Day of Learning in Community Wednesday, Feb. 10

Plan to participate in Northwestern’s annual Day of Learning in Community, when we’ll explore God’s truth as revealed in the WORD and in the WORLD. Classes and regular activities will be suspended for the day to enable all campus community members to learn together. Christian formation credit will be available for the plenary keynote and plenary panel.

Keynote plenary Dr. Justin Barrett

In his book, Why Would Anyone Believe in God?, Dr. Justin Barrett argues, “belief in God is an almost inevitable consequence of the kind of minds we have.” A pioneering experimental psychologist in the cognitive science of religion, Barrett explores the ways in which the human mind is primed for divine belief and connection. The Calvin College and Cornell University graduate has authored numerous publications, including Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief. Barrett has taught at universities in Michigan and Oxford and is currently the Thrive Professor of Developmental Science at Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Psychology.

DLC 2016

Tuesday, Feb. 9

11:05 a.m. Christ Chapel Chapel Q & A with Dr. Justin Barrett
6:45 p.m. Hospers Hall lounge Screening Inherit the Wind about the 1925 “Scopes monkey trial”
9 p.m. Hospers Hall lounge Movie discussion Dr. Derek Brower, Dr. Karissa Carlson and Dr. Rebecca Koerselman

Wednesday, Feb. 10

9 a.m. Christ Chapel PLENARY KEYNOTE How to Train Your Dragon: A Christian Response to Cognitive Science of Religion Dr. Justin Barrett
10–10:50 Vogel Community Room Reception Dr. Barrett & student/faculty poster session*
10:15–10:50 Campus locations Session 1*
*concurrent
11–noon Campus locations Session 2
Noon Vermeer South Lunch with Dr. Barrett (for NWC faculty and staff)
1–2 p.m. Christ Chapel PLENARY PANEL Scientific Inquiry and Our Understanding of God, Creation and Scripture Dr. Jim Mead, Dr. Byron Noordewier and Dr. Sara Tolsma
2:10–3:10 Campus locations Session 3
5–7 p.m. Vermeer South Dinner with Dr. Barrett (for students, including Science and Religion Club members)

Sessions and posters




10:15 AM


Adam from the Adamah: Finding Our Place in the Natural World Lincoln Morris | VPH 301 Why should issues such as climate change, ecological degradation and clean energy matter to Christians? In this session, we will learn about the deeply theological connection all Christians have to the natural world, beginning with God creating Adam from the adamah (Hebrew for "earth" or "dirt") and concluding with an exploration of our biblical mandate to care for creation.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Brain Kaleigh Schildhouse | VPH 117 Doctors are trained in the screening, treatment and even prevention of heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. However, there is a growing epidemic that puts people at risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the U.S.—but doctors are not trained in screening, treatment or prevention. In the 1990s, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, under the direction of Dr. Robert Anda, created a study looking at the relationship between childhood experiences and brain development. The CDC developed a questionnaire, called an ACEs survey that resulted in a score from 0 to 8. They found that as the ACE score increased, the mean number of co-morbid outcomes increased in a graded fashion.

Lead Us Not into Temptation: Self-control, Habits and Spiritual Disciplines Dr. Jennifer Feenstra | VPH 313 Although we know that to grow our relationship with God we should engage in regular prayer, scripture reading and other spiritual disciplines, many of us struggle to do so. Psychological research on self-control and habits can help! Research involving cookies, popcorn and radishes (really!) provide some wisdom.

Singing Science in the Sanctuary Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson | DeWitt Music Hall Choir Rehearsal Room When we hear of faith and science, we usually think of contentious debates or contradictory approaches to the world around us. Yet we bring science with us into worship through the words we sing in hymns, songs and prayers. During this session, we will explore the approach to science in many different musical examples from a variety of stylistic traditions. How does what we sing help us relate our understanding of science and of God?

11:00 AM


"Kin: The Trial of Carrie Buck," Nazi and American Eugenics Professor Jeff Barker and theatre department | DeWitt Theatre Arts Center Allen Theatre “Good breeding” (eugenics) was a worldwide scientific movement. The United States was a leader in the eugenics movement. Eugenics was fertile soil for the Holocaust. One of the boldest strokes of the eugenics movement in the United States was compulsory sterilization. The Supreme Court case that affirmed sterilization involved a young Virginia girl named Carrie Buck. "Kin" tells Carrie’s story. A shortened version of this award-winning drama by Northwestern professor Jeff Barker will be presented in a concert reading, followed by a brief Q and A.

