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Oak Ridge Forum, May 25th
The next meeting of the Oak Ridge Forum on Religion and Science is scheduled for Thursday, May 25th, 2006, 11:00 a.m., in the Undercroft of St. Stephens Episcopal Church at 212 North Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge.


A social session is planned for 11:00 am, followed by a buffet lunch at 11:30 am catered by the Soup Kitchen. The cost of lunch and incidentals for this event is $9.00 per person. We ask that you notify us by e-mail to Larry Dipboye ( frs-oakridge@earthlink.net ) with the names attending in your party. Alternatively a phone call to 483-6752 with this information will be appreciated.

The program will deal with both science and religion. While the FRS has had excellent programs on one or the other, this session will deal with "Intersections of Science and Religion," with two scientists and two theologians presenting. A panel consisting of Bob Cushman, Sam Hurst, Larry Dipboye, and Carolyn Dipboye will present aspects of this topic, followed by panelists' responses, followed by general dialogue.

Bob Cushman will speak on "The Universal Spirituality and the Relationship Between Religion and Science."

Bob is a retired environmental scientist from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked for 32 years in the areas of freshwater ecology and global climate change. He received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and did his graduate work at The University of Tennessee. He now serves as an advisor to the Technology Student Association chapter at Robertsville Middle School, is an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 42, and is on the Greenways Oak Ridge committee. He and his wife Janet have two children (Michael, completing his freshman year in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University; and KC, finishing her sophomore year at Oak Ridge High School).

Exerpt: "To understand the relationship between religion and science it is important to first understand the role that each plays in addressing Man's need needs to understand himself and the world around him. Man is, among other things, an inherently spiritual creature. . . .Over the course of human development, the great (and lesser) religions have arisen to provide tangibility to this spirituality. . . .Man is also an inherently analytical creature; he needs to understand how the world around him works. Science, based on observation, theory, experimentation, and validation, fills this need."

Sam Hurst will talk about "A God Hypothesis."

Sam Hurst is a retired physicist with a long career at ORNL where he helped develop resonance ionization spectroscopy, and a shorter career at the University of Kentucky where he (with the assistance of Jim Parks) invented the computer touch screen. He continues to work on touch technology as well as physics problems dealing with probability and information.

Sam and his wife Betty have two children, three grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Excerpt: "We do not claim to have proven anything about how God, that we assumed to exist, actually functions. No hypothesis can be proven to be valid in all circumstances. The main purpose of a hypothesis is to act as a target for falsification. However, a hypothesis may become a higher level of belief if it survives critical testing. Specifically, the hypothesis suggested in this note is the following: Given the existence of God, He plays fairly by using deterministic as well as stochastic laws and intervenes only rarely: for example, to send prophets into the world."

Larry Dipboye will speak on "The Human Center."

Excerpt: "Science and theology proceed from the human center. Scientists and theologians are neither gods nor machines. All scientists and all theologians are people. Anthropology is an appropriate starting place for dialogue. Conversation begins, not with the nature of God, but from the question, what is the human person?

Carolyn Dipboye will speak on "Reverence: A Meeting Place for an Ethic of Responsibility"

Excerpt: "Careful consideration of ethical issues. . . requires listening as well as speaking. Paul Woodruff speaks to the foundational significance of respect for others, grounding that respect in the ancient virtue of reverence–personal humility born of an in depth encounter with our own human limitations and the experience of awe at that which lies beyond our control [Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue]. James M. Gustafson grounds ethics in the indisputable dependence of all life forms on forces beyond their control. Such dependency, he suggests, "evokes a sense of the sublime, or for some of us a sense of the "divine" and becomes a meeting point for conversation and ethical responsibility."

Larry and Carolyn are 18-year residents of Oak Ridge, co-pastors of Grace Covenant Church, and doctoral graduates of Southern Seminary. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Facilitator for the discussion is Lee Morris, retired chaplain of Berea College, a former pastor in Oak Ridge, and a doctoral graduate of Southern Seminary. Lee and his wife Gerry are parents of three sons.

Please notify us by e-mail to Larry Dipboye ( frs-oakridge@earthlink.net ) with the names attending in your party. Alternatively a phone call to 483-6752 with this information will be appreciated.

Larry Dipboye
or Ldip@earthlink.net
865 483-6752

Posted by pking
May 18, 2006