The Hamilton Science and Faith Forum, Dr. John Bowen (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto), and the CSCA are pleased to present a public lecture at McMaster by Denis Alexander, respected biologist and scholar of science and religion:
“Are We Slaves to Our Genes? A Scientific and Christian Perspective.”
ABSTRACT: Over the past few centuries the pendulum has constantly swung between an emphasis on the role of either nature or nurture in shaping human destiny, a pendulum often energised by ideological considerations. In recent decades the flourishing of developmental biology, genomics, epigenetics, and our increased understanding of neuronal plasticity, have all helped to subvert such dichotomous notions. At the same time the field of behavioural genetics continues to extend its reach into the social sciences, reporting the heritability of such human traits as religiosity and political engagement. There are therefore many continuing challenges to notions of human freedom and moral responsibility with consequent theological implications. This lecture will critically discuss these challenges.
SPEAKER: Denis Alexander is Emeritus Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmunds College, Cambridge, where he is a Fellow. He was previously Chair of the Molecular Immunology Programme and Head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, and in 1981-86 he was on the medical faculty of the American University of Beirut helping to establish the National Unit of Human Genetics. His Gifford Lectures on the theme “Genes, Determinism and God” are due to be published by Cambridge University Press this year under this title.
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