The annual meeting will be held at Biola University on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 21-22, 2020. The theme will be “Does Anyone Come to Christian Faith by a Rational Process?” Once again we have a top-notch set of speakers. Click here to register.
Tuesday, April 21
7:00 PM Registration
7:30 PM Introduction by David Snoke, President of the Christian Scientific Society
7:45 PM Dr. Fazale Rana
“A Biochemist’s Journey to Faith”
What does biochemistry have to do with the Bible? This talk will explore how the intricate details about the cell’s chemical systems and the powerful truth of Scripture combined to compel me, as a biochemist, to become a follower of Jesus Christ. This presentation includes an exploration of the relationship between science and the Christian faith and describes some of the latest advances in biochemistry and origin of life research that point to a Creator’s role in bringing life into existence.
Bio: Fazale “Fuz” Rana serves as vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe, an organization dedicated to demonstrating the compatibility of science and Christianity. He earned a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry at Ohio University and conducted postdoctoral research of cell membranes at the Universities of Virginia and Georgia. He spent seven years as a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble and has coauthored articles published in several peer-reviewed journals. Today, Fuz is author of multiple books, including Humans 2.0, and speaks on evidence for creation from biochemistry, genetics, and human origins.
Dr. Günter Bechly
“A Journey from Atheism to Christianity and Intelligent Design”
I report about my long personal journey from atheism to theism and from Darwinism to intelligent design. The first steps were scientific and philosophical arguments that refute materialism, especially arguments from modern physics (emergent spacetime, non-realism in quantum mechanics) and the philosophy of mind (hard problem, aboutness, personal identity). After considering and evaluating a wide variety of non-materialist metaphysics, I came to embrace theism, mostly because of arguments from the contingency of the world, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of the laws of nature and the applicability of mathematics, and the digital physics argument that the universe is emergent from a universal mind. Important was also my realization that the only naturalistic alternative, an infinite multiverse, has absurd and unacceptable implications. Finally, arguments for the historical reliability of the Gospels and the historicity of the resurrection convinced me that Christianity is the one true religion. Independently from these considerations and long before my coming to faith, I had discovered scientific problems with the feasibility of the neo-Darwinian process of evolution and found intelligent design to be the best explanation of the evidence. Altogether, I suggest that the cumulative evidence against materialism and for theism is simply overwhelming. I became a Christian theist not in spite of being a scientist but because of it.
Bio: Dr. Günter Bechly is a German paleontologist (specializing in fossil insects), and a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and a senior research scientist at Biologic Institute in Redmond, Washington. He earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He worked from 1999-2016 as curator for amber and fossil insects at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart. He also held a teaching assignment at the University Hohenheim in Germany on insect systematics and phylogeny. He has authored about 160 scientific publications, in which he described more than 170 new species, and 11 biological groups are named in his honor. He organized five large public exhibitions on earth history and evolution, including the largest event for the Darwin Year 2009 celebrations in Germany. Bechly’s research has received broad international media coverage, and he served as a science advisor for three natural history documentaries by BBC and David Attenborough.
Wednesday, April 22
Dr. Timothy McGrew
“What does it take to be reasonable?”
To answer the question whether anyone comes to Christian faith by a rational process requires us to lay out a general account of what makes some beliefs rational. I here sketch such an account, overtly evidential in nature, that is both less and more stringent than various other popular accounts. I then argue that on this account, even children and the unlearned may rationally form many beliefs, including religious beliefs. One virtue of this account is that it offers a principled and intuitively compelling answer to the question of how we can rationally modify or maintain those beliefs in the face of new evidence and sophisticated challenges.
Bio: Tim McGrew is Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University. He has written extensively in classical and formal epistemology, the history and philosophy of science, and historical apologetics. He co-authored Internalism and Epistemology (Routledge 2007), co-edited The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell 2009), and contributed to the recent book Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy (Zondervan 2016). He has spoken on issues of science, faith, and miracles at Oxford, MIT, and many other universities and conferences.
