First up were two performances of the one man play “Mr Darwin's Tree”, by award- winning playwright, Murray Watts. Actor Andrew Harrison flowed seamlessly through an impressive and diverse range of characters, depicting Charles Darwin’s extraordinary life from the Beagle voyage to the world-shattering publication of the Origin of the Species. Faith, science and doubt met in this exploratory insight, all of which contributed to the lively post-show discussion which followed the performances. The panels on both evenings did a good job of answering quite a range of searching questions posed many of the people in the audience, and some shared their personal testimonies of how they came to faith - as scientists.
Then on Saturday 15th Nov, over 170 people heard Professor Andrew Halestrap, professor of biochemistry at Bristol University, speak on “The God delusion: can a scientist believe in God?”. Cathy Brodie, ministry support worker in the Steeple Church, one of the group who was responsible for arranging the events, said: “Andrew established his credentials as a serious scientist early on by describing the research areas he has been involved. He is clearly very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about his work - and spoke very accessibly so that non-scientists like myself had no problem in following what he said. “
Cathy continued: “He put up a very convincing case for scientific discovery revealing something of the nature or a Creator God and stimulating faith in Him - and ended up talking about Jesus, God’s ultimate revelation of himself. There were loads of very good, thoughtful questions. It felt very worthwhile, and I would warmly recommend him as a speaker for others who may be considering similar events.
Cathy concluded: “I think our experience of having events accepted and promoted through the official Dundee Science Festival has been extremely positive and hugely worthwhile. A substantial number in our audiences came through the DSF publicity. It has given us a wonderful opportunity for a clearly Christian perspective in an area where many still think that there is a fundamental conflict between faith and a scientific world-view.”
Do you think your church or group of churches might be interested in getting involved in your local science festival, as the Steeple Church has done in Dundee? There are loads of small science festivals around the country at various times of the year- please click here for more details.