The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

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The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

February 16, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Which is it?

Stephen Jay Gould used the term ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ in 1999 to attempt to reconcile the conflict between science and religion (two important concepts, or ‘magisteria’). Supporters of this idea believe that science and religion offer two different types of truth and can co-exist without conflict. They see science as dealing solely with empirical evidence and the natural world but offering no guidance on ethical issues; whereas religion restricts itself to addressing morals and values.  

Or, to put it more simply:




Sounds almost reasonable. But does it work in