(written by Lyn Beattie and Mitzi Tuke)
On the last day in September, a group of eight brave people organized (and implemented) a public presentation in the North-Eastern region of Melbourne. ‘Evolving Biology, Evolving Theology’ was the title they used and the forum was held in an Anglican Church hall. Seventy people attended the forum and it was comprised of two 20-25 minute talks followed by a comment/question time with a panel of four (three scientists with active Christian faith and one Vicar).
Here is a summary of the kind of material that was handled during the talks:
The goal of the evening was to explore how humankind seeks to understand the matter of the universe and how it was formed. The first presenter (a scientist with faith) focused on the unfolding of matter and life on earth. We looked at human stories, myths and narratives that arose to comprehend the universe and our place in it, and also how modern science developed and evolved to examine and understand the physical nature of the universe. The speaker invited us to ponder how it is that life emerged from the dust so that it may speculate and observe itself. So the first talk considered ‘science’.
The second talk explored our spiritual intuition and God’s creation and belief that the universe has agency in God. The speaker (an Anglican Vicar) took us on a journey through history looking at how mankind has understood, and related to, Deity at different times up until the present day. The concept of atheism was considered and we were given a fresh look at the creation story recorded in Genesis. The presenter contended that science and spirituality can, and should, complement one another and draw synergy from each other. It was demonstrated that the theological underpinnings of science are that God created a rational and intelligible universe which humankind can investigate.
(image by Natalie Tuke)
These talks, therefore, were concerned with the ‘middle ground’ between science and spirituality, and invite us to consider that science and belief in God are in fact complementary and draw strength from each other. Often people experience challenges in reconciling the two and feel that they are mutually exclusive.
Over the next six weeks, we will further explore this topic. The posts will be written by a variety of people and we would encourage you (the reader) to engage with the discussion and express your opinions through making comments or asking questions. Everybody’s contribution is valuable and adds to the wisdom of ‘Evolving Biology, Evolving Theology’.