Novemeber 23, 2014

Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:

The cold weather has set in across the US including the mid-Atlantic.  We at WesleyNexus are
continuing to move forward in spite of the cold to bring to you all new opportunities to engage in
science and religion discussion, reading and contemplation.  I have always found that cold weather is
the best time to sit down with friends, acquaintances, and even people you don’t know in fellowship
and discuss the “big questions” that are posed by the nexus of science and religion.  Below you will
find a number of programs you can attend and articles you can use to foster conversation,
contemplation and understanding.  We hope you find something of interest to you.  And please send
us notices of upcoming events in your area so that we can provide a heads-up to others who might be
interested.   

WesleyNexus continues to encourage science and religion dialogue for those who identify with the
Wesleyan tradition and those outside the tradition.  Each month we remind you of our need for your
help.  The evolution weekend program mentioned below is a good example why your support is
needed.  To bring to you a professionally produced live stream video available across the world
requires the dedication of hundreds of dollars.  We are pleased with last year’s result which can be
viewed
here.  We plan to do the same this year but need your help.  Since we have no staff, offices or
consultants, all your gifts are used for programs and our website.   Please consider supporting us with
a contribution either through the PayPal DONATE link below, or, by sending a check to:  

          WesleyNexus, Inc.  
          24500 Fossen Road
          Damascus, MD 20872


Thanks in advance for your support

God Bless,

Rick Barr, Secretary,
WesleyNexus, Board of Directors

Dr. Ted Peters to speak at Trinity UMC in MD on January 10, 2015

On January 10, 2015, Trinity United Methodist Church in Frederick,
Maryland, will host Rev. Dr. Ted. F. Peters in an evening conversation
on the intersection between Science and Faith.  Dr. Peters, is Distinguished
Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Pacific Lutheran
Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA and one of the early trailblazers
in the developing discipline of science and religion.  He served as
principal investigator of the Center for Theology and the Natural
Sciences (CTNS) research project funded by the NIH to study the
"Theological and Ethical Questions Raised by the Human Genome
Initiative" and is the  author of Playing God? Genetic Determinism and Human Freedom.  He is also
editor of Science and Theology: The New Consonance where the contributing authors from a variety
of disciplines address issues affecting both theology and science.  His most recent book was released
earlier this month with the provocative title: UFOs: God's Chariots: Spirituality, Ancient Aliens, and
Religious Yearnings in the Age of Extraterrestrials.  Dr. Peters' blog can be found
here.

The program flyer can be found
here.


DoSER Program of AAAS: Science Perceptions National Conference, March 13, 2015
(Update)

http://www.aaas.org/event/science-perceptions-national-conference

“Perceptions: Science and Religious Communities" is a national
conference that "will bring together leaders in science and religion—
including DoSER directorJennifer Wiseman, National Association
of Evangelicals presidentLeith Anderson, and climate scientist
Katharine Hayhoe—to furtherconversation and to plan a course for
future dialogue.”  

Since our last newsletter, the list of speakers has been updated and will include Nobel Prize winner in
physics William D. Phillips, climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, DoSER director Jennifer Wiseman
and Leith Anderson, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals.  Additional speakers
are listed on the website which can be found
here.  Registration is now open with a discount rate of
$59 in effect through December 31, 2014.  After that, the cost of the program will be $79.  

Perceptions Project

The Science Perceptions National Conference  is part of the
AAAS Perceptions Project.  “When it comes to public
understanding of and support for science from the large and
varied sector of religious communities, it is the perception of
the role of science and of scientists themselves – e.g. their motives,
expertise, and influence – that often carries the most weight.
Likewise the perceptions of scientists toward religious communities
greatly impact their effectiveness in science engagement.”  The program page can be found
here.  


WesleyNexus Evolution Weekend, February 15, 2015 in Fulton, MD

For the past two years, WesleyNexus has sponsored a major
panel discussion as part of the Clergy Letter Project's Evolution
Weekend.  This year we plan to continue this tradition by hosting
a panel discussion between an Imam, Traditional Christian,
Progressive Jew and Unabashed Atheist as they talk about God.  
They will address the topic of “Science, Story, Scripture: Living Together
with Understanding.”  The panel includes Haytham Younis, a scholar in
Arabic and Islamic Studies, Dennis Skocz, Ph.D. career diplomat and
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at UDC, Daniel Spiro, author and
coordinator of the Washington Spinoza Society, and John Shook, Ph.D. Instructor in science
education at the University of Buffalo.  The initial flyer can be found
here.  The program will begin at
4:00 p.m. Eastern time. This is the Program that WesleyNexus plans to live stream worldwide, funds
permitting, so you should plan now to have a discussion group organized and ready to participate. As
we did last year, those groups registering will be provided a special email address through which your
participants can submit questions to the panel.  More information will be posted once available so
please come back.

Is Quantum Entanglement Real?

It has been fifty years since physicist John Stewart Bell published a
seminal article on quantum entanglement, the weird notion in physics
showing that sub-atomic particles can become connected in such a
way that when separated by vast distances a change in one particle
will instantaneously trigger a corresponding change in the distant
entangled particle.  In this recent essay by David Kaiser in the NY
Times, the general theme of quantum entanglement is described in
an experiment that might silence some of its critics.  Quantum
entanglement refers to the strange phenomena of sub-atomic particle pairs being bound to each other
so when there is a change to one particle there is an instantaneous change in the other.  To verify this
phenomena, one needs to do an experiment on light generated billions of years ago when the universe
was young would have to be tapped.    The article can be found
here.   

Exploded into being by divine love by George Weigel

In this short article, George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the
Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C, reminds us that
changes in cosmological science provide new space for dialogue between
science and faith.  With the big bang, questions of ultimate beginnings are
taking on increased significance.  As Weigel states, “Where did that primordial
something, that “patch of material packed with … repulsive gravity” that
contained “the ingredients of what would become our entire observable
universe,” come from? It defies all logic to suggest that something can come
from nothing; yet science cannot get us “behind” that something from which
everything came…what science calls the Big Bang was love exploding out of the life of the Trinity.”  
The article can be found
here.  

Why God Will Not Die – an article by Jack Miles

In the current issue of The Atlantic, Jack Miles, professor of
English and religious studies at the University of California at
Irvine, and author of books such as
God: A Biography, and
Christ: A Biography, raises the “big question” concerning the
limits of science. The point is this: the more science reveals
to us about our world and universe, the more questions are
opened up. Miles references his own early years of despair about
this, because he like many of our contemporaries, are looking for answers that will give some closure
to the such big questions as our origins and our fate. In this context, Miles says he became accustomed
to the idea that religion is simply a refuge for those facing massive uncertainties about the real world.
But he also realized that so-called scientific progress is like climbing in the Alps: the higher you get, the
wider the vista and the realization that there always seems to be more mountain ahead. In this broader
context science makes special claims about knowledge, but must always be balanced by “a ritualized
confession of ignorance.” Long ago Isaiah seemed to recognize this (Chapter 55:8-9), which Miles
suggests was Isaiah's way of reckoning with the limits of his own mind. Miles, who has just completed
a seven year job editing the newly published seven volumes
Norton Anthology of World Religions,
concludes that we would be truer to ourselves if we give up seeking for absolutes and recognize that
life – “our one wild and precious life” – is all we've got, and we should get on with it, ready or not.
You can find the article
here.