God & Science

Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science

God and ScienceThe Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science, under the direction of Dr. Edward B. (“Ted”) Davis, Professor of the History of Science, sponsors a variety of events, all intended to help promote better understanding of religion and science–including medicine and social science–in this region.  We continue the college’s established tradition of hosting speakers who represent diverse religious and disciplinary perspectives.  We also sponsor a book discussion group, presently meeting (usually) on the second Thursday of the month during the academic year (see below for more details).  Most events take place on our campus, but some are held in other locations. 

All of our events are announced here.  PLEASE BOOKMARK THIS PAGE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.  Information about each event is also sent electronically to anyone who wants to be contacted by email.  Recipients are sent blind copies, in order to ensure that individual addresses are kept private.  To add your name to this list, or to update your email address, contact Dr. Davis at Tdavis@messiah.edu or at 717.766.2511 ext. 6840.  Dr. Davis’ web page contains further resources on science and religion:

http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/

All of our events are open to the public—indeed, it is the people of central Pennsylvania whom we seek to serve.  Most events are free; any exceptions will be clearly announced.  Annual membership in the Forum is possible for a contribution in any amount.  To inquire about becoming a member, contact Dr. Davis.  The primary benefit of membership is knowing that you have helped us provide quality programs, but from time to time members are invited to a limited number of private events, such as opportunities to dine with speakers, and members are also invited to suggest specific programs for future events.

EVENTS FOR SPRING 2014

THE READING GROUP will discuss

by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (New York: Schocken Books, 2011). Here is the Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Partnership-Science-Religion/dp/0805243011. From 1991 until earlier this year, Dr. Sacks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Jonathan_Sacks) was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the [British] Commonwealth. 

Everyone is welcome to attend, whether or not you can attend all the meetings and whether or not you have been part of our group before. Just be sure to bring your own copy of the book. Newcomers are especially encouraged to come. Here is the schedule:

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Kline 108

Chaps 13 & 14 ("When Religion Goes Wrong" and "Why God?")

Thursday, Apr 3, 2014
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Kline 108

Epilogue ("Letter to a Scientific Atheist") and Appendix ("Jewish Sources on Creation, the Age of the Universe and Evolution")


This fall we have two FREE PUBLIC LECTURES. The theme is Copernicus, Galileo, and the idea of a moving earth. Both events are co-sponsored by Messiah College Friends of Murray Library, with whom we are delighted to collaborate. Details are:

  • Lecture on "Moving the Earth: Why Copernicus’ Theory was so Hard to Accept ," by Dr. Ted Davis of Messiah College. Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 7:00 pm, in Frey Hall 110 . For more information, see the pull-down menu at the upper left.
  • Lecture on "Copernicus and Galileo: Authors of the Moving Earth," by internationally known science writer Dava Sobel. Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at 8:00 pm, in Parmer Hall, in The Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts. For more information, see the pull-down menu at the upper left. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Donors to the Central PA Forum may request premium seats from Dr. Ted Davis; others should contact the Messiah College Ticket Office: tickets@messiah.edu or 717-691-6036.

In the meantime, I will give a free public lecture, "The Bible and Biology," at Elizabethtown College on Thursday, Sept 26, 2013, at 4:00 pm, in Steinman Hall 114. Details at http://www.etown.edu/newsandevents/cultural/index.aspx?trumbaEmbed=view%3devent%26eventid%3d84262489.

EVENTS FOR SPRING 2014

Finally, let me give advance notice of a major event coming up in the spring. On Friday evening, March March 7, and Saturday, March 8, the Forum will host a workshop about Chrisitianity and the age of the earth by geologist Ken Wolgemuth (http://solidrocklectures.org/workshopsproblem.html). Dr. Wolgemuth, a graduate of Wheaton College, did his doctoral work in the 1960s at Columbia University, where he studied with some of the experts who pioneered modern geochronology. For several years, he has been doing workhsops for churches, seminaries, home schools, and colleges. He has a gift for explaining complicated scientific information in a simple, but highly accurate manner, for those of us who aren't experts. This event is ideal for pastors, youth leaders, and anyone else who wants a better understanding of a topic that is often controversial among Christians. Details will be announced closer to the date of the event, but you might want to keep the dates open--and alert your pastor or youth leader to this upcoming opportunity.