Dr. David Snoke
“How does anyone change his or her mind about anything?”
Many people, including those sympathetic to Christian faith, view coming to faith as an essentially irrational process involving a leap, an emotional experience, or a moment of inspiration. This can match the experience of many people who seem to have a sudden “conversion,” or who cannot explain why they believe. I present a model for changing core beliefs that draws on Kuhn’s model of scientific revolutions, but applies to much more mundane and local beliefs as well. This model is at its core inductive and evidential, but meshes with some of the main points of the “presuppositionalist” school of apologetics as well.
Bio: David Snoke is professor of physics at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and did postdoctoral studies as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow with Manuel Cardona at the Max Planck Institute for Condensed Matter Physics in Stuttgart, Germany. He heads an experimental optical spectroscopy lab funded that focuses on novel quantum mechanical effects in optics. He has authored over 160 scientific papers in journals including Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Physical Review Letters, and has published five scientific books, including four with Cambridge University Press. In 2006 he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society “for his pioneering work on the experimental and theoretical understanding of dynamical optical processes in semiconductor systems.” He has long written and spoken on the integration of Christianity and science at numerous universities and meetings, and authored the book A Biblical Case for an Old Earth (Baker, 2006).
Wednesday, April 22
Dr. Henry F. Schaefer III
“The Life and Faith of a Scientist”
I will discuss my journey of faith and how I integrate science with my Christian beliefs, including the significant influence of C.S. Lewis on my thinking.
Bio: Henry F. Schaefer III For 30 years Professor Schaefer has been one of the most highly cited scientists in the world; the Science Citation Index reports that his research had been cited more than 70,000 times. His research involves the use of state-of-the-art computational hardware and theoretical methods to solve important problems in molecular quantum mechanics. He received his B.S. degree in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from Stanford University. For 18 years he served as a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Schaefer is currently Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Chemistry, Emeritus, at the University of California at Berkeley. Schaefer is the author of more than 1600 scientific publications, and has been honored by dedicated conferences including “Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: A Celebration of 1000 Papers of Professor Henry F. Schaefer III,” in Gyeongju, Korea, and the American Chemical Society’s “Symposium in Honor of Henry F. Schaefer’s 60th Birthday.” He has advised 121 successful Ph.D. students (plus 15 in progress), 55 postdoctoral researchers, and 83 visiting professors. His major awards include the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry in 1979, the Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award, the Schrödinger Medal in 1990, the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1992), the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry in 2003; and the Ira Remsen Award in 2003. Professor Schaefer is also well known as a student of the relationship between science and religion, and has spoken on this topic at numerous universities and meetings around the world.
Dr. Hugh Ross
“Cosmic Reasons to Believe in Christ”
Astronomy is the only discipline where scientists directly observe past history. Today, astronomers can see all the way back to the cosmic creation event. Thus, astronomy yields the most rigorous, compelling scientific evidences for a Creator who transcends space and time and personally crafts the universe for the specific benefit of human beings. This talk shows how the Bible accurately predicted the history and structure of the universe thousands of years in advance of the scientific discoveries affirming that history and structure. I will present astronomical evidences for why a transcendent God must exist and why that transcendent God must be a personal, intelligent, loving Being. I will close by presenting scientific evidences for how God designed the universe to make possible the permanent redemption of billions of humans from their sin and evil within just thousands of years.
Bio: Astronomer Hugh Ross is founder and president of Reasons to Believe, an organization dedicated to demonstrating the compatibility of science and Christianity. Hugh earned his BS in physics from the University of British Columbia and his MS and PhD in astronomy from the University of Toronto. He later continued research on quasars and galaxies as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. While in college, Hugh dedicated himself to faith in Christ following an in-depth study of Scripture that convinced him of the Bible’s factual accuracy. Today, Hugh is the author of multiple books (such as Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Creator and the Cosmos, and, more recently, Improbable Planet) and speaks on science-faith issues to audiences around the world.