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Origins & The Big Questions: Conference 2008 (5 Part Set)

Origins & The Big Questions: Conference 2008 (5 Part Set)

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Today, there is arguably no hotter topic in culture than science and religion, and so much of the debate turns on the “Big Questions” that involve “origins ”: the origin of the universe, the origin of the “fine-tuned” laws of nature, the origin of time and time’s arrow, the origin of life and complex life, and the origin of brains, minds, and consciousness. From theologians and philosophers to creationists and intelligent design theorists, the central core of almost all of their arguments centers on filling these “origin” gaps with God. But now science is making significant headway into providing natural explanations for these ultimate questions, which leaves us with the biggest question of all: “Does science make belief in God obsolete?” we have assembled some of the world’s greatest minds to discuss some of the world’s greatest questions.


  • Dr. Donald Prothero on The Origin of Life and the Cambrian Explosion
  • Dr. Leonard Susskind on The Origin of the “Fine-Tuned” Laws of Nature
  • Dr. Paul Davies on The Origin of the Universe
  • Dr. Sean Carroll on The Origin of Time and Time’s Arrow
  • Dr. Christof Koch on The Origin of Brains, Minds, & Consciousness

Dr. Leonard Susskind is the discoverer of string theory, and the Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics at Stanford University. Dr. Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, author and broadcaster at Arizona State University where he is setting up a research institute to examine fundamental concepts in science. Dr. Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in Physics at the Caltech in theoretical physics, focusing on cosmology, field theory, particle physics, and gravitation. Dr. Donald Prothero is Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at Caltech. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 21 books and almost 200 scientific papers, and has served as an associate or technical editor for Geology, Paleobiology, and Journal of Paleontology. Dr. Christof Koch has a Ph.D. in (bio)-physics with a minor in Philosophy. After four years at MIT, he joined the California Institute of Technology, where he is the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology. His laboratory focuses on experimental and computational research pertaining to neuronal correlates of selective visual attention and consciousness in the mammalian brain, a topic he worked on for nearly two decades with Francis Crick.

Does science make belief in God obsolete?
dialogue moderated by Dr. Philip Clayton with

  • Dr. Kenneth Miller
  • Dr. Nancey Murphy
  • Dr. Michael Shermer

Dr. Philip Clayton is Professor of Religion & Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University & Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology, specializing in the intersection of science & religion. Dr. Kenneth Miller is a cell biologist is Professor of Biology at Brown University. He chairs the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology & serves as an advisor on life sciences to the PBS television news program NewsHour. Dr. Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences & an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. Dr. Michael Shermer is cofounder of the Skeptics Society, the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American.

Great God Debate: Does Science Support Belief in a Deity?
Dr. Hugh Ross v. Dr. Victor Stenger

Dr. Hugh Ross has a Ph.D. in astronomy and was a research fellow in radio astronomy at Caltech in the 1970s. He is the founding director of Reasons to Believe, an international interdenominational science-faith think tank. Dr. Victor Stenger is emeritus professor of physics & astronomy at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado.

Mr. Deity

Yes, that’s right, the Deity was in attendance. Mr. Deity — the Internet YouTube and Crackle video clip sensation — offers a humorous (and slightly irreverent) peek into the day-to-day operations of the universe and the Big Man in charge — a behind-the-scenes look at how Mr. Deity and his long-suffering assistant Larry, grapple with the complications of their new Creation. Mr. Deity (Brian Keith Dalton), Larry (Jimbo Marshall), Jesus/Jesse (Sean Douglas), and Lucy/Lucifer (Amy Rohren) entertained with live skits, and discussed the making the series, the responses they have gotten from believers and skeptics alike, and the more serious theological and philosophical issues that have been raised in individual episodes. A lively question and answer session followed. A must for Mr Deity fans.

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