Eleventh Web Talk by Dr. Stephen R. Friberg on November 15: “Science and Religion: Reconciliation, Cooperation, and Harmonious Development”

The Wilmette Institute’s eleventh Web Talk celebrating its twentieth anniversary will be held on Sunday, November 15, 2015, with Dr. Stephen R. Friberg discussing “Science and Religion: Reconciliation, Cooperation, and Harmonious Development.” The talk will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, November 15 (11 a.m. Pacific time, 7 p.m. GMT U.K., 8 p.m. Western Europe). Click here to register for the Web Talk.

Dr. Friberg says that science and religion, according to the Bahá´í writings, must go hand-in-hand. These ‟two most potent forces in human life,” according to these writings, ‟will be reconciled, will cooperate, and will harmoniously develop.” When combined with the Bahá’í affirmation of the fundamental oneness of religion, they provide an outlook on science and religion that focuses on the future, differing from conventional approaches preoccupied with arguing over the relevance of religion in an age of science.

Dr. Friberg goes on to say that in his talk we will consider some implications of the Bahá’í teachings, briefly reviewing Bahá’í fundamentals about the harmony of science and religion. We will then look at aspects of Bahá’í metaphysical and cosmological perspectives. This will led to a discussion of the critical need for a twenty-first century cosmology—a new worldview—that balances material and spiritual progress. Bringing the discussion down to a practical level, we discuss the role that Bahá’ís might play in the development of that worldview. Finally, looking at one Bahá’í approach, we will consider the worldwide implementation of a culture of learning. We will conclude by considering the possibility of the eventual establishment of universal scientific literacy.

Dr. Friberg is a physicist living in Silicon Valley and working in the semiconductor industry. He has done pioneering experiments in quantum optics, optical telecommunications, and photonics and is author of forty-six technical papers, seven patents, and numerous scientific conference presentations. He has written and spoken frequently on science and religion and its relationship to the Bahá’í teachings and is cofounder of the Science and Religion Special Interest Group of the Association for Bahá’í Studies. He also is a cofounder of “Common Ground,” a blog devoted to faith, reason, science, and religion and of Japan’s Association for Bahá’í Studies.

A native of Socorro, New Mexico, Stephen grew up in the intensely secular campus atmosphere of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He obtained his PhD in physics—with a focus on quantum optics—under Leonard Mandel at the University of Rochester and did postdoctoral work at Bell Labs and Bellcore in Holmdel and Red Bank, New Jersey. In 1988, he joined NTT Research Labs—the Japanese version of Bell Labs—and spent eleven years as a research physicist in Tokyo, Japan. He moved to Mountain View, California, in 1999, spending time on the Stanford University campus and starting a company before joining the semiconductor industry in 2005. He is currently working on building a science-and-religion discussion community in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area.

Leave a Reply