Belief in Science & Belief in God

Belief in Science & Belief in God: A Scientist’s Perspective on “New Atheism”

Talk and Q&A Session with Canadian physicist Dr. Dinesh Singh

Eye_earth
Wednesday, 26 February 2014, 7.30 pm – 9:30 pm
Friends Meeting House (Aldren Wright Room)
12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BA

The modern-day proponents of atheism, such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Lawrence Krauss have gained the public’s imagination regarding their claims that God does not exist and that organized religion is harmful to the human race.  They also claim that “no evidence” exists whatsoever to support the presence of God in human experience, suggesting on scientific grounds that the need for a Divine Creator is a “failed hypothesis.”  Furthermore, they contend that holding a belief in God is a “delusional” act with disastrous consequences for global society on multiple fronts.

According to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, science and religion are both complementary and necessary for the progress of humanity into the future.

In this presentation, Dr. Dinesh Singh offers interested people the opportunity to thoughtfully consider his professional and personal response to the “new atheism” of Dawkins and others with examples from theoretical physics to suggest that “belief” within science is not fundamentally different from “belief” within religion, and that the main conclusions drawn by these atheists about the science and religion debate need to be thoroughly re-examined.

Dinesh Singh, Ph.D. is a Canadian research scientist in theoretical physics at the University of Regina, Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, and a member of the Bahá’í Faith.

Download the flyer

Islam in Modernity: Overcoming Barriers Between Faiths

Abstract
Dr. Khazeh Fananapazir has been engaged in interfaith dialogue since the 1970s, an interest that increased commensurately with the rise of various fundamentalist groups in the ‘70s and ‘80s, especially after 9/11. His research focuses on two pivotal questions:

(1) Is there any way out of the impasses and misunderstandings between faiths and communities?
(2) How can various faith groups work together to achieve unity?

Khazeh believes that there is a way out, and a hundred years ago that way was delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

When
Friday, 7th February, 7:30-9pm
Harrods Room, Emmanuel College

Biography
Dr. Khazeh Fananapazir graduated in Medicine from Oxford University and is now a cardio-thoracic surgeon in Leicester, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Teaching is one of his passions, and he is much admired and loved by his students. Khazeh has a keen interest in study of the Sacred Books. Fluent in Arabic and Farsi, he has published extensively. He is a lifelong student of the Bahá’í Faith, and in particular its relationship with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Fananapazir_flyer

Talk on 21 Nov “Man’s Station in the Universe”

Man’s Station in the Universe: A Scientist’s Spiritual Journey

A talk by Dr. Mehrdad Ehsani

Abstract
The Universe is very simple: it is mostly made of hydrogen, helium and energy.  However, the earth contains amazing complexity that is nearly unique in the universe.  Exceptional circumstances have made possible organic chemistry and life on earth, leading to the most complex structure in the universe: the human brain.  The energy consumption of the human brain per kilogram is 100,000 times the energy per kilogram that our sun can produce.  The purpose of this miraculous combination of events is human consciousness and spiritual awareness.  We will explore this physical-spiritual phenomenon in this talk.

When
Thursday, 21st November, 7-8:30pm
Latimer Room, Old Court, Clare College

The Speaker
Dr. Mehrdad Ehsani is a professor of sustainable energy engineering at Texas A&M University.  He has won numerous U.S. and international honors and awards, and he is the Distinguished Lecturer of several professional societies.  He is the co-author of 17 books, over 350 publications, over 20 patents, and has given numerous invited talks around the world on energy systems, spiritual aspects of technology, and the convergence of scientific and spiritual search over the past three decades.

Ehsani_flyer

Fresher’s Week events & Michaelmas Termcard

Welcome to a new year with the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society!  We would like to extend a warm welcome to new and returning students!  We are very pleased to be able to offer a wide range of events this term, including discussion evenings every other Friday, a monthly interfaith devotional/meditation called Soul Food, several fascinating talks by Bahá’í scholars and professionals, and community celebrations.  All of our events are free and open to the public.  See our Michaelmas 2013 Term Card below:

Term_card_Mich_2013_final

Please note that our first event is a discussion evening tomorrow night at Nabil’s house, which is very close to the train station (email Nabil for directions).  This will continue every other Friday evening throughout the term.  Join our mailing list to receive reminders and updates about the topics we will be discussing.

We also have a Club Squash on Thursday, 17th October at 7:30pm at Clowns Cafe (54 King Street, CB1 1LN).  This will be a fun opportunity to meet other members of the Bahá’í Society in a casual environment and learn more about the events we are holding this term.

Two of the talks listed on the term card are part of the Multi-Faith series for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.  These are “Frontiers in a Changing World” and “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit.”

