Epic Of Evolution Conference Brings Science And Religion Together November 12-14

Chicago -- October 29, 1997 -- The term "evolution" tends to conjure up an image of science and religion at war. But this picture is far from the truth, both historically and in relation to current events. In fact, the fields of science and religion have a lot in common -- and a lot to learn from each other.

A group of scientists, philosophers, and theologians will gather at The Field Museum in Chicago to prove just that by participating in an open discussion focusing on the latest research in the evolutionary sciences. The Epic of Evolution Conference will be held Nov. 12-14, and is sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The Field Museum. "A major objective of this conference is to overcome the public misconception that science and religion are inherently in conflict over evolution," says Audrey Chapman, director of the AAAS Program of Dialogue Between Science and Religion. "This is a pioneering effort to discover how to combine good science with meaningful theological and philosophical analysis."

The goal of the conference is to demonstrate that recent discoveries in the evolutionary sciences -- relating to the development of the cosmos, life on Earth, and human culture -- can be constructively interpreted with respect to religious values concerning human nature and destiny.

"We're bringing people together to talk about the common ground, as well as the differences," says Alaka Wali, anthropologist and director of The Field Museum's Center for Cultural Understanding and Change. "Dialogue like this helps to show the public that science is a process of inquiry; it is part of the human endeavor to understand the world and give meaning to it."

Another focus of the conference is to simply educate the public about the broad application of evolutionary studies today. The term "evolution" most commonly refers to the historical development of life on Earth, but it can also be used to describe the development of h

Contact: Ellen Cooper
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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