Posted by: COSI | October 13, 2010

COSI, Science & Religion—Do They Mix?

I’ve come to look forward to the annual discussion that we host in partnership with OSU and WOSU related to encouraging a dialogue on the intersection between science and religion. With the support of the John Templeton Foundation we’ve been able to invite some fascinating panelists with very different backgrounds and points of view. But I always have some anxious anticipation around how the evening will actually develop.

I was taught early on never to discuss politics and religion—and my broad family across the full spectrum of religious and political points of view reminds me of the contentiousness of violating those no talk rules (not that it stops us, though).

So how will tonight’s public forum at WOSU@COSI on Beyond Belief: Is Religion in Our Genes? play out?

Nicholas Wade and Andrew Newberg offer some very interesting points of view offering potential understanding of our religious nature through an evolutionary lens by one and a neurological one on the other. Neil Conan, the well known NPR host has flown in today to moderate which adds a seasoned veteran to what can be an energetic dialogue with the panelists and between the audience and the panelists. He’s impressed me every time he’s joined us in the WOSU@COSI studios which have been multiple times over the years.

Coincidently, NPR this morning had a feature spot on two brothers who have taken well known, and opposite and vocal positions, on religion.

How do you feel about COSI partnering with OSU and WOSU in the area of religion/science intersection?
Does public dialogue on important issues to communities and society which have a scientific point of perspective belong at COSI in addition to our engaging hands-on learning?

Have you been to any of the previous discussions at COSI? If so, what did you think?

As we continue to expand COSI’s relevance and service to the community—including encouraging what might be difficult but important conversations—we’ll continue to experiment in these ways. Having feedback to our efforts is greatly appreciated.

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Responses

  1. History has it’s first demonstrable proof:

    on the horizon is an approaching religious and cultural furore so contentious, any clash of civilizations may have to wait. On one side, a manuscript titled: The Final Freedoms, against all the gravitas religious tradition can bring to bear.

    The first wholly new interpretation for 2000 years of the Gospel/moral teachings of Christ is on the web. Redefining all primary elements including Faith, the Word, Law, Baptism, the Trinity and especially the Resurrection. Questioning the validity and origins of all Christian tradition, and focusing specifically on marriage, love and human sexuality, it overturns all natural law ethics and theory. What philosophy, science and theology have agreed was not possible has happened and at stake is the credibility of several thousand years of religious history.

    What first appears a counter intuitive challenge to the religious status quo is worth closer examination;  it carries within its pages a wisdom which the theological history of religion either ignored, were unable to imagine or dismissed. An error of presumption which could now leave ‘tradition’ staring into the abyss and humble all secular, atheist  speculation. 

    Using a synthesis of scriptural material drawn from the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha , The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Nag Hammadi Library, and some of the world’s great poetry, as in the beginning, it describes and teaches a single moral Law, a single moral principle, a single test of faith, and delivers on the Promise of its own proof; one in which the reality and will of God responds directly to an act of perfect faith with a demonstration of his omnipotence, an individual intervention into the natural world, ‘raising’ up the man, correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception beyond all natural evolutionary boundaries. Intended to be understood metaphorically, where ‘death’ and darkness are ignorance and ‘Life’ and light are knowledge,  this personal experience of omnipotent transcendent power and moral purpose is our ‘Resurrection’, and justification for faith. From here, on a perfectly objective foundation of moral principle, conduct and virtue, true morality and ‘Life’ begins.

    The first ever viable religious conception capable of leading reason, by faith, to observable consequences which can be tested and judged is now a reality. A teaching that delivers the first ever religious claim of insight into the human condition, that meets the Enlightenment criteria of verifiable, direct cause and effect, evidence based truth embodied in experience. For the first time in history, however unexpected, the world must contend with a claim to new revealed truth, a moral wisdom not of human intellectual origin, offering access by faith, to absolute proof, an objective basis for moral principle and a fully rational and justifiable belief! 

    This is ‘religion’ without any of the conventional embellished trappings of tradition. An individual, spiritual, virtue-ethical conception, independent of all cultural perception; contained within a single moral command and single Law that finds it’s expression of obedience within a new covenant of marriage. It requires no institutional framework or hierarchy, churches or priest craft, no scholastic theological rational, dogma or doctrine, no ones permission and stripped of all theological myth, ‘worship’ requires only conviction, faith and the necessary measure of self discipline to accomplish a new, single, moral imperative and the integrity and fidelity to the new Divinely created reality.

    If confirmed and there appears both the means and an ongoing and growing concerted effort to test and authenticate this material, this will represent a paradigm change in both faith and in the moral and intellectual potential of human nature itself;  untangling the greatest  questions of human existence: consciousness, meaning, suffering, free will and evil. And at the same time addressing the most profound problems of our age.

    More info at http://www.energon.org.uk

  2. Since the focus of COSI is on Science and Technology – not religion – I think it would be great for COSI to continue partnering with OSU in this manner (i.e. to serve our community as a resource for learning about science and technology).

    Religion can be challenging to discuss, but when it comes to the intersection of religion and science it’s essential to understand the relevant science in order to have that conversation. To that end, I think COSI should certainly continue their efforts to facilitate science learning in Central Ohio.


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