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Origins & The Big Questions: Conference 2008. Part 3
Does science make belief in God obsolete?
Dr. Nancey Murphy
Dr. Nancey Murphy gave a brief history of the religious debate about belief in God and the relationship with science, as well as her passionate belief that God is active in the world through divine intervention of prayer, even though there is nothing God does that could not have happened by natural means.
Dr. Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, won prizes from both the American Academy of Religion and the Templeton Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences and an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. Her most recent books are: Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will; Physics and Cosmology: Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil; and Evolution and Emergence: Systems, Organisms, Persons.
Dr. Kenneth Miller
Dr. Kenneth Miller began with an inside look at the Dover Intelligent Design trial as one of the expert witnesses and the author of the biology textbook that led to the controversy in the first place. Miller, one of the leading cell biologists as well as a practicing Catholic, then gave his views on why there is no conflict between science and religion, why certain religious tenets are not scientific testable hypotheses (such as the virgin birth), and yet why science does not make belief in God obsolete. The author of Finding Darwin’s God and Only a Theory, gave an eloquent and impassioned case for why believing in God is reasonable and rational.
Dr. Kenneth Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University. He is a cell biologist, and chairs the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology. He serves as an advisor on life sciences to the PBS television news program NewsHour, and is the author of the bestselling book Finding Darwin’s God, as well as the controversial biology textbook that triggered the Dover creationism trial, at which he testified as an expert witness. His new book, based on his experiences at the trial, is Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.
Dr. Michael Shermer
Dr. Michael Shermer countered both Miller and Murphy by explaining why supernatural explanations for the origins of the universe, the laws of nature, time, life, and consciousness do not explain anything because by definition science only operates in the natural world; further, Shermer showed how an extraterrestrial intelligence of great power could do anything attributed to the Judeo-Christian God, and so what would be the difference between G.O.D. and E.T.?
Dr. Michael Shermer is cofounder of the Skeptics Society, the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Society Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University and the author of many books.