientists respond to Stephen Hawking

Eminent scientists, theologians and philosophers have mounted a strong response to Stephen Hawking, challenging his recent assertation that science renders God unnecessary in the creation of the universe.

Scientists respond to Stephen Hawking

Eminent scientists, theologians and philosophers have mounted a strong response to Stephen Hawking, challenging his recent assertation that science renders God unnecessary in the creation of the universe.

Faraday media news feed

The Faraday Institute sends out a daily news feed to anyone interested which picks up current stories on science and religion out in the media, giving an idea of what the story is about and providing the relevant web-address. Typically there are 5-10 URL links per day. Many people take this free news feed service for personal interest, but others in order to contribute to the media discussion themselves.

Presentation - Atheism & belief: the difference Jesus makes

The lecture on Atheism & belief: the difference Jesus makes given by Dr Greg Clarke on 13 March, 2010 at BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne, is now available as a video and mp3.

"How Many are Your Works?" On Christians and Biodiversity

Ahead of the upcoming 'Groaning Creation - Biodiversity & the Bible' conference (November 20), Mick Pope of 'ETHOS Environment' (and an ISCAST Fellow) reflects on our role in God's wondrous creation.

ESA Mars Express takes hi-res images of ancient Mars crater

New images of the "Footprint Crater", or Orcus Patera, taken by the Mars Express probe have intrigued and puzzled Mars-watchers as they hope to discover the origin of this mysterious 385km long depression.

 

New "Celebrating God's Creation": An All-Age Service Resource

Test of FAITH, in partnership with the Bible Society (UK) has developed a free all-age church service resource which includes ideas for songs, hymns, prayers and liturgy, children’s/all-age activities and sermon notes.

Three videos were developed especially for this service and are dramatic readings of the recommended passages for the service, using visual footage from the Test of Faith documentary.

Dr John Forge on the Morality of Weapons Research

Those who appreciated James Garth's recent presentation on "New Developments in Military Technology" may also be interested in this alternate perspective presented by Dr John Forge in his talk on "The Morality of Weapons Research" delivered to the Sydney Philosophy Forum on 25 June 2010.

Winners for 2010 Eureka Prizes announced

The innovation and dedication of Australia's top scientists have been recognised with the announcement of the winners of the 2010 Eureka Prizes.

"The rigorous science celebrated by the Eureka Prizes demonstrates the vital work being done by our scientists in offices, laboratories and in the field all year ‘round.

US judge reverses Obama stem cell ruling

A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research, ruling that the work violates a law passed by the US Congress to bar federal funding of the destruction of human embryos.

State Library of Victoria

Did you know that if you are a resident of Victoria you are entitled to free access to the State Library of Victoria external database? This database contains extensive access to a wide variety of resources, including reputable science & technology and theology journals, e-books and encyclopaedias.

Dr Ruth Bancewicz Blog

                                                
Biologist and Project Leader for the Test of FAITH materials, Dr Ruth Bancewicz, now has a personal blog at http://scienceandbelief.wordpress.com/
 
                                                                        

Books of Distinction Campaign

                                     
A reminder that ISCAST members can obtain quality Science and Religion books at a 20% discount off the cover price from the following website as part of the "Books of Distinction" campaign:
                                            

Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins

          
In this new book from the Faraday Institute, Denis Alexander and Ronald Numbers (eds) bring together fourteen experts to examine the varied ways science has been used and abused for non-scientific purposes from the seventeeth century to the present day.
 

Divine activity through evolution long accepted

In The Melbourne Anglican, Dr David Young explores the history of the growth of modern science in the 18th and 19th centuries and explores the Revd Frederick Temple's thoughts on divine activity working through the laws of nature, and how his thinking had deep roots in Christian theology.

New articles of interest from Big Questions Online

Big Questions Online, the Templeton Foundation's newest publishing venture, recently launched with a full slate of columns, blogs, and other features. Also, check out this coverage of BQO in the New York Times.
                                  

An Eye in the Biggest of Skies

On July 5, the European Space Agency finally released the long-awaited data from the Planck satellite, which has been studying the fading afterglow of the Big Bang that gave birth to the universe 13.7 billion years ago.
  

The Limits of the Coded World

What if science could predict your every move?

A famous study foresaw certain actions of monkeys by reading their neurons. But how far could this go? And what would it mean for human beings?
  

Videos from the World Science Festival in NY now available

A selection of videos from the recent World Science Festival, held in New York from June 2 to 6, are now available online: :                                                                                                     

 

Jennifer Wiseman appointed head of AAAS DoSER

Prominent astrophysicist and Christian Dr Jennifer Wiseman has been appointed head of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, an organisation which promotes communication between scientific and religious communities.

Invitation to the ASA Annual Meeting, USA

TO: All members of the Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology:

We are pleased to invite all members of ISCAST to register for the 2010 ASA annual meeting at ASA member rates.

