Reflection on 2010-2011 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series by Fr. Peter Ely, SJ, Vice President for Mission & Ministry
The Catholic Heritage
Lectures began on October 28, 2010 with Dr. Kenneth Miller’s brilliant
presentation to a packed Pigott Auditorium audience. Brown’s lecture, “Darwin,
God, and Design: America’s Continuing Problem with Evolution,” made a strong
case for the compatibility of science and faith. As both a scientist and
believer himself, Professor Brown argued forcefully against the attempts of the
Intelligent Design movement to develop a pseudo-scientific position.
Intelligent Design, says Brown, Professor of biology at Brown University, is
neither good science nor good theology.
Dr. Holmes Rolston III,
philosophy professor emeritus from Colorado State University, delivered the
second lecture on February 10, 2011, “Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life,
Mind.” Rolston, well-recognized scholar in the fields of philosophy of science
and of environmental studies, argued that evolution in its three crucial phases
of matter-energy, life, and mind is entirely compatible with the belief in an
The final speaker, a
theologian, De. Ilia Delio, OSF, of the Woodstock Center at Georgetown
University in Washington, D.C., explored a question the other speakers had
addressed only indirectly: “What kind of God does the theory of evolution
suggest?” If evolution is a valid explanation of the way the universe has
developed, how should we think of God. Using the thought of Jesuit
anthropologist, Teilhard de Chardin, Delio argued that God lies not only at the
beginning of creation but is the future toward which everything is drawn. God
is the God of the whole. The Incarnation of Christ takes place not just to save
people from sin but to bring creation to its fullness.
Taken together, these
three lectures gave a wonderful account of the relation between religion and
science as seen from a Catholic, Christian perspective.
Kenneth Miller, Ph.D.Professor of Biology, Brown University"Darwin, God, and Design: America's Continuing Problem with Evolution"October 28, 2010 | Pigott Auditorium
Holmes Rolston III, Ph.D.Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University"Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind"February 10, 2011 | Pigott Auditorium
Ilia Delio, Ph.D.Senior Research Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University"Theology After Darwin: Towards a New Religious Future"April 14, 2011 | Pigott Auditorium
Go forth and set the world on fire.