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“The Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science” — Conference in Austin TX, Oct 26-28, 2010

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An interesting conference bringing together ID proponents and theistic evolutionists is coming up in Austin this October:  The Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science (http://vibrantdance.org). The organizers are hoping to bring unity to the science-faith debate:

Our Mission is to inspire, educate, and unify pastors, scientists, Christian leaders, and concerned lay people, as well as seekers and skeptics, with the growing congruence of scientific discovery with our Christian faith and to explore the implications and applications of that congruence.

The key word here is CONGRUENCE. The problem is that ID theorists and theistic evolutionists see such congruence in very different terms. For ID theorists who are also Christians (some are not), evidence of design in nature mirrors the faith claim that God by wisdom created the world. For theistic evolutionists, by contrast, evolution is a way of making sense of divine providence. ID theorists hold that evolution, as it is understood by the mainstream scientific establishment, is largely mistaken. Theistic evolutionists, on the other hand, hold that evolution is the best thing science ever did for theology.

The other key word here is UNIFY. Can a conversation between these two camps provide a unified vision of the relation between science and faith? I’ve been at this game for 20 years. ID and theistic evolution remain very much at odds, so I’m not holding my breath. Even so, I think there’s merit in engaging in conversation over our differences, so I’ll be doing a break-out session at this conference (I’ll be speaking on the Law of Conservation of Information).

It’s perhaps unfortunate that no young-earth creationists were invited to this event. Young-earth creationism is a very widely accepted position among conservative Christians, so by not inviting any of its proponents, any attempt at theological unification will accordingly be limited. Young-earth creationists have noted their exclusion:

Called The Vibrant Dance of Faith & Science, this symposium will be held in Austin, Texas, this fall and is intended to teach pastors that it is okay to believe in and teach evolutionary ideas in their churches.

This quote, by Lawrence Ford, appears in ICR’s most recent ACTS & FACTS newsletter (go here). Henry Morris III, who heads ICR (the Institute for Creation Research), likewise raises concerns about this conference (go here).

In any case, I wish the conference well and intend there to represent ID vigorously. And I will NOT be teaching “pastors that it is okay to believe in and teach evolutionary ideas in their churches.”

Pardon me my Mormon friend if you take exception to that quote. I didn't realize until after I posted. I surely don't mean to marginalize you guys any more than you already have been in American history. bornagain77
This quote caught my eye Dr. Dembski: Here’s the question for discussion: If a Christian wouldn’t try to integrate the Bible with a Mormon, Hindu, or Satanist worldview, what justifies that approach when it comes to evolutionary theories about origins? I found on the bottom of this video Evolution Is False Religion - video - John MacArthur http://www.vimeo.com/11927168 bornagain77
Professor Dembski, Frankly, I'm a little confused by your insistence that Christianity and Darwinism are incompatible. In your book, The End of Christianity, you presented the view that the Fall could work backwards in time as well as forwards. It would seem possible then that ancient life was affected by the Fall and became victim of the law of natural selection. The history of Darwinian evolution would then be a result of the Fall. I'm not saying that Darwinian evolution is true. Just that you have shown that it can be compatible with Christianity. Though I live in Michigan, I am very tempted to try to attend this conference myself. It should be very interesting. Bilbo I
Seems like ICR people are jealous. Anyway, i have my sympathies for YECs, but they need to, IMO, produce some good empyrical evidence to validade some of their claims. If they did that sort of thing (instead of building that museum for instance...) perhaps they would be invited as well? Anyway, i hope we all can come closer to the truth day after day. MaxAug
Wow! Enezio E. De Almeida Filho
Dr. Dembski, I strongly support you and your views. I also wish you luck while presenting them on the conference. skynetx

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