|Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:
2012 Millennial Values Survey
Conducted jointly by Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center
for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, a new national survey of college-age Millennials (Americans
ages 18-24) provides an in-depth portrait of younger Millennials on faith, values, and the 2012 election.
The survey, A GENERATION IN TRANSITION: Religion, Values, and Politics among College4Age
Millennials. Findings from the 2012 Millennial Values Survey can be found here.
Oldest Ancestral Bones Discovered
The ongoing discovery of human development continues with the unearthing of bones that go back
7,000 years and reflect the “oldest fragments of the modern human genome found.”
There are quite a few sites easily accessed that illustrate stages of hominid development. For example,
(1) a clip that shows a chimp walking awkwardly on two legs and
(2) videoclips from PBS highlighting a number of topics on human development.
Big Questions Online
Big Questions Online has been retooled and, beginning June 24, 2012, started posting in-depth
conversations with authors on specific questions. Like the prior versions of Big Questions, they still
focus on science, religion, markets, morals, and the dynamic intersection among them. It is a
Templeton Foundation site encouraging high quality, informed discussion. (Their comment policy can
be found here. http://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/big-questions-online-comment-policy) As
of this writing, they have posted “What it is to be Intellectually Humble?” by Robert Roberts
(Professor of Ethics, Baylor), “Which Beliefs Contribute to Virtuous Behavior?” by Christian Miller
(Professor of Philosophy, Wake Forest), and most recently “Does a Litigious Culture Undermine Our
Capacity for Humility?” by Walter Olson (Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute). Of particular interest to
those in the science and religion dialogue is “Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in
God?” by Stephen Barr (Professor of Physics at the University of Delaware). . The main page for Big
Questions Online can be found here.
The atom + Eve Project: Using Science in Pastoral Ministry
The Washington Theological Union (WTU), a Roman Catholic graduate school for theology and
ministry, has been an active participant in science and religion dialogue for over a decade. Since 2002,
they have been the host of the Washington Theological Consortium’s Science and Religion Study
Group. It will be closing it’s doors in 2013 but will be hosting a significant series of conferences
funded by the Templeton Foundation called The atom + Eve Project: Using Science in Pastoral
Ministry. Two of the conferences have now been completed with two future conferences taking place
on November 10, 2012 and March 16, 2013. The conferences are directed by Rev. Joseph F.
Wimmer, O.S.A., S.T.D., of the Washington Theological Union and by paleontologist Dr. Daryl
Domning, Ph.D., of Howard University. The Washington, DC science and religion community has
been blessed by the gracious hospitality of the WTU and are grateful for the time, energy and financial
resources provided over the years. Below you will find the videos of the first two conferences and
information about registering for the remaining two.
Conference 1: The Origin of the Universe (November 12, 2011)
Session 1: Modern Physics, the Beginning and Creation
Session 2: What the Bible Can Contribute to an Understanding of Divine Creation
Session 3: Modern Cosmology, Building a Better Container for the Human Soul
Conference 2: The Origin of Life and Its Development
Session 1: Mutualism in the Darwinian Scenario
Session 2: Darwinian Natural Selection and Why Theology Can’t Do Without It
Session 3: What Does It Mean to Have a Soul?
Conference 3: The Moral Life of Virtue, Sin and Original Sin (November 10, 2012)
Conference 4: Spirituality in an Evolutionary World (March 16, 2013)
As you all probably know, empirical confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson was
accomplished at the supercollider in Switzerland earlier this month. We have included two articles
reflecting that discovery from the NY Times and The Huffington Post. They are not necessarily the
most profound or well written but we wanted to highlight this event with some initial references. If you
have come across articles that you think are particularly good and insightful, please let us know at
WesleyNexus@aol.com so we can link to them.
NY Times on the Higgs boson discovery
Scientists in Congregations
The Science in Congregations initiative is a grant program that is funded by the John Templeton
Foundation and calls for a sustained, creative collaboration between practitioners in the fields of
science (scientists or science educators) and theology / faith practice (pastors) who are already engaged
with one another through shared participation in the life of a congregation. (From the website.) The 37
congregations that have been awarded grants so far are geographically distributed from the east coast
to the west and from Canada to Alabama. A list of recipients can be seen here.
Hope Lutheran Church and Student Center in College Park, Maryland is one of the recipients. They
have organized their discussion from the perspective of science, language and biblical interpretation.
This three -pronged approach provides an interesting dynamic that can be perceived in the discussion
notes that are available here.
The Centre for Public Christianity
The Centre for Public Christianity is a nonprofit media company offering a Christian perspective on
contemporary life. They have produced a variety of media for the general public pertinent to Christian
understanding in the 21st century. They ground their perspective on the traditional, historic Christian
teaching of the Old and New Testaments as outlined in the Nicene Creed. Their homepage can be
They have three categories under science:
History of Science
Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps
Carter Phipps has written a new book called Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural
Potentials of Science’s Greatest Idea. On the back cover, there are endorsements by John Haught and
Brian Swimme, familiar names to those who have followed the science and religion dialogue over the
past decade or two. It is also an ideal book for summer reading. Written in the a casual style in the
tradition of Future Shock by Alvin Toffler and Megatrends by John Naisbitt, Evolutionaries
intentionally targets a wide range of thinkers with numerous claims for ideas that have yet to be
broadly accepted. That is what makes it both enjoyable and provocative. While not an explicitly
Christian book (though a number of thinkers sited are Christian), it presents a constructive challenge
for a Christian response that should be taken seriously.
You can find a short biography of Phipps here, and an interview of John Haught by Phipps here.
Find an interesting “Christian” interpretation of the some of the themes by Paul Smith here.
Note: WesleyNexus neither endorses nor disapproves of the ideas or opinions presented in this book.
Rick Barr, Secretary, WesleyNexus
|July 27, 2012