By Derrick Peterson
The Church and Science: so often seen (quite wrongly) as perennial enemies, are actually partners for the common good. This has often been true, not just historically (putting aside for a moment the much misunderstood and misrepresented Galileo affair), as the church was the largest donor up until our current day to sciences of all sorts--funding and founding not just hospitals, but a large part of the healing ethos behind them as well, for example . But more than that, to view churchgoers and scientists (not always different groups!) as partners and allies is even more important in an age where holistic approaches to the human are more necessary than ever. Combining cutting edge science and palliative care with the fundamental religious and spiritual ethos of incarnation and the God who is Love itself, provides a rare opportunity to pool resources and interface to help foster the common good.
As such, we here at New Wine, New Wineskins were extremely excited when two years ago it was made known to us that through New Wine, Multnomah University (out of which we operate as an academic institution) was one of ten universities going to receive a sizable grant from AAAS (the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and their Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) initiative which New Wine is overseeing and coordinating. While part of that money is going toward creating resources to integrate science into our existing classroom work to help prepare pastors to shepherd their congregations, another outcome of this effort is a week long conference that New Wine, New Wineskins will be hosting next April, Church and Science: Partners for the Common Good, April 16-23rd, 2016.
While we can't spoil everything just yet, this conference will host not just typical lectures, but we hope in addition to incorporate workshops introducing people to common scientific practice, field-trips to our local OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) led by experts in fields like Paleontology, Molecular Genetics, and Ecology, along with dialogue and case-study sessions. We will be covering topics of race, gender, creation and environmental care, history of faith and science, and many, many others. In addition to our own fantastic theological, linguistic, and historical faculty here at New Wine who are contributing to the upcoming conference, including Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, Dr. Brad Harper, Dr. Jon Robertson, Dr. Rebecca Josberger, along with our science advisers, Dr. Robert Potter and Dr. Steven Kolmes (who himself just gave a talk for us you can listen to here), it is with great honor as well to announce our four key-note speakers:
Dr. Peter Dodson, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania, editor of the highly-acclaimed Dinosauria and author many other works on Dinosaurs. Dr. Dodson will be presenting on scientific methodology in relationship to his work on geology and paleontology.
Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton University, who is the author of many works which include: The Lost World of Genesis One, and The Lost World of Adam and Eve, will be presenting his research on the creation narratives along with the idea of hermeneutical humility.
Dr. Se Kim, Project Director of AAAS-DoSER, has her Doctorate in Human and Molecular Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, with Post-Doctorate research done at Rice University, where she was awarded the National Institute of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. Dr. Kim will be presenting on Science, Faith, and the Common Good.
And last but not least, Dr. Rodney L. Stiling who is Associate Professor of the History of Science at Seattle Pacific University, and did his doctoral work under the world-renowned historians of science, David L. Lindberg and Ronald Numbers, will be presenting on issues in the history of church and science.
Come join us April 16-23rd, 2016, won't you?