Science and Christianity

Lecture Series

All around us we hear public discussion about faith and science.  Should creation be taught in public schools alongside evolution?  Is our faith literally all in our brain? Did the universe begin with a big bang, the hand of God, or both?
Have you ever wondered how–as a thinking Christian–  to engage these questions with wisdom and compassion?

During the fall of 2012, St. Andrews entered into a series of conversations through sermons, adult and youth education, as well as guest speakers, that all centered on learning as a community how we can talk about issues related to science and faith with compassion and wisdom in the midst of a fraught world.

Lecture 1 Models for Thinking about Science and Faith (September 23, 2012)

What does the intersection between science and faith mean to our lives? What are tools and models for talking about science and faith?

Leaders: Rev. Jeff Smith (Pastor, St. Andrew’s) and Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund  (sociologist, Rice University)


Lecture 2 God and the Origin of the World (September 30, 2012)

How do scripture and science relate when it comes to understanding the origin of the universe?

Leaders: Dr. Karl Ecklund (physicist, Rice University) and Rich Wheeler, MS (petroleum geologist, ExxonMobil)


Lecture 3 Evolution or Creationism: Either Way, God Did It (October 7, 2012)

What do evolution, intelligent design, and creationism really mean, and why should I care as a Christian? In this discussion, we will explore ways that the Bible, science, and the origin of humankind can all make sense together.

Leader: Dr. Steve Norris (microbiologist, University of Texas Medical School at Houston)


Dr. Deborah Haarsma Creation, Design and Evolution (October 13, 2012)

Dr. Deborah Haarsma received her doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in astrophysics, and has published on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal.  Haarsma speaks and writes on topics of science and Christianity, currently serving as Senior Web Consultant and Writer for BioLogos.   She co-authored the book  Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution with her husband Loren Haarsma and she co-edited a volume of essays Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church  with Rev. Scott Hoezee.


Lecture 4 An Astronomer Looks at God (October 14, 2012)

What are different ways of looking at the science and faith relationship? How does one astronomer see God through her work?

Leader: Dr. Deborah Haarsma (astrophysicist)


Lecture 5 What it Means to be Alive (October 21, 2012)

What is distinctive about humans and what does it mean to be alive? How does the way we answer these questions influence how we live?

Leader: Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund (sociologist, Rice University)


Lecture 6 Our Faith in Relationship to Science  (October 28, 2012)

A panel discussion with scientists and theologians from St. Andrew’s.

Leaders:  Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund (sociologist, Rice University), Rev. John Melsness (Associate Pastor, St. Andrew’s), and Teresa Phillips, MEd (science educator, HISD) (panel organizers).


Dr. Kenneth Miller “To Find God in All Things-Exploring the Evolutionary Architecture of Life” (February 16, 2012)

Miller is the author of many research articles and several book, including Finding Darwin’s God; A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution and Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.

Dr. Kenneth Miller “Science & Faith, Certainty & Doubt” (February 17, 2012)


Dr. Jennifer Wiseman “Our Magnificent Universe” (April 12, 2014)

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she serves as the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope.   She previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics.   She studies star forming regions of our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes, with a particular interest in molecular cloud cores, protostars, and outflows.  Dr. Wiseman is also interested in science policy and public science outreach and engagement. More about Dr. Wiseman


Dr. Katharine Hayhoe Faith and Environmental Care (October 25, 2014)

Dr. Hayhoe is Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment, and translating climate projections into information relevant to agriculture, ecosystems, energy, infrastructure, public health, and water resources.

Katharine and her husband, Andrew Farley, are co-authors of the book, Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.

Dr. Praveen Sethupathy, Are We More than Our Genes? (January 19, 2016)

Dr. Praveen Sethupathy is an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at UNC Chapel Hill. There is a rich Christian tradition of science and faith as co-laborers in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. However, many of the loudest voices in today’s culture, both within and outside the church, are drowning out the wisdom of the centuries that have preceded us, popularizing instead a false view that science and faith are inherently at odds.  As a committed Christian and a scientist, Dr. Sethupathy will share what he has learned about both science and his faith that dissuades him of any disharmony between the two.

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Dr. Jeff Hardin  Human Being, Human Becoming: Embryos, Biology, and Belief (October 29, 2016)

Jeff Hardin is chairman of the department of zoology at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to numerous scientific research articles relating to embryonic development,    Hardin is senior author of Word of the Cell. He received a Master of Divinity degree at the International School of Theology in southern California, where he met his wife, Susie, who worked in campus ministry with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). He is on the National Advisory Board for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Faculty Ministry and serves as faculty advisor for the Navigators and InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship on the UW-Madison Campus.

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Dr. Deborah Haarsma, Creation and Evolution (October 30, 2016)

Deborah Haarsma serves as the president of BioLogos, a position she has held since January 2013. Previously, she served as professor and chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gifted in interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences, Dr. Haarsma often speaks to churches, colleges, and schools about the relationship between science and Christianity.

She and her husband, Loren Haarsma, are co-authors of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation Evolution, and Intelligent Design (2011, 2007), a book presenting the agreements and disagreements of Christians regarding the history of life and the universe.

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