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Seminar Series: Christian Perspectives in Science (2012)


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Schedule for 2012

February 17, 2012

"The New U.S. Farm Bill"

Jamie Skillen, GEO Department, Calvin College

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

February 12, 2012

"Do you Understand What You Are Reading? Interpreting Genesis 1-11"

Rev. Scott Hoezee, Director, Center for Excellence in Preaching, Calvin Seminary

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


February 17, 2012

"The New U.S. Farm Bill"

Jamie Skillen, GEO Department, Calvin College

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

February 19, 2012

"Evolution and One Christian Biologist: From Eyes Shut Tight to Eyes Open Wide to See God's Greatness"

Arlene J. Hoogewerf, professor of biology, Calvin College

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


February 26, 2012

"Evolving Views on Creation and Neo-Darwinian Evolution"

Brian Madison, assistant professor of religion, Calvin College

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


March 4, 2012

"Is There a Place for God in a World Governed by Chance?"

James Bradley, emeritus professor of mathematics, Calvin College

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


March 9, 2012

"Examining the Locavores' Case"

John Tiemstra, Economics Department, Calvin College

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

March 30, 2012

"Food Security and Poverty Reduction in Africa: Small Farmers, Traditional Markets, and Food Crops"

Jenny Cairns, M.S. student at Michigan State University, Calvin College alum.

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

April 12, 2012

"Divine Action in a Quantum World"

Hans Halvorson, Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University.
Abstract
A constructively critical discussion of the themes in Chapter Four of Plantinga's new book -- the "new picture" of a quantum world and how one might think of divine action in such a world.
Recordings and related resources
Handout, Audio Recording
Co-sponsors
Calvin College Philosophy Department.

April 12, 2012

"Free Will and the Causal Closure of Physics"

Robert Bishop, Professor of Physics and Philosophy, Wheaton College.
Abstract
We assume that in experimental physics, physicists have freedom to prepare apparatus, choose initial conditions, and repeat experiments at any particular instant. Is this assumption warranted? Suppose our best fundamental theories of physics are deterministic and strictly govern all matter and interactions. Then physicists do not exercise freedom in experiments. On the other hand, suppose our best fundamental theories of physics are interdeterministics and govern all matter and interactions. Then there would be no guarantee that physicists choices will be actualized in the material world nor seemingly any reason to think their actions are anythign other than flukes resulting from interdeterministic physical events. Firstly, I will diagnose this dilemma as depending on the assumption of the causal closure of physics (CoP) -- roughly, that all physical effects at time t are fully determined by fundamental laws and prior physical events. Then, I will offer reasons to think that CoP, at best, amounts to a typicality condition about what happens in the absence of nonphysical effects. If this line of thinking is right, then the laws of physics do not globally determine what physicists can or cannot do, but, rather, provide limits on the space of possibilities for their choices and actions.
Recordings and related resources
Audio Recording
Co-sponsors
Calvin College Philosophy Department.

April 13, 2012

"Methodological Naturalism Reconceived (or Elided?)"

Alan Love, Professor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota.
Abstract
Abthough much ink has been spilled over methodological naturalism (MN), there is a curious disconnect between discussion of MN and developments in philosophy of science. For example, MN is a general, methodological principle, meant to apply across all sciences (i.e., 'Science'), but genreally methodological principles have largely been abandoned in philosophy of science. Additionally, philosophers of science do not appeal to MN to justify existing inferential practices in specific sciences. I argue that the concerns often collected underneath the label 'NM' (e.g., theoretical assumptions, explanatory standards, data gathering strictures, inter alia) take on their meaning and significance in concrete, circumscribed communities of emperical inquiry and cannot be understood apart form the conceptual content found in particular sciences (Brigandt, 2010). As a consequence, there is no meaningful sense in which MN is a global characteristic of Science; there are only 'local' MNs in different sciences. This reconceptualization of MN apears to eliminate some of the standard functions that a 'global' MN serves, such as generally demarcating scientific and religious educational domains in cotroversies of intelligent design -- eliding rather reconceiving MN. I argue against this pessimistic conclusion by showing: (1) empirical inquiry; (2) how it circumvents worries that a 'global' MN is indefensible as a prestipulated, invioable norm (Ratzsch, 2004); and (3) why a 'global' MN stumbles more notably in some sciences rather than others (Bishiop, 2009).
Recordings and related resources
Lecture notes. (Audio recording unavailable)
Co-sponsors
Calvin College Philosophy Department.

April 12, 2012

"Design's Debt of Value"

Robert O'Connor, Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College.
Abstract
Whether or not "The Design Inference", by appealing to intelligent agency, violates a settled proscription of science does not settle the question of the argument's strength. In this respet, worries about methodological naturalism are beside the point. its proponents do, however, insist that ID offers strictly empricial grounds for belief in intelligent agency. In this talk, I argue that, at its heart, the inference depends crucially upon an evaluative judgment as to the goodness of certian states of affairs. This component is both necessary for the argument and beyond the ken of strict empiricism. Therefore, "Intelligent Design" is best understood as an example of the classica philosophical argument from teleology.
Recordings and related resources
Audio Recording
Co-sponsors
Calvin College Philosophy Department.

April 13, 2012

"Restoring soil fertility through the use of legume cover crops and legume trees"

     (including case studies in sub-Saharan Africa and agroforestry)

Tom Post, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

April 19-20, 2012

Earth Day presentations and meetings with students

Martin Price, former CEO of ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization).

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

May 4, 2012

"Summary on issues in Global Hunger and Food Security"

Uky Zylstra, Biology Department, Calvin College

Recording not made.

Co-sponsors
Calvin College Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies Department.

September 6, 2012

"Evolution, Human Origins, Scripture, and the Reformed Confessions"

James K.A. Smith (Philosophy Department, Calvin College) and Loren Haarsma (Physics & Astronomy Department, Calvin College)
Abstract
Loren Haarsma of the Calvin Physics department and Jamie Smith, of the Calvin Philosophy department, report on the state of the conversation about Reformed perspectives on human origins, exploring issues at the intersection of evolution and the Reformed confessions.
Recordings and related resources
Video recording of lecture     Haarsma's handout, audio recording of Q&A time after lecture

October 7, 2012

"Evolution, Christian Faith, and Human Origins"

Jeff Schloss, T.B. Walker Chair of Natural & Behavioral Sciences and director of the Center for Faith, Ethics & Life Sciences, Westmont College 

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


October 14. 2012

"Reading the Whole Page"

Christiana de Groot, professor of religion, Calvin College 

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars


October 28, 2012

"Adam and Eve, the Fall, and Original Sin in Light of Human Evolution"

Dan Harlow, professor of religion, Calvin College

This event was not part of the Christian Perspectives in Science seminar series, but should be of interest to many attenders of CPiS seminars.

Please refer to Church of The Servant's database for additional information. The link is: Church of the Servant Seminars