Designer Babies

8 pm Tuesday 26 September 2017

Lindisfarne House, Barbourne Terrace, Worcester WR1 3JS

(Lindisfarne House is the first house in Barbourne Terrace when coming from the A38, and is almost opposite St George’s Square). All welcome; no pre-booking necessary. Parking. Coffee at about 9.30 pm

Will doctors one day determine our health and our abilities before we are born?

A discussion involving contributions from Mrs Poov Wood, Dr Carla Laverack, Revd Dr Stephen May, Prof. Geoff Pritchard, and a short video contribution by an American scientist.

Animal characteristics (such as colour and temperament) are usually inherited. A dog can be trained, but the character of an animal does not simply emerge in a newborn animal at random. Modern  evolutionary science indicates that the same applies to humans too. A nation could try therefore to gain an edge over its neighbours by “improving” its gene pool, and genetic medicine could one day eliminate some inherited diseases.Determining any human or animal’s DNA has become almost routine for police investigations. It will soon become even more important for medicine.

Most religious faiths have been extremely wary of experiments in this field. Using the information mentioned above soon becomes a moral minefield even for nonbelievers, as the patient (i.e the embryo) is not in a position to be consulted about its own extinction or modification. More important for some Christians may be the realisation that the gifts we traditionally regard as imparted by God could one day be enhanced or reduced by clinicians.

The discussion will consist of contributions by five people with different perspectives.

 

CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE: SCIENCE, FAITH AND YOUTH

Lizzie Henderson will be speaking to us on Tuesday 22nd November, 8pm at Lindisfarne House, 4 Barbourne Terrace, Worcester WR1 3JS.

(Barbourne Terrace is the street almost opposite St George’s Square, on the left as you leave central Worcester.  Lindisfarne House is the first building on the right, and you can park off-road in front of the building). 

lizzie-hendersonThere is an overwhelming narrative in today’s culture that science and faith are in conflict – that one cannot take both seriously. But what do today’s children and young people think about science and religious faith? What is the place of education in the discussion? What will the future look like if things continue as they are? Come along to hear about some of the research exploring the thinking of young people on these topics and some of the projects working to communicate a positive message about the interactions of science and religious faith to young people.

Lizzie is the Youth and Schools Outreach Officer and Children’s Media Project Coordinator at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge. Lizzie holds a degree from Cambridge University in Evolutionary and Behavioural Biology, Geology and the History and Philosophy of Science. She is passionate about the communication and public understanding of the interactions of science and faith and regularly participates in formal and informal discussion of the science and faith dialogue with all age groups. Lizzie has worked with children and young people for many years and regularly provides lessons, workshops and talks on science and faith for children, young people and students.

All are welcome, and there will be coffee, cake and the chance for further discussion, after the talk.

To download a flyer, please click here. b-s-flyer-lizzie-henderson-november-2016.

 

Has science killed God?

Friday 18th November, 7-9 pm at The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester.

YOUTH EVENT – FREE PIZZA TOO!

Lizzie Henderson, a Christian and an evolutionary biologist, who works with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge, will explore questions such as: Can science explain everything? Is religion still relevant? Can science prove or disprove God’s existence.

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 25 (ish), or would like to come along, and bring some young people with you, do join us at the Hive.
No charge, but you need to book, through the Re:think website, www.rethinkworcester.co.uk.

has-science-killed-god-nov-2016

THE WONDERS OF THE LIVING WORLD: BIOLOGY, BELIEF, AND THE SEARCH FOR MEANING AND PURPOSE IN THE UNIVERSE

Dr Ruth Bancewicz will speak to us on Tuesday 18th October, 8pm at Lindisfarne House.

Dr BanceDr Ruth Bancewiczwicz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faraday Institute, Cambridge, which is dedicated to studying the interactions and common ground between science and religious belief. Her background is in Genetics and she has also published books on science and belief.

When we look at the natural world around us,  it can give us a sense of awe and wonder.  For Christians, this may feed into worship.  So what about those Christians who study the natural world, or biology, for a living?  It will not give them proof of God’s existence,  but what they see in creation reinforces their beliefs, turns their attention to the character of God, and reminds them that the world has been made for a purpose. This talk will go beyond the usual debates about science and religion, drawing on the work of successful scientists who are also people of faith. Dr Bancewicz will focus on celebrating creation, appreciating its intricacies and fruitfulness, and sharing how discoveries about the living world can hint at questions of meaning that go beyond science.

To download a flyer, please click here: Dr Ruth Bancewicz – 18th October 2016

FUTURE CHALLENGES

A video-based discussion session chaired by Jim Smith

Jim SmithTuesday  20th September, 8 pm at Lindisfarne House, 4 Barbourne Terrace, Worcester WR1 3JS

Developments in Artificial Intelligence and Future Clean Energy Supply Requirements present two significant challenges  for humanity. How do we make the  relevant judgements and how does our faith speak to us about these things?