 

ISSR Libraries to be distributed worldwide.

Applications are solicited from universities, research centers and other institutions for complete sets of hundreds of the most important books in science and religion.

The International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR), the world’s leading learned society in the field of science and religion, will select up to 150 institutions on a  competitive basis to receive libraries consisting of approximately 225 matching hardbound volumes accompanied by a comprehensive Companion edition written by Society members that summarizes and critiques each volume.

The Synthetic Cell

The BioCentre website discusses the impact of Dr Craig Venter's recent pioneering achievement in synthesizing a bacterial genome and using it to create the world's first "synthetic cell". Dr Venter believes the organism - nicknamed Synthia - offers the potential to pave the way for beneficial developments; including complex synthetic organisms that can transform environmental waste into clean fuel, vaccinate against disease and soak up pollution. But his development has also triggered debate over the ethics of "playing god" and the dangers the new technology could pose in terms of biological hazards and warfare.

Dembski's "The End of Christianity": Review by Falk & Blake

Darrell Falk and Stephen Blake from The BioLogos Foundation have provided a fascinating, positive review of William Dembski's recent book "The End of Christianity", in which Dembski shifts gears from his traditional concern of ID and instead focuses on the question of theodicy. Blake notes that "Dembski examines the perspectives of both Young and Old Earth Creationism, and finally dismisses both as fatally flawed on theological grounds".

DNA molecular 'spiderbot' created

US scientists have created a molecular robot made out of DNA that walks like a spider along a track made out of the chemical code for life.  The achievement, reported in the journal Nature, is a further step in nanoscale experiments that, one day, may lead to robot armies to clean arteries and fix damaged tissues.  The robot is just four nanometres, four billionths of a metre, in diameter.

Are Scientists Really Anti-Religious?

Science V ReligionIn her new book, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think (Oxford University Press), Elaine Howard Ecklund provides the first systematic study of what scientists actually think and feel about religion.

A sociologist at Rice University, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them, with the support of a grant from the Templeton Foundation.

The Mind - Brain or Spirit?

Video and slides from Dr Bill Newsome's public lecture on "The Mind - Brain or Spirit" on Thursday, 29 April 2010 are now available from the James Gregory website.

http://www.jamesgregory.org/bill_newsome.php

 

Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory returns first images

Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory has provided an astonishing new vista on our turbulent star. "When we see these fantastic images," said Lika Guhathakurta, the SDO programme scientist at Nasa Headquarters, "even hard-core solar physicists like myself are struck with awe, literally,"

More on this story from BBC News

    

‘The Bible in the Life of the Church’ project – what’s it all about?

Extract from an article written for Brisbane's FOCUS monthly by Charles Sherlock.

The immediate need: sex and the scriptures
Anglicans around the globe have been arguing about women, men and God for a generation, but mostly managed to live together. In the past dozen or so years, however, as the argument has focussed on same-sex relationships, divisions have appeared. Many African and other bishops boycotted Lambeth 2008, protesting the actions of some North American Anglicans.

Quantum uncertainty and the action of God

Quantum physics may give us a glimpse into understanding how God acts in the physical world. John Pilbrow reflects.

Read the full story on The Melbourne Anglican website.

           

Royal astronomer urges Australia to 'step up' on climate change

Noted cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society of Britain and Astronomer Royal, said yesterday that although Australia accounted for only 1 per cent of global emissions, it was a country with great capacity for innovation, and, as such, should ''step up''.

Hadron test goes off with a big bang

                                    
The world's biggest atom smasher last night collided particles at record power, mimicking conditions close to the Big Bang and opening a new era in the quest for the secrets of the universe.

 

Special announcement: Francis Ayala Wins 2010 Templeton Prize

Francisco J. Ayala, an evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist who has vigorously opposed the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two, has won the 2010 Templeton Prize.

 

CERN Atom Smasher Reaches Record For Beam Energy.

The AP (3/19, Higgins) reported, "Operators of the world's largest atom smasher on Friday ramped up their massive machine to three times the energy ever previously achieved, in the run-up to experiments probing the secrets of the universe."

 

Future science: the next 10 years

New worlds, new life, new bodies: just some of the breakthroughs we may see by 2020, predict a panel of leading Australian scientists interviewed by ABC Science.

There have been some incredible leaps forward in science in the past decade. It's difficult to imagine what life was like before Wi-Fi, and hard to believe how much we've discovered about Mars. And it's only seven years since the entire human genome was sequenced, yet since then, scientists have cracked the genomes of dozens more species.

Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit

Krista Tippett, host of the award-winning public radio show Speaking of Faith has recently released a new book, Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit which presents ten Speaking of Faith programs exploring the relationship between science and religion.                                 
                                                                                                        

Videos from JTF's 'Big Question' Discussion

Three distinguished scholars explored the Big Question of "Does Evolution Explain Human Nature?" during a recent discussion sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, Yale University, and Discover magazine. The panel featured Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown University; Laurie Santos, a Yale psychologist and primate specialist; and David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary theorist at Binghamton University.

Are science and faith incompatible?

On the weekend of March 13-14, Melbourne will host the Global Atheism Convention, with Richard Dawkins as a main speaker. No doubt the airwaves, as well as letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the print media and numerous blogs will endlessly recycle a persistent urban myth about the relationship between science and faith.

Save the Date: STARS Conference, April 23-24

Save the Date, April 23-24,2010, Berkeley, CA. The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) will be hosting a special two-day event this coming April celebrating STARS research. You will meet Paul Davies, internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and STARS keynote lecturer, who will tell us how the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) can succeed. You will also meet two of the outstanding STARS teams and hear the latest results of their work on virtue ethics in light of the neurosciences and on how a capacity for interpreting the environment helped enable the evolution of life and undergird human openness to transcendence.

God and the Big Bang

Audio, video and lecture notes from David Wilkinson's recent lecture on "God and the Big Bang" is now available.

Go to the James Gregory website and follow the links.

 

Launch of Ethos: EA's Centre for Theology of Society

Ethos: EA's Centre for Theology of Society has commenced and will be launched on Sat 27th March. Ethos combines the operations of EA's Department of Public Theology with those of Zadok institute for Christianity and Culture. Come along and support this exciting new venture that will offer theological and ethical thinking and comment to a broad range of groups in Australia.

A conversation with Sarah Darwin and Tall Ship experience

Date: Thursday 25 February 2010
Time: 5.45pm (tallship tours from 4pm)
Venue: Nelson Room, Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place Williamstown (Melways 56 E10). Entry off Nelson Place (metered parking)

Sarah is Charles Darwin’s great, great granddaughter and a biologist. She is retracing her ancestor’s steps on the Dutch clipper Stad Amsterdam for TV station VPRO.

Science, Religion and the Truth of Genesis

The recent ABC audio interview featuring Rev Stephen Ames, Dr Mick Pope and Dr Shane Clifton is now available for download from the Sunday Nights site.

 

Climate wars give science bad name

UNIVERSITY leaders are pressing for a public campaign to restore the intellectual and moral authority of Australian science in the wake of the climate wars, writes Luke Slattery in The Australian.

 

Desmond Tutu's genome sequenced as part of genetic diversity study

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has become the latest prominent figure to have his full genome deciphered, scientists revealed today.

The South African clergyman and human rights campaigner agreed to the procedure as part of a study into the breadth of human genetic diversity and the role an individual's genetic makeup plays in their health.

God Science DVD now available from CPX

CPX has released an exciting new DVD containing interviews with a host of prominent scientists, historians and philosophers examining the place of faith in an age of science. The DVD is now available for pre-order from their online store.

 

Incoming President's Address Video Now Available

Alan Gijsbers' address from COSAC 2009 is now available on the website.

http://www.iscast.org/video_incoming_presidents_address_2009

 

 

Newton on Stage

“God is the same God, always and everywhere. . . . In him are all things contained and moved; yet neither affects the other. God suffers nothing from the motion of bodies. [And] bodies find no resistance from the omnipresence of God."

Many would be surprised to discover that the author of these theological musings is none other than Sir Isaac Newton.

 

The Next Revolution in Biology

“In every field of science, when it’s successful, you think you understand all of it,” says Martin Nowak, professor of mathematics and biology at Harvard University. “In classical mechanics,” he explains, “there was a time when physicists thought, ‘Well, that’s all there is. If I know the place of the particles in the universe, I can predict the future.’ But then came quantum mechanics and relativity theory. There was a total revolution.” Nowak is hard at work trying to launch another revolution, this time in evolutionary biology. “Our understanding of evolution,” he says, “is very incomplete.”

Simon Conway Morris' personal story - Coming to faith

The Cambridge Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology is unusually candid about why he rejected materialism and became a Christian in this short video posted on the Test of Faith website and Facebook group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V0HbJHDXOs

 

NASA / Australia space alliance reviewed

As the 50th anniversary of a key agreement that governs Australia's involvement with NASA's space program approaches; a more strategic and forward-looking treaty is being considered by the government, writes Ari Sharp in the SMH.
 

 

Charles Taylor on Faith and Scientific Progress

Mark Vernon (pictured left) writes in The Guardian: "Is science closer to religion than is typically assumed? Is religion closer to science? Might rational enquiry, based on evidence, share similarities with faith? These questions were raised by Charles Taylor, the distinguished Canadian philosopher, speaking at a Cambridge University symposium (pdf).

