Scientists

2017 European Scientists Network

The European Science Network is committed to two main purposes: (1) Increase the praise of God the Creator-Saviour through what humans study and know in His creation – Colossians 1:16: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him”; (2) Put scientific findings in the context of His Word so that what we know about His creation will not obfuscate our knowledge of Himself – 2 Cor 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

In order to achieve its purposes, the European Science Network is geared to serve two kinds of audiences: (1) Scientists and Christians interested in science will obtain the knowledge, language, and courage to do science and speak about science within the framework of a Bible-informed Christian understanding of the cosmos. (2) Christians of all backgrounds will be helped to understand and interact with scientific findings and claims in a way that is truly apologetic, integrating scientific facts into the Christian worldview in an affirmative, active way rather than only defensively and reactively. At the same time, the demarcation lines will be demonstrated between scientific facts and their interpretation by naturalistic vs. Christian worldviews. We do not shy away from sensitive subjects like the evolution debate and ethical implications, engaging in constructive, respectful discussions.
 

NETWORK LEADERS

Alexander Fink is Director of the Institute for Faith and Science (Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft) in Marburg, Germany (www.iguw.de). He studied physics at the universities of Bayreuth and St. Andrews (UK) and received his PhD at the Institute for Biophysics at the University of Regensburg. After having worked as an industrial product manager, he became director of SMD graduates' ministry (Akademiker-SMD, the German branch of IFES) until 2014. His passion is the dialogue of science, faith, and worldviews. Hence he founded the Kepler-Forum in Regensburg, coorganising the annual Regensburger Symposium (www.regensburger-symposium.de) at the University of Regensburg. Since 2008 he has been a member of the ELF Steering Committee and has co-led the Scientists Network. Together with his wife, Alexander enjoys raising his two children.

 

Peter Imming received degrees in pharmacy and chemistry and a PhD and venia legendi in pharmaceutical chemistry from a German university. He has been involved in drug chemistry teaching and research in Germany, the UK, China, and other countries. Currently, he is head of the pharmaceutical chemistry department of a German university. His research focuses on the design and synthesis of new drug substances and on molecular mechanisms of drug action. He has a strong interest in the relation of science and Christian faith, frequently lecturing on related topics by invitation of universities, churches, and schools.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Kirsten Birkett trained in science at the University of New South Wales with a PhD in history and philosophy of science. She worked for ten years in Christian publishing while teaching at the Universities of New South Wales and University of Sydney, as well as teaching and studying at Moore Theological College. During this time she wrote a number of articles and books on the relationship between Christianity and science, as well as other topics. Since 2005 Kirsten has lived in London, teaching at Oak Hill Theological College. She now lectures undergraduate courses in philosophy and ethics and reading Calvin’s Institutes. At the master’s level she teaches a module in science and theology. She is a Latimer Trust Research Fellow.

 

David L. Block was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London at the age of 19. His first research paper, on relativistic astrophysics, was published in London, by the Royal Astronomical Society, at age 20.  Professor Block has been a visiting research scientist at the Australian National University, the European Southern Observatory in Germany, Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. One of his accolades is the coveted National Science & Technology Forum - BHP Billiton Award, recognizing him as one of South Africa’s foremost communicators in science. An international conference was recently hosted to honor his 60th birthday. He is one of a handful of scientists whose research has twice been featured on the cover of the world’s most prestigious scientific journal “NATURE”. He has authored several books, including Starwatch (Lion Publishing, UK), Sternenwelt (Brockhaus Verlag, Germany), Universums Skapelse (Bokförlaget Libris, Sweden) and more recently, Shrouds of the Night (Springer, NY. Co-author: K.C. Freeman, FRS). David had the pleasure of accompanying Stephen Hawking to meet former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. He is married to Elizabeth, a lecturer in geography at the University of Johannesburg, and they have three sons.

 

Peter Korevaar studied physics and astronomy at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. In 1989, he acquired his PhD in astronomy on the topic of "Time-Dependent Models of Stellar Coronae". After two years at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1991 Peter accepted a position at IBM. Since then he has worked as consultant in the areas of logistics, optimization, and analytics, mainly for automotive companies. For many years Peter was the leader of the Physics and Astronomy Group of the German Creationist Society "Wort und Wissen". Currently he is a member of the board of this society. Peter and his wife Heleen live in Germany near Heidelberg. They have five children and are members of a free evangelical church.

 

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at Oxford University and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. He is also an Adjunct Professor of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Professor Lennox is particularly interested in the interface of science, philosophy, and theology and his books include Against the Flow (on Daniel), Seven Days that Divide the World (on Genesis 1), Gunning for God (on the new atheism),Stephen Hawking and God (a response to The Grand Design) and God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?. He has debated a number of prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. (www.johnlennox.org)

 

