From Sea to Sea ... to Sky! Science and Christianity in Canada

CSCA is holding a conference dealing with science and Christianity in Canada at, and co-hosted by, Trinity Western University, May 11 – 14, 2018. This conference will include Canadians in science, speakers dealing with issues relevant to our theme, and talks on science and Christian faith in general.

The conference, running from Friday dinner through Monday lunch, will include morning devotions and a Sunday morning worship service. For those unable attend the entire conference, sessions with special appeal to local attendees will be open for Saturday registrations. The conference fees will be low to moderate (TBD), with discounted on- and off-campus lodging options. Those who also attend the nearby Regent College Pastors’ Conference (May 9-11, ending with lunch) will receive a 25% conference registration discount for both conferences!





What can be done to address the enormous issues facing our fragile and threatened planet? Is it possible to live confidently and creatively in the face of massive problems such as pollution and the acidification of the oceans? What hope is there of making peace with creation? Poet and theologian Loren Wilkinson has spent his life thinking, teaching, and campaigning about the environment—or creation, as he prefers to call it. In an era that has seen growing concern about climate change and the impact of industry and technology, he has insisted that this is a critical sphere for Christian thought and action. From their home on Galiano Island, BC, Wilkinson and his wife, Mary-Ruth Wilkinson, have encouraged generations of students to think long and hard about the meaning of creation and of our responsibility as creatures within it. Through personal reflections (set both in the beautiful Gulf Islands where he lives and in the urban context of Vancouver, where he continues to teach), stimulating conversations with leading thinkers, artists and activists, and specially created art work, together with extracts from his poetry, Loren Wilkinson presents his own compelling and beautiful vision for human life in the 21st century. (source | trailer)
(To be followed by a panel, including Wilkinson.)

Speakers & Topics

Dennis Danielson, Ph.D.

Professor and former Chair, Department of English, University of British Columbia

“Copernicus and the Structure of the Universe”
Debates continue about whether the Scientific Revolution began with the sun-centered cosmology of Nicolaus Copernicus, published in 1543. Was Copernicus a true scientist in the modern sense? What were his chief contributions to what became science? More generally, what effect did he have on our view of the world, and of ourselves? And what was his legacy for scientists who also call themselves Christians? Danielson will argue that Copernicus did indeed offer rich lessons that are still worth pondering today—yet left us with some important unanswered questions.

Dennis Danielson is an intellectual historian and Milton scholar with interests in the history and literature of science. He has received a number of awards for his research and publications, including the Konrad Adenauer Research Prize, awarded jointly by Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Royal Society of Canada. His book The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking was among’s “Editor’s Choice” top ten science books for the year 2000. Unlike the typical English professor, he has published articles on Copernicus in Scientific American and the American Journal of Physics. (source, more info).

Janet Danielson, M.F.A.

Lecturer and Instructor, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University

Janet Danielson is a composer and music theorist. She has composed for most genres including an opera, The Marvelous History of Mariken of Nimmigen, and orchestrated her work for the Orchid Ensemble and chorus, In the Very Highest Place. She has developed an online Music Fundamentals course, twice nominated for national awards, as well as a text, Basic Organization of Music. She has published articles on women and music, music and the history of technology, and the harmonic basis of linear perspective. For our conference, “Six Pieces of a Reverberant Cosmos,” which she composed specifically to accompany her husband’s Book of the Cosmos, will be performed.
(source, more info)

Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D.

