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9/26/2017
Echoes of Coinherence, Vancouver, BC

9/28/2017
“Freedom All the Way Up: God’s Agape/Probability Design of the Universe,” Wenham, MA

9/28/2017
“Adam and the Genome,” Wolfville, NS

9/29/2017
“Freedom All the Way Up: God’s Agape/Probability Design of the Universe,”

9/29/2017
“Adam and the Genome,” Halifax, NS

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Blog to pass information along about previous and future ASA-Houston Chapter meetings.

 

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December Chapter Meeting Minutes

Posted By Brandon Reddell, Friday, January 2, 2015

Location: Tau Bay Vietnamese Noodle House, I-59 and Beechnut

Present: Brandon Reddell, Will Sikkema, Scott Robinson

 

Business items discussed during lunch and afterward:

  1. Meeting on HBU campus – Scott wasn’t able to find the time to contact Danny, the BSM head at HBU, due to work schedule.  The intent is to get his advice and assistance in finding a way to meet or at least advertise on the campus.
  2. Scott will (Lord willing) undergo foot surgery Jan. 5 and be laid up for several weeks recovering, including during our regular meeting time.  Due to that and other schedule conflicts, we decided not to meet in January, but to wait until February 7th or 14th for our next meeting.  
  3. During the Christmas break we will be apart but we all have more time – maybe we can be more active online.  That might carry over into January, when Scott’s laid up, so our activity could continue in January even if we don’t meet.

Discussion: 

Stephen Contakes’ article "Logical Pitfalls and Communication Gaps: Frequent Lines of Argument That Dead-End the Origins Conversation".

 

We really liked the message of this article.  We agreed that more respect, patience, listening, are all Christian qualities we need in science-faith discussions.  The point about being careful to spell out all the steps in an argument and not leave any unstated is very important.  Being patient, hearing the other person out, ensuring understanding before responding, is something we’ve all seen the need of in our occupations (NASA physicist, oil company geologist, chemistry PhD grad student) - that is, we’ve all seen the problems that arise from not doing it.

The importance of defining terms and ensuring everyone understands the same thing from the same term was illustrated as we discussed Levinthal’s Paradox, which is featured prominently in the article.  We had to stop and discuss what a paradox meant, and whether Levinthal’s discovery should be considered to be one or not.  And that’s with only three friends discussing something that no one had any particular emotional attachment to!

 

During the holidays and through January- 

 

Will Sikkema will look over the Neanderthal article Brandon posted, and will comment on it.

Once we’re done discussing the Neanderthal article, Scott will post an article about the Levinthal paradox.  It’s an article that the ID community claims enormously increases the difficulty of devising a naturalistic scenario for the origin of life.

 

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November Chapter Meeting Minutes

Posted By Brandon Reddell, Monday, November 24, 2014

 

Chapter meeting, November 8, 2014 12-2 PM at Tau Bay Vietnamese Noodle House, 8150 Southwest Fwy, Houston, Texas  77074

Attending: William Sikkima, Ed Nelson, Scott Robinson

We had lunch and discussed Chapter business; we accomplished all our action items from last month and decided on some more for this month.

Ed led a great discussion on the recent PSCF article, "Understanding the Beginning in Light of the End: Eschatological Reflections on Making Theological Sense of Evolution".  It was a very good discussion from which all gained many new ideas and insights into the topic.  We also discussed ideas about how to succeed in college, which was very helpful to some of the members of the group who have family about to attend college.

 

We met at Tau Bay around an 8-person table and had easy conversation and the food was good and very reasonably priced.  We discussed the future of the group; we’re still trying to get onto a campus.  Scott has the name of a contact at HBU and he didn’t try to contact him in November but he will before our next meeting.  It’s the staffer who heads up the Baptist Student Ministries there, so he should be sympathetic to our cause.

 

For next months meeting, it is Scott’s turn to facilitate the next discussion on a PSCF article (TBD).

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October Chapter Meeting Minutes

Posted By Brandon Reddell, Sunday, October 12, 2014

Meeting Minutes, Houston-Area ASA Chapter

Second Chapter meeting, October 11, 2014 12-2 PM at El Ranchero, 5300 N. Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX

Attending: Brandon Reddell, William Sikkima, Ed Nelson, Scott Robinson

 

We had lunch and discussed Chapter business; we accomplished all our action items from last month and decided on some more for this month.

 

Then Brandon held us spellbound telling us about his work studying radiation effects on integrated circuits and the current best ideas for protecting humans and computers from radiation in space.  Even the International Space Station has an elevated risk for about 10 minutes as it passes through the South Atlantic Anomaly, a weak spot in the Earth’s magnetic field that lets the proton flux get slightly higher than elsewhere.

 

Then William led our discussion of David Wilcox’ article "Genetic Insights for Human Origins in Africa and for Later Neanderthal Contact" from the September, 2014 PSCF.  We had a spirited discussion while William introduced us to how molecular clocks work.

 

A side discussion about how much we can connect Genesis account to historical scientific account of origins was unfinished, but we will continue it on Facebook with a link from our ASA website.

 

In our business meeting we decided several things:

    1. We refined some concepts about the Web page and how it would link to the Facebook page William created for us.  We will try to have the next meeting times prominent on the page so casual observers can find it.

    2. We set our next two meeting dates: Nov. 8, Dec. 13

    3. We are still seeking a way to meet on a campus like HBU or Rice.  James Jennings is still going to talk to his HBU drama club about it, and Scott met some other HBU students who might be able to help.