 

Meyer and Falk explore the Cell

 The BioLogos blog "Science and the Sacred" has posted a fascinating and mature dialogue between Dr Stephen C. Meyer and Dr Darrel Falk regarding Meyer's new book "Signature in the Cell".
 

Falk: http://www.biologos.org/blog/response-to-darrel-falks-review-of-signature-in-the-cell/
 

Test of FAITH Youth Material - Second Installment

The final instalment of the free online material for leaders of Christian youth groups is now available at http://www.testoffaith.com/youth/.

There are four sessions for 11-14s, and five for 14-18s, plus a leader's guide that covers the basic background to the issues.

Darwin's Test of Faith: Lessons from a Victorian Agnostic, by Nick Spencer

What did Charles Darwin believe? And what can we learn from it? For Darwin, Christianity was like a proof to be established. His faith was based on the natural world, rather than on the Bible and knowing God. Without real appreciation of the Cross, suffering and loss made it impossible for Darwin to hold on to his so-called 'rational' faith. Nick Spencer explores Darwin's complex loss of faith in this new article.

Francis Collins releases new book

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Heath and New York Times bestselling author of The Language of God, is releasing a new book called "Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith". Similar to what Christopher Hitchens did in The Portable Atheist, Collins draws together the most important writings on faith and belief, from C. S. Lewis to Madeline L'Engle, Martin Luther King to Merton to create a a definitive anthology of readings on the rationality of faith.

Essay Competition to Honour John Polkinghorne's 80th Birthday

In 2010 ISSR will be celebrating the 80th birthday of its founding President, John Polkinghorne. 

ISSR is now offering major cash prizes for an essay by a student or junior academic on an aspect of the work of John Polkinghorne.  

Dr Conor Cunningham on Darwin

British philosopher and theologian Dr Conor Cunningham was featured on the Compass program on 22nd November on the ABC. Dr Conor Cunningham argued that it’s possible to be a Christian and accept the theory of evolution, noting that when Darwin’s theory was first published in Britain it was welcomed by both the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

Test of FAITH now available at Koorong

The Test of FAITH DVD, Book, Study Guide and Leaders Guide are now available for purchase from Koorong.  Visit www.koorong.com and search for "test of faith" in the search bar.

 

Evolution & Human Nature at Yale

Three experts explored the question “Does evolution explain human nature?” at a panel discussion in late September sponsored by Yale University, Discover magazine, and the John Templeton Foundation. The discussion was based on the Foundation’s recent Big Questions essay series, which can be found online and is available in booklet form by request. Video of the event can be found here.

       

Mind & Matter

"With the rise of modern science, the pursuit of wisdom gave way to the acquisition of useful truths" writes historian of science Ronald Numbers in the latest edition of Templeton's "In Character" magazine.

Link to article

       

Science, faith used to be allies

"Tellingly, President Obama’s pick to head the National Institutes of Health - Francis Collins - touts this symbiotic relationship today", writes Mark I. Pinsky of USA Today. "The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome," Collins says, "God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship."

COSAC 09 Photos

      

                                                                         

Vatican Conference Seen As Example That Astrobiology Is Mature Field

Marc Kaufman in the Washington Post discusses the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which is holding its first major conference on astrobiology. Kaufman reports that the field of "astrobiology" has "arrived, and religious and social institutions - even the Vatican - are taking note."

God, Science and the New Atheism

Prof. Keith Ward will be discussing "God, Science and the New Atheism" at the next upcoming James Gregory Public Lecture on 29th October. Keith is a well-known speaker with a strong interest in comparative theology and the interface between science and faith. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and former regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford.

Multimedia from the lecture will be posted on the James Gregory site following the event.

HARPS Discovers 32 New Exoplanets

The Associated Press recently reported that astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have "found 32 new planets outside our solar system, adding evidence to the theory that the universe has many places where life could develop.

Bioethics and Future Hope

Prof. John Wyatt's three lectures from the recent New College 2009 Lecture series are now available for download.

The three lectures cover Bioethics and Creation, Bioethics and Redemption and Bioethics and Future Hope.

Cardinal Pell at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Cardinal George Pell's recent address on the 4th October at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas held in Sydney engaged significantly with the question of science's relationship to God, containing references to Hawking, Einstein, Swinburne, Flew, and many more distinguished thinkers.

Ayala and Craig on ID

A debate on the topic "Is Intelligent Design viable?" will take place between Dr. Francisco J. Ayala and Dr. William Lane Craig on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST at Indiana University Auditorium, Indiana. The debate is sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ at Indiana University and will be moderated by Dr. Bradley Monton, author of the new book "Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design".

Simon Conway Morris videos @ CPX

The Centre for Public Christianity took the opportunity to interview Prof Simon Conway Morris during his recent visit to Australia.