Andy McIntosh now retired from the University of Leeds, holds an emeritus chair in Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory, and has lectured and researched in these fields for over 30 years. He has a PhD in Combustion Theory from the Aerodynamics Department of what was then Cranfield Institute of Technology (now Cranfield University), a DSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wales and worked for a number of years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Institute of Energy, the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Aeronautical Society. A chartered mathematician and engineer, and author of over 180 papers and articles, his research has been in combustion in fluids and solids. His work has also included investigations into the fundamental link between thermodynamics and information, and in the last few years he has been involved in research in the area of biomimetics where the minute combustion chamber of the bombardier beetle has inspired a patented novel spray technology. He now lectures widely on origins, and has authored the book Genesis for Today (Day One, 5th Edition, 2014), and contributed to the books In Six Days (Master Books, 2009),Should Christians Embrace Evolution? (IVP, 2009), and Origins – Examining the evidence (Truth in Science, 2011). He is co director of the UK education think tank Truth in Science and married with 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

 

Ilona Simon is a mathematician at a Hungarian university, where she teaches analysis, calculus, probability theory and other branches of mathematics. She works in the areas of harmonic analysis and has done several research projects connected to convergence. She has been a lecturer for science and faith at her university for several years. She has a strong interest in apologetics in general, and her contributions include topics of scientific apologetics, philosophy of science, and the limits of science.

 

 

Daniel von Wachter is is professor and director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. He is German and studied philosophy and theology at Munich, Leichtenstein, Innsbruck, Hamburg, and Oxford. His research focusses on metaphysics and philosophy of religion.

 

 

 

Peter J. Williams is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (1997–1998), and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Cambridge University as Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic and as Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House, and he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. Most recently he has been assisting Dr Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House’s production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

The Relation between Reformation and Science: Competition or Cradle?
Kirsten Birkett

Modern science rests on a methodology that assumes a certain philosophy of nature and how we can come to know about it. Such things do not come out of nowhere – and there are important aspects of these fields that are not found in the medieval worldview. What is the relationship between Christianity, and in particular Reformation Protestant Christianity, and the rise of science? This talk will be an exploration of the historical conditions that brought about a new way of thinking about the world.
 

Why Philosophical Theories of Laws of Nature Are Important
Daniel von Wachter 

Some philosophical theories of laws of nature entail that there are no free actions and no divine interventions (such as miracles or divine acts of direct creation). I shall propose a theory of the laws which deviates strongly from all other current theories. The other current theories, all influenced by David Hume, in my view are rigged against Christianity.

 


Day 2

In Cosmology Philosophy Starts Where Physics Ends
Peter Korevaar

Many Christians tend to doubt the Standard Cosmological Big Bang Model. This model is based, on the one hand, on many observations, and on the other hand, on philosophical pre-assumptions. For a layman the two are hard to distinguish, especially because they are seldom stated explicitly. Rather, there is a tendency to meld assumptions into evidence and present them both as solid natural science, giving the Standard Model an inviolable status. In contrast, this talk intends to clearly separate hard facts from wishful thinking and worldview assumptions. This approach shall reveal which parts can be considered proven and where freedom for alternative models remains. Also, the need for such alternative models will be discussed in the light of Biblical statements.
 

Possible Alternatives to the Standard Cosmological Model
Andy McIntosh

Some cosmologists have developed alternative models which produce a different understanding of the connections with ‘process time,’ or time that an observer will see things happening from his perspective.  Humphreys and other cosmologists have proposed a White Hole Cosmology in which, contrary to the Big Bang model, there is assumed to be a natural centre to the Universe. By using exactly the same general relativity differential equations that Einstein used, but with different initial conditions, Humphreys, Hartnett, and others have shown that one then gets a gradient of time dilation effects across the early expansion.  This session will explore the implications of this. 
 


Day 3

How to Persuasively Communicate the Gospel in the University (Joint session with Academic and Advanced Apologetics Networks)
John Lennox interviewed by Peter J. Williams

How does one combine an academic calling and biblical faithfulness?  How can a university professor winsomely and persuasively communicate the gospel?   

From Tyndale to Galileo: Grace and Space
David L. Block

Readers of the atheist literature may come away believing that science has made God unnecessary. This lecture offers a different perspective. Although science can illuminate the glories of the creation, this talk will argue that it is beyond the domain of science to infer that God does not exist.  God exists outside of space and time. Science does not have the weapons to expunge God’s Spirit or the revelation of His spiritual kingdom.  At the heart of God’s Kingdom is grace, as expounded by the great Reformer William Tyndale.  Space belongs to the Book of Nature, as elucidated by Galileo Galilei. Grace belongs to the Book of Scripture. There is no grace in space. 

 


Day 4

Does Infinity Exist and How Does That Affect Our Quest for God?
Ilona Simon

Due to ancient Greek philosophers, infinity was understood as a paradoxical idea and denied. Despite German mathematician Georg Cantor having founded modern mathematics with the correct definitions of convergence and infinities, some philosophers still deny the existence of infinity. First, this talk makes a case for the existence of infinity by mathematical means and everyday situations. Secondly, it shows that our finite experiences do not help us to understand and comprehend infinities always correctly, and our best intuition is a very poor indicator of how infinity behaves, and similarly of who God is. His revelation, therefore, is necessary to know God.
 

How to Persuasively Communicate the Gospel as a Scientist: Examples, Opportunities, and Hindrances 
Alexander Fink (discussion leader)

We will discuss the implications and challenges this week’s learning will have on our ministries and refer to previous experiences - positive and negative - we have personally had or encountered.

 


 

 

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