Nearly a thousand people filled Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas this past weekend for Discovery Institute’s Dallas Conference on Science and Faith. The audience was wowed by talk show host and bestselling author Eric Metaxas, Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer and Jay Richards, and one of the world’s top synthetic organic chemists, James Tour of Rice University.
Socrates in the City
The event opened Friday evening with a “Socrates in the City” conversation between Metaxas and Meyer about Meyer’s forthcoming book The Return of the God Hypothesis (already available for pre-orders on Amazon). On Saturday morning, Metaxas shared the behind-the-scenes story of his Wall Street Journal piece “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” Published on December 25, 2014, the article went viral with over 600,000 shares on Facebook, becoming one of the most shared articles in the Journal’s history.
Discovery Institute’s Guillermo Gonzalez (left) and Jonathan Witt (center).
Steve Meyer discussed the Big Bang and scientific evidence for a beginning of the universe that required a cause outside of time and matter. Jay Richards followed up with a lecture about how the universe is fine-tuned for life, and how our planet is fined-tuned for scientific discovery. During the Q&A after that session, a surprise guest was introduced — astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez of Ball State University, co-author with Richards of their path-breaking book The Privileged Planet.
A Devastating Critique
The afternoon opened with Dr. Tour, as the renowned chemist offered an absolutely devastating critique of materialistic origin-of-life scenarios, a veritable “Tour-de-force.” (Apologies for this pun will be offered in a subsequent post.) Tour said that origin-of-life research today is essentially no further along than it was in the 1950s.
Renowned synthetic organic chemist James Tour adjusts an errant necktie for Eric Metaxas.
The conference concluded with Steve Meyer presenting the thesis of his New York Times bestseller Darwin’s Doubt, showing the failure of the creative power of the Darwinian selection-mutation mechanism to explain the complexity of life, and explaining how the scientific evidence instead points to the reality of intelligent design.
Stephen Meyer, Director of the Center for Science & Culture.
John West, Vice President of Discovery Institute.
At the conference wrap-up, Discovery Institute Vice President John West noted Discovery Institute’s goal of making the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith a regular event and announced that next winter the conference would be held at Watermark Church in Dallas.
Photo credit: Stan Kwan and Chris Morgan.