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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 37 - February 2009

Today sees the publication of 'Rescuing Darwin – God and evolution in Britain today’, a new 70-page report by Nick Spencer and Denis Alexander for sale off the Faraday web-site (, go to the Shop folder) at a special 65% discounted price (to £3.50 plus p&p). We are also making a special free offer of the ‘Rescuing Darwin’ report for those who purchase a book from our on-line Faraday Shop.

The 70-page report, published by Theos and containing five chapters, presents and discusses the latest quantitative survey findings by the polling company ComRes concerning the level of belief and disbelief in Darwinian evolution in the UK today. The poll was based on 2000 respondents and represents the most reliable recent data on this topic available. The report also contains chapters on Darwin’s own religious beliefs, analyses why Darwin still remains in the cross-fire in the year of his double anniversary, and discusses how theism and evolution can be held together in a coherent way. See the Appendix for some media responses to the report.

The Queen’s Lecture Theatre at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, was packed last Tuesday with standing-room only for our termly public lecture by Prof. Keith Ward on  ‘God, Science and the New Atheism’. The lecture is posted at the Faraday web-site as well as the The Times web-site (scroll down the page at Prof. Ward was involved in several radio interviews prior to his lecture and links can be found on the Faraday home-page.

No-one can have avoided the fact that 2009 is the year of Charles Darwin’s double anniversary (Feb. 12th,1809: birth; 1859: On the Origin of Species) and a file listing the forthcoming Faraday activities relevant to the anniversary is available from the Faraday web-site (see ‘Celebrating Darwin’s Birthday’ at the News section).

This month the two Faraday Research Seminars will be ‘Historical Perspectives on Christianity and Mental Illness’ by Dr. Allan Chapman (Oxford University) on Feb 3rd and 'Beyond Separation or Synthesis: Christ and Evolution as Theodrama' by Prof. Celia Deane-Drummond [University of Chester] on Feb 17th. For those in the Cambridge area, seminars are held in the Garden Room of St. Edmund’s College at 1.00 p.m., with a free buffet lunch at 12.30 p.m. For those unable to attend in person, seminars will be posted soon after the event in the Multimedia Folder at the Faraday web-site.

We still have some spaces for more delegates at the Faraday Course for teachers, whether of the sciences, philosophy or religious studies, being held over the week-end 3-5 April 2009. This will give informed input by highly qualified experts on some of the latest thinking in the science-religion area, give information about resources available to teachers, as well as tackle some of the thorny issues arising in the classroom. Teachers may be able to apply for CPD funding from their schools for this course.

This month the Faraday Institute held the first course it has run as an option for the so-called ‘intensives’ of the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. 26 Federation students were joined by 4 from the Oxford Ministry Course based at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and 3 members of the CRES (Christian Rural and Environmental Studies) course, validated by Cuddesdon, for a programme of top-class lectures and a project visit on the topic ‘Science, Religion and the Environment’.

Prof Bob White gave an invited lecture this past month on ‘The Age of the Earth: Science and the Bible’, at the annual meeting of the Association of Science Educators in Reading.

 Denis Alexander Bob White

[Director]  [Associate Director]

APPENDIX  The Guardian:

Sunday Guardian article about Rescuing Darwin project and creationism
......already has 580 comments in its online version.

and the Telegraph

Steve Jones just wants to forget about Darwin and religion