Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lecture on March 28th - The dance of the fertile universe: Did God do it?

As part of Hampshire College Lecture Series on Science & Religion, Dr. George V. Coyne, the Director Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory, will give a lecture on The dance of the fertile universe: Did God do it? If you live in/near western Massachusetts, please join us at the lecture. As usual, we will also be recording the lecture and I will post the video when its available.
Here is the full announcement:
Hampshire College Lecture Series on Science & Religion Presents

The dance of the fertile universe: Did God do it?
George V. Coyne, S.J.

Friday, March 28, 2008
5:30p.m., Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
Hampshire College

Did we come about by chance or by necessity in the evolving universe? Did God make us? Can we conclude that there is Intelligent Design to the universe? To what extent can the natural sciences address these questions? As to chance or necessity the first thing to be said is that the problem is not formulated correctly. It is not just a question of chance or necessity because, first of all, it is both. Furthermore, there is a third element here that is very important. It is what we might call the 'fertility' of the universe. So the dance of the fertile universe is a ballet with three ballerinas: chance, necessity and fertility. What this means is that the universe is so fertile in offering the opportunity for the success of both chance and necessary processes that such a character of the universe must be included in the search for our origins in the universe. In this light I am going to try to present in broad strokes what I think is some of the best of our modern scientific understanding of the universe and then return to the questions above.

George V. Coyne, S.J. is a Jesuit Priest and an astronomer. He is Director Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory and Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Wayfarers in the Cosmos: The Human Quest for Meaning.

Upcoming lecture:
  • Lawrence Krauss, Thursday, October 23, 2008
About the Hampshire College Science & Religion Lecture Series:
This is the second year of a three-year lecture series that aims to bring together philosophers, theologians, historians and scientists to discuss topics in science & religion. The themes for the lecture series are as follows:

2006-2007: Nature, Belief & the Supernatural
2007-2008: A History of Conflict & Cooperation
2008-2009: A Matter of Origins & the Meaning of Life

For more information on the Lecture Series, please visit

Salman Hameed
Assistant Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities
Hampshire College

Laura Sizer
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Hampshire College


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