 

Darwin was right - to a point

Barney Zwartz, religion editor of The Age, talks with Simon Conway Morris and engages with his thoughts on Darwinism in a follow up to his recent visit to Australia.

Link to article

 

Test of FAITH resources for high school students now available

Resources for students based on the Test of FAITH documentary are now available from the Stapleford Centre.   The materials have been developed for UK students between 14 and 18 years old, and include background information, glossary, bibliography and curriculum links.

 

Associate Professor Alan Gijsbers to be the new ISCAST President

At its latest meeting the ISCAST Board asked Assoc Prof Alan Gijsbers to be its new President following on from Prof John Pilbrow who will be stepping down at the next Annual General Meeting of the Institute on 20 September 2009 (at COSAC).

 

Interview on ABC Radio

Prof John Pilbrow, Assoc Prof David Young [Melbourne University] and Dr Nicola Hoggard-Creegan [Laidlaw College and Carey Graduate School, Auckland, NZ] will be interviewed on John Cleary's Sunday Nights program on ABC 774 from 10 pm on Sunday 20th September.

Archbishop of Melbourne's Conversation

Archbishop of Melbourne's Conversation in Federation Square

The Stem Cell Debate

Denise Cooper-Clarke examines developments in the stem cell debate in the latest issue of Engage Mail:

President Obama and the Stem Cell Debate
What has changed?

2009 “ALBERT EINSTEIN” World Award of Science

The 2009 “ALBERT EINSTEIN” World Award of Science will be presented to Professor Sir John Houghton, President of the John Ray Initiative. Sir Houghton was President of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1976 until 1978.

Series on "Life's Solution" at Jesus Creed

Dr. Scott McKnight from the respected Jesus Creed Blog at Beliefnet.com has just begun an interactive discussion series exploring Simon Conway-Morris' book "Life's Solution".

John White in the UK Journal, Physics World, August 2000

Note the following reference to John White in the UK Journal, Physics World, August 2000.  Speaking at the opening ceremony for the new $1.5 billion J-PARC facility, that consists of two protoron synchrotrons, a neutron source and a neutrino experiment and a hadron facility all rolled into one, John White from the ANU, 'who was chair of the International Advisory Committee for J-PARC, praised the long term vision of the Japanese government and its "acceptance of world-leading science as an investment for the future....World-leader status is assured by what has been done, and future investment in both operation and development will maintain this high status", he told delegates'.

Opinion: Do you believe in miracles?

Prof. Hugh McLachlan makes some thought-provoking crtiques of Hume and Dawkins and analyzes the relationship between science and miracles in an opinion piece in the 5 August 2009 edition of New Scientist.

CASE Training Sessions

The Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education (CASE) will be conducting two upcoming training sessions for those who would like to be able to give talks on Christian ethics at the beginning and end of life. The two evenings of training will be held at New College Village, University of NSW on 23rd September and 3rd November and are open to all.

New College Lectures

On 8-10 September Professor John Wyatt from University College London will be visiting New College, NSW to speak on bioethics and future hope. The 2009 New College Lectures will offer a Christian perspective on the impact of technology on contemporary medical practices. Informed by a biblical understanding of God’s purposes Prof Wyatt will consider the bioethical issues that we face every day as we make decisions about creating, preserving and protecting life.

Real Scientists, Real Faith

R.J.Berry's latest book "Real Scientists, Real Faith" is now available for purchase from Koorong and other local bookstores.

Publisher's description:

The science / faith debate rages on. Yet many leading scientists have an active Christian faith. Here 17 scientists, all esteemed by their peers, tackle two questions:

Kepler telescope up and running

NASA's brand new Kepler space telescope has demonstrated the ability to take measurements that are precise enough to "prove we can find Earth-size planets", according to William Borucki, Kepler's principal science investigator.   Kepler has just begun a 3½-year mission to search for exoplanets and determine how common these planets are.  According to NASA scientists, Kepler's "current mission is to identify Earth-like planets with water and oxygen, but what scientists are so excited about is t

Historian busts the medieval flat earth myth

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki examines the long-held myth that medieval Christians thought the Earth was flat in his July 22 article written for ABC Science. Kruszelnicki engages with the research of historian Jeffrey Burton Russell, whose book Inventing The Flat Earth unearthed a fascinating fact: that educated ancient and medieval thinkers, including Greeks, Christians and Muslims, all knew that the Earth was a ball (or sphere) for a long time.

Scientists and astronauts implore Australia to reinstate Spaceguard

A group of concerned scientists and former NASA Astronauts has written an open letter to the Rudd government urging the reinstatement of the Spaceguard Australia program and underscoring Australia's critical role in the worldwide planetary defence effort. According to science writer Leigh Dayton in The Australian, since 1996 no southern hemisphere telescopes have been scanning the sky, resulting in a blind spot in coverage which could potentially delay NEO detection by four to twelve years.

