All Discussions - Christians in Science Wed, 29 Mar 17 07:05:19 -0400 All Discussions - Christians in Science en-CA A mandate for Christians in Science? Wed, 30 Jul 2014 04:12:38 -0400 bcarling 87@/forum/discussions I have been musing on this: 
"Taylor suggests that those who convert to unbelief "because of science" are less convinced by data and more moved by the form of the story that science tells and the self-image that comes with it (rationality = maturity). Moreover the faith that they left was often worth leaving. If Taylor is right, it seems to suggest that the Christian response to such converts to unbelief is not to have an argument about the data or evidences but rather to offer an alternative story that offers a more robust, complex understanding of the Christian faith. The goal of such witness would not be the minimal establishment of some vague theism but the invitation to historic, sacramental Christianity."

Comments anyone? Sounds like this challenge should be adopted by CiS...


The quote is from the book  

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor by James K A Smith (Eerdmans 2014).

Samples of the book on Google Books are here:

Simon Wed, 30 Nov 2011 10:22:01 -0500 Simon 27@/forum/discussions
Contrary to popular opinion I am not a cheeky two-year-old with an eye patch, although that picture does exhibit just under 50% of my genes (depending on how you count such things).

I am a scientist with a PhD in Biochemistry and a research interest in the use of protein X-ray crystallography for rational drug design. I also have a pathological interest in philosophy and whilst working as a full-time scientist have completed a BA with the Open University and am currently studying for a MA in research ethics.

I have been a Christian most of my life although have swung from the highly pentecostal/charismatic wing to a left-of-centre position, although do loosely still associate with the label 'evangelical'.

I sit on the CiS committee with a responsibility for all things web-based, however am keen to point out that the views I express on this forum (unless I state otherwise) are entirely my own.

(Sort-of) new member Sat, 31 Aug 2013 06:52:07 -0400 emmeline 80@/forum/discussions
I've been aware of Christians in Science for several years after finding the organisation during a time of my life where asking and seeking answers to difficult questions about my faith was in sharp focus for me. I enjoyed discussions on the Christians in Science email list and attended the 2011 conference in London (I have November 2nd pencilled in my calendar for this year). I've illustrated some Surrey chapter posters in the past.

I've just had a question and thought that this forum might be a good resource for being able to discuss the sorts of issues I occasionally think about. I'm interested in seeing how the community here develops and hope that it can be thought-provoking and respectful and also provide directions for further personal research.

I'm an artist and a storyteller rather than a scientist, although I read widely enjoying and digesting books, video, radio, talks etc. some current or recent intellectual, philosophical, and theological diet has included CS Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Denis Alexander, John Polkinghorne, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawkings, John Stott, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Rob Bell, M Scott Peck...
"'Man come-of-age' misconception"? Sin, pride, apathy, and personal responsibility Sat, 31 Aug 2013 06:40:12 -0400 emmeline 79@/forum/discussions
Here's a long quotation to provide context from The Cross of Christ. It's taken from a chapter on The Problem of Forgiveness, which looks at the gravity of sin, human moral responsibility, true and false guilt, and the wrath of God:

A full acknowledgment of human responsibility and therefore guilt, far from diminishing the dignity of human beings, actually enhances it. It presupposes that men and women, unlike the animals, are morally responsible beings, who know what they are, could be and should be, and do not make excuses for their poor performance. This is the thesis of Harvey Cox in his book "On Not Leaving it to the Snake". Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, he urges, was not so much her disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit as her feeble surrender of responsibility which preceded it, not her pride but her sloth. Although Dr Cox is surely mistaken in his refusal to accept the biblical view of sin as essentially pride, and is tainted with the 'man come-of-age' misconception, he nevertheless makes an important point when he says that 'apathy is the key form of sin in today's world.... For Adam and Eve apathy meant letting a snake tell them what to do. It meant abdicating ... the exercise of dominion and control of the world' (p. xvii). But decision-making belongs to the essence of our humanness. Sin is not only the attempt to be God; it is also the refusal to be man, by shuffling off responsibility for our actions. 'Let's not let any snake tell us what to do' (p. xviii). The commonest defence of the Nazi war criminals was that they were merely following orders. But the court held them responsible all the same.

I'm not entirely sure why I seem to respond strongly to the ideas here, but it's something to do with the idea of human beings having an "exercise of dominion and control of the world" being a noble thing. I sometimes feel that Christian messages portray the exercise of individual critical discernment as pride, and I wonder if this "'man come-of-age' misconception" is Stott criticising excesses of individualism, or over-reliance on one's level of education, in "On Not Leaving it to the Snake" by Cox? 

I see Cox has also written other books such as the 2004 "When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Choices Today".
Natural History, Creation and Religious Conflicts Wed, 21 Aug 2013 05:07:35 -0400 bcarling 76@/forum/discussions]]> Steve Jones on Radio 4 Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:55:07 -0400 Simon 73@/forum/discussions
Perhaps most annoying was when he said something along the lines of: "Many UK Christians admit the flood, six-day creation, mental illness being caused by demons etc. are metaphors, however when I ask them where the metaphors end they get stuck... because if everything is a metaphor there is no point in believing". He obviously thought himself very clever to come up with this argument, indeed so clever that he didn't seem to realise how he has just shown himself completely ignorant of every subject outside of biology. Has he ever read any anthropology, philosophy, theology or even literary criticism? In this regard he is almost as ignorant as the YEC's and ID'ers he likes bashing.

