On August 12th, Geoff Woollard, Matthew Marquardt, Brendan Steven and I introduced the topics and themes of our upcoming webinar series, ‘The Beauty of Creation’ on faith, science, and our social and political lives.
Contemporary civilization is characterized by a technological paradigm, in which our increasing control over aspects of nature challenges our interpretations of the essence of what is natural, what is good, and what is properly human. This has major implications for civic life, in areas such as bioethics, medicine and the dignity of the human person, the state of the environment, and our relationship with the rest of creation.
In an upcoming speaker series at Catholic Conscience, Geoffrey Woollard and I will engage with leading scientists, philosophers, and theologians whose work is nourished by a Catholic Christian understanding of the world. Through their work, as well as an engagement with Catholic social teaching and the latest work in the Magisterium of the Church, we hope to come to a greater appreciation of the integrity and beauty of creation that is a hallmark of Catholicism.
In this session, Geoff and I will provided an overview of contemporary trends in science and their philosophical underpinnings, and set the stage for the rest of the series.
Geoffrey Woollard is a former PhD student in structural biology at the University of Toronto, now embarking on a Computer Science program at the University of British Columbia. He has helped organize the Toronto Chapter of the Society of Catholic Scientists and is a member of the group writ large. We’ll speak with Geoff about his work on the 3D structure of biomolecules and computer science to get his perspective on order and creativity in nature. In particular, we’ll dig deeper into how we use differentiation and classification to determine the essences of things with logic and reason, and deepen our understanding of them through scientific practice. Geoff’s interdisciplinary writings on faith-science dialogue have been featured in the Torch, Scientia et Fides, and the online Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science.
Resources Mentioned during the Webinar
- Scientia et Fides article about the transhumanism phenomenon.
- Reference to “Christian materialism” in a famous homily “Passionately Loving the World” by St Josemaria Escriva
- Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft
- Aquinas and the Environment Symposium, Nova et Vetera, Winter 2012 (Vol. 10, No. 1)
A primary goal of Catholic Conscience is to bring the values of the Gospel, as reflected in Catholic social teachings, into the centre of social discourse. We present seminars and workshops, publish podcasts, and videos on a variety of topics intended to stimulate discussion, form our consciences, guide our lifestyle choices, inform our private and public conversations, and help us discern which political leaders we support.
Throughout the series, we’ll be highlighting the implications of the scientific and philosophical findings to our lives as citizens.
Please join us by signing up for each session and subscribing to the Catholic Conscience newsletter. The webinars are interactive in nature, so come prepared with your questions.