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Short Course 34: Biology and Belief

Madingley Hall: Feb 12-14, 2016

Deadline for applications: January 14, 2016
Deadline for Bursary applications: January 8, 2016

Aim of Course

This weekend course will explore a number of different areas of biology that raise important questions for humankind, and for Christian theology. For example: Are the processes of the living world ordered or chaotic? Is evolution compatible with purpose? Is there more kindness than cruelty in the world? How unique is our genetic code? The aim will be to move beyond the usual controversies about biology and belief, such as discussions about whether evolution is compatible with scripture, exploring instead questions that are coming out of current mainstream science. Lectures will be delivered by experienced scientists and theologians, with plenty of time for discussion. As with all Faraday courses, this weekend is aimed towards thinking people from a variety of backgrounds, both scientists and non-scientists.

The residential costs for the course is £250 (£145 non-res) full participant, £200 (£120 non-res) for post docs and £140 (£85 non-res) for students.


Further information

Biology and Belief Schedule

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

See multimedia items for this course or click on specific talk title in the course schedule to see available resources for that talk.

Click on a speaker's name to obtain brief biographical details.


The course will be held at Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge, CB23 8AQ.

Set in magnificent gardens just four miles from the centre of Cambridge, Madingley Hall provides a memorable setting.
Built in the 16th century, this elegant country house has en-suite accommodation, all within seven acres of spectacular gardens and grounds, designed in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown.

Directions to Madingley Hall are available here

Course Schedule

Friday February 12
3.00 pmArrival and Registration at Madingley Hall
5.00 pmTravel provided from Madingley Hall to Murray Edwards College
5.30 pmProf. Jeff Hardin: How We Are Made: Embryos, Biology, and Belief (at Murray Edwards College)
7.00 pmDrinks Reception (Murray Edwards College)
7.30 pmTransport provided to Madingley Hall from Murray Edwards College
8.00 pmDinner
9.15 pmWelcome and Introductions
9.30 pmBar and Getting to Know You
Saturday February 13
8.00 amBreakfast
9.15 amProf. Stephen Freeland: The Genetic Code
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amDr Rhoda Hawkins: Ordered Disorder in Biology
11.45 amQuestions and Discussion
12.15 pmFree time
1.00 pmLunch
2.15 pmProf. Simon Conway Morris FRS: Curiosity in Evolution
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmProf. Jeff Schloss: Cooperation and Survival in Evolutionary Biology
4.45 pmQuestions and Discussion
5.15 pmFree time
6.30 pmDinner
8.00 pmAny Questions? Discussion panel with the speakers
9.00 pmBar and informal discussion
10.00 pmDrinks
Sunday February 14
8.00 amBreakfast
9.15 amProf. Alister McGrath: Biology and Natural Theology
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amDr Margaret Miller: Ecology: Living Communities
11.45 amQuestions and Discussion
12.15 pmFree time
1.00 pmLunch
2.15 pmDr Hilary Marlow: The Bible and Biology
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea and Depart