Cancelled: Faith, Ethics, and Science Roundtable for March 2020

Due to the Coronvirus outbreak this gathering for March has been cancelled. Resumption of monthly roundtables will be evaluated based on the most recent updates from institutional, local, state, regional, and national authorities.

The Roundtable is cancelled for Monday March 30, 11:30am to 1pm in Room 208 (second floor conference room) at the Research Administration Bldg at the University of Utah.

"Fine-Tuning and Human Suffering: Toward a Science-Based Theodicy for Natural Evil"

Dr. Lex Newman, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Director, Department of Philosophy, University of Utah

Professor Newman joined the faculty in 2000. He specializes in early modern philosophy, especially Descartes and Locke. He received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine. Previously, he taught at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and at University of Pittsburgh.

He writes:
Recent scientific research related to the anthropic principle suggests that some of the most challenging cases of "natural evils" – e.g., disasters associated with plate tectonics – are necessary elements of any universe capable of giving rise to human life.  That the "just right" preconditions of human existence would encompass naturally generated suffering has significance to theodicy.  In this discussion we'll explore how the issues help underwrite a new, science-based theodicy of natural evil.

Background articles:

The Anthropic Principle

The Fine-Tuning Argument for God