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Photo of Professor Sue Kimber

Posted: 23 June 2014, 8:00

Sue Kimber, Professor of Stem Cells and Development at the University of Manchester and Co-Director of the North West Embryonic Stem Cell Centre, talks to Nigel Bovey about the ethics surrounding her research and how it integrates with her Christian faith.

Professor Kimber, what does your work entail?

I teach a stem-cell course, run a research laboratory and at the Stem Cell Centre produce cultures of human embryonic stem cells at clinical grade for research.

There are many areas of research that are less controversial, so what made you want to be in this one?

I’ve always been interested in understanding disease and how, through that understanding, it might be treatable. I started out working in the area of infertility and reproductive biology.

Stem cells are absolutely...

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Posted: 22 June 2014, 13:04

Last November (2013), on the 50th anniversary of CS Lewis’s death, Westminster Abbey honoured the novelist, poet, academic and Christian apologist with a memorial in Poet’s Corner. At the same time, a symposium on CS Lewis was held in the church next door to the Abbey, St Margaret’s, Westminster.

Christian Evidence has produced three videos which capture the key lectures of the symposium.

The symposium marked CS Lewis’s career as one of the 20th century’s most notable Christian writers and thinkers. As well as celebrating his remarkable achievements as a writer of fiction, apologetics and scholarship, the event looked at the question of how, in the 21st century, CS Lewis’s example can be followed and his legacy continued.

In the opening lecture (see the video above), Professor Alister...

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Photo of Professor Hans Halverson

Posted: 08 June 2014, 11:21

Does reality make sense if God does not exist? Professor of Philosophy Hans Halvorson thinks not and explains why he is drawn to ‘the hopeful option’ of belief in God in this interview with Nigel Bovey.

Professor, what areas of research are you currently working in?

I have always been interested in the relationship between philosophy and science – particularly how we can do philosophy, either in a scientific manner or in a manner that’s contiguous with what’s happening in the sciences. In recent years, I have been looking at questions such as: ‘What is science?’ and ‘Are there limits to science?’

I also specialise in mathematical logic and am studying category theory, which attempts to systematise the relations between different branches of mathematics. Because maths is...

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Picture of Jesus and Brian... the conference

Posted: 03 June 2014, 14:51

And now for something completely different.

Bookings are still open for the Jesus and Brian conference, which is being held at King’s College London between Fri-Sun, 20-22 June 2014. The conference explores the historical Jesus and his times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

The conference features no less than two Pythons. John Cleese will be the after-dinner speaker on Saturday, and Terry Jones will join the conference on Friday for a conversation about the film.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian provoked a furious response in some quarters when it first appeared in 1979, even leading to cries of ‘blasphemy’. However, many students and teachers of biblical literature were quietly, and often loudly, both amused and intrigued.

Life of Brian in fact contains numerous references to...

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Photo of Lydia Jaeger

Posted: 30 May 2014, 16:00

Physicist and theologian Dr Lydia Jaeger is Academic Dean at the Nogent Bible Institute near Paris. She talks to Nigel Bovey about creation and the orderliness of the universe.

Dr Jaeger, do you describe yourself as a scientist or a theologian?

By training, I am both. I have degrees in physics and in theology and a doctorate in the philosophy of science.

What first attracted you to science?

I had a very good high school teacher who taught physics – particularly astronomy – in a way that captured my imagination. He explained how the universe worked and helped me to sense the orderliness of it. I am attracted to physics because I like the idea that the universe is ordered – that there are laws we can discover and mathematically describe.

What attracted you to theology?

My first...

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Posted: 16 April 2014, 17:47

André Aleman, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, has a head-to-head with Nigel Bovey.

Professor, what does your work entail?

My background is in neuropsychology. I conduct studies on psychiatric syndromes, such as schizophrenia and depression, by investigating the brain and its disorders. Increasingly, we are focusing on the ageing process and mild cognitive impairment, which might be the early phase of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

What is psychiatry and how is it different from psychology?

Psychiatry is a medical specialism about mental disorders. Psychology offers a broader view of human thought processes – perception, memory, cognition and so on. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, who can prescribe medication. A...

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Picture made up of mosaic images of the earth

Posted: 12 February 2014, 23:47

Astrobiologist Professor Stephen Freeland, whose research includes the genetic code used by the majority of life on Earth today, talks to Nigel Bovey about the origin and future of the universe, and why he believes God is no ‘smoking gun’ designer.

Professor Freeland, what are your responsibilities?

I am part of the Hawaii team of the Nasa Astrobiology Institute, but my main work is as the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Maryland, which is in Baltimore, USA.

What is astrobiology?

According to Nasa, it is the search for life’s origin, distribution and future within the Universe. More generally, it is an interdisciplinary effort to understand life in a physical universe.

What fascinates you about astrobiology?

On one level, it connects with my doctoral...

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Posted: 06 February 2014, 8:55

We recently discovered a number of books for sale on Amazon with our name on them – Christian Evidence Society – even though we haven’t had anything to do with them for over a century.

When we dug deeper, we found they were books we published back in the 19th century, when our society was a lot younger than now (we were founded in 1870). The books were scanned and republished a couple of years ago by some enterprising American publishers. They give a fascinating glimpse into the issues which prompted debate between Christians and sceptics over 100 years ago.

Several of the publishers have very kindly sent us copies of their new editions of these long-forgotten books.

We were fascinated to see that one book, Faith and Free Thought, published in 1880, has a preface by Samuel...

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Photo of a hand holding a lit lightbulb

Posted: 03 February 2014, 22:07

One of the biggest objections to religious faith today comes from scientists who argue that the universe has no need of God. But is that actually true?

A good percentage of scientists disagree that science and faith are incompatible. Many of them are religious believers themselves and experience no clash between the work they do in science and the prayers they pray in church.

In this series of short articles, Proving God, we introduce the issues surrounding science and faith, including areas which are passionately argued over by atheists, philosophers and religious thinkers.

The articles are in a sequence, so you might find it best to read them in order. But you’ll also find plenty to think about (and argue over!) by dipping into them at random.

What’s the issue? – Today’s new...

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Photo of a man wearing Google Glass

Posted: 28 January 2014, 22:04

The Six Million Dollar Man, Robocop and The Matrix share common DNA – human beings enhanced by technology. Bionics, cybernetics and neuro-enhancers are not just figments of fertile movie-making imaginations. Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute researches the implications of human enhancement. In America, super-warrior technologies are being developed for battlefield deployment. Professor Brent Waters, the Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, talks to Nigel Bovey about the theological implications of emerging technologies and the accompanying philosophy known as posthumanism.

Professor Waters, what is posthumanism?

Posthumanism is a commitment to use technology to extend longevity and enhance physical...

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