SATURN is an interdisciplinary research program in theology and science created and administered by CTNS and supported by a $200,000 grant from Calvin College.
SATURN starts with the growing scientific evidence for randomness in nature: in dynamic, self-organizing, complex, and autopoietic systems in the everyday world and in quantum processes at the subatomic level, at the macroscopic level through the amplification of quantum entanglement, and at the level of cosmology through quantum cosmology and superstring theory/the multiverse. These processes suggest philosophically that ontological indeterminism occurs not only at the atomic level but also in the ordinary world of nature and in the universe as such. Such indeterminism will strengthen claims for emergence, downward/top-down, whole-part, and bottom-up causality in nature from atoms to the cosmos. These claims are vital to a theological understanding of both general and special providence which is consistent with science (i.e., it is non-miraculous / non-interventionist) and which makes a real difference in the development of natural processes and thus to the history of life on earth (i.e., it is objective). Robert John Russell, the Principal Investigator of SATURN, calls this “non-interventionist objective divine action” (i.e., NIODA).
The highlight of the program is an international conference in Berkeley in October 2014 and the publication of the results as a book in 2015. Participants include Jim Bradley, Gerald Cleaver, George Ellis, Alicia Juarrero,
Joshua Moritz, Ted Peters, Robert John Russell, and Robert Ulanowicz.
The public and media are invited to the conclusion of the conference on Saturday, October 11, 1-5pm, at the GTU. Post conference plans include the development of doctoral and seminary courses at the Graduate Theological Union focused on the results of the SATURN research.
Scientific And Theological Understandings of Randomness in Nature is a program of CTNS funded in