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Trinity Unplugged – The Challenges we Face: Scientists Reflect on Why they Still Believe

July 31, 2017
The challenges we face: scientists reflect on why they believe
Last Friday evening saw a packed house at our latest Trinity Unplugged. This Unplugged was called The Challenges we Face: Scientists Reflect on Why they Still Believe. We invited two scientists to identify the greatest challenge science has posed for their faith. Dr Ceri Wynne (PhD in Biochemistry) said that her work diagnosing inborn errors of metabolism had raised the question of how a good God could allow mutations that cause horrific diseases. The very same mutations that give rise to diversity and beauty can give rise to terrible suffering in some individuals. Ceri suggested that God both grants freedom to biochemical processes in the human genome and at the same time accompanies the outcome of what results from such freedom: the experience of health and suffering.
 
Dr Nathan Palpant (Stem cell research in early cardiovascular development at UQ) said that the role our genes play in pre-determining how we behave has raised questions for him about faith. He drew attention to the Stanford Prison Experiment as evidence that our situation, more so than freewill, seems to determine choices that we make. He also spoke about experiments with mice that demonstrate environmental factors can alter the epigenetics of an individual’s offspring for up to 6 generations. To what extent are my decisions about what I believe and what I pray determined by my genes or by those who’ve gone before me?
 
Both speakers indicated that they were likely to keep revising their understanding of their faith throughout life. They recommended the need to keep learning and working with others to sharpen how we think and speak about the life of Christian faith.
 
Our next Trinity Unplugged is called Search for Truth: What does the Bible have to offer? Dr Leigh Trevaskis will look at some of the problems that confront readers of the Old Testament and explain why this ancient text remains a valid resource for discerning the truth about our lives and experience of this world. This event will take place on Friday 10th November. Please contact ask@trinity.qld.edu.au for more information.


Written by
Tisa Lacey

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