    4. We talked about having a special meeting on a campus while we wait for a way to meet on campus.  We noted that to have a special meeting we would need to:

       o Have a good speaker who is local; Dr. Elaine Eklund of Rice would be one

       o Have a way to notify our target audience.  One way would be to inform the leadership of the campus Christian organizations, to tell their members.

    5. Ed Nelson will moderate our next meeting’s discussion.  He'll poll the members this week to decide on an article.

 

Action items to which we committed:

  • Scott will write up this summary and send it out.
  • Brandon will post these minutes on the Chapter site
  • William will keep the new Houston Chapter Facebook in sync with the Chapter website.
  • Ed will poll the membership on which article to discuss next time, and will be prepared to lead the discussion.
  • Brandon will create a discussion thread on Facebook to continue our discussion about the extent to which Genesis can be fit to the historical scientific account of origins.
  • Scott will follow up with James Jennings and the other HBU students he’s met, about meeting on the HBU campus.

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September Chapter Meeting Minutes

Posted By Brandon Reddell, Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Meeting Minutes, Houston-Area ASA Chapter
Second Chapter meeting, September 10, 2014 12-2 PM at Jason’s Deli in Rice Village
Attending: Brandon Reddell, William Sikkima, Ed Nelson, Scott Robinson
We had lunch and discussed the Chapter goals. Then Brandon led our discussion of David Wilcox’ article "Our Genetic Prehistory: Did Genes Make Us Human?" from the June, 2014 PSCF. We all learned a lot about this aspect of the creation, which we hope will make us better evangelists.
In our business meeting we decided several things:
1. We will meet monthly, on the second Saturday of each month, from 12-2 PM.
2. We’ll meet at restaurants, but will seek a college venue to meet at.
3. Our next meeting will be the same format as this one – lunch and prayer & planning, followed by a science-faith discussion of a PSCF article.
4. William will moderate our next meeting’s discussion. He'll poll the members this week to decide on an article.
We also discussed what to put on the Chapter website. We want these sections:
  • Home page – lists our chapter goals, announcements, maybe list the active members
  • Prayer page – lists prayer requests for the chapter as a whole and for individuals. These are our Chapter prayer needs:
    • Prayer for this chapter and for us to make a difference
    • Contacts with college students about science-faith issues
    • Getting on a college campus and involving faculty members from a college in the area
  • Events page – lists our meetings and special science-faith events in the Houston area
    • Dr. James Tour of Rice University will be speaking about science-faith issues at 7:30 PM on Sept. 20th at First Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1311 Holman (at Caroline, 1 mi. south of downtown)
  • Chapter page – chapter business
    • Chapter goals
    • Chapter plans
    • Minutes of meetings like this
    • List of the members, with photos and bios (maybe)
Action items to which we committed:
  • Scott will write up this summary and send it out.
  • Brandon will post these minutes on the Chapter site, and make a start at building up the site as described below
  • William will create a Facebook page for the Houston Chapter, with a link to the Chapter website, and he’ll post the same items there that Brandon posts on the Chapter site.
  • William will ask his friends at Rice if some of them would want to join us. He’ll also check on possibilities of meeting on the Rice campus.
  • Scott will follow up with James Jennings about meeting at restaurants near the HBU campus, or on the HBU campus.
Yours in Christ,
Scott Robinson

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August Chapter Meeting Minutes

Posted By Brandon Reddell, Sunday, August 24, 2014

Minutes of ASA Houston-Area Chapter Restart Meeting

August 15, 2014
At Jason’s Deli in Rice Village, 12-2:30 PM

Present: Brandon Reddell, Steve Lindsay, Ed Nelson, James Jennings, Scott Robinson

Purpose: To meet each other for the first time and discuss our individual goals and interests for an ASA Chapter and what we think God wants us to do as a Chapter.

We had lunch and conversed about many topics.  Then we turned to introducing ourselves.  Each one told how they became a Christian and why they joined ASA.  Then we discussed what we thought God wanted us to do as a group.

Planning for the group:

There were two common threads in our testimonies and why we joined ASA.  They are:

   1.  To become better evangelists and apologists for the faith among our science-trained friends and coworkers, and

   2.  To build the presence of ASA at Houston college campuses, to bring them the good news that science and faith do not conflict.

We decided that we were willing to meet as a group periodically to further both of these goals.

Next meeting:

  • What:  We’ll have lunch again, then discuss one of the articles in the latest PSCF (chosen ahead of time so everyone can read it), with a moderator who has read the article ahead of time to guide the discussion.
  • When: Saturday Sept. 13th (second Saturday) from 12-2 PM.
  • Where: Jason’s Deli in Rice Village again, or maybe at a restaurant near HBU
  • How often: We’ll decide that at the next meeting.

 

Here are the action items we agreed to accomplish before our next meeting on Sept. 13:

  1. Everyone will pray for the next meeting and for God to refine the two-pronged vision we have glimpsed, as we start to pursue it.

  2. Brandon will serve as moderator at the next meeting, and will look over the articles and send out a note of possible topics, proposing the one he prefers (moderator’s choice weights pretty strongly).  Then he’ll read it ahead of time so he’s prepared.

  3. James will locate restaurants in the HBU area where we could meet.

  4. James will invite two of his professors to our next meeting, so they can see what we do and hear about our desire to help HBU students hear the good news about science and faith.

  5. Scott will write up the meeting summary (you’re reading it).

  6. Brandon or Scott will update the ASA website with our new information.

  7. Ed will join the ASA so he’ll have access to the PSCF journal as soon as it comes out, like the rest of us.

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