ISCAST Vic: Fire in the Belly

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Speakers: Philippa Lohmeyer (Anglican Chaplain) and Michael Clarke (Head, Life Sciences, La Trobe Uni.)


  • Challenging very young people’s thoughts on ‘Science and Religion’
  • The role of a scientist who is a Christian in a post-truth world.

Date: Saturday 29 July, 6.30pm

Venue: Lower Templestowe

The evening will start at 6:30pm with a “Bring Your Own meal to share” and this will be followed at 8:00pm with the presentations and discussions.

Please contact ISCAST Vic by email or phone 03 9254 1045 for further detail.

Phillippa Lohmeyer will speak on the topic Challenging very young people’s thoughts on ‘Science and Religion’.

Young people begin to develop thoughts and ideas about Science and Religion as early as Year 4 or 5, that is, ages 9 and 10. Can one be a scientist and believe in God? Do theories such as Evolution and Big Bang add weight to the view that there is a conflict between science and religion? How might I, as someone who loves God, has worked as a Chemist in industry and a Senior Chemistry Teacher and is passionate that young people find meaning and fulfilment in their lives challenge these views? Is ages 9 and 10 too early to begin teaching children about the difference between the type of questions science and religion pose in their search for truth?

Over the last year, working with help from ISCAST fellow and executive director, Rev. Dr Chris Mulherin, I developed a unit for Year 5 students titled “Science and Religion – Is their a conflict?”. Students are introduced to the idea that both science and religion are searching for truth but ask different questions. Students are helped to develop skills in identifying the difference between meaning and mechanism questions; that is questions which look at the world view and questions which examine the connection between the particles. Students are then challenged to invent these different types of questions based on a miracle story found in the gospel. The impact of teaching children about the nature of the question and on their beliefs will be discussed in this Fire in the Belly.

I, Philippa, have been teaching Chemistry and Junior Science for 25+ years. For many of those years I taught VCE Chemistry and was involved in the assessment process. Over the last 6 years, since ordination as an Anglican priest, I have been teaching Religion and Values to students aged from 3yo to 18yo. I am married to Stephen Collins, Physics professor and have two sons both studying science at a local university!!

Michael Clarke will speak on the topic The role of a scientist who is a Christian in a post-truth world.

Mike will explore some reflections on the role of a Christian academic in public debate and the educational responsibilities of preparing students for a very different intellectual world from the one in which their lecturers were trained.

ISCAST Vic: Fire in the Belly