One of the leading thinkers in the field of science and religion will ask the question `Has science made religion redundant?’ at the University of St Andrews this week (Thursday 28 February 2008).
Professor Denis Alexander will deliver a lecture to leading figures from scientific and theological disciplines throughout Scotland, students and members of the public.
Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge, Professor Alexander is Editor of the journal `Science & Christian Belief’ and author of the critically acclaimed book `Rebuilding the Matrix – Science and Faith in the 21st Century’, which provides a general overview of the science-religion debate. A biochemistry graduate of Oxford, Professor Alexander spent 15 years in academic positions in the Middle East before returning to the UK to work for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK).
Speaking in advance of his lecture, he said, ‘The new atheists, as they have been dubbed by the media, those such as Dawkins, Atkins and Dennett, have declared their opposition to religion in the name of science, suggesting that science has all the answers that we need to know.’
‘But a closer look at science itself reveals not only its own deeply religious roots, but also the necessary scope and limitations of its explanatory powers. In reality the boot might be on the other foot: can science survive without religion?’
The lecture is the second of an ambitious four-year series organised by scholars of science and religion at the University. Described as a `vision for a better world’, the twelve James Gregory lectures will bring some of the world’s top experts to St Andrews to explore the natural tensions between the two subjects.
The inaugural lecture in the series was delivered by the Bishop of Durham N T Wright last December, in which he posed the provocative question ‘can a scientist believe in the resurrection?’ to a packed audience of 550.
Co-organised by Professors Eric Priest and Alan Torrance, it is hoped that the lecture series will provide a major new forum for scientists and theologians from different faiths to address some of the important issues that Scottish society faces. The unusual partnership between a Professor of Theoretical Solar Physics (Professor Priest) and a Professor of Systematic Theology (Professor Torrance) is the first such collaboration between the Schools of Divinity and Mathematics & Statistics and represents a major new initiative at the University.
Professor Denis Alexander will deliver the second James Gregory public lecture `Has science made religion redundant?’ on Thursday 28th February, at 5:15pm at the Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews. It will be followed by a drinks reception. Directions and further details are available at www.jamesgregory.org
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