Faith and Science

Providence College Lectures 2009

(Announcement from the Providence website.) Faith and science are both interested in the origins of the world, but these different factions seem to disagree an awful lot. Could they ever work together?

At the upcoming Providence College Lectures, guest lecturer, Dr. Glen Klassen will present A Scientist Reflects on How God Makes the World. He will be exploring topics on how traditional ideas of creation are challenged by the scientific approach and will ask the question, “is there any middle ground between Creationism and Darwinism?”

Klassen taught “molecular evolution” for many years at the University of Manitoba and researched the evolution of the ribosomal gene cluster with the help of graduate students. He is now an adjunct professor of biology at Canadian Mennonite University and is a member of the Fort Garry Evangelical Mennonite Church. Over the years, Klassen has occasionally published and spoken in the area of faith and science.

A panel discussion will follow Klassen’s lectures featuring Providence College and Seminary President Gus Konkel. Konkel has also expressed a passion for science saying, “It is rational to ask the why question if intelligent design was part of the earth from the beginning. It makes even more sense if that intelligent design is personal, with a personal interest in other persons.”

The lectures will be on Thursday, November 19, beginning at 9:00 am in the Reimer Student Life Centre. Admission is free and no registration is required.
9:00 Traditional Ideas of Creation Challenged by the Scientific Approach
10:30 How Some Scholars are Trying to Turn the Clock Back on Darwin (Intelligent Design)
1:00 Is There Any Middle Ground between Creationism and Darwinism?
2:30 Panel Discussion: Providence College Faculty and Students (Chuck Vandergraaf, Gus Konkel, Bruce Duggan, Jordan Byggdin)
All Philosophy Foosballers are encouraged to attend! - Dr. V


Dr. V said...

Dear Philosophy Foosballers,

Dr. Glen Klassen's lectures promoting Theistic Evolution were deeply engaging, well presented, and well received by students and faculty at Providence, even though, among other points of discussion, some pro-Intelligent Design students and faculty took issue with several of Dr. Klassen's criticisms and representations of ID. In view of such differences, it's always good to remind ourselves of Jesus Christ and His centrality for followers of Jesus. Whether a Christian is a literalist six-day Young Earth Creationist, a proponent of Intelligent Design, or a Theistic Evolutionist -- or whatever -- the fact remains that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour. Regardless of how God may have created the universe, the fact remains that God created it. Moreover, the fact remains that Jesus is the Incarnation of this God (also revealed in the Bible) who lived on planet Earth, died for our sins, and resurrected bodily as (in part) a glorious sign to show us that His teachings are to be taken seriously. Jesus remains our Lord and Saviour, even though His followers can respectfully disagree with one another on various important issues (issues that are, in the larger scheme of things, much less important than Christ). It was truly good to have Dr. Klassen present his views at Providence, and we are grateful that he did so with humility and grace.

As a helpful follow-up on the issue of Theistic Evolution versus Intelligent Design, I encourage Philosophy Foosballers to give a listen to a very recent debate between philosopher William Lane Craig (pro-ID) and scientist Francisco Ayala (anti-ID) which can be found at Apologetics 315.

Best regards,
Dr. V

P.S. The Philosophy Foosball Club is especially happy and proud that its very own Jordan Byggdin did a truly excellent job on the panel discussion which closed Dr. Glen Klassen's lecture series. Bravo Jordan! You are a Philosophy Foosballer extraordinaire.