Brown University, along with a few other Ivy League universities, hosts two round table events per year regarding science and religion, with the intention of creating dialogue. I've gone a couple of times because this is a topic that has intrigued me since I was 19 years old. As a graduate of the sciences and as a Christian, I applaud opening the conversation and allowing people from both sides of the aisle exposure to other points of view. We learn very little, and we grow very little, if we are constantly surrounded by people who think just like us.
I won't spend too much time talking about tonight's event except to say that our random seating assignment put me at the same table as Kenneth Miller, author of (among other books) Finding Darwin's God. This was one of the foundational books that kicked off my quest for the reconciliation between science and religion when I was an undergraduate. (He is a molecular biologist and advocate of evolution as well as a Christian. It's a great book, in my opinion.) At 19 I had given a copy to an "atheist missionary" as a peace offering between our two points of view. He hated the second half that talks about faith, but nevertheless, that book holds a special place in my heart. It encouraged me that I could be rational, scientific, and intelligent, and still maintain my faith, which was something I was told by my psychology professors was impossible to do.
And here we are a decade later, sitting at the same table, discussing science and religion within predisposed frameworks on the level of equals, as peers.
WHAT A CRAZY WORLD!
It was a great night of discussion, albeit slightly surreal.
ps. He's really brilliant.
pps. He acted as though I was pretty sharp, too.