Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting a Conversation

In this era of heightened tension between communities of faith and communities of science, Gordon College seeks to foster a deeper appreciation for science as a way of exploring God’s glory through the study of His creation. This commitment has been born in a number of ways over the sciences’ 50-year history at Gordon, most recently through ongoing faculty research, courses that seek to educate students on the interplay of faith and science, and an array of conferences, lectures and symposia with similar focuses.

Yesterday the College invited to campus two esteemed science professionals who share Gordon’s passion for the Book of Nature—Ruth Bancewicz, the lead author of Test of Faith, a faith and science curriculum for churches and Christian schools developed by the Faraday Institute in England; and Dr. Randy Isaac, a North Shore native and the executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation. Among a gathering of students and faculty, Bancewicz discussed the goals of the Test of Faith materials, which have been used in Gordon’s core course The Scientific Enterprise for the last two years. “It’s not about trying to convert you to the view of certain scientists; it’s about starting a conversation.”
After a screening of one of the Test of Faith videos, Isaac moderated a question-and-comment session with the audience.

Professor Stan Reczek, one of the key architects of the Scientific Enterprise course, spoke further on the Faraday Institute’s video series. “What I appreciate about these resources is that they raise questions and provide a range of perspectives.” And the result he sees in his students is this: “There tend not to be drastic shifts in how these students are thinking about the issues, but they’re starting to work through them.”

This is the 50th anniversary year of the Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science at Gordon College. Departments include Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Physics and 3-2 Engineering

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