We look forward to meeting you!

Download the Michaelmas 2013 term card (PDF).

Festival of Ideas: The Final Frontier

Lotus temple

The Final Frontier – Reflections on the Life of the Spirit

Death is the most elusive frontier, yet conceptions of what lies beyond shape our intentions and day to day actions. This talk explores insights from the Bahá’í Writings on the nature of human reality.

A talk by May Hofman. Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multi-Faith series for the Festival of Ideas.

Print

3pm – 4pm Sunday 3 November 2013
Latimer Room, Clare College
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TL

Free and open to all.  Book tickets online in advance.

Festival of Ideas: Frontiers in a Changing World

Frontiers in a changing world: Global challenges, inner transformations

Frontiers are what divide us, but also what connect us. They are the meeting point of self and other, of experience and imagination, actuality and potential. Frontiers can fence off life from its becoming, hearts from encounter, prejudices from insight, minds from curiosity. But they can also mark the junctures at which progress is possible. They are the starting points of exploration, gateways to discovery, signals to reconciliation, beginnings of transcendence, the exact places where ignorance and isolation end and contact begins.

What are the planet’s most critical frontiers today? How are they shifting? What frontiers will each of us choose to establish or break as we face the meeting and the clash, the birth and death of frontiers across the world?

A talk by Ismael Velasco. Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multi-Faith series for the Festival of Ideas.

Festival of Ideas

3pm – 4pm, Saturday 2 November 2013
Latimer Room, Clare College
Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TL

Free and open to all.  Book tickets online in advance.

Talk on 4th July “Belief in Science & Belief in God”

Belief in Science & Belief in God: A Scientist’s Perspective on “New Atheism”

Belief_Science_God

Talk and Q&A Session with Canadian physicist Dr. Dinesh Singh

Thursday, 4 July 2013   7.30 pm
Latimer Room, Old Court, Clare College
Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TL

The modern-day proponents of atheism, such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris have gained the public’s imagination regarding their claims that God does not exist and that organized religion is harmful to the human race.  They also claim that “no evidence” exists whatsoever to support the presence of God in human experience, suggesting on scientific grounds that the need for a Divine Creator is a “failed hypothesis.”  Furthermore, they contend that holding a belief in God is a “delusional” act with disastrous consequences for global society on multiple fronts.

According to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, science and religion are both complementary and necessary for the progress of humanity into the future.

In this presentation, Dr. Dinesh Singh offers interested people the opportunity to thoughtfully consider his professional and personal response to the “new atheism” of Dawkins and others with examples from theoretical physics to suggest that “belief” within science is not fundamentally different from “belief” within religion, and that the main conclusions drawn by these atheists about the science and religion debate need to be thoroughly re-examined.

Dinesh Singh, Ph.D. is a Canadian research scientist in theoretical physics at the University of Regina, Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, and a member of the Bahá’í Faith.

Download the flyer

Screening of “Education Under Fire” documentary

EUF flier

JOIN US AT THIS FREE EVENT!

THURS, JANUARY 31st, 7:30 p.m.

Latimer Room, Clare College, CB3 9AJ

The 30-minute documentary “Education Under Fire” will be shown, addressing the denial of higher education to Baha’is in Iran.  There will also be Iranian Baha’i students who have experienced education denial first-hand speaking out at the event and available to answer questions.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

“One of the most powerful human documentaries I have ever seen, Education Under Fire is sure to galvanize viewers who will be exposed to an outrage that until now has received little attention—the systematic denial of an entire religious community of the right to pursue higher education in their own country.”

–Elise Auerbach, Iran Specialist for Amnesty International USA

View the flier for this event.

Sponsored by the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

Festival of Ideas: Visions of Dreams & Dreams of Visionaries

The theme for this year’s Festival of Ideas is “Dreams and Nightmares.”  There will be a couple events offered by the Cambridge University Baha’i Society at the festival.

Visions of Dreams and Dreams of Visionaries

Saturday, November 3, 3-4:30pm.

Latimer Room, Clare College, Trinity Lane.

BahaiTemple

Whether they are symbolic, prophetic or waking dreams, dreaming has shaped civilisations. In a disenchanted world, can we still believe that dreams really do come true?  Part of the Multi-Faith Series.

Festival of Ideas: The Power of Prayer & Meditation

The theme for this year’s Festival of Ideas is “Dreams and Nightmares.”  There will be a couple events offered by the Cambridge University Baha’i Society at the festival.

The Power of Prayer and Meditation

Friday, October 26, 8-10pm.

Latimer Room, Clare College, Trinity Lane.

Buddha
An evening of short talks, discussion and some prayer and meditation to present perspectives from Buddhism, Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith. Part of the Multi-Faith Series.