On April 12, 2012 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, scientists Troy Van Voorhis of MIT and Richmond Thompson of Bowdoin debated the question, “Science and faith: friends or foes?” Van Voorhis and Thompson each gave 20-minute presentations on the topic, with Van Voorhis presenting an evangelical take on the matter and Thompson arguing for a non-Christian position.
I had the opportunity to moderate this debate at my alma mater (my voice was suffering from allergies and a cold, please note!). It was terrific fun and highly stimulating. Both professors made strong arguments for their view. My own beliefs line up with Van Voorhis (who as a young MIT professor is a noteworthy evangelical voice), though I was challenged by Thompson’s thoughtful and charitable presentation.
Events like these are what make the Veritas Forum and liberal arts colleges so great: the free exchange of meaningful ideas. Kresge Hall was full, with almost 300 people attending. Debate and disagreement, we saw, do not equal hostility or intolerance.
I’m thankful for the outstanding gospel-centered and Word-driven ministry at Bowdoin, led by Rob and Sim Gregory, and for the strong partnership it has forged with the Veritas Forum. May it only continue.