The 2016 E.T.S. Walton Lecture on Science and Religion is:
Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?
Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys
Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy
University of Cambridge
Tuesday 1 November 2016
19:30, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room G04, University College Cork
Wednesday 2 November 2016
19:30, Joly Lecture Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin
Thursday 3 November 2016
19:30, Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, University Street, Belfast
Abstract. The Bible describes many miraculous events. What does a scientist make of these? Did the Read Sea part before the Israelites? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Scientists who are Christians believe that because God is consistent, therefore the universe is consistent, and hence it can be described by theories and laws. However, this raises a major problem concerning miracles. If at least some miracles are real events, how can this be reconciled with not only our scientific belief in an orderly universe but also with our Christian belief in a God who is consistent and not capricious? It is helpful to consider some specific miracles to see how this problem can be resolved. Colin Humphreys employs scientific explanations for the events in Exodus, and points towards the precise timing of these events. He is also convinced by the historical evidence that Jesus really did rise from the grave.
Sir Colin Humphreys is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge (UK). He has previously held posts at Liverpool University and Oxford University. Prof. Humphreys also directs a major Research Centre with Rolls-Royce, and the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours in 2003.
In addition to his extensive research in solid state physics and materials science, Prof. Humphreys has lectured extensively about science and Christianity,
and has written three books in this area:
The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus (Cambridge University Press 2011),
The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories (Harper 2003),
Creation and Evolution (Oxford University Press 1986).
He is currently President of Christians in Science.
More information about Colin Humphreys can be found on his personal webpage.
All three lectures are open to the public and are free. To reserve a seat please contact:
Dr. Peter van der Burgt, email peter.vanderburgt AT nuim.ie, tel. (+353) 01 - 708 3782.
Download a poster.
The E. T. S. Walton Lectures on Science and Religion
The E. T. S. Walton Lectures on Science and Religion (Walton Lectures in brief) are a series of lectures on currents topics related to science and religion, suitable to an audience of academics and informed lay persons. Each year a speaker, who is a scientist, philosopher, or theologian of international reputation, will be invited to give a lecture, which will be held in one or more locations on the island of Ireland.
The Walton Lectures are named after physicist and Nobel laureate the late Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton. Walton's work as a scientist and his Christian commitment are well documented in the biography written by V. J. McBrierty: Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, The Irish Scientist, 1903-1995 (Trinity College Dublin, 2003). Walton was strongly committed to the Methodist faith, and following the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951 jointly to himself and John Cockroft, he spoke on science and religion to audiences in Ireland, the United States, and Sweden. The award to Walton is to date the only Irish Nobel prize in science.
The Walton Lectures are organised by Christians in Science Ireland.