Over the next two years, we aim to find common ground in the origin debates. The Inquiry Into Common Ground is directed by Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass, housed at Washington University, and administered by Saint Louis campus ministries (Intervarsity and Cru). Even though we do not agree with or endorse all positions, we believe dialogue is important, and common ground exists.
We are pleased to announce that dates and speakers for the first two events. Prof. James Tour (ID and PC) and Dr. John Sanford (YEC) will be guest participants. They will be in dialogue with Prof. S. Joshua Swamidass in two upcoming events. Both are open to the public, and will be videotaped.
Our goal is to define common ground between different camps in the origins debate.
We want to foster meaningful dialogue between views largely consistent with mainstream science and views that dissent from parts of mainstream science. We do not endorse views outside mainstream science, but we believe dialogue is important.
James Tour: WUSTL on February 22, 2017
The first Common Ground event will be held at Washington University in Saint Louis (WUSTL) in February with Profs. Tour and Swamidass.
Prof. Tour is a leading chemist and professor at Rice University. Prof. Tour frequently speaks and writes about the Origin of Life and abiogenesis (see here). Although he does not identify as an Intelligent Design (ID) advocate, he signed the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism that is closely associated with the ID movement. He is a progressive creationist, believing that God individually created each species over the history of an old earth. He is also a Christian, who found his faith as a science Ph.D. student.
Prof. Swamidass is the director of the Inquiry to Common Ground and a computational biologist at WUSTL. He is on the speakers bureau for BioLogos (started by NIH Director Francis Collins), an organization working to explain evolution to religious audiences. Prof. Swamidass is a theistic evolutionist.
John Sanford: UMSL on March 9, 2017
The second Common Ground event will be held at University of Missouri, Saint Louis (UMSL) in March with Dr. Sanford and Prof. Swamidass.
Dr. Sanford is a Young Earth Creationist and was a professor at Cornell and an accomplished plant geneticist. More recently, he has published in peer review work on human genetic evolution (see here) and is also known for developing Mendel’s Accountant (a system for simulating evolution). He is also the author of the book Genetic Entropy and a Christian.
Prof. Swamidass is a theistic evolutionist, and will represent this position at this event too.
Maybe SLU in April, 2017
The details for a third event at SLU have not yet been confirmed, but it is possible that this will be scheduled soon. This section will be updated when details are confirmed.
Whether we end up with two, three or four events this year, come join the conversation!