Reasons 2014: March 14-15

Are science and Christian faith friends or enemies? Do advances in cosmology, biochemistry, paleontology, and genetics undermine essential Christian doctrines, or is there in fact compelling evidence for design in nature? Join us as we explore these questions under the guidance of leading scholars specializing in the fields of intelligent design, science and faith and cultural apologetics.

The goal of REASONS 2014 will be to demonstrate the beautiful compatibility and synergy of the natural sciences and orthodox Christianity. See our list of speakers below, download a copy of our conference agenda and purchase your tickets today!


PLENARY SPEAKERS:


William A. Dembski, Ph.D.
Dr. William Dembski is Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He is also the Phillip E. Johnson Research Professor of Culture and Science at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he helps head its Institute of Scientific Apologetics. In addition, he is Senior Research Scientist with the Evolutionary Informatics Lab. Dr. Dembski holds a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also dembski2received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Dembski has published articles in mathematics, philosophy and theology journals and is the author/editor of twenty books, including “The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities.” His most comprehensive treatment of intelligent design to date, co-authored with Jonathan Wells, is titled The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems. Dr. Dembski has edited several influential anthologies, including The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science.In addition to the main sessions, Dr. Dembski will be speaking on “The Theological Case for Intelligent Design” during the first block of breakout sessions.


Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen Meyer is Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and a founder both of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement and of the CSC, Intelligent Design’s primary intellectual and scientific headquarters. Dr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science and the author of peer-reviewed publications in technical, scientific, philosophical and other books and journals. Most recently, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design” (HarperOne, 2013). In his first book on Intelligent Design, “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design” (HarperOne, 2009), Meyer examined only the mystery of the origin of life. Now, with Darwin’s Doubt, he expands the scope of the case for ID to the whole sweep of life’s history. Meyer’s research goes to the very source of the mystery of life: its origin, and more specifically the origin of biological information. His research and writings in the field represent the cutting edge of the argument for design.   In addition to the main sessions, Dr. Meyer will be speaking on “Darwin’s Doubt Question & Answer” during the second block of breakout sessions


John G. West, Ph.D.
Dr. John West is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, where he is Associate Director of Discovery’s Center for Science & Culture and Vice President for Public Policy and Legal westbigAffairs. His current research examines the impact of Darwinian science on public policy and culture during the past century. His other areas of expertise include constitutional law, American government and institutions, and religion and politics. Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington. He has written or edited numerous books, including “The Politics of Revelation & Reason: Religion and Civic Life in the New Nation,” “The Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics,” “The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia,” and “Celebrating Middle Earth: The Lord of the Rings as a Defense of Western Civilization.” He also has contributed articles to a wide range of scholarly and popular outlets.   In addition to the main sessions, Dr. West will be speaking on “The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society” during the second block of breakout sessions.


BREAKOUT SPEAKERS:


Bruce L. Gordon, Ph.D.
Dr. Bruce Gordon serves as Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Houston Baptist University. He earned the Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science (Physics) from Northwestern University, as well as degrees in applied mathematics and analytic philosophy from the University of Calgary and systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is a Senior Fellow for the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, is the author of a variety of articles in scholarly journals and the co-editor of two books, to which he also contributed: The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science and Biological Information: New Perspectives. Dr. Gordon’s scholarly work focuses on interpretive questions at the intersection of quantum theory, cosmology, analytic metaphysics and philosophical theology, along with fine-tuning issues in physics and biology and the socio-historical and cultural dimensions of scientific and philosophical ideas.  Breakout sessions:  Block I:  Cosmological Fine-Tuning and the Case for Intelligent Design  Block II:  Quantum Physics and the Providence of God


Holly E. Ordway, Ph.D.
Dr. Holly Ordway serves as Professor of English at Houston Baptist University, where she is the Chair of the Department of Apologetics and the director of the M.A. in Apologetics Program. She earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Ordway profile photo2Massachusetts Amherst, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Dr. Ordway speaks and writes regularly on literature and the role of imagination in apologetics, with special attention to the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. A revised and expanded version of her memoir Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith, titled Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms, is forthcoming.  Breakout session:  Block I:  Metaphor and Meaning: The Role of Imagination in Communication about Science and Faith


Nancy R. Pearcey, M.A.
Nancy Pearcey serves as scholar in residence and Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, where she is also director of the Francis Schaeffer Center for Worldview and Culture. She earned a master’s in Biblical Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, pursued graduate work in the history of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto and received an honorary doctoral degree from Philadelphia Biblical University. She is a Fellow at the Discovery Institute and winner of the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best book on Christianity and Society for her book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind. Pearcey has been heralded as “America’s pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual” by The Economist. In addition to Saving Leonardo, her books include Total Truth, The Soul of Science and How Now Shall We Live? (co-authored with novelist Harold Fickett and former White House operative Charles W. Colson).   Breakout sessions:  Block I: “’Stealth’ Secularism in the Classroom: Evolution in the Arts and Humanities”  Block II:  Darwinism and Ethics: Arguing for Sexual Truth in a Secular Age


Melissa Cain Travis, M.A.
Melissa serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. She earned an M.A. in Science and Religion from Biola University, graduating with Highest Honors. She is certified in Christian apologetics and holds a B.S. in general biology from Campbell University. She worked as a bench scientist in the field of biotechnology for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree, and has spent more than a decade researching the science, theology, and philosophy pertaining to the origins debate. Her research interests include human origins and science/faith integration. She is the author of How Do We Know God is Really There? (Apologia Press, 2013)the first book in the Young Defenders series, illustrated storybooks that teach the fundamentals of Christian apologetics to young children. Book 2, How Do We Know God Created Life? is scheduled for release in early 2014.   Breakout session:  Block I:  Adam and Eve: Fact or Fiction?