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January 18, 2011

“The Question of Origins” to be the Topic at the Barnes Science and Christian Faith Symposium at Roberts Wesleyan College

By Kathy Phelps, Dixon Schwabl (585-899-3238,

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On Monday, January 24 Northeastern Seminary (NES) and the Division of Mathematics and Science at Roberts Wesleyan College will host the 2011 Barnes Science and Christian Faith Symposium from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Karl Giberson, a science and religion scholar, who will discuss “The Question of Origins,” a debate around evolution in cultural as well as scientific terms. The symposium, underwritten by the Barnes Symposium endowment, will take place in the Roberts Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan located at 2265 Westside Drive in Rochester, N.Y.

Informed by his fundamentalist upbringing and experience teaching physics at an evangelical college, Giberson has first-hand understanding of how conservative Christians feel and think about evolution. As a Christian evolutionist, he occupies a frequently misunderstood middle ground in the midst of a culture war. Giberson is a science-and-religion scholar and active participant in America's creation/evolution controversy. He has published more than 100 articles, reviews and essays for Web sites and journals including, and Perspectives of Science & Faith and has also written four books, including Saving Darwin.

Giberson has given lectures about science-and-religion internationally, including Oxford University, the Etore Majorana Center in Sicily and colleges and universities in the United States. In 2006 he gave a lecture titled "America's Ongoing Hostility to Darwinism” in Vatican City. His primary research focus is the history and sociology of the creation-evolution controversy.

Giberson has been on the faculty at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass. since 1984, where he teaches interdisciplinary honors seminars and the history of science. He is also the director of the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., codirector of the Venice Summer School on Science & Religion and a fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation.

Starting in the 1980’s Roberts Wesleyan College has provided a lecture series designed to expose students to diverse perspectives on historic and contemporary issues by scholars of various worldviews. These presentations have helped confirm the life of scholarship and pursuit of truth and perspective, and have helped students face honest challenges to traditional faith and practice. A significant goal of the series has been to help students integrate their religious faith with issues of science and technology such as the question of origins, wise stewardship of resources and biotechnology.

 The symposium was established to endow in perpetuity an annual Science symposium on Issues of Science and Christian Faith. Topics that illustrate the nature and scope of the symposium include: Christian Views of Origins, Archaeology and the Bible, Biological Determinism, Genetic Engineering, Stem cell research, environmental issues, Biotechnology, Global warming, globalization, evolutionary theory and religious belief and new frontiers in Science and faith.

 The symposium sessions are free for all students and NES and Roberts faculty and staff who hold ID cards from their academic institutions. All others may attend for a $50 registration. For more information or to register call 585-594-6800 or visit


About NES:

Since opening its doors in 1998, Northeastern Seminary on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College has continued to grow in prominence as a significant training center for the church community in upstate New York. NES is an independent, multi-denominational seminary in its approach to theological training leading to an academically and professional accredited Master of Divinity, Master of Arts—Theological Studies, Theology and Social Justice, and Transformational Leadership, or Doctor of Ministry degree.  It has more than 30 different Christian faith traditions represented among 130 students and 290 graduates ministering in 21 states and five foreign countries.  For more information visit or call 1-800-777-4792.


About Roberts:

With an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students and a tradition of excellence since 1866, Roberts Wesleyan College is a leader among liberal arts colleges with a Christian worldview.  Roberts offers more than 50 undergraduate programs, as well as graduate programs in education, school psychology, school counseling, health administration, nursing education, nursing leadership & administration, strategic marketing, social work, counseling in ministry, and strategic leadership. Roberts Wesleyan also offers innovative undergraduate degree-completion programs for working adults in health administration, nursing, organizational management and teacher education. For more information, visit