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Oak Ridge Religion/Science Forum on October 20th

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The next meeting of the Oak Ridge Forum on Religion and Science is scheduled for Thursday, October 20th, 2005, in the A&B room of the Oak Ridge Civic Center.

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A social session is planned for 11:00 am, followed by a buffet lunch at 11:30 am catered by the Soup Kitchen, and then by the following event:

Dr. Bruce Warmack will speak on "Galileo and the Church"

The Galileo affair is nearly always asserted as archetypical of religion's stubborn ignorance in matters of scientific progress. Consequently, along with other resources, I have found an excellent account, Galileo in Rome, written by William Shea, who is Galileo Professor at the Univ. of Padua, Italy, and have discovered the affair to be much more nuanced, especially in the cultural and scientific context. A proper understanding should help to neutralize some of the rhetoric that is frequently applied to stereotype the classic conflict between science and theology. The development of astronomy and its philosophical underpinnings will be reviewed from Plato and Aristotle to Ptolemy to Copernicus to the Father of Modern Science, as Galileo has been called. Along the way, I will draw attention to the tension of discovering truth from the approaches of theological and natural revelation. The conclusion is that of John Stenhaus, who finds that "science and religion is neither locked in perennial conflict nor in synergistic harmony, rather we see elements of both. The relationship is complex and intertwined, shaded with all the colors we find in other issues, when we look deeply."

Resources: William R. Shea and Mariano Artigas, Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius, Oxford, 2003; The Galileo Project (Rice University website); John Stenhause (historian) lecture; Nancy R. Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy, Crossway, 1994; Henry F., III Schaefer, Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? Apollos Trust, 2003.

Dr. Warmack is has been active in a number of areas of experimental physics over the past thirty years, including studies in molecular-beam kinetics, microlithography, dielectric properties of nanoparticles, scanning probe microscopy, and most recently microsensor arrays for vapor sensing. After receiving a Ph.D. in Physics in 1975 at the University of Tennessee, he joined the staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has participated in entrepreneurial ventures along the way. Bruce is a committed Christian and student of the Bible. He presently edits a conservative weekly newsletter for his church.

Spouses and friends are cordially invited. We will appreciate your sending the names and e-addresses of those who might be interested in attending.

The cost of lunch and incidentals for this event is $8.00 per person. We ask that you notify us by e-mail to rritchie16@comcast.net by Wednesday, October 19th, with the number in your party. Alternatively a phone call to 483-8998 with this information will be appreciated.

We are experimenting with a new feature for our website at www.oakridgefrs.net; we will publish drafts of articles where the authors would appreciate comments.

Sam Hurst
R. H. Ritchie

Posted by pking
Oct. 13, 2005