Conference on Christianity and Science

The apparent conflict between Science and Christianity is the subject to be addressed at a day conference in Inverness which will bring together three expert speakers on the theme.

The WorldConference on Christianity & Science

Inverness East Church Hall,

 Margaret Street, Inverness IV1 1LU

Saturday, 28 August, 2010

Dr Murdo MacDonald:
Director of the Church of Scotland's Science, Religion and Technology Project.

The Rev Dr Alistair Donald:
Church of Scotland Minister currently serving as Chaplain to Herriot Watt University.

The Rev Dr Arthur Fraser:
Minister and a former University Lecturer.

10.30am - Registration and Tea/Coffee
11.30am - Murdo MacDonald
‘Science and Christianity: Friends or Foes?'
12.45pm - Lunch
1.30pm - Alistair Donald
'What is Intelligent Design?'
2.45pm - Coffee
3.15pm - Arthur Fraser
'Can Christians believe in an Old Earth?'
4.30pm - Finish

Conference Fee: £5                 Bring a Packed Lunch: Tea and Coffee provided

Further information: Tel. 01463 236695

East Church, Inverness, 14/08/2010

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Alec (Guest) 17/09/2010 13:34
Just pointing ou that there was a considerable element if underhand behaviour in how that video was made. Plus, Dawkins does give the answer - in that link I provided

I am not going to try to defend RD - I am sure he is more than capable of doing that himself

Its just that there are good ways and bad ways of dealing with people like him - this type of video is a bad one IMO

Made worse by ther fact that the question is a pertinent one, and as you say goes to the nub of the matter. I am not sure that Dawkins long written answer (in that link) actually answers it - it is not my field of expertise, so I cant really comment.

But yes, it is a good question

The point RD makes however, is important - certain things cannot be adequately explained with a quick and snappy answer - and an interview is not the place for it.

If the question had been "Is pi irrational?" There are 2 answers:

1) Yes. Next question....
2) "OK, lets start at....... [an hour later and everyone asleep]....... so you see, pi is irrational"

I suspect the "information" question is a bit like that!
Albert Dawson (Guest) 17/09/2010 13:38
I am made virtually speechless and very sad for anyone that claims that Richard Dawkins talks '...a lot of rubbish'. Such a claim offers up lots of information about the person expressing such an opinion.
George Orr 18/09/2010 10:42

Regarding RD's response article (did you read it?), let me clarify succinctly what I mean:

He talks an awful lot of rubbish and still does not answer the question. His mix science and evolution myth is laughable. To go through his article and to pull out the list of presumptions and assumptions would be tiresome.

"Such a claim offers up lots of information about the person expressing such an opinion."

You're probably right there, I've always been a non-conformist. A bit like the wee Irish boy who on seeing the king in his fine new attire has to say:

"That fella's in the nip!"

Please don't be too sad :)
Donald Boyd 02/10/2010 23:30
Alec has given his opinion 17/09/2010 09:26:

"The verse: 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." is almost irrelevant to the whole story. Mary Magdalene DID see him and believed. The disciples ALL saw the evidence and believed. Jesus can only be talking about other people, presumably future generations."

"almost irrelevant" doesn't tell us much Alec, although it tells us about your attitude to the Saviour's rebuke of Thomas for being faithless.

It also suggests that you have missed the point about believing credible testimony where the physical evidence is missing.

Further, you write: "Note: we are not told that they "believed" at that point", that is, at John 20:18. However we are told that John believed at an even earlier point without the physical evidence of having seen the risen Lord John 20:8.

Alec (Guest) 03/10/2010 11:27
Donald, i still stand by what I said - John 20:8 refers to the so called "beloved disciple" There is considerable debate as to his actual identity - he may or may not be one of the Johns. Also, he is not mentioned ata ll in the parallel text in Luke 24 wher it is Peter alone who runs to the tomb.

