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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 42 - July 2009

With the rest of Cambridge we are bracing ourselves for a major dose of all things Darwinian over the coming week as the Darwin Festival opens with a reception on the evening of 5th July. There is a handy summary of the Institute’s involvement in the Festival up on our home-page (www.faraday-institute.org), but here are a couple of reminders for those in the Cambridge area.

On the afternoons of July 6th and 7th there are sessions on ‘Theology in Darwinian Context’ (see http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/festival/afternoonfocus) and the Director will be one of the speakers on Monday 6th on the topic ‘Is Darwinism Incompatible with Purpose?’ Prior registration through the Cambridge Festival is necessary to attend.

On Tuesday 7th July at 5.45 p.m. in Mill Lane Lecture Room 3, Cambridge University, the Faraday Institute is hosting a free showing of the highly successful BBC2 documentary ‘Did Darwin Kill God?’ presented by Dr Conor Cunningham (Nottingham University). The film will be introduced by Dr Cunningham who will take questions from the audience after the showing. There will be refreshments and a bookstall afterwards. Unlike the main Festival events, this event is free and open to all.

The formal launch of the ‘Test of Faith’ project will take place at The Royal Society, London, on Monday, July 13th, at 7.30 p.m. This will include a preview of the first section of the documentary film on science and faith, together with a talk and Q&A with the Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS. This is a ticketed event and if you are interested in attending please contact James Crocker at jrc65@cam.ac.uk. For more details about the project see: http://www.testoffaith.com.

The Test of Faith materials, including a DVD of the documentary, may now be purchased at a special discount via the Faraday Web-Site Shop, either singly or in a pack, at:
www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.ukShop.php?Mode=TOF

This past month saw the last of our Faraday Research Seminars for this academic year when Dr Janet Soskice spoke to the 65 attending this lunch-time seminar on the subject ‘Creation ex Nihilo and What It Means for Science’. It has been good to see numbers at these Seminars keeping up so well during this past year. Dr Soskice is author of the recent best-seller ‘The Sisters of Sinai’ which recounts how two redoubtable Scottish twins were involved in the discovery of important Biblical manuscripts in the 19th century and in the founding of Westminster College, Cambridge, where many Faraday Courses are held.

From June 15-19 the Director participated in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘Building Bridges’ conference in Istanbul, an annual dialogue between Christian and Muslim scholars which this year centred on the theme of science and faith. This involved a public lecture given at Bahcesehir University on the topic ‘Science and religious belief in the modern world: challenges and opportunities’.

The Director has also recently been in a radio discussion on the topic ‘Are Christian faith and science at odds?’ with a well-known US critic of religion, P.Z. Myers, and the podcast is now posted at:
http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

The Director’s recently published Cambridge Paper about human enhancement technologies entitled ‘Enhancing Humans or a New Creation?’ is available for free down-load from: www.jubilee-centre.org/resources.

The Course Director’s paper ‘Thomas Torrance: “Retreat to Commitment” or a New Place for Natural Theology?’ is published in the latest issue of Theology and Science. The abstract is to be found at www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a912448732 and the full paper can be downloaded by subscribers.


Denis Alexander Bob White

[Director]  [Associate Director]