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Science and Religion: The Myth of Conflict

Thursday, October 24, 2019
Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall

Prof. Barr will argue that the supposed conflict between science and religion has really been a conflict between a philosophy called “scientific materialism” and religion and that it is largely based on certain misconceptions about Christian belief, an outdated view of scientific history, and a skewed interpretation of what science has actually discovered about the world. He will first explain certain basic theological ideas, then tell the story of the relation between Christianity and science, including some dramatic facts that are relatively little known, and conclude by discussing several discoveries of twentieth century physics that arguably are more consonant with the traditional religious view of the cosmos and of human beings than with materialist philosophy.

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Stephen Barr is Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Delaware. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from Princeton University in 1978. His physics research centers mainly on “grand unified theories” and the cosmology of the early universe. Prof. Barr has written extensively and lectured widely on the relation of science and religion. He is the founding president of the Society of Catholic Scientists, an international organization which started in the summer of 2016 and has grown to over 1,000 members in 38 countries. (