146414147_df7fd356ae_z

Annual meeting, May 17-18, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Location: Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh campus (see map below)

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 17

6:00 PM Registration and reception

7:00 PM Introduction and opening session, “What is the Christian Scientific Society?”

Prof. David Snoke, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh

8:00 PM Plenary Session: “A Friendly Debate on Intelligent Design”

Prof. Martin Poenie, Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Texas at Austin

Prof. Jed Macosko, Department of Physics, Wake Forest University

Some objections to Intelligent Design (ID) are philosophical in nature– for example, objections to any invoking of the language of miracle, or objections to saying that anything unknown can not be found out by science eventually. But sometimes ID advocates have been accused of getting the science wrong; that many of the mechanisms which they point to as evidence of miracle are easily understood by known mechanisms of biology. The debate therefore moves from general philosophy to the facts. In this friendly debate, Martie Poenie and Jed Macosko will look at this narrower topic, addressing the questions 1) Are there examples of things claimed by evolutionary theory that are statistically impossible by known present laws? (Leaving aside the question of hypothetical, unknown laws.) 2) Are there examples of claims made in the ID literature which are simply wrong by modern scientific understanding?

Saturday, May 18

(10:00 AM Closed Session to full members of the Christian Scientific Society)

11:00 AM Open sessions begin

Can Darwin-Doubting Scientists Experience Academic Freedom?

Casey Luskin, Esq., Discovery Institute (California Bar, active member)

Intellectual freedom to hold, express, and investigate non-Darwinian views in the academy is highly limited. Since the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in 2005, there has been a dramatic increase in discrimination against scientists who doubt Darwinism and/or support intelligent design (ID). Negative actions taken include (but are not limited to): denial of hiring opportunities, employment demotion or termination, non-renewal of contracts, denial of tenure, loss of funding, loss of research space, imposition of speech-codes, reprimands and other forms of “discipline,” and imposition of disclaimers and other forms of isolation and ostracization. Academics who hold minority scientific viewpoints may wish to defend their academic freedom, but may not know how to do so. This talk will give general advice, tips, and Do’s and Don’ts for Darwin-doubting scientists seeking to navigate the tricky waters of academic freedom.

12:00 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Uses and Abuses of Quantum Mechanics

Prof. David Snoke, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh

Neo-pagan (“new age”) religion is on the rise in the US and invokes as a justification of its tenets the discoveries of Quantum Mechanics. This view has been made popular by books such as The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters, and in a recent move What the Bleep Do We Know About Anything? Some Christians also invoke quantum mechanics to argue for Christianity and the existence of a spirit world. I will summarize what we know from quantum mechanics and what is mere wild speculation.

2:30 PM Entropy: God’s Gift to Humankind

Prof. Gary Patterson, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie-Mellon University

The observed physical world can be described by several thermodynamic quantities, such as the internal energy, U, and the entropy, S. The First Law of Thermodynamics reminds us that in an isolated system, the energy must be constant. The Second Law of Thermodynamics asserts that in a similarly isolated system, any actual process must at least conserve entropy and usually leads to an increase. While it might be supposed that such a universal law would have no consequences for humans, in fact we live in the light and heat of these inexorable laws. In the long run, all isolated physical systems reach equilibrium and only fluctuations can occur in the future. But, in the interim, wonderful things can happen in systems with enough entropy to explore many different states. Life is one of those highly unlikely states of a system that God has ordained for the blessing of mankind. We should bless Him for providing the entropy needed for our existence!

3:00 PM Were the cave paintings at Lascaux astronomical charts?

David Bossard, Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, Hatfield, PA)

This will be an informal discussion, with pictures, on the hypothesis that the Lacsaux cave paintings dated at ca. 15,000 B.C. may actually have been astronomical star charts.

Registration

The annual meeting is free to all members (full and associate) or $25 for on-site registration. To sign up as a member, go to this link. To register for the conference, go to this link.

Map of the location of the Frick Fine Arts Building:


View Larger Map

03urbanschenley-plaza-1