Science and faith: the vantage point of one neuroscientist

William Newsome
University of California, San Francisco 2009

Link to his talk

 

Science and Religion: Squabbling but loving cousins

Denis Alexander's in-depth review of the Darwin Festival in Cambridge (July 6-10)

Link to article

Science Week @ The Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral Welcomes you to:
Science Week @ The Cathedral
16th - 23rd August

SERVICE SUNDAY 16 August 4.00pm
Preacher: John Pilbrow, Emeritus Prof. of Physics at Monash University
Topic: 'Making sense of faith in the age of Science and Technology'.

Science & Religion Today -- New & Improved

Check out Science & Religion Today's sleek new redesign (and new Web address: www.scienceandreligiontoday.com). Now it's even easier to browse the stories, search the archive, and get involved in the conversation.
We've also got a new Facebook page, and we'd love for you to take a look and become a fan.

Can Science and Religion Co-Exist in Harmony?

Some of the nation's leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2009 for the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.

Francis S. Collins, the former director of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, discussed why he believes religion and science are compatible and why the current conflict over evolution vs. faith, particularly in the evangelical community, is unnecessary.

Obama will name Francis Collins as new NIH director

Former Human Genome Project leader Francis Collins will be nominated to lead the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Dr. Collins is one of the top scientists in the world,” President Obama said in a White House statement today. “And his groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease.”

Harmonising prayer with quantum energy

Monday, 6 Jul 2009

By Hedley Beare

CASE Magazine: "God and Science"


The Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education (CASE) has just released its latest issue of CASE Magazine, dedicated to the theme of "God and Science".

Contributions include:

Articles

Enhancing humans or a new creation?

Denis Alexander, June 2009

Enhancement involves giving abilities integral to the body beyond those we would normally consider a human to possess. Transhumanism is an influential philosophy based on human autonomy in which enhancement technologies play a central role. This paper summarises transhumanism, describes the scope of current enhancing technologies, and provides a Christian critique, presenting the biblical strategy for human transformation as a compelling alternative to the transhumanist project.

Tom Frame - Evolution in the Antipodes

Tom Frame is an Australian academic and author of 23 books. He is a former Naval Officer and from 2001 - 2007 was Bishop to the Australian Defence Force. He has degrees in theology and history and is a regular commentator on ABC radio on military and church history as well as social matters. He is Director and Professor of Theology at St Marks National Theological Centre at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.

Congratulations

Congratulations to Patsy and Sean who celebrated their marriage on 23 May 2009 at Glen Waverley Anglican Church.

                           

Videos from the "Faith and Science" program

Videos from the "Faith and Science" program held at the World Science Festival in New York City on 10-14 June 2009 are now available online.

www.worldsciencefestival.com/video/faith-and-science-full

Mitigating climate change is 'co-operating in God's creative purposes'

An article by Penny Mulvey from The Melbourne Anglican, (June 2009, No. 471, page 4), featured one of our ISCAST Fellows Mr Ian Hore-Lacy.

On 19 May, Archbishop Freier was joined by Mr Ian Hore-Lacy, Prof. Ross Garnaut and the Prime Minister's advisor on climate change to explore the question 'Is our future sustainable?'.

Science and Religion Books

A reminder that ISCAST members can obtain quality Science and Religion books at a 20% discount off the cover price from the following website as part of the "Books of Distinction" campaign:

www.scienceandreligionbooks.org/default.asp

Faithworks

'Faithworks' editor Bryan Patterson weighs into the evolution debate in his column in this week's Sunday Herald Sun (June 7).

Link to Blog

Casting Light on God

Two New Faraday Papers

ISCAST members may be interested to read the two new Faraday Papers that were published in April 2009, by Dr Graeme Finlay and Prof Ernan McMullin.

 

 

A Science and Religion Primer

Baker House Publishing has recently released "A Science and Religion Primer", edited by Heidi A. Campbell and Heather Looy.

Featuring contributions by Celia Deane-Drummond, Nancey Murphy, Peter Harrison and Holmes Rolston III.

In The News

* Alister McGrath on Augustine's Origin of the Species: How the great theologian might weigh in on the Darwin debate (Christianity Today)

* Bernard d'Espagnat's Acceptance Speech for the 2009 Templeton Prize

Highlights from Volume 21 of Science and Christian Belief (April 2009)

* Denis Alexander - Editorial: Rescuing Darwin

* Edward J.Larson - The Reception of Darwinism in the Nineteenth Century: A Three Part Story

* Malcolm Jeeves - The Boyle Lecture 2008: Psychologising and Neurologising about Religion: Facts, Fallacies and the Future

* The Deep Structure of Biology Simon Conway Morris (ed.) (Graeme Finlay)

* Philip Bligh - Review of "The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology" by Alister E. McGrath

