Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9am
"Exploring the Convergence of Science and Religion: Following in the Footsteps of Charlie Townes."
First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way Berkeley, CA 94704
On Wednesday July 6 First Congregational Church of Berkeley (FCCB) member Robert Russell will present three lectures on "Exploring the Convergence of Science and Religion: Following in the Footsteps of Charlie Townes." This morning lecture series will be a special repeat consolidating three FCCB Learning Hours offered in the fall of 2015.
In 1966, Charlie Townes published a groundbreaking essay in MIT's THINK magazine: "The Convergence of Science and Religion." Here Charlie stressed how faith is necessary in doing science, that intuition "akin to revelation" is part of scientific research, that scientific theories can be disproven but never conclusively proven, and that they are intrinsically paradoxical. A copy of the paper is available at: http://www.templetonprize.org/pdfs/THINK.pdf
Two years before writing this essay Charlie won the coveted Nobel Prize in physics for the co-invention of the maser / laser, an instrument which has forever altered the technological landscape of the world we live in. In 2005 Charlie won the auspicious Templeton Prize for progress in religion, based on his work in religion and science dating back to 1966. Charlie's friends are privileged to have known him as a person of deep Christian faith who deeply enjoyed physics--"physics is fun!" He would often say that he'd rather be known for his faith than for his science.
Professor Russell will explore Charlie's work focusing first on his 1966 essay and then turn to two topics that reflect both Charlie's major areas of scientific accomplishments and his theological interests on their implications for Christian faith and life. The first section will cover Charlie Townes' inspiring 1966 paper "The convergence of science and religion." The second will cover the "Cosmology and creation: what the beginning of time (t=0) and the fine-tuning of the universe (Anthropic Principle) tell us theologically." The final section will address "Free will: does quantum physics make it possible and why does it matter theologically?" Between each section there will be a short break and there will be time for discussion after the lectures conclude.
The doors open at 9am, and the lectures will begin at 9:30am. Light refreshments will be available. People wishing to attend can sign up at FCCB office or by contacting CTNS at firstname.lastname@example.org.