Pick of the Day: Nash Memorial Lecture

Hosted by Campion College at the University of Regina, this annual lecture is being delivered by Brother Guy Consolmagno (pictured). American born, Consolmagno joined the Jesuit order in 1989, and now works as an astronomer for the Vatican and manages its meteorite collection.

The title of Consolmagno’s talk is The New Physics & the Old Metaphysics. Religion is usually a pretty touchy subject on Dog Blog, so to avoid inflaming anyone’s passions I’ll simply lift the synopsis for the talk that Campion has on its website:

The Grand Design, co‑authored in 2010 by the physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, argues that God is not necessary for the origin of the Big Bang. This argument follows a theme quite popular with a group of scholars sometimes labeled “The New Atheists” who insist that science can replace a need for God. Of course, there’s nothing new about this sort of atheism, nor is Stephen Hawking the first scientist or philosopher to declare God obsolete. But his latest book about the origins of the universe provoke some interesting questions about our understanding of the nature of God and the relationship between science and theology. It is easy to mock the theological naivety of The New Atheists; what is more important, however, is to recognize where theologically they are actually correct.

The talk goes at Campion Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Then tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Consolmagno will conduct a seminar at the same location on the topic Faith and the Cosmos. For more info on either event call 359-1244.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

10 thoughts on “Pick of the Day: Nash Memorial Lecture”

  1. Not sure I’m catching the same tone Emmet. Or at least no moreso than I observe from the New Atheists themselves. Of course, I’m an agnostic because I can’t even commit to atheism…

  2. Science shmience. There damn well better be a God, or I’m going to be really pissed off at that Gibson clown. I hope I didn’t sit through that bloody mess for nothing!!

  3. Hah! Yes, the smug New Atheists are completely obnoxious. Give me the old school humanism of Kurt Vonnegut any day.
    I just think it’s silly for Catholics, especially Catholic scientists, to devote that much energy to New Atheism. With the glaring exception of Sex Ed–er, Family Planning–the science education I got at Catholic schools never allowed for the possibility that true science was at odds with faith. In fact, the best teachers always taught that knowledge and learning were an important part of spirituality.
    I dunno, I guess I’m not the intended audience for that synopsis, so I may be reading it harsher than it is. The “It is easy to mock the theological naivety of The New Atheists” line reads needlessly combative to me.

  4. It’s especially easy to mock something if you misrepresent it.

    For instance….

    “‘The New Atheists’ who insist that science can replace a need for God.”

    The argument has never been that science replaces a need for God. Rather that it offers a better explanation for the origin and functioning of the cosmos than theism.

    Personally, speaking as an atheist who rather enjoys this “New Atheism,” this synopsis reads a little desperate.

  5. #4 “The name of the new religion is The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.”
    — Winston Niles Rumfoord

  6. And all this time, I thought “The New Atheists” was the name of the least-popular American folk group of the 1960s.

  7. O wait.. there is no “god”.

    Who really gives a shit about the “big bang” 4.5 Billion years ago? Let’s just focus on Mother Earth’s future 45 years from now.

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