Christians to explore values in science and technology
A major conference on the relationship between Christian values and science and technology will take place this summer at Calvin College in Michigan. Among the keynote speakers will be US Congressman Vern Ehlers, a former professor of physics there. The conference will convene from 28-31 July 2006 as the 61st annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA).
"We'll be looking at everything from the ethics of human stem cells to evolution and how life began to the proper role of biotechnology in growing our food," says professor of biology Hessel Bouma, whose expertise is medical ethics.
He added: "These are the issues that are the fodder for the nation's biggest and best newspapers, for the country's broadcast networks and for a growing number of blogs and websites that examine science and religion."
Bouma says that the ASA, and its counterpart the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, are the premier organizations of Christian scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians interested in the interaction between science and the Christian faith in North America.
In addition to Ehlers other confirmed keynote speakers are Celia Deane-Drummond from the University of Chester in the United Kingdom., Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at MIT, Karen Lebacqz of the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
Celia Deane-Drummond is author of numerous books, including Future Perfect?: God, Medicine and Human Identity. She will speak on Christian values and environmental ethics.
Jaenisch is an award-winning scientist who is a pioneer in cancer and mouse cloning and has written extensively on the subject of human cloning, which also will be the topic of his talk at Calvin.
Lebacqz is a scientist and an ordained minister who has written about and studied the role of human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research.
Collins, who has a book due out in late July 2006 titled The Language of God, will speak about the results of sequencing the human genome and the genomes of other organisms.
In addition to his plenary talk, Collins, a leading figure in genomic research, will be doing a presentation as part of the symposium on "Science and Technology in Service to the Poor," speaking about two medical mission trips he made with his physician daughter to Nigeria.
And William Hurlbut, the physician on the President's Council on Bioethics and a long-time member of ASA, will be part of a symposium on human stem cell research. Hurlbut has been proposing the possibility of producing stem cells from damaged eggs that lack the potential to become healthy embryos.