Wyard to Deliver Mercer’s Ginn Lectures on Christian Faith and Modern Science

Statue of Jesse Mercer on the Mercer campus.

ATLANTA/MACON — Mercer University’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology will hold the fifth annual D. Perry and Betty Ginn Lecture Series Sept. 18-20 on the University’s Atlanta and Macon campuses. This year’s lecturer is Adrian Wyard, executive director and founder of the Counterbalance Foundation, websites that provide thousands of links and video focused on the interface between science and religion. He will build his three lectures around the theme “Bridging the Gaps: Can Science and Theology Share a Common View of Nature, Life and Personhood?”

“If you have ever used a computer mouse, you have been influenced by the inventor Adrian Wyard,” said Dr. Graham B. Walker Jr., the John and Judy Zellars Professor of Theology at the McAfee School of Theology. “Wyard continues to hold multiple patents for features of Microsoft Word and Windows and has now dedicated his entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit to the multidisciplinary education project, The Counterbalance Foundation.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 10:45 a.m., Wyard will discuss “How we got here: reviewing the God of the (shrinking) scientific gaps,” in the auditorium of Cecil B. Day Hall on the Atlanta campus. On Sept. 19, he will travel to Macon, and at 4 p.m. he will discuss “Bridging the gaps: can science and theology share a common view of nature, life and personhood?” in the Medical School Auditorium. He returns to the Atlanta campus on Sept. 20 for his final lecture, “Prospects for the future: how the scientific theory of emergence may lead to a seamless, but theologically compatible conception of nature?” at 10:45 a.m. the auditorium of Cecil B. Day Hall.

Wyard earned a master’s degree in science and religion from the University of Oxford, where he specialized in the evolution/creation controversy. His current research interests also include physicalist theories of consciousness, artificial intelligence and emergence. Prior to forming Counterbalance in 1998, Wyard worked for Microsoft Corp. in the United Kingdom and United States, where he held various positions including program manager for the Word for Windows 1.0 project. He holds several design patents for features in Microsoft Word and Windows that are still in use today.

The Counterbalance Foundation promotes multidisciplinary education, and specializes in the development of interactive teaching materials for an undergraduate and popular audience. The Counterbalance web sites currently exceed 300,000 links and 200 hours of streaming media, making them the richest resource of their kind available in the world. Wyard also serves on the board of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, Calif.

“The annual Ginn lectures push us to think beyond the bounds of the typical theological disciplines and engage the latest scientific discoveries and theories,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of the McAfee School of Theology. “I am looking forward to another mind-bending experience when Adrian Wyard delivers his lectures, because he works on the forefront of digital technology, yet he maintains a lively interest in its broad implications for personhood and faith.”

The D. Perry and Betty H. Ginn Lectures in Christian Faith and Modern Science were endowed by the Rev. Dr. D. Perry Ginn to encourage a deeper understanding of science by clergy and students, and how it relates to the Biblical revelation. The former pastor of several Georgia congregations, including First Baptist Church, Gainesville, and Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. Ginn is semi-retired and serves as pastor of the North Clarendon Baptist Church in Avondale Estates.

For more information, or if you plan to bring a group, please contact Diane Frazier at (678) 547-6470 or frazier_d@mercer.edu.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit theology.mercer.edu.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center launched July 1, 2012, and includes the University’s medical, nursing and pharmacy schools and will add a fourth college – the College of Health Professions – on July 1, 2013. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu

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