On October 16th and 17th, the Seminar «Big Questions: From Science to Philosophy and Theology» took place. The event brought together researchers and professors from various disciplines, including biology, medicine, engineering, chemistry, literature, philosophy, and theology. Attendees had the opportunity to gain new insights or simply stay updated while interacting with colleagues from different parts of the country.
As Dr. Jorge Aquino, an attendee and speaker, put it, the Seminar allowed participants to «realize that they share a common vision on essential matters… a better understanding of aspects of quantum physics, the anthropic principle, and the scope of research in artificial intelligence. A deeper personal exploration of topics related to the individual and suffering, from an academic perspective and across various faith traditions.»
Duilio Calcagno, a doctoral student in International Relations, also commented on the Seminar: «The fundamental idea I obtained was the possibility of adopting a complex paradigm regarding reality, in which the field of science is important but not the only one for addressing reality.» It is not possible to answer the big questions from a single scientific discipline; instead, it requires a deeply interdisciplinary reflection in which science, theology, and philosophy work hand in hand. In this regard, Dr. Miguel de Asúa summarized, «The seminar was a very good opportunity to receive a concise, up-to-date, and high-quality presentation on some cardinal topics in the field of science and religion.»
To engage in enriching dialogue, it is necessary, as Gabriela Aucar, a Physics student at the National University of the Northeast, puts it, to «try to understand the language of the other, enter their world, free from prejudices, and search for common ground.» From the Institute of Philosophy’s perspective, facilitating these meetings is essential, as there is not always awareness of these interdisciplinary investigations. Gabriela also said about the Seminar, «It gave me a very broad view of each of the topics discussed and the certainty that fruitful interaction between Philosophy, Science, and Religion is possible, even in our country. It helped me discover the greatness of each of these areas separately and how one can contribute to the other when there is a deep desire from each side.»
For Ivana Antón, the lectures were enriching because «the presentation of key topics in some sciences and from their own epistemological perspective allowed for reflection on basic philosophical concepts that could be underlying such experiences and practices.»
Some questions raised during the Seminar were: What kind of scientific reality emerges when the microworld of our own universe is explained using the language of quantum field theory? Is the universe designed? How does contemporary genetics relate to the theological understanding of human identity? What does it mean to be human? How should we approach the relationship between science, philosophy, and theology today?
There are still more questions and new ones for future encounters. As Martin Gutiérrez, a medical doctor and doctoral candidate in philosophy, states, «a response that refers in totum to the big questions remains pending. It is clear that none of the mentioned disciplines can, in isolation, provide comprehensive interdisciplinary solutions.»
You can find the photo album of the event here, and below, the videos of the various presentations:
Dr. Denis Alexander – «What Models are the Best Fit for Interactions Between Science and Theology?»
SPANISH: Dr. Miguel de Asúa – «What Were the Main Milestones in the Discussions Between Science and Religion?»
SPANISH:Dr. Gustavo Aucar – «What Kind of Scientific Reality Emerges When the Microworld of Our Own Universe Is Explained Using the Language of Quantum Field Theory?
Dr. Peter Bussey – “Is the Universe Designed?”
SPANISH: Dr. Jorge Aquino – «What Is the Role of DNA Information in the Development of Living Organisms?»
Dr. Denis Alexander – “How Does Contemporary Genetics Interact with Theological Understanding of Human Identity?”
SPANISH: Dr. Marcelo Villar – «Pain and Plasticity in the Adult Somatosensory System: Challenges and Opportunities. What Is Gained by Controlling Plasticity in Primary Sensory Neurons?»
SPANISH: Dr. Hugo Leonardo Rufiner – «Computational Intelligence and Bioinspired Systems. Could Computers Replace Humans in the Future?»
Dra. Hilary Marlow – “What Does It Mean to Be Human?”
SPANISH: Dra. Claudia Vanney – «How to Approach the Relationship Between Science, Philosophy, and Theology Today?