Affordable fast processing and large memory stores provide the opportunity for “Artificial Intelligence” applications which can relieve much human error and drudgery. However, jobs (even at professional levels) and security could be threatened and human value degraded. Could an evolving machine hierarchy threaten humanity (as envisaged by Hawking)?

The World Energy Council speaks of an energy  “ Trilemma” with the conflicting demands of Reliable Future Energy Supplies/Affordable Energy for All / Environmental Protection.

How do proposed solutions such as Enhanced Usage Efficiency, Fracking, Nuclear Generation, Renewables and Local Energy Storage figure in all this and is there new technology providing solutions on the horizon?  How do we make the judgements for the long term investments necessary?

The above two topics will be introduced with the help of videos. You are invited to come along and provide your input whether or not you have any prior knowledge. These topics are too important to be left to the technical experts alone.

Jim Smith is current chairman of Bible and Science Worcester. His background is in electrochemical energy generation and storage.

 

A look ahead to the autumn

Our autumn programme will once again address a range of different issues.

In September, breaking with our usual pattern, we are planning an evening of short video presentations on a variety of topics, including artificial intelligence and environmental issues, with the opportunity for discussion.

In October, we welcome Dr Ruth Bancewicz, who will be speaking on: The Wonders of the Living World: Biology, Belief, and the Search for Meaning and Purpose in the Universe.

Finally, in November, Lizzie Henderson, Youth and Schools Outreach Officer and Children’s Media Project Coordinator at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, in Cambridge, will speak on the subject: “Children are the Future: Science, Faith and Youth”.

The dates for these talks are:

Tuesday 20th September, Tuesday 18th October, and Tuesday 22nd November, and all talks will be at our usual venue at Lindisfarne House, 4 Barbourne Terrace, WR1 3JS.

In addition, Lizzie Henderson will also be speaking at the Hive, on Friday 18th November, 7 – 9 pm, to a group of young people, on the topic, “Has science killed God?”  If you are aged 16 – 25, or have any children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces who you think might be interested, do let them know about it.

There will be more details coming out about all the talks mentioned above, so do visit our website again soon, for more information.

We hope that you have a good summer break, and look forward to seeing you in the autumn.

A pdf of the meeting programme can be downloaded from the following link:  B & S programme Autumn 2016 v2

The Future Of Marriage

Philippa Taylor

Philippa Taylor

It is very common for couples to live together without marrying, at any rate for many years. Some people have suggested that marriage could disappear altogether from the social scene within less than a century. Everyone can point to at least one or two couples they know personally, who appear to be perfectly happy, bringing up families successfully, without ever bothering about a marriage certificate or a service in church. We also know people who have followed the traditional path and subsequently divorced.

Critics have expressed anxiety that the average length of unmarried relationships is considerably shorter than that of traditional marriages, and that the legal position of one partner is often weaker than it should be if the relationship ends. The separation can be as painful in cohabitation as in a divorce, notably for the children, and the pain may last longer for the children even than for their parents.

Most Christians still get married, but they may well be concerned that their fellow citizens are not always sufficiently aware of the advantages of marriage, even for unbelievers. The reasons why Christians in particular should get married, if they are consistent in their beliefs, are also sometimes only vaguely understood. We hope that Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy at the Christian Medical Fellowship, who has studied the subject in considerable depth, will be able to throw some light on a highly controversial area of modern life.

All are welcome, and there will be coffee and cake at the end of the talk.

Creation of the Physical Universe: Its Biblical and Scientific Descriptions

Dr Mathew Clark

Dr Mathew Clark

Tuesday 16th February 2016, 8.00 pm at Lindisfarne House, 4 Barbourne Terrace, WR1 3JS.

Dr Clark will discuss the origins of the physical universe as described in the Bible and how this is seen in relation to the creation as interpreted from scientific discovery.  He will consider how believers with scientific backgrounds reconcile the two descriptions and how this is affected by modern scriptural interpretation.

After a career as Pentecostalist Pastor and Academic Tutor in Central and Southern Africa, Dr Clark is now Director of Postgraduate studies at Regent’s Theological College Malvern.

All welcome.  Coffee and cake will be served at the end. You can download a poster for this talk from B & S flyer Dr Mathew Clark Feb 2016

Christianity and the Development of Science – A Historical View

Image

Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 8:00pm, Lindisfarne House, 4 Barbourne Terrace, Worcester, WR1 3JS.

It is sometimes claimed that without Christianity there would have been no modern science. While this view is an exaggeration, intimate links between Christian doctrine and the growth of the empirical sciences were forged during the Industrial Revolution.

Professor John Hedley Brooke

Professor John Hedley Brooke

 

Prof. Brooke will consider the way in which scientific research has been justified in theological terms and will refer to some of the great names of 17th centuryscience (Boyle, Bacon, Newton …) and to arguments that Christianity provided some of the pre-conditions of an enduring scientific culture.

About Professor John Hedley Brooke

Prof. Brooke is currently Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University and Visiting Professor in the School of Philosophy, Religious Studies and the History of Science, University of Leeds. A former Editor of the British Journal for the History of Science, he has been President of the British Society for the History of Science and of the Historical Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.