Darwin, God, and the Cosmos:

Is Faith Still Relevant in a

Scientific World?

When: Thurs, Nov. 30th at 7pm

Where: Stiteler Hall Rm. B6, 208 South 37th Street

Cosponsored by: Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science (PLUS), Penn Forum for Philosophy, Ethics, and Public Affairs, and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS).  Funding by the John Templeton Foundation.

Modern science has its roots in western religious thought and owes some of its greatest discoveries to scientists who themselves were people of faith.  Nonetheless, on one issue after another, from evolution to the “big bang” to the age of the Earth itself, religion seems to be at loggerheads with scientific thought.  Perhaps, as some suggest, we are approaching the end of faith.  Is this conflict inevitable, or is there a way science can be understood and supported in a religious context?

Join The Magi Project as they welcome Prof. Kenneth Miller (Brown) for this keynote lecture approaching questions of conflict between religion and science through the contentious issue of biological evolution.


Questions can be directed to Elizabeth Feeney at

Dr. Kenneth R. Miller

Kenneth R. Miller is a Professor of Biology at Brown University.  He is life sciences adviser to The News Hour on PBS and coauthor of the nation’s leading high school biology textbook.  In addition to his research work in cell biology, he has written extensively on evolution, and in 2005, he served as lead witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial on evolution and intelligent design.  He is the author of two popular books.

Among his honors are the Public Understanding of Science Award from AAAS, the Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Gregor Mendel Medal from Villanova University, and the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame.

The Magi Project

Physical science, which is ordered towards the exploration of the physical world, can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, who is pure spirit. However, contemplation of the physical Universe can lead people to ask deeper questions about meaning and human existence which can lead them to think deeply about the existence of God and the spiritual life. Contemplation of the Universe can also lead them to develop ideas about God based on their experiences of the physical Universe.

The above idea is highly divisive. Many people believe that modern astrophysical discoveries and ideas about the origin of the Universe exclude the possibility of God. Others cling desperately to a literal interpretation of Genesis and refuse to believe anything of modern science. Somewhere in between is the via media, which embraces both the physical and spiritual realities, which recognizes the distinct, proper contributions, importance and limitations of both.