Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2004

Whitworth, Gonzaga to Co-host Physics & the God of Abraham
Lecture Series, March 29-April 1

Gonzaga University and Whitworth College will co-host the fourth annual Physics & the God of Abraham conference, a weeklong lecture series March 29-April 1, with three lecture events at Gonzaga and one at Whitworth. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 323-6644 or e-mail faithandreason@gonzaga.edu.

This year's lectures, part of the fourth conference in a series addressing the connections between modern science and Judeo-Christian theology, will explore the challenges encountered by believers in the God of Abraham - the theistic Creator-God of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions - in integrating their faith with a scientific understanding of the universe.

The purpose of the program is to provide university faculty and students, as well as the general public, the opportunity to learn from recent work that has been conducted on the relationship of theistic religion and modern physics. The series is sponsored by Betty S. Wheeler, Whitworth's Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith and Learning, and the Gonzaga University Faith and Reason Institute.

The 2004 lecture speakers feature:

  • Stephen M. Barr, a theoretical particle physicist at the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware. Barr's research interests and contributions span the areas of grand unified theories, the problem of the origin of quark and lepton masses, theories with extra space-time dimensions, and the relationship between physics and cosmology. Among his many published physics articles are "A New Symmetry Breaking Pattern for SO(10) and Proton Decay"; "Kaluza Klein Cosmologies and Inflation: A Minimality Condition and Atmospheric Neutrino Oscillations"; "Anthropic Coincidences"; and a new book, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (University of Notre Dame Press).

  • The Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president of Gonzaga University. Spitzer's interests in the ontology of physics, metaphysics, and their interrelationship with faith have led to the founding of the Physics & the God of Abraham conference and several scholarly works, including: "A Study of Objectively Real Time," his doctoral dissertation; "Definitions of Real Time and Ultimate Reality, Indications of Creation in Contemporary Astrophysics"; and an upcoming book, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions to Late Twentieth Century Physics and Philosophy (submitted for publication to the University of Notre Dame Press).

  • Michael W. Tkacz, associate professor of philosophy at Gonzaga University. Tkacz completed his doctorate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America, where his research was devoted to the history and philosophy of science. He has published works in the fields of the history of philosophy and the history of science. His books include St. Augustine: The Political Writings (1994); The Art of Reasoning (1999); and the forthcoming Albert the Great and the Origins of Western Biology. His articles and reviews have appeared in such scholarly journals as The Thomist; The Review of Metaphysics; The Journal of the History of Philosophy; and The International Philosophical Quarterly.

The schedule of lectures follows:

Monday, March 29, 7 p.m.
Michael Tkacz
"A Designer Universe: Chance and Order in the Cosmos"
Barbieri Courtroom, Gonzaga School of Law (721 N. Cincinnati St.)

Tuesday, March 30, 7 p.m.
Stephen M. Barr
"Modern Physics and Ancient Faith: Part I: The Design of the Universe"
Barbieri Courtroom, Gonzaga School of Law (721 N. Cincinnati St.)

Wednesday, March 31, 7 p.m.
Stephen M. Barr
"Modern Physics and Ancient Faith: Part II: Science and the Soul"
Seeley G. Mudd Chapel, Whitworth College, 300 W. Hawthorne Rd.

Thursday, April 1, 7 p.m.
Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J.
"Cosmology and Proving God's Existence:
Modifications of the Big Bang Theory and Space Asymmetry"
Barbieri Courtroom, Gonzaga School of Law (721 N. Cincinnati St.)

Contacts:

Cory Madsen, Faith and Reason Institute, Gonzaga University, (509) 323-6644 or faithandreason@gonzaga.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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