WesleyNexus Sponsors Talks from ASA Executive Director

On April, 30, 2012, WesleyNexus and Oakdale-Emory United Methodist Church in Olney, MD
sponsored a talk by Dr. Randy Isaac, Executive Director of the American Scientific Affiliation.  There
were over 75 persons in attendance for the talk titled “Information & Intelligence in the Universe:
Implications for Spirituality and Faith”.  The end of last year, Dr. Isaac published a related article in
the American Scientific Affiliation Journal called “Information, Intelligence, and the Origins of Life”
which can be found

The ASA is an international network of Christians in the sciences and has a general website (www.
asa3.org) and an online magazine called “
God and Nature”.      

They also have a journal with numerous online articles that can be found

Hubble Photograph Sequence
On May 20, Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Senior Project Scientist for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and
current Director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) for the American
Association for the Advancement of Science addressed an audience at Hughes United Methodist
Church in Wheaton, MD.  Her talk, “Exploring an Incredible Universe!: Science Inspiring Praise,
Study, and Service” focused on recent technological and scientific developments in astronomy with
many visual images taken by the Hubble telescope.  Upgrades of the telescopes capabilities provide an
unprecedented peek into deep space and into the distant past.  Of particular interest was the Omega
Centauri Model Zoom Sequence which can be found
here.  You can also get to the home page and the
picture gallery from this link.  

Grand Dialogue in Science and Religion: Grand Valley State University

(From the website.)
Grand Dialogue “is an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and interfaith exploration of science and
religion. The Dialogue seeks to find positive ways of relating these two great ideas in a constructive
dialogue. Participating organizations each have their own unique perspectives, foci, message, and
intended audience. By cooperating, we affirm the willingness to be open to various issues and
perspectives in a spirit of mutual respect.” (From their website.) The videos from the conference can
be found

Keynote Speakers:
2012 - Dr. Gerald Schroeder
2011 - Dr. Nancey Murphy
2010 - B. Alan Wallace
2009 - Dr. Howard Van Till

Rif on Michelangelo and Evolution
We all know the iconic image of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  
Below is an interesting spin which was posted on Rabbi Brant Rosen’s blog in January of this year.  I
hope it gives you laugh or at least a pleasant grin. It can be found

The Dalai Lama wins the Templeton Prize
The Dalai Lama was the recipient of this year’s Templeton Prize.  The Templeton Prize “honors a
living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether
through insight, discovery, or practical works”.  Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. presented the 2012
Templeton Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, May 14, 2012.  
Articles and videos on the award can be found

In addition, Arianna Huffington conducted an
interview with the Dalai Lama on May 14 discussing
with him a variety of subjects such as neuroscience, religion, compassion and sleep.  

2010 Report – Most to Least Religious Cities

The Huffington Post published a list of the Most and Least Religious Cities in American on May 18,
2012.  It can be found

The article was based on the newly released U. S. Religious Census published by The Association of
Statisticians  of American Religious Bodies (ASARB).  The ASARB 2010 U. S. Religious Census "is
an update of the 1952, 1971, 1980, 1990, and 2000 studies originally done by the National Council of
Churches and the Glenmary Research Center. Since 1990, the Association of Statisticians of American
Religious Bodies (ASARB) has sponsored the studies.”  (From the website.)   236 religious groups
participated in the survey which can be found
here.  There is an interactive web page that allows the
user to select a religious group and download a map containing the census data on that group.  This
page can be found

Science and Religion within a Reformed Perspective
Dr. Jason E. Summers has written an article for Q.   Q is an organization dedicated to the idea that
“exposure to old and new ideas is the best way to stimulate imagination for ways the Gospel can be
expressed within our cultural context.”  True to this mixture of old and new, Dr. Summers applies the
reformed understanding of “common grace” in the thought of Abraham Kuyper to an understanding of
science.  Dr. Summers is founder and chief scientist of Applied Research in Acoustics (ARiA) LLC.
He is currently investigating the intersection of cognition with computational simulation for
development of new training technologies.  His article can be found

Is Death Bad for You?
In the May 13, 2012 edition of the Chronicle Review, the philosopher Shelley Kagan asks the
question: Is Death Bad For You?.  Shelly Kagan is a professor of philosophy at Yale University. This
essay is adapted from his book Death, published last month by Yale University Press.   You can read
the article

What Is Science?
Maria Popova is a writer for Wired UK, and the Atlantic Monthly (among others) who maintains the
website Brain Pickings.   In April, 2012, she posted an article called “What Is Science? From Feynman
to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions”.  In the article she quotes the musings from
a number of scientists on what science is.  The article contains numerous links whose rabbit trails are a
joy to follow.  The article can be found

New Science and Religion Links
We have added a number of new links to our websites.  You can check them out here or go to the
links LINKS button on the main page.  

NPR Science Blog

  Oxford: Science and Religion Forum
The Great Story

  Real Clear Religion

  Institute for Science and Ethics
       & Practical Ethics Religion Blog (Oxford University)    

Science, Theory and Data

The challenge of discovery and knowledge is always difficult.  We usually think that facts determine
what is true but in a recent NY Times article, “
The Trouble With Data That Outpaces a Theory”,
Dennis Overbye points out that the process is not always simple.  Theory and evidence work together
in providing confidence in interpretations of our world.  

God Bless,
Rick Barr, Secretary, WesleyNexus
May 29, 2012