Director, Climate Science Centre, Texas Tech University

Originally from Ontario, Katharine Hayhoe is a professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is also the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, working to bridge the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients. One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (2014), Hayhoe works hard to help the evangelical Christian community to understand climate science (e.g. her Global Weirding series on PBS). In 2015, she contributed to a gala event at UBC’s Chan Centre alongside Preston Manning and Peter and Miranda Harris, founders of A Rocha International. In 2016, she joined President Obama on the White House lawn for the launch of Leonardo Dicaprio’s documentary, Before the Flood. She is currently working on a second edition of her book, A Climate For Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions (forthcoming in 2017). (source, more info)

Robert B. Mann, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo

Robert B. Mann has a B.Sc. in physics from McMaster University and an M.Sc.and Ph.D from the University of Toronto, and he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cambridge Universities. At Waterloo, he works on gravitation, quantum physics, and the overlap between these two subjects. He is interested in questions that provide us with information about the foundations of physics, particularly those that could be tested by experiment. Author of over 350 papers, he has received several awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, Teaching Excellence awards from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and from the University of Waterloo, and an Outstanding Referee Award from the American Physical Society. He was chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo from 2001-2008 and is an Affiliate Member of the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing. He is a past-President of the Canadian Association of Physicists (2009-11), the CSCA (1996-2005), and served on the Advisory Board of the John Templeton Foundation. His research interests are in black holes, cosmology, particle physics, quantum foundations, and quantum information, and the science/religion dialogue. (source, more info)

J. Richard Middleton, Ph.D.

Professor of Biblical Worldview & Exegesis, Northeastern Seminary (Rochester, NY)

“Human Distinctiveness and the Origin of Evil in Biblical and Evolutionary Perspectives”
How can faithful Christians affirm the distinctive biblical view of humanity in Genesis 1:26-28 as created in God’s image (imago Dei) and yet hold to an evolutionary account of human origins? On the face of it this looks like a difficult, if not impossible, task. Not only does the claim of evolutionary descent seem to contradict the idea of human uniqueness, which is usually associated with the imago Dei, but Genesis 2 recounts God’s creation of an initial human pair, not a large population group, and the Bible makes no reference to earlier human ancestors.Then there is the traditional picture, based on Genesis 3, of the initial human pair forfeiting a primal paradise through a single act of disobedience, which led to the introduction of death for both humans and the natural world. This certainly contradicts what science tells us about human origins and the nature of biological mortality.Middleton will draw on his expertise as an Old Testament scholar to address the question of how we may take seriously the complexity of what Scripture says about the human condition, while fully embracing an evolutionary perspective on Homo sapiens. Could it be possible that these texts, which are certainly not meant to teach science, can prime us theologically—in terms of our worldview—to be open to what evolutionary science tells us about ourselves?

J. Richard Middleton (PhD Free University of Amsterdam) is Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary (Rochester, NY). He is adjunct professor of Old Testament at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (Kingston, Jamaica) and is past president of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (2011-2014). He holds a B.Th. from Jamaica Theological Seminary and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Guelph in Ontario. Middleton is the author of A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (Baker Academic, 2014) and The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (Brazos, 2005). He coauthored (with Brian Walsh) The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View (IVP, 1984) and Truth is Stranger than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age (IVP, 1995), and has co-edited (with Garnett Roper) A Kairos Moment for Caribbean Theology: Ecumenical Voices in Dialogue (Pickwick, 2013). He has published articles on creation theology in the Old Testament, the problem of suffering, and the dynamics of human and divine power in biblical narratives. His books have been published in Korean, French, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
(source, more info)

Santa J. Ono, Ph.D.

President & Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia

Santa J. Ono is 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. As a professor of medicine and biology, Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory, where he served as faculty advisor for several InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapters. He was the first Asian-American president of the University of Cincinnati when he was appointed in 2012, and he has been inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars. His research areas include the immune system, eye inflammation, and age-related macular degeneration. Ono is deeply committed to diversity and being open about one’s religious beliefs while being respectful to those with differing beliefs. His favourite book is The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins.
(source, more info)

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: January 15, 2018 (details here)

Please check back in the weeks and months ahead as the following become available:

  • Detailed schedule (conference runs from dinner Friday to lunch Monday
  • Registration
  • And more!

(In order to receive conference emails, you must be opted-in for “national emails.”)