The Steeple Church, Dundee

God, The Scientist


DSC_0760 (2)Summary

The committee hope to set up a programme of events that will engage with the wider community in Dundee, in general, and the congregation of The Steeple Church, in specific, in order to educate people on scientific issues and to facilitate and cultivate a long term exploration and discussion of the inter-relationship of science and faith. For our scientific talks and discussions we aim to maximise congregational engagement by utilising, to the fullest extent possible, the resources and expertise of scientists within the congregation. We also feel it is especially important to avoid excluding members of the congregation with little or no scientific knowledge. In order to achieve this we have organised a play on the life of Charles Darwin and will also provide regular informal introductions to and discussion of scientific ideas. We hope that the project will be engaging, informative and fun and that everyone’s tastes will be catered for by our diverse selection of events and topics. The committee is also aiming to make the project as unrestrictive as possible in order to provide scope for unplanned events if there is sufficient appetite within the congregation to do so.

Key Questions

  1. Can a scientist believe in God?
  2. Do Science and Religion truly give conflicting accounts of reality?
  3. Does Science disprove the existence of God any more convincingly than religion can prove it?
  4. Is faith required for both positions?

038 JAGA 060213 (2)Events

Sunday 28th September:  SiCs Launch: lunch after church service (service starts 10.30) followed by Scientists on the Couch, when a couple of members of our own congregation with a background in science  will be asked about their experience and their attitudes to science and faith.  Are they conflicting or complementary, mutually enriching or mutually exclusive?

Part of the official Dundee Science Festival programme on Friday 7th November, Saturday 8th November, 7.30at The Steeple Church:  performance of Murray Watts’ ‘Mr Darwin’s Tree’,  depicting Charles Darwin’s extraordinary life from the Beagle voyage to the world-shattering publication of the Origin of the Species.  Faith, science and doubt meet in this exploratory insight. Actor, Andrew Harrison, flows seamlessly though an impressive and diverse range of characters.  Post-show discussion to follow.

Part of the official Dundee Science Festival programme on Saturday 15th November, 7.30 at St Peter’s Free Church,St Peter’s Street, Dundee, DD1 4JJ:  Presentation – The God Delusion:  Can a Scientist Believe in God? by Prof Andrew Halestrap, MA(Cantab), PhD, DSc(Bristol), FMedSci, Professor of Biochemistry at Bristol University, and currently Chairman of Christians in Science in the UK,  exploring the relationship between Science and Faith: do they truly give conflicting accounts of reality, and does science disprove the existence of God any more convincingly than religion can prove it?  Is faith required for both positions?

Friday, 27th March, 7.30 at The Steeple Church:  Presentation – The ‘god-spot’:  Does modern brain science explain belief? by Glynn Harrison (Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Bristol. He was formerly a consultant clinical psychiatrist and President of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology. He is a Lay Minister in the Church of England and a member of its governing General Synod. He lectures widely on issues in psychology, pastoral care and the interface between biblical faith and mental health).  – looking at the question of whether modern neuroscience has disproved God because we are beginning to detect spiritual activity in brain scans.

Sunday 29th March:  Lunch after church and seminar with Glynn Harrison – ‘The Big Ego Trip’ – a provocative critique of the self-esteem movement and the modern quest for significance and meaning.

Other events exploring the interface between faith and science will be publicised in due course.  It is hoped that there will be scientific talks on topical issues and presentations of scientific papers from those who are currently involved in research.