Science & Theology Dialogues: what's "Made in God's Image" mean w/DNA Science?

Something to ponder: "What does it mean to claim that humanity is made in the "Image of God" (Imago Dei in Latin) in light of the new science of human genomics (Human Genome Project, DNA research, etc)?  Does this branch of science (though adding to our core of knowledge) undercut human dignity or enhance it?"  That's the cluster of questions this month's Science & Theology Dialogues will take up.  The DC Theology Pub & Emerging Christianity meetups continue the Science & Theology Dialogues on Sunday, January 12th.

While we usually pick a topic from the Templeton Foundation (click here), this time we are going to look at a paper from the Faraday Institute in England which works on some of the same issues.  They have published an interesting exploration of the January topic on their website, so participants can just download it and avoid ordering and reading a whole book (click here for the article). And here for other Faraday essays (click here) as well as here (click here).

We are switching to essay discussions: For the last few conversations, we are switching gears a little bit.  Our first discussions required that we purchase and read a book.  Many indicated to me that they felt like they could not participate since they did not have the time to purchase and or read the book. Because these Templeton & Faraday essays are online they can be downloaded and read on your mobile devices.

Your input is needed and valued: The Templeton & Faraday essays promise to be a great resource for our conversations. If you know of any other sites that have interesting topics that would make a great source for our conversations, please share with the group by placing the links in the comment sections. Also if you are not able to attend this conversation gathering, please vote for your topic choice for our next gathering.

The next discussions from the Faraday website will be (essays can be found at the same page as the Nov. topic): What has theology ever done for science and Human flourishing?.

Hope you can join us for this interesting conversation!

Best, Larry

More about the Rationale of the "Science & Theology Dialogues: We are trying to create a safe space for people to pose basic questions about how their faith background and science training & interests interrelate.  Many people either have given up on this quest (they never could fit the pieces together), or they try to make hard-and-fast rules where there's a lot of ambiguity and mystery.  We, on the other hand, have not given up on the quest to integrate faith and science.  But, to be clear, our group never seeks to "prove" God or any claim, but to "explore" and "evaluate" new ideas and theological models over a beer or meal.  We don't really have debates as much as conversations about new ideas from a range of disciplines (science, social science, theology, literature) that help us make sense of the world and our place in it.

More about our Facilitator of our "Science & Theology Dialogues": Going forward we are hoping Larry Branch and others interested in faith and science issues can host future "Science & Theology Dialogues" through DC Theology Pub & An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC.  Larry’s interest in science & theology comes from his life experiences in the areas of computer science, social justice, and local church involvement. Larry is a software developer working on a number of projects as a contractor at the US Department of Labor. He lives in Loudon County where he has chaired the county Board of Social Services. While serving on this influential board, he developed a special passion for providing affordable housing to all county residents. He also has attended a non-denominational church in the county since 1985, and he has served as an elder for several of those years. Larry describes himself as a “sojourner on a spiritual quest like many others in DC; but an unusual person in the District in that I do not have a political affiliation; rather, I enjoy meeting a variety of people. Even though I am committed to the Christian discipline and worldview, I especially love conversations with those of other spiritual disciplines and worldviews.” The diversity of Larry’s experiences makes him an ideal facilitator for this science & theology dialogue.

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  • Joel W.

    It was a good discussion, and it bears further study. The reading that was used as a basis was not quite clear at times, however the discussion .
    Perhaps a future discussion of Climate change and environment, or Cosmology and theology might be of interest for a future discussion.
    There was some mention by some participants of some of the ideas contained in Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica-that would perhaps be of interest if the relation to a scientific topic could be made.
    This though, would be with Medieval science vice modern it would seem, at least at the philosophical level.

    January 22, 2014

  • Rachelle

    Regrettably, I can't join you today.

    January 12, 2014

  • Rick

    I will not be able to make it down this evening. Hope to see you all next time. Rick

    January 12, 2014

  • Larry B.

    Just to make sure everyone is using the correct link for our discussion.

    January 6, 2014

    • Joel W.

      I would like to mention that one of the articles from Nature-which suggests that biology might control politics-has been noted in the science community as questionable- at the level of suggesting that certain political ideologies are genetically or biologically based.
      Some great care has to be taken, that claims for A leading to be or influencing B, be well stated to include limits.

      1 · January 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looking forward to the discussion on Sunday

      January 10, 2014

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