Bristol – The Origin of Life: Scientific and Theological reflections


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Alma Church Hall
29 Alma Road, Bristol, BS8 2ES
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Dr Chris Southgate will join the Bristol CiS group on Friday 30th January, 2015, 7:30pm, to speak on ‘The Origin of Life: Scientific and Theological Reflections’

Why is the question of origin of life such an intractable scientific problem? Dr Chris Southgate will set out the nature of the task required of any candidate theory and will review the many competing current theories,  notably the idea of the “RNA World” as a stepping stone. Next, he will review the theological perspectives on biological life, and on the Holy Spirit as ‘the Lord and giver of life’ and ask whether God might be thought to have protected the possibilities that led to complex life. Finally, he will explain the reasons for the recent optimism in the science of the origin of life, and explain the new lines of enquiry based on the capacity to interpret the environment.

Dr Chris Southgate is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religion at University of Exeter, having trained originally as a research biochemist. His research interests include the problem of suffering in evolution, the concept of glory in the natural world and in religious poetry, and the origin of life. Chris teaches the undergraduate modules Evolution, God and Gaia and God, Humanity and the Cosmos. Chris is author of The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution and the Problem of Evil (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), editor of  God, Humanity and the Cosmos (Continuum, 2011), and has written six collections of poetry, the most recent being A Gash in the Darkness (Shoestring, 2012).

No need to book – just turn up! Optional donation (suggest £4) to cover costs. As ever, tea, coffee and homemade cake provided!

Any queries: Dr Christina Biggs (