Announcing Our “Local Chapters Project”

The CSCA recently hired a Project Development Officer, having received a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. In this post we now offer some exciting details on how we will be putting this funding to work!

Our “Local Chapters Project” seeks to answer the big question held by the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation: Given the unique challenges of the Canadian context, how can we foster and deepen
people’s understanding of the integrity of science and Christian faith?
The project aims to address the major problem of a small population living in a vast geographical landscape and the challenges such separation presents.

Each output of the project seeks to enhance the national conversation, either by strengthening local expressions, or by facilitating interaction between different groups. These will include:

  • the creation of 6 new local chapters,
  • 54 total local events,
  • 1 national lecture tour,
  • 1 major international conference,
  • 3 academic publications,
  • a vibrant online presence with an overhauled website and social media content,
  • 15 student scholarships,
  • 36 “mentorship dinners” for students, each hosted by a CSCA member,
  • press releases,
  • and brochures.

The intended audience is, in the first instance, student and professional scientists interested in the Christian faith, and in the second instance, the wider Canadian public. Outcomes include a changed perception of the compatibility of science and Christian belief among participants, increased membership in the CSCA, greater public awareness of the compatibility of science and faith, growth for students in the science and religion conversation, academic interest in the particularities of the Canadian science and religion context, and long-term sustainability in the local chapters.

Anyone interested in helping should contact Mark, our Project Development Officer, at csca.pdo@gmail.com.
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Nature, Nurture, and Destiny

From several corners of Western culture, the rallying cry entering the twenty-first century has been to be “true to oneself,” emphasizing “self-actualization”: a casting-off of traditional authorities and a rush to realize one’s own potential. But how are we to understand that potential, and the “self,” in view of modern genetics?

When considering the role of genetics in human behaviour, it’s not long before one runs up against the question of “nature or nurture,” and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the West is rather confused about the matter. While some use genetics as a way to justify and explain their behaviour–being true to themselves in this way–others seem to perceive their nature as just one more “authority” to be overthrown: they want to actualize themselves in spite of their biology, insisting that humans are more than the sum of their parts. However, these same lines of reason may be heard with respect to one’s nurture. As often as one’s upbringing is used to explain why they act one way or another, the familiar urge to overthrow one’s upbringing, or tradition, is heard with comparable volume: people are more than the sum of their experiences, it is said. Questions of human freedom, identity abound–not to mention those of a spiritual nature.

In his upcoming talk at McMaster University,Are We Slaves to Our Genes?” (January 30), Dr. Denis Alexander will address the nature-or-nurture dichotomy from a scientific and Christian perspective. Among other things, he will discuss the theological implications of recent developments in developmental biology, genomics, epigenetics, and neural plasticity. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a first-rate Science and Religion scholar address these pressing issues of our time!

CSCA Event Page Link | Facebook Event Page

Introducing CSCA’s PDO

The CSCA warmly welcomes our recently appointed Project Development Officer, Mark McEwan!

Originally from Edmonton, Mark lives in B.C.’s Lower Mainland with his wife, Krystal. He is avidly interested in matters of science and religion, and is in the final stages of earning a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at Trinity Western University, where he also teaches classes occasionally. In addition to being a certified Electrician, Mark is qualified to teach physical sciences and mathematics at the secondary level (B.Ed., University of Alberta). His academic interests include epistemology, languages, apologetics, and the fruitful interaction of science and theology. Also, he has experience with creating webpages, amateur filmmaking, and volunteer youth ministry. He feels specifically called to serve Christ by encouraging responsible thinking in matters of theology, science, and especially with respect to interactions between the two.
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