We are told in John 20:8 that he "believed" Believed what? There is no mention at all of Peter "believing" And then there is John 20:9 where we read: "9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)" Which confuses things even further

"Credible testimony" is a very moot concept. Eye witness evidence is notoriously unreliable. But yes, if I did hear from someone who I thought was credible, I probably would believe them.

The biggest problem with all this stuff is that the bible itself is so vague and ambiguous. It is very difficult to get the gospels to agree with one another, esp on the resurrection as the accounts are all so different (as I pointed out re Peter)

Its for the same reason that if I wanted to , i could go through the bible and pull out proof text after proof text for Arminianism.

I could also go through the bible and pull out proof text after proof text for Calvinism.

In fact I did this very exercise several years ago

You simply cannot say "The Bible says..., therefore" and claim unambiguity

If that were the case, then Christianity would be a lot more monolithic than it is - a fragmented mess of -isms and -ologies!

John Parker (Guest) 03/10/2010 13:33
Alec - with ample justification - points to the competing interpretations within the Christians church.

Much of this problem stems from the platonic dualism which is one of the hallmarks of Western/Greek thinking. This form of analysis seeks to codify everything in black and wide and is incapable of living with concepts which need to be held in creative tension e.g. Arminianism/Calvinist.

But it is wrong to conclude from these debates that the Bible is in some way deficient or self-contradictory. Who can say that he (or she) has an intellect that is on a par with the mind of God?

Scripture clearly states that there are some things which will remain hidden until a future date and other things which will only become clear in glory.

The choice facing the reader of the Bible is ackowledge (or not) the omniscience of God; or should I say to acknowledge God and His Word at all.
A P Elsworthy (Guest) 03/10/2010 14:25
I sometimes think that thoughtful Christians are by definition ill. Look, there may be a god but it cannot be the Christian version. The Christian version has been knocked on the head by reason and put to bed long ago.

Christians seem unable to look at the merits of the Christian case objectively; their minds twist,turn, invent and deflect.

The situation is so bad that like a few others I have decided to withdraw from the site immediately.
Penny Lee 03/10/2010 16:56
"I have decided to withdraw from the site immediately." he says, coming back on to check what responses that brought!

A P, I can imagine your reaction to being described as you have described us, but I won't do that because I don't believe it is true of either of us.

We have the freedom to choose what we believe. I have chosen God and you have chosen the opposite. That doesn't make me stupid and you wise - it just makes us different. That difference may become apparent after our deaths. I'm relaxed about that and I hope you are too.

Alec (Guest) 03/10/2010 19:01
Good response from John Parker - I appreciate that. I have heard of the Greek influence on our thinking before - something I would look into in more detail if I had the time!

Regarding AP's remarks, it seems a bit hasty sounding to me, like he has taken fright. Slightly OTT as well, if I may say so. Forums like this are always enriched when others of differing viewpoints contribute positively. Nothing worse than a web forum where everyone pats each others backs and says how fantastic we all are.....

So dont go, AP, stay and say stuff. I enjoy reading it - even if I think that last remark was aimed in my direction....

Smile. It's not so bad....

:-) Like that


Donald Boyd 07/10/2010 22:17
Alec says: “i still stand by what I said”. This includes 17/09/2010 09:26: “The disciples ALL saw the evidence and believed. Jesus can only be talking about other people, presumably future generations.” This is contradicted by “the other disciple” in Jn 20:8, but as you sound like a person who keeps digging I will leave you to it.

You say that Jn 20:9 “confuses things even further”. This text reminds me of a similar one by the Lord Jesus Christ: “You err, not knowing the Scriptures” Mat 22:29; Mark 12:24. In both cases, we are told that they did not know the Scripture. The Person Who leads us into the meaning of Scripture is the Holy Spirit John 16:13. He authenticates it to the believer as the Witness dwelling in the believer 1John 5:10. He is the Person Who convinces the believer that the Scripture is credible testimony. This is why the Saviour says that we must be born again by the Holy Spirit John 3:5; 1John 5:1,7,8.

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Inverness Area > Conference on Christianity and Science