The best analogy I can think of is that if I were to utter the phrase "it's raining cats and dogs", the YEC's would insist that cats and dogs were actually falling from the sky, whilst Steve Jones and his ilk would claim that because cats and dogs were not "actually" falling from the sky my utterance must be considered wrong/ignorant/evil etc. Both positions somewhat miss the point.
Christian Postgraduate Conference, 21-23 June 2013 - Transforming the Mind Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:32:07 -0400 AnthonySmith 72@/forum/discussions
Transforming the Mind 2013
The 11th Annual National Christian Postgraduate Conference, for postgraduate students & postdoctoral researchers

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”

Are you studying for a masters or PhD while seeking to follow Jesus Christ? Are you a Christian working in a university or other academic centre and struggling to find people who understand your calling? Transforming the Mind could be the most important date in your diary this year!

Come and unwind in the beautiful setting of Dovedale House and share your busy life with other students and young academics. This unique weekend features talks by experienced speakers, group discussion, outdoor leisure and worship time, all in fellowship with other Christians as we seek to integrate academic life with faith in Christ.

Coming from many disciplines, nations and cultures, we meet together to encourage each other and explore what God is calling us to be and to do in the university and beyond. We ask questions about our faith, our work, our relationships and our world, seeking to share wisdom and to learn from each other by God’s Spirit.

Transforming the Mind challenges us to offer ourselves ‘as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God’, being ‘transformed by the renewing of [our] mind’ (Romans 12:1–2).

This year's conference is scheduled for 21-23 June, in the picturesque setting of Dovedale House, in the Derbyshire Dales.

Speakers: Donald Hay, Roy McCloughry and Maithrie White.

Cost, including all meals and accommodation, and transport from Derby rail station if requested:
* £90 / £80 (students and unwaged) / £65 (students and unwaged, before 10 May)

If the cost is a problem for you, please email with a brief explanation of your circumstances, as we have some bursaries available.

For more information and registration, see:

The conference flyer and poster are available here:

Facebook event page:
Genesis 1 & 2 Thu, 07 Mar 2013 10:01:33 -0500 croc 70@/forum/discussions Gavin

Re comments made in previous thread I've just read

Equivocation Sat, 02 Mar 2013 18:46:31 -0500 Simon 69@/forum/discussions
Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is classified as an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings).

I am increasingly convinced that most of the problems in the "evolution debate" are caused by people mixing up the word evolution with the meaning of terms such as social Darwinism, humanism, scientism, naturalism, atheism etc.

Furthermore this problem is not confined to the word evolution. Fairly recently a number of us discovered the need to distinguish between the words Christian, faith, religion, belief, theology and scripture as we were all pretty much agreeing, but using different words to mean the same thing.

So far from being a side issue, I think semantics is vitally important to ensure everyone is understanding each other, and thus we should all attempt to try and define terms before we get into too much of a fight.
Privillaged Opportunity. Fri, 15 Feb 2013 13:56:47 -0500 truth13reigns 68@/forum/discussions My name is Ron. I come from just outside London, England. I regret to say that I come to this site with no serious academic qualifications. I certainly don't come from a scientific background.
I am a Christian with an open and very inquisitive mind. The more I learn and discover, the more I have personally become convinced in the validity of a Creator, Designer God.
 At the same time, I have become more and more disenchanted and convinced that the Darwinian view that all life is the product of unguided naturalistic processes is just completely unsatisfactory.
I am absolutely convinced on the basis of the evidence (witch I won't go into here at the moment)
that the universe and life have an intelligent cause and purpose.

When I was young I lived very near the Natural History Museum in London, it's a beautiful building and I was a regular visitor. As you enter, immediately on you right hand side there is a huge statue of Charles Darwin.  This whole place is a huge shrine to his and his followers unquestioning closed world view. However the building and gardens surrounding it are beautiful and  well worth a visit if you haven't already done so.

I find it so frustrating that when school children visit that place they are taught with such unquestioning certainty that Darwin's view of science can be the only valid explanation of all reality.
No descent or opposition will be tolerated.

It appears to be the same with the whole British establishment including the BBC.

I also find it frustrating that eminent respected people like Professor Brian Cox and David Atenborough and their ilk talk about evolution as if it is an established undeniable fact.

Michael Gove, the minister for education here is now saying that Evolution must be taught to primary aged school children. Richard Dawkins doing somersaults of joy. I'm not talking about variation in species or some examples of natural selection con firing  advantageous survival traits.

Even the name of Darwin's book, is so misleading,The Origin of Species. As far as I understand it the scientists from that side of the argument have not even come close to explaining the origin of life and the universe.

Now this is my problem.
There is practically nobody among my family and friends, that are even remotely interested in this subject.
I am not a regular church goer.  I certainly never come into contact with anybody that is interested in scientific matters. If I were to mention Stephen Meyer and Signature in the Cell, or Michael Behe and Darwin's black box.
I'm not joking, they would think I was mad. I tried to engage a friend the other day about the wonder of protein  synthesis whilst I was trying to educate myself on the internet about the phenomenon of all life only having left handed amino acids. He ran from me as if I had the plague.
Can you imagine how frustrating this.

So this is why I turned up here.
I need your Help!
 I'm looking for a buddy or a mentor or a friend that would be prepared to help when I need to talk to somebody, and maybe sometimes share a bit of your knowledge with me.
Critics on the other side of this debate will accuse me of indulging in confirmation bias. I don't think I am. I am trying to employ a bit of critical thinking, and to discover some nuggets of truth that will equip me to challenge some of the misconceptions that are being forced on us all.

Interestingly I'm sure there are many people just like me that are fed up with being mislead and lied to.
If any body feels they would like to help me let me know. I would be grateful.  I am looking forward to trawling through the posts and maybe participating a little.
Thanks. Ron