Test of Faith

Simon Conway Morris on Evolution and Human Nature

Our COSAC 2009 keynote speaker Simon Conway Morris features in the most recent 'Big Questions' discussion forum hosted by the John Templeton foundation. The topic, "Does evolution explain human nature'" also features distinguished contributors including Jeffrey Schloss, Francis Collins, David Sloan Wilson, Francisco Ayala, and more, and can be accessed at http://www.templeton.org/evolution/

Bernard d'Espagnat wins the 2009 Templeton Prize

On 5th May 2009, Bernard d'Espagnat, a French physicist and philosopher of science whose explorations of the philosophical implications of quantum physics have opened new vistas on the definition of reality and the potential limits of knowable science, was formally presented with the 2009 Templeton Prize.

Marvels and misconceptions in the early childhood of modern science

 
The Centre for Public Christianity has published a fascinating review of Richard Holmes' book "The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science.” by Dr Steven Micklethwaite, a Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania.

Faraday London Lectures

As part of the Pentecost Festival, the Faraday Institute is holding three lectures in London on 26th, 27th and 28th May 2009.

Prof. Colin Humpreys will speak on 'Can a scientist believe in miracles today?', Revd Dr David Wilkinson will speak on 'God and the Big Bang' and Dr Denis Alexander will speak on 'Creation or Evolution - do we have to choose'.

Dr Francis Collins Launches The BioLogos Foundation

Prominent physician-geneticist Dr. Francis Collins has established a new organisation called the BioLogos Foundation, which endeavours to promote the search for truth in both the natural and spiritual realms, seeking harmony between these different perspectives.

Blog: Soli Deo Gloria

Ross McKenzie has started a blog:
Soli Deo Gloria
Thoughts on Theology, Science, and Culture

 http://revelation4-11.blogspot.com

 Please draw it to the attention of those you know with an interest in such issues. Feedback welcome. 

Conference: Climate Change - Impacts & Responses

A conference on Climate Change - Impacts & Responses is being held on Saturday 16 May, 9am - 4pm at St Hilary’s, 12 John St Kew.

Cost of the conference is $20 each or $10 concession (lunch provided).

Registration must be received by Monday 11 May.

For more information and to register online go to www.shaccommunity.org.au

The 2009 Gifford Lectures - A Fine-Tuned Universe: Science, Theology and the Quest for Meaning

 

 

 

ISCAST Victoria Congratulates Prof Alan Gijsbers

ISCAST Victoria is proud to congratulate Dr Alan Gijsbers on his recent appointment to Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, held in the Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne and Western Hospitals. The title acknowledges his important contribution to scholarship, recognising his professional achievements as one of the leading clinicians in the Faculty of Medicine.

NZ Conference - The Theological Meaning of Evolution

Date & Time: 7pm Thursday 25 June - 5pm Saturday 27 June 2009
Venue: Laidlaw College, Auckland Campus, Waitakere NZ
Keynote Presenter: Christopher Southgate, Research Fellow University of Exeter, theologian, poet and editor, and author of The Groaning of Creation.

A conference to celebrate and interact with Darwinism, on the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species.

Evolution and Wonder: Understanding Charles Darwin

American Public Media's "Speaking Of Faith" programme has produced a fascinating podcast entitled "Evolution and Wonder: Understanding Charles Darwin".

The programme takes a fresh and thought-provoking look at Darwin's life and ideas, and suggests that he did not argue against God but against a simple understanding of the world — its beauty, its brutality, and its unfolding creation.

Book Launch - Beyond Stereotypes

You are invited to attend the book launch of 'Beyond Stereotypes' by the EA Working Group on Human Sexuality on Monday March 30.
This book launch features one of our ISCAST Fellows, Dr Brian Edgar.
Download the invitation for full details.

Questions of Truth

Acclaimed physicist John Polkinghorne has just released his latest book, "Questions of Truth", together with a special promotional mini-site; www.questionsoftruth.org. The website contains extensive background material for the book, including contents, reviews and a collection of videos from the Launch Event and panel discussion held at the Royal Society.
 

From the QoT homepage:

Global Warming: Is it real and what should we do?

Sir John Houghton presented the James Gregory Public lecture on 19th February 2009, entitled "Global Warming, Climate Change and Sustainability: Challenge to Scientists, Policy Makers and Christians".

 A movie, powerpoint presentation of the lecture, and 16-page pamphlet which covers the lecture material in more detail can be downloaded from the James Gregory website.

ISCAST and the Bushfires

We have received many expressions of concern regarding the bushfires in Victoria from our friends all over the world. As far as we know no one in the ICSAST family has been directly affected and for this we are profoundly grateful.     

There have been a few close shaves with the fires burning close to several of our members’ houses. The wind change that can so often double the size of the fire in very quick time also redirected the blazes, saving many houses and lives but catching many others.

