Such a beautiful night…
… at COSI, the Columbus, Ohio science center.
As you know, dear readers, I’m on fire about the idea that science and faith can be conversation partners rather than adversaries. I think they answer different questions, the how and the why, but there is no reason they can’t have a conversation. As long as both recognize certain boundaries, the conversation can be beautiful.
That’s exactly what happend tonight at COSI with a panal discussion sponsored by COSI/WOSU/The Ohio State University. Neal Conan, host of the NPR’s talk of the nation moderated a panal discussion that included the following: Dr. Denis Lamoureux, scientist, theologian, evangelical who accepts evolution, Dr Eugenie Scott, anthropologist and nontheist and Dr. Francisco Ayala, Catholic, former member of President’s committee of advisors on science.
The amazing thing was how much they all agreed on the nature of science and faith discussions. They drew a hard and fast line between what science could and couldn’t do. Basically, their essential argument was that science ought to be concerned with the natural order and figuring out how the natural order works. All of them, especially during the question and answer time, kept coming back to this essential point. The panelists wouldn’t allow people to say any more than that. They all felt that the question of God’s existence or nonexistence was outside what science can tell us.
Eugenie Scott had a great metaphor to explain this as she said, “We don’t have a Theomonitor. There is no test I can conceive of that would enable us to prove or disprove God’s existence.”
Refreshing honesty and I loved it.
Denis and Fransisco had great discussions on their faith and their work as scientists. But, I’m going to focus on Denis’ comments, as he represents my world (evangelical Christians). More than once, he affirmed his belief that the Bible is God’s word, and how that didn’t contradict his acceptance of evolution. He tackled some pretty difficult questions. I wish he wasn’t Canadian, because he could be a huge help to the conversation here in the state.
I left the discussion pumped and a vision for the way forward. I hope to play that out more in future posts. It made me want to go back to school and get a science degree, palentology to be specific. You know how I love fossils. And Jesus.
Oh, by the way, the Darwin posts are a bit delayed. Soon. Promise.