Religion/science reading group at Messiah College

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Thu Aug 26 2004 - 14:13:36 EDT

A few minutes ago I sent the following announcement to people interested in
the new Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science. Those on this
list who are interested should respond as requested below. ASAers in the
general area are requested to forward this to friends in this area, thanks,


Reading Group on religion/science at Messiah College

My thanks to all who responded to my questions about the reading group. As
might be expected, it isn't possible to find a night when everyone can come,
but a large majority of those who responded indicated that Thursday would
fit their schedules. The second Thursday fits best into the college's
schedule, so we will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 9, at
7:00 pm. Most months I expect everything to be over in about 90 minutes;
the first night, it might be closer to 60 minutes.

We will meet in Kline Hall, room 108. Barring unforeseen surprises,
parking should be available in the lot behind the Kline-Jordan complex.
That's the large rectangular space inside the L-shaped complex that consists
of buildings 20 and 23 on our campus map: Most evenings parking will
also be available throughout the campus, and unless a space is specifically
marked for a special purpose you may use it.

We will serve light refreshments, so it would be helpful to have a
preliminary head count by early next week. Also, I need almost immediately
to order copies of the book for those Forum members who plan to participate;
non-members will need to bring their own copies. Therefore, if you plan to
participate, please reply to this message as soon as possible. If you don't
see this message for several days, or if you only decide to come at the last
minute, that's OK-please come anyway, but if possible please respond very
soon to confirm your intention to participate. You are invited to join us,
whether or not you have already expressed interest. Please in turn invite
friends to come with you. And if you are a Forum member, please remind
me-several people have joined over the summer, and my list may not be

Which book did you prefer? There was no single clear choice, actually.
Several people declined to express a preference for any book, and several
others picked two or three titles of interest. A plurality of votes were
cast for the following book, which we will read this year:
Kenneth R. Miller, Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common
Ground between God and Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999). My review is here: It's readily available from
online booksellers for about $12, and sells enough copies that local retail
outlets might have it in stock.

To prepare for our first meeting, please read my review above. We won't
discuss any specific parts of the book the first evening, since members
won't get their copies until then and others might not have copies yet
either. But I will attempt to survey the book's contents for you and
comment on some criticisms/praises that have been made. I invite you to
bring copies of a few book reviews, to help us being the process of
understanding and evaluating the book.

Not to worry-once we get started, we won't read the whole book in one
month. In fact, my assumption is that we will either spend the whole
academic year (September to April or May) on this one book, or else at least
half the year. I'll ask you to tell me what you think when we meet for the
first time. And don't worry about the format, either-no one will be pressed
to speak, there are no papers to submit, and no exams to write. Just bring
your book, your questions and comments, and your friends!

Thank you for your attention to this,


PS. I'll email everyone again in the next few days, perhaps as early as
tomorrow, with final details on our events for the early autumn. The
godandscience webpage should be updated sometime next week.

Received on Thu Aug 26 14:50:27 2004

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