Darwin a uniting force for science and religion

A meeting of minds: Geneticist Philip Batterham and Archbishop Philip Freier agreed St Paul's Cathedral was an ideal place to honour Charles Darwin. 

 

Closer To Truth

The Kuhn Foundation, in association with PBS, has produced a television series entitled 'Closer to Truth', which is billed as "the most complete, compelling and accessible series on Cosmos, Consciousness and God ever produced for television".

A Theologian of Renewal: The Evolutionary Spirituality of John Haught

Noted pioneering Catholic theologian John Haught has recently given a fascinating interview for the December 2008 – February 2009 issue of EnlightenNext magazine.

Review of Richard Swinburne's Lecture

ISCASTians may be interested to read Paul Johnson's review of Richard Swinburne's recent lecture, entitled 'God as the Simplest Explanation of the

Book - A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists

The John Templeton Foundation has recently listed "A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God is Good and Faith Isn't Evil" as its Featured Book.   The book, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley in 2008, has already attracted highly positive reviews from Alister McGrath, Michael Shermer, Francis Collins, Owen Gingerich and others.   The Templeton review notes:

Rescuing Darwin - Report

A very significant report has just been released by the UK public theology think-tank Theos in conjunction with the Faraday Institute.   It considers the public awareness and acceptance of evolution in the UK.  The preamble describes the report thus:

Rescuing Darwin is the title essay of a wide-ranging project exploring the extent and nature of evolutionary and non-evolutionary beliefs in the UK today and their perceived relationship with theism and atheism.

The project is managed and run by Theos, the public theology think tank, in partnership with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.

After Darwin - Conference

The Science Religion Society program at Trinity College Theological School – which is part of the United Faculty of Theology – with the assistance of the Melbourne College of Divinity, is sponsoring a conference to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s, The Origin of Species. The theme of the conference, After Darwin, is set out below. The conference will be held at The Centre for Theology and Ministry from 21-23 July, 2009. Dr. Christopher Southgate from the Department of Theology at Exeter University will commence the conference by giving a public lecture at 7.00pm, 21 July. The lecture will be via an interactive satellite link in the Woodhouse Theatre at The University of Melbourne.

Does God Interact with his Suffering World?

Revd Dr John PolkinghorneThe Rev Dr John Polkinghorne presented this lecture at St.Andrews University on 9 October 2008 as one of the James Gregory lectures, a series of presentations from eminent international speakers promoting open dialogue and exchange of ideas on manny intriguing points of contact between Science and Religion.

 

2008 James Backhouse Lecture

ISCAST members may be pleased to learn that the 2008 James Backhouse lecture by Prof. George Ellis is now available for download as a PDF from the Quakers' Australia website:

http://www.quakers.org.au/associations/7464/files/FaithHopeDoubt_2008.pdf

In this fascinating paper, Ellis argues that a moral reality as well as a physical reality and a mathematical reality underlies the world and the universe, and that human moral life is a search to understand that true nature of morality, which is centred in love, with the idea of kenosis ('letting go') playing a key role.

Hard copy booklets may also be purchased from the ISCAST Store.

Michael Poole on Origins

Noted author and researcher Michael Poole has published an article in the September 2008 issue of the School Science Review entitled "Creationism, Intelligent Design and Science Education" in which he attempts to diffuse some curent tensions over the teaching about origins, contending that a rejection of creationist or ID arguments does not by extension entail rejection of other traditional concepts of creation and design that have been historically held by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
 
A full copy of his article is available here:
http://www.issr.org.uk/documents/SSR_Sept_2008_Poole.pdf
 

Keith Ward Interviewed by CPX

The Centre for Public Christianity has recently produced a fascinating interview with world-renowned philosopher and theologian Professor Keith Ward.   Ward has held positions teaching philosophy and theology at Glasgow, London and Cambridge Universities before taking up the position of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford.   In this four-part interview, Ward discusses atheism, philosophy, science and belief.

http://www.publicchristianity.com/ward.html
 
Ward's latest book, "Why There Almost Certainly Is A God" is available now through Lion Hudson. (ISBN 978-0-7459-5330-4)

The Challenges of Clearing and Banning Land Mines

On 15th November, ISCAST Fellow Ross Macmillan and Mark Zimsak, the National Coordinator of the Australian Network to Ban Landmines gave a challenging and thought-provoking presentation which discussed the technical and political challenges involved with developing technologies and strategies to eliminate anti-personnell mines and cluster munitions.

 For those wishing to learn more about the effects of these devices, or how they can assist with this campaign, please visit: 

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Join ISCAST

 

Click here to join ISCAST


 

Follow ISCAST

   

Look us up on Facebook, Twitter, and tune in to our Podcast.


 

ISCAST Fellows

Click here to view a list of ISCAST Fellows and their profiles.