How did the Universe begin and how has it evolved? Does a scientific explanation mean that we can do without God? Why are the laws of nature so special (so”fine tuned”) as to produce a universe with intelligent creatures in it? Can God interfere with His laws of nature?
Bioethics and genetics
What are the ethical challenges facing our generation involving embryo research, stem cell research, cloning, genetic engineering, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics, cybernetics and nanotechnology? To what extent does the use of human embryos for research violates basic ethical norms for research done on human beings, and how there are ethical alternatives to using human embryos in research?What does it mean to be human, what it is to be a person? What is human worth and dignity in light of these new technologies? What is a Christian response to these advances in medicine and biology?
Environmental sustainability and climate change
Is the way we live, in particular the way we use materials and generate and use energy, no longer environmentally or socially sustainable? What does the Bible have to say regarding man’s responsibility for God’s given earth? What is the Christian response to these trends both imperative and distinctive? What can be done at the personal, community, national and international levels to make sustainable living a reality?
Science and Faith
Are science and faith two incompatible approaches to understanding the world and our role and purpose in it? Where is the conflict and where are grounds for mutual enrichment? Where and how can we find wisdom as well as knowledge? Can there be a ‘Theology of Science’?
Neuroscience and consciousness
What is the relationship between mind, brain and soul? Is Faith a delusion? Advances in neuroscience raise ethical, social and legal issues in relation to the human person and the brain. What are the pros and cons of applying neuroimaging, psychopharmacology and neurotechnology to mentally ill and healthy persons? What are the social and cultural consequences of technologies that enable humans to manipulate their own minds? What impact will neuroscience have on our self-understanding and our concept of humans in general? Are we facing an age of a ‘technology of consciousnesses?
Emergence and chaotic systems
Many people have a very outdated picture of what science tells us about the world. They think of it as a clockwork world. In reality the world is extremely complex and chaotic, governed by non-linear dynamics, where chaotic systems emerge to produce orderly and novel, unpredictable outcomes. Does God use chance to allow new forms of life and organisation to emerge? Does nature use chaos constructively to provide biological systems with access to new forms of novelty? What role does man’s free will play? Is it God’s purpose to use a combination of laws and chance to make possible an ordered universe capable of developing within itself new modes of existence? What signs are there of God’s divine action in the world?
Creation and evolution
Where and how did life originate? Is it the outcome of an accident in the evolution of the earth, or is there evidence of design? How do we or can we interpret the biblical account of creation? Is this account compatible with the findings of science or is it just symbolism? How can we reconcile the evolutionary process with God’s plan of salvation.