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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 32 - September 2008

          

The summer provides a good opportunity to do research, catch breath and even, for some, take a vacation. At the same time the Institute has been raising its public profile a little in order to fulfill our aim to contribute to the public understanding of science and religion.

 The Institute now has a presence on YouTube in the form of brief interviews with speakers who come for our Faraday Courses. The initial six or so interviews are already posted at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FaradayInstitute and more will follow. The Alister McGrath interview received 240 views in the first couple of days after posting, so that augurs well for the future!

Our Current Issues Folder now contains an interview with Francis Collins who in 1993 succeeded James Watson as director of the National Center for Human Genome Research (since 1997, the National Human Genome Research Institute). Dr Collins oversaw the Human Genome Project, which in April 2003 published an almost complete 'map' of the human genome. The publication of this interview marks the completion of Dr Collins’ role as director of the NHGRI. You will also find an interview with Francis Collins posted on our YouTube site.

The two books by Faraday Staff members mentioned in the last newsletter have been selling briskly from our on-line Shop over this past month (www.faraday-institute.org). In case you were on vacation and missed them, the books are: Denis Alexander’s new book ‘Creation or Evolution – Do We Have to Choose?’ (Oxford: Monarch; pb 382pp, retail: £10.99, our price £6 plus p & p viz 45% discount) and Rodney Holder’s re-issued book ‘Nothing but Atoms and Molecules? (also from the Faraday shop at the bargain price of £6 plus p & p).

Other items are also available from the on-line Shop, including the Faraday Papers in packets of 13 different Papers selling for only £2 per pack, or 10 copies of the same Paper at £1.50. The Papers make excellent discussion group material in educational and other contexts, and special prices on bulk orders are available on request. Also don’t forget Nick Spencer and Bob White’s book ‘Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living’ (SPCK, 2007) being sold from our Shop for only £7.

The Faraday Multimedia Folder continues to be populated with an ever-growing array of on-line talks. A further 40 items or more have been posted over the past couple of months. The most recent talks can be listened to or down-loaded in video format, but on-line video-streaming on these recently posted talks is not yet available due to a technical glitch that we are working on.

The Faraday Course entitled ‘Science and Religion for Church Leaders’, also intended for those training for ministry, will take place Nov 4-6th. As usual full details are up on the Faraday web-site (www.faraday-institute.org).  The speakers will be Prof. John Bryant (Genetic manipulation and stem cells); Dr Allan Chapman (History); Prof. Darrel Falk (evolution); Prof. Richard Hess (Interpreting Genesis); Revd Dr Rodney Holder (Is the universe designed?); Prof. Colin Humphreys (Miracles); and the Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS (Universe in Trinitarian perspective and evidence for the resurrection). This is a great line-up of speakers and topics and promises to be an excellent Course. If you are in this category, or know someone who is, then early registration is encouraged.

Those in the Birmingham UK area might be interested to know that on Saturday, 27th September, at 4.0 p.m. in the George Hotel, Lichfield, the Institute Director will be in debate with Prof. Steve Fuller (Prof. of Sociology at Warwick University) at the Lichfield Literary Festival (http://www.lichfieldfestival.org/) on the subject of Intelligent Design. This is a somewhat counterintuitive debate in that Prof. Fuller, an agnostic, is an ID supporter whereas the Director, a theist, is a critic of ID. Hopefully the exchange of views will clarify rather than further obfuscate a topic perennially surrounded by a thick fog of confusion.

Denis Alexander                                                       Bob White

[Director, Faraday Institute]                          [Associate Director]