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Religious and Scientific Communities Collide at Providence
2009-11-23

Religious and Scientific Communities Collide at Providence

Do science and faith ever agree on anything?

The two have been at odds in the past, but on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Faculty Forum at Providence College, A Scientist Reflects on How God Makes the World, Dr. Glen Klassen suggested both can learn a lot from each other.

"I don’t think we need to keep them separate," says Klassen. "We want to heal. We don’t want to just say goodbye to each other."

Klassen added that unfortunately some academics have turned away from religion because the Church adopts certain scientific theories for theological reasons.

Panelist Bruce Duggan, Associate Professor of Management, agreed. “I think we make a mistake as Christians to link our beliefs to one or another scientific theory. I think it brings Christianity into disrepute. Is Christianity less plausible because the theory is less plausible? I don’t see why we would do that as apologetics, it seems like a lousy plan.”

Klassen’s hope for the discussion was to start addressing the disconnect between Seminary and Academia. Duggan called it, “both groups talking and discussing and thinking and simply pretending the other didn’t exist." Instead, he wondered if the contradictions between science and faith are due to an incompleteness of human knowledge.

To help illustrate the potential for a middle ground between science and faith, Klassen quoted Walter Hearn’s 63 Thanksgiving, which says, "Alpha, beta, gamma rays, Join the chorus of His praise, Viruses and protozoa, Praise the faithful God of Noah, Man who can subdue the earth, Praise the God who gave you birth."

But there are few who praise Klassen’s efforts to bring both the scientific and religious community together.

“I would think that there are scientists who look on you as an apostate, and Christians who look on you as an apostate, and on neither side are they going to say, “Way to stand up for that position,”” says Duggan.

The applause when Duggan earnestly commended Klassen by adding, "Way to go," suggested many in the audience were in agreement.
 

 
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