Stephen M. BarrUniversity of Delaware
Jonathan LunineCornell University
5:30 Reception | 6:00pm Discussion
Co-sponsored by The Columbia University Seminar on Catholicism, Culture and Modernity, the Columbia Catholic Ministry, and the Society of Catholic Scientists. This programming is made possible by a grant from the Templeton Foundation.
A Discussion with Stephen Barr (University of Delaware), Jonathan Lunine (Cornell University), moderated by Carlo Lancellotti (CUNY Staten Island).
In reaction to Pope John Paul II's 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth", Stephen Jay Gould famously published his view on religion and science being non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA). He proposed that religion and science were distinct and separate domains of teaching authority, with no interference between--or influence upon--each other. Gould maintained that science documents the factual character of the natural world and seeks theoretical constructs to explain those facts, while religion operates on the "realm of human purposes, meanings, and values."
This consensus position proved popular among scientists and people of faith for its diplomacy, but is such a model sufficient for understanding the relationship between faith and science? Can science inform faith? Does religious thinking shape our approach towards science and its application, and does that necessarily contradict NOMA? Come as two Catholic scientists weigh in on the chasms and connections of Science and Religion.
Stephen M. Barr, a theoretical particle physicist (PhD from Princeton University), has held research positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, where he is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Director of its Bartol Research Institute. His research centers on “grand unified theories” and the cosmology of the early universe. He has written 150 research papers, as well as the article on “Grand Unification” for the Encyclopedia of Physics. He has lectured widely on the relation of science and religion and is the author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, A Student’s Guide to Natural Science, and Science and Religion: The Myth of Conflict. He is also President of the Society of Catholic Scientists.