Templeton/ASA lectures at Messiah

Fri, 4 Oct 96 08:34:00 -0400

The John M. Templeton Foundation will sponsor a series
of lectures at Messiah College this academic year. All
events are free and open to the public. Please attend
if you can and encourage others to do the same. And don't
hesitate to send this post to other lists or to interested


Item Subject: SERIES
Conversations about Religion and Science

A series of lectures on various aspects of the
interaction between modern science and Christian
faith, hosted by Messiah College and supported by
the John M. Templeton Foundation.

For additional information, contact Ted Davis:

(1) Thursday, October 31
7:00 pm
Frey Hall 110

Speaker: Dr. David G. Myers, the John Dirk
Werkman Professor of Psychology at Hope College
(Holland, Michigan), is an award-winning
researcher and teacher who specializes in social
psychology. Author of two widely studied texts
and numerous articles in professional journals,
Myers also addresses lay audiences on a regular
basis, both in writing and in person. His most
recent book, The Pursuit of Happiness: Who Is
Happy -- and Why (William Morrow, 1992; Avon,
1993), challenges the individualism and
materialism of Americans and affirms the
significance of positive traits, committed
relationships, and religious faith.

Title/description: "The New Scientific Pursuit of
Happiness: Who Is Happy?" Myers will explore the
things that do, and surprisingly don't, predict
people's feelings of well-being. Does happiness
favor those of a particular age or sex? Does
wealth enhance well-being? Does it help to have
certain trait, to have close friends, to be
married, or to have an active religious faith?
New studies explode some myths about what makes
for happiness, and reveal the marks of joy-filled

(2) Tuesday, November 12
7:30 pm
Frey Hall 110

Speaker: Dr. Howard J. Van Till, Professor of
Physics at Calvin College (Grand Rapids,
Michigan), has done research in low temperature
physics and astrophysics that has been published
in leading scientific journals. He has also
written, for church members and other general
readers, three books and several essays about the
relationship between modern cosmology, evolution,
and the biblical doctrine of creation. A frequent
speaker at public symposia, Van Till is known for
his critiques of both naturalistic evolutionism
and scientific creationism.

Title/description: "Is Evolutionary Continuity a
Heresy?" How has God's creative work become
manifest in the course of time? As a series of
special creative acts, or as a continuous
development of new forms? Christian proponents of
the concept of special creation have often treated
the scientific concept of evolutionary continuity
as an adversary. However, an investigation of
early Christian reflections regarding the
character of the created world reveals a concept
of the universe's functional integrity that could
well serve as the theological foundation for the
idea that the formative history of the creation
might be evolutionary in character.

(3) Tuesday, Dec 10
7:30 pm
Frey Hall 110

Speaker: Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Professor
of Psychology and Philosophy at Eastern College
(St. David's, Pennsylvania), is a prominent
Christian feminist and a leading exponent of the
integration of psychology and the Christian faith.
Author of several scholarly books and articles,
Van Leeuwen is perhaps best known for two works
written for a general audience, The Sorcerer's
Apprentice: A Christian Looks at the Changing Face
of Psychology (InterVarsity Press, 1982) and
Gender and Grace: Love, Work and Parenting in a
Changing World (InterVarsity Press, 1990).

Title/description: "To Ask a Better Question: The
Heterosexuality/Homosexuality Debate Revisited."
and philosopher, this lecture examines definitions
of sexual orientation and the controversy
surrounding its origin, and questions the ethic of
an individualistic hedonism that affects straight
and gay people alike. The broader question posed
is this: "How can all who follow Christ live so as
to reverse the sexual chaos of our culture and
build churches and communities which are truly

(4) Thursday, February 27
7:30 pm
Frey Hall 110

Speaker: Dr. Edward B. Davis, Professor of the
History of Science at Messiah College, is a
leading authority on Robert Boyle (whose works he
is editing with British scholar Michael Hunter)
and the interplay between religion and science in
the Scientific Revolution. He is also known for
his research on the early history of creationism
in the United States. Davis' course at Messiah on
"Issues in Science and Religion" was recently
chosen as one of five model courses in an
international competition sponsored by the
Templeton Foundation.

Title/description: "Whose Science? Whose Values?
Evolution and Public Education." The lecture
begins with a survey of various reasons why many
Americans have objected to the teaching of
evolution in public schools and universities,
illustrated with cartoons from the late 1880s
through the early 1930s. Because science is not
value free, Davis then argues, many citizens will
continue to call for fundamental changes in
science education. He suggests that a resolution
is best sought by taking both science and religion
more seriously in public education.

(Dr. Davis' lecture is not funded by the Templeton

(5) Tuesday, March 25
7:30 pm
Frey Hall 110

Speaker: Dr. Edward J. Larson, Professor of
History and Law at the University of Georgia
(Athens, Georgia), specializes in first amendment
issues, health care law, and the history of
American science. For several years, Larson
provided legal advice to the United States
Congress and the Department of Education, during
which time he wrote the Equal Access Act, which
insures that student-run religious groups will
have the same access to public school facilities
as other student groups. Author of the definitive
legal history of creationism, Larson's most recent
book is Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the
Deep South (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).

Title/description: "The History of Eugenics
Confronts the Promise of Genetics." Nearly a
century ago, eugenics offered the prospect of
manipulating human heredity through selective
breeding. As that scientific theory impinged on
public policy, Americans changed the way they
thought about and treated each other. Now that
the Human Genome Project again promises control
over heredity, Larson examines our eugenic past
and its lessons for our genetic future.