UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB Lecture to Discuss Authority Given Science and Religion

May 8, 2003

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – Both science and religion are accepted as credible sources of knowledge about the world in which we live. Some accept one over the other; many accept each in its own realm.

Jim Proctor, an associate professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will discuss public confidence in religion and science during "In ___ We Trust: Science, Religion, and Authority," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15 in UCSB's Corwin Pavilion.

The talk is free, open to the public and concludes UCSB's three-year Science, Religion, and the Human Experience lecture series sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation.

"This lecture addresses the central question of our series," said Proctor, the series director. "How may we understand science and religion as arising from, yet somehow transcending, the human experience? How shall we treat science and religion with the authoritative respect they deserve while fully acknowledging their human face?"

During the lecture, Proctor will discuss the results of a study recently completed that compares the trust Americans place in science, religion, nature, and government.

"Results suggest that trust in authority is an important and unavoidable feature of modern life, given its complexity," Proctor said. "Yet they point to the imperative to blend commitment and critique in the ways we trust science, religion, and other authorities to provide guidance in our lives."

Discussants for the lecture will be Catherine Albanese, a professor of religious studies at UCSB, and Jon Cruz, an associate professor of sociology.

The Templeton Lectures on Science, Religion, and the Human Experience have been sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, which also is supporting lectures on science and religion at Columbia and Stanford universities, UCLA, the University of Montreal, and at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

More information on the Templeton lecture series can be found at http://www.srhe.ucsb.edu.

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