Science & Theology Dialogues: Does the universe have a "purpose?"­

"Are there certain facts that suggest the Universe has a Purpose?"  That's the question the August Science & Theology Dialogues will take up.  The DC Theology Pub & Emerging Christianity meetups continue the Science & Theology Dialogues on August 25th by looking at what some scientists and philosophers have called the Anthropic Principle, the Universe seems to possess the perfect combination of some 20 plus scientific laws and materials (according to one count) to produce life & human consciousness.  One slight deviation in even one of those laws would have prevented the evolution of life and human consciousness.  That's the argument at least.  So, does the Universe a Purpose then?

The Templeton Foundation has published an interesting exploration of this topic on their website, so participants can just download it and avoid ordering and reading a whole book.  This is the sixth and last topic down from the top of the page found at the Templeton website (click here) or cut and past the following:

The paper we will discuss includes a range of opinions, some supportive and some opposing, on the question. Please read as many of the essays as you can, and then let's talk about the ones that gripped your imagination the most!

We are switching to essay discussions: With this conversation, we are switching gears a little bit.  Our last few 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 essays are online they can be downloaded and read on your mobile devices.

Your input is needed and valued: The Templeton 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.

Hope you can join us for this interesting conversation!

Best, Larry

More about the Purpose 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 Loudoun 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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  • Victoria P.

    I forgot that Sunday is the day before school starts so I have to stay home and get my son organized.

    August 21, 2013

    • Larry B.

      We will miss your smiling face. I'll be dropping my son off at college in Lancaster Sunday morning then trying to separate mom from son so I can make it back in time. Maybe we should do a look at some questions concerning quantum entanglement? See you next time.

      August 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Best of luck with those last minute preparations! As a teacher who's been under the weather, I'll be resting up so I can go back to work soon!

      August 25, 2013

  • Larry B.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the reading. Remember these essays are there to help stimulate our thoughts and fuel our conversation. We are more interested in your opinion. Our discussion is not to be a review the articles but we use the essays as an aid to provide us with some different perspectives as we approach the subject. Please come even if you have not read all of the essays. Your perspective is just what our conversation needs. If your time is limited just pick an author you recognize and check out the perspective. I hope to see you all on Sunday. This should be fun filled evening of conversation with friends.

    August 21, 2013

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