Does God Live in Another Dimension? Dr. Kim Jongerius | VPH 121 Bound by our own experience as finite creatures in a limited world, we find the infinitude of God a concept that is difficult to grasp. Mathematicians, however, have developed tools for understanding the infinite. In this talk, we'll look at some mathematical concepts that can provide us with insights into the nature of God.

Genetic Counseling Jason Flanagan '00, Sanford Health | VPH 301 As a genetic counselor, I am daily challenged to consider faith, science and patient care. In my primary setting, I daily discuss testing embryos in the IVF setting for genetic defects. This is obviously a very controversial topic in the faith setting, and there are a lot of misconceptions. That said, with new technology, we are pushing boundaries that are very difficult both ethically and morally. With new genomic tools, what will we want to know? When will we want to know them? Who has access to the results? And should we start editing the genome either to reduce disease load or to prevent disease?

Minds of Metal and Wheels: Tolkien and Lewis on Science and Faith Dr. Mike Kugler | Vermeer South I'll discuss the conviction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on the nature of modern science, how it diverged from earlier versions of natural philosophy, and the dire consequences for religious conviction, modern humanity and the natural world. Respondent: Dr. Joel Westerholm (English)

Recognizing and Reconciling: Examining a True Story of Exploitation Done in the Name of Science Dr. Elizabeth Heeg '01 and BIO 327 students | VPH 119 Rebecca Skloot, author of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," successfully conveys the story of injustice, race, class, belief, loss and reconciliation involved in the production and use of the first human cell line. As Christians are called to do justice and love kindness, the examination of the humanity and history involved in the production of this first human cell culture is crucial. We will reflect on what being made in the image of God means to us and we will discuss how injustices may occur even when people have the best of intentions. Students will reflect on how they can envision seeking justice in their future science-related careers.

The Origin of Life and Implications of Various Beliefs for Christians Dr. John Swart '90, Exemplar Genetics | VPH 313 Popular scientist Bill Nye has said, “Creationism in the U.S. is an embarrassment and a shame, a religious superstition that does real harm to children. Creationism is a symptom of a willful ignorance and an anti-intellectualism that thwarts scientific progress at home and humiliates the U.S. abroad.” As a Christian and a scientist, I will try to answer two questions: Is belief in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2 a reasonable belief? And what are the implications if it is not?

The Star of Bethlehem Zach Landhuis, Jose Muro, Dr. Tyler Scott | VPH 307 The biblical account of the "Star of Bethlehem" in Matthew has sparked the imagination of curious readers for two millennia. Scholars of the Bible and astronomy have put forth theories ranging from the star as a primarily literary device, to a celestial object, to a supernatural phenomenon. This session will present three common interpretations (supernova, comet and miracle) based on the assumption that the Star of Bethlehem was a historical event.

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About Professor Mark Haselhoff '12 and Professor Mike Wallinga '01 | VPH 117 Donald Knuth, professor emeritus at Stanford, is widely considered the "father of computer science" and has produced one of the best-known works in the discipline, "The Art of Computer Programming." During the third year of MIT's "God and Computers" lecture series, Knuth gave a series of talks entitled "Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About: Interactions Between Faith and Computer Science." Come hear Northwestern's computer science faculty and students summarize and respond to Knuth's message and provide their own perspectives.

Welcome to the Century of Neuroscience: An Informal Laboratory Visit and Introduction to Neuroscience Dr. Ralph Davis and Dr. Tyrone Genade | VPH 215/216 Neuroscience is a field with significant implications for understanding human nature and what it means to be a person. These implications intersect with our religious/theological understandings. What is neuroscience? This lab visit/session offers an informal introduction to neuroscience through a wide variety of hands-on visual aids and manipulatives including the structure and function of nerve cells (neurons), the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and various neuropathologies. A neurophysiology research set-up will be on display and will be explained, along with instrumentation used in neuroanatomical studies. Explore some of what we know about the nervous system and how it is studied.

2:10 PM


Creation and Evolution: Journey to a Personal Viewpoint Myles Anderson, Haley Chambers, Josie Clark, Lincoln Morris, Courtney Venegas | Vogel Community Room Five seniors will describe their own journeys toward a personal understanding of creation and evolution.

Detective Fiction and the Christian Dr. Sam Martin and Dr. Joel Westerholm | Ramaker Center Fireside Room It's less an academic presentation and more a creative, literary, "armchair" discussion of detective fiction, forensic science and faith. It's less about reading prepared papers and more about reading some famous detection passages (e.g., Doyle, Chesterton, Christie, P.D. James, Louise Penny, Ian Ranking, and Jo Nesbo) and reflecting on the role of forensic science in those passages. We'll explore how in contemporary detective novels forensic science seems to be that in which characters and readers really believe or have faith, rather than having faith in, say, a transcendent God or in Christ (even though crime stories in fiction and film still rely heavily on Christian religious themes, tropes and imagery). How do Christian readers respond to this fiction? How might a Christian writer write such fiction?

Faith and Science of Johannes Kepler Dr. Hun Hong | VPH 123 Johannes Kepler is arguably the father of modern astronomy or even modern science, and one of the giants upon whose shoulders Issac Newton was standing. Without Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation would not have come to light. Not only is Kepler the astronomer's astronomer, he is also a significant figure to people of faith. Kepler belonged to the second generation of the Reformation, and his science was a fruit of his faith. I shall attempt to introduce the faith and science of Kepler, so that we can appreciate his life as an evidence that God has endorsed the reformed faith.

Genetic Counseling Jason Flanagan '00, Sanford Health | VPH 301 As a genetic counselor, I am daily challenged to consider faith, science and patient care. In my primary setting, I daily discuss testing embryos in the IVF setting for genetic defects. This is obviously a very controversial topic in the faith setting, and there are a lot of misconceptions. That said, with new technology, we are pushing boundaries that are very difficult both ethically and morally. With new genomic tools, what will we want to know? When will we want to know them? Who has access to the results? And should we start editing the genome either to reduce disease load or to prevent disease?

PTC Testing: An Example of Genetic Testing Dr. Sara Sybesma Tolsma '84 | VPH 313 Genetic testing is rapidly becoming standard of care in medicine. Genetic testing is commonly used to diagnose disease, more accurately determine disease risk, better manage disease, decide on effective drugs and drug dose, and much more. This session will explain what genetic testing is, how it is being used now, and how it can be used in the future. Participants will have the opportunity to experience genetic testing personally when they discover their phenotype and genotype for the PTC locus. Finally, we will discuss the ethical issues that surround genetic testing and consider those issues in light of our Christian faith.

Response to Dr. Barrett Dr. Ralph Davis, Dr. Laird Edman, Dr. Don Wacome | Christ Chapel

The Chemical Death of Lot's Wife: Moving Beyond a Myth-Buster's Approach to Science and Religion Dr. David Arnett | VPH 119 The Bible is packed with fantastical accounts of physical phenomena. Lot’s wife is turned into salt, the Red Sea is parted, Jonah is swallowed by a whale, water is turned into wine, and a bush burns without burning. As people of faith, it’s tempting to use science to verify, explain or illuminate these biblical events. Is this approach helpful? What other options do we have?

Understanding the Crucifixion of Christ in the Gospels by Means of Anatomy and Physiology Dr. Tyrone Genade | VPH 117 The book "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly stimulated debate about the mechanism of crucifixion. Is O'Reilly's claim about crucifixion through the forearm more believable than the traditional belief of through the palms? Can the palms support the weight of the body? What was the mechanism of death? Is the 1965 theory of "death by a broken heart" purported by Truman Davis supported by the Gospel testimony and physiology? Can we really know what happened? The sciences of anatomy and physiology supply some answers.

Why Biblical Creation is Good Science Heather Heilman '15 | Ramaker Center Rm. 202 There is a raging debate going on, not only in academia but also in the church, concerning Scripture, science and origins. Is biblical creation even a reasonable claim in the face of modern science? Should modern science rule out special creation? Is biblical creation then anti-science? I suggest the origins debate is one within science--a debate of belief systems, both requiring immense faith. According to Merriam-Webster, science is defined as "knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned though experiments and observation." While biblical creation is in no way a prerequisite for salvation, it is a matter of authority for professing Christians--and all people everywhere. Did God really say?

Posters


A Hope for Perfection Abigail Stevens | Vogel Community Room In "Mere Christianity," C.S. Lewis writes: "Though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will." It is quite apparent that our world contains many flaws. This is an idea Adrian Hough explores in his book, "The Flaw in the Universe," through a discussion of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Hough proposes a stimulating idea on this topic—that perhaps only through the memory of a flawed universe can the perfect world make sense. Hough notes that processes that happen spontaneously in nature will never behave perfectly or yield perfect results. This poster uses the idea of a perfect engine to illustrate the correlation between what we experience with what we believe possible, a comparison of the actual and the ideal.

Connecting in the Digital Age: Belongingness, Media and Social Media, and Wellbeing Jenna Kitchenmaster | Vogel Community Room The need to belong is one of our most basic needs, a primary motivation for much of human behavior and a significant contributor towards both mental health and happiness. However, in an age when an increasing amount of our interactions take place on a screen, our ability to fulfill this need may be impaired. This study examines the relationship between attachment style and fulfillment of the need to belong, exploring how fulfilled belongingness both influences and is influenced by engagement with media and social media. This study also examines and compares the impact of these variables on mental health.

Drawing Parallels Between Science and Religion: An Examination of Original Sin and the Second Law of Thermodynamics Adam Bleeker and Jordan Strand | Vogel Community Room There is much debate among scholars concerning the relationship between science and religion. Ian Barbour presents four widely used interpretations of this relationship: independence, conflict, integration and dialogue. Adrian Hough's book, "The Flaw in the Universe," supports the use of a dialogue between science and religion as he examines the relationship between original sin and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Using the ideas presented in Adrian Hough's book we intend to explore the implications of these two concepts in an effort to shed light on the relationship between God and humanity. A chemical demonstration will accompany our poster presentation.

Epigenetics and Justice: Do Our Genes Make it Harder to Escape Poverty? Joseph Tolsma | Vogel Community Room

Faith in Science: Examples from Immunology Morgan Olhausen, Britta Ten Haken, Samantha Thomson | Vogel Community Room The scientific method allows for an effective, standardized course for scientists to follow to gain valid information. The scientists exhibited here each used this method in their innovative discoveries in the field of immunology, the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the response of an organism to pathogen. These immunologists exemplify why we can have faith in science.

Ireland Dani Duistermars | Vogel Community Room The purpose of this poster is to help groups in missions work to better understand Ireland's culture. I developed a presentation that explains the major values of this culture using Hofstede's culture dimension theory. Hofstede's theory breaks down into six dimensions aids to understanding Irish citizens' values. This enables groups pursuing missions work to be prepared to interact and communicate with those people in an effective manner.

Making a Difference: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and Generativity to Predict SSP Involvement Myles Anderson, Jillian Estes, Dr. Jennifer Feenstra, Chelsea Weidner | Vogel Community Room This study of 107 Northwestern students examined the theory of planned behavior and generativity as predictors of involvement in a SSP. Of the three components of the theory of planned behavior (self-efficacy, attitude and subjective norms), self-efficacy was the only significant predictor of students' intentions to participate in an SSP. Generativity was not significantly correlated to participation in an SSP.

Mentalizing, Theory of Mind, and Personal Prayer Haley Chambers, Corey Kundert, Jake Vermeer, Tyson Wiggers | Vogel Community Room People who believe in a relational, personal deit, conceptualize god(s) as intentional agents with mental states. It follows, then, that mentalizing or theory of mind may be one of the cognitive foundations of religious belief and behavior. This study examined this relationship as it corresponds to reported prayer experiences.?

Northwestern's New Health and Natural Sciences Facility Tara Woodward '13 | Vogel Community Room

Relating Science and Christianity through Independence, Conflict, Integration and Dialogue Emily Nienhuis | Vogel Community Room There is no denying that tensions exist between members of the Christian community and those of the scientific community. Both communities stake claims that seem to contradict the other group's claims, which, in turn, increases the already existing tension. What if there were ways in which Christians and scientists could relate or at least communicate in non-detrimental ways? Ian Barbour presents four approaches to relating science and religion, which are expanded upon in Adrian Hough's book "The Flaw in the Universe." This poster explores how science and Christianity can relate through independence, conflict, integration and dialogue, as well as the pros and cons of each approach.

Romania Molly Townsend | Vogel Community Room The purpose of my poster is to help future and prospective study abroad students better understand Romanian culture. I have developed a presentation that illustrates prominent Romanian values using Hofstede's cultural dimensions to help provide some insight for students looking to experience or simply learn more about this culture.
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