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Faith and Science

Saturday, June 5, 2010
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

For all their historical tensions, scientists and religious scholars from a wide variety of faiths ponder many similar questions—how did the universe begin? How might it end? What is the origin of matter, energy, and life? The modes of inquiry and standards for judging progress are, to be sure, very different. But is there a common ground to be found? ABC News’ Bill Blakemore moderates a panel that includes evolutionary geneticist Francisco Ayala, astrobiologist Paul Davies, Biblical scholar Elaine Pagels and Buddhist scholar Thupten Jinpa. These leading thinkers who come at these issues from a range of perspectives address the evolving relationship between science and faith.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Bill BlakemoreNews Correspondent

Bill Blakemore became a reporter for ABC News 46 years ago, covering a wide variety of stories. He spearheaded ABC’s coverage of global warming, traveling from the tropics to polar regions to report on its impacts, dangers, and possible remedies.

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Francisco AyalaBiological Scientist

Called the “Renaissance Man of Evolutionary Biology” by The New York Times, Francisco J. Ayala has made significant and wide-ranging experimental and theoretical contributions to evolution theory.

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Elaine PagelsBiblical Scholar

Elaine Pagels changed the historical landscape of the Christian religion by exploding the myth of the early Church as a unified movement. Her findings were published in the bestselling book, The Gnostic Gospels, an analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts that were unearthed in Egypt.

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Paul DaviesPhysicist, Cosmologist, Astrobiologist

Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and best-selling author. He is Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he is Director of Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science.

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Thupten JinpaBuddhist Scholar

Thupten Jinpa has been the principal English translator to the Dalai Lama for more than 25 years and has translated and edited many of his books, including Ethics for the New Millennium; Transforming the Mind; The Universe in a Single Atom: Convergence of Science and Spirituality.

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