Religion & Science:  The Best of Enemies - The Worst of Friends

A series of programs to explore what is religion and what is science; the contributions that religion and science have made and continue to make to society; the ethical challenges posed by advances in science and technology; if religion and science can co-exist in an intellectually supportive and nurturing environment; and if so, how each can help humankind understand and use science and technology wisely.

Sponsored by The Harbinger

Co-sponsored by:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship-Mobile
Sigma Xi-University of South Alabama
Philosophy Club-Spring Hill College

Funding for this series is provided by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thursday, April 3; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"What is Religion?"

Richard Sneed, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy & Religion, Spring Hill College

In its purest form religion, like science, is an attempt to explain the world and its processes, and our place in it. Both religion and science have proposed explanations which conflict and appear mutually exclusive. An attempt will be made to suggest that both views are limited and incomplete, and that each may have much to say to the other while attempting to find answers.

"What is Science?"

Sheldon F. Gottlieb, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Alabama

In recent years there has been much concern about the degree of scientific illiteracy in society. One problem is the inability of people to distinguish between science and religion; fact and faith. Emphasis will be placed on the underlying premises of science and religion; their similarities and differences and the nature of evidence and how it is obtained.

Thursday, April 10; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"Religion & Science: A Historical Perspective"

C. David Gruender, Ph.D.
Philosophy Department, Florida State University

The tension between religion and science will be reviewed from a historical perspective, using Galileo, Darwin, and modern events as examples. The case of Sir Issac Newton illustrates a way that religion and science can co-exist and cooperate in addressing human endeavors.

Thursday, April 17; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"A Comparison of Religious and Non-Religious Bases of Ethics"

Timothy Madigan Executive Editor, Free Inquiry

It has been generally taken for granted that ethical systems must be based upon devine commandments and/or a system of eternal rewards and punishments. However, many people argue strongly for an evolutionary understanding of the origins of human morality. Mr. Madigan will emphasize the non-religious bases of ethics and morality and their implications for understanding the human condition.

Thursday, April 24; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"Knowing the Human Genome: The Impact on Society"

Herbert W. Winkler, Ph.D.
Louise Locke Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Uni. of South Alabama

Soon science will know all of the genetic information in a human being. What does that mean? What will be the impact of this knowledge to the future of humankind?

Thursday, May 1; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"Religious and Scientific Interpretations of the Human Being"

H. James Birx, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, 1997; Professor of Anthropology, Canisius College

Since the writings of Darwin, the entrenched beliefs and ideas of the human being in nature have been seriously challenged by advances in knowledge. Dr. Birx will focus his discussion on the changes of the religious concepts of humankind in light of recent discoveries in anthropology.

Thursday, May 15; 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"My Scientific Discussions on Evolution for the Pope"

Sidney W. Fox, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Scientist
Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama

Dr. Fox will review the scientific discussions on evolution which he made before the Pope and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on three separate occasions. He will talk about the laboratory creation of living cells from non-living materials and their unique evolutionary significance in explaining natural genesis.

Thursday, May 22, 7 PM
Medical School Auditorium, University of South Alabama

"The Future in the Relationship Between Science and Religion? How or Can They Get Along?"

Ed. M. Bunnell, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, University of South Alabama

The pages of history have been filled with reports of conflict, even open hostility, between the advocates of religion and of science: between faith and reason. What does the future hold? Will these conflicts disappear, abate, or exacerbate? Or, will these differing world views learn to live together cooperatively as our scientifically and technologically oriented society moves into the 21st century?

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