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Wednesday, 4 February 2009, 12:00AM

Misusing Darwin: The Materialist Conspiracy in Evolutionary Biology

Professor Keith Ward DD FBA, The Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS

Scientists sometimes complain about the introduction of religious ideas into science. But many scientists, especially evolutionary biologists, blatantly introduce materialism into science. In fact neither theism nor materialism are entailed by science. They are philosophical views, and materialism is a highly disputed and problematic philosophical theory, not supported by any major classical philosopher. Many eminent scientists confuse science and philosophy, commit themselves to materialism without seriously considering its problems, and make ill-considered remarks about religion, largely based on the anti-scientific beliefs of a minority of extremist Christians.

Creationism should not be taught as science; but neither should materialism. It is time for some scientists to see that their allegedly purely scientific views are often founded on blind prejudice and culpable misunderstanding.

Professor Ward's lecture will be followed by a response by The Revd Dr John Polkinghorne ScD KBE DRS

The original Boyle Lectures took place annually between 1692 and 1732. Funded by a bequest in the Will of the Hon Robert Boyle, the lectures featured distinguished preachers who were asked to consider the relationship between the new natural philosophy and the Christian religion. Revived in 2009, the new Boyle Lectures address the same challenge today.

This is the 2007 Boyle Lecture. Other Boyle Lectures available include the following:
The 2011 Boyle Lecture
The Legacy of Robert Boyle - then and now
Psychologising and Neurologising about Religion

Cosmology of Ultimate Concern

speaker_3keithward.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Professor Keith Ward was the Gresham Professor of Divinity between 2004 and 2008.  He has a BA from the University of Wales, an MA from the University of Cambridge, an MA and B Litt from the University of Oxford, a DD from Cambridge and a DD from Oxford.

He has held Lecturer posts in Logic at the University of Glasgow, Philosophy at St Andrew's, Philosophy of Religion at King's College London. He was Fellow, Dean and Director of Studies in Philosophy and in Theology at Trinity Hall Cambridge, where he was also Lecturer in Divinity. He was the F D Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology at the University of London, where he was also Professor and Head of Department of History and Philosophy of Religion.

Professor Ward is an ordained priest in the Church of England and was until 2003 Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Free University of Amsterdam, is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and of the University of Wales. He is a member of the Governing Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and a member of the editorial boards of Religions Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Studies in Inter-Religious Dialogue, and World Faiths Encounter. He has been a Visiting Professor at Drake University, Iowa, at Claremont Graduate School, California and at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also holds the Regius Professorship of Divinity at the University of Oxford for over a decade.  Professor Ward has delivered numerous prestigious public lectures and is the author of many books.

Professor Ward succeeded Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson and was succeeded by Professor the Lord Harries of Pentregarth.
All of Professor Ward's previous lectures may be accessed here.

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The Revd Dr John Polkinghorne was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979, when he resigned his chair to study for the priesthood. He became an ordained Anglican priest in 1982. He served as the president of Queens' College, Cambridge from 1988 until 1996.

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Transcript

4 February 2009

Misusing Darwin: The Materialist Conspiracy in Evolutionary Biology
Professor Keith Ward DD FBA
The Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS

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