Key Note Speakers on ECST XVI

The Sixteenth European Conference on Science and Theology (ECST XVI)

Are We Special? Science and Theology Questioning Human Uniqueness

Łódź – Warsaw, Poland

26 April – 1 May 2016

Human beings are that one species which asks about its own existence. We are self-interpreting animals, developing cultural traditions to find answers for our quest for meaning. Both science and religion contribute to this quest and both can promote or challenge the idea of human uniqueness. Where do we stand today, when we ask for the distinctiveness of the human kind? How do we understand human beings in relation to the cosmos, to their fellow creatures, to the process of evolution, to the divine? How can we become what we are? Our next ESSSAT conference will be looking for answers to questions like these.

The conference will be held at the Archdiocesian Seminary in Łódź with a day trip to the site of the main academic sponsor of the conference: Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw.


Michael Heller (Philosophy)

Jonathan Jong (Evolutionary Anthropology)

Jerzy Dzik (Paleobiology)

Johanna Rahner (Theology)

David Wilkinson (Astrophysics)

Schedule Key Note Lectures:

  Date and Time Speaker Title Chair, Respondent
I Wed 27 April, 9.00 – 10.45 David Wilkinson (Astrophysics, Durham UK) The Goldilocks Enigma, the accelerating Universe and SETI: Being Human in a cosmic context Ch.: Darek Kucharski

R.: Christopher Corbally

II Wed 27 April, 14.30 – 16.00 Jonathan Jong (Evolutionary Anthropology, Oxford UK) What are human beings (that you are mindful of them?): Notes from neo-Darwinism and neo-Aristotelianism Ch.: Fabien Revol

R.: Jay Feierman

III Thu 28 April, Warsaw

11.30 – 13.15

Johanna Rahner (Theology, Tübingen Germany) ‘What is Man that You are mindful to him?’

How Theology can help to answer the question: What is it to be a human being?

Ch.: Neil Spurway

R.: Danie Veldsman

IV Fri 29 April,

9.00 – 10.30

Jerzy Dzik (Paleobiology, Warsaw Poland) Darwinian evolution of the human body and culture Ch.: Mike Parsons

R.: Maria Weker

V Sat 30 April,

9.00 – 10.30

Michał Heller (Philosophy, Cracow Poland) How to justify the history of the Universe? Ch.: Tom Uyterhoeven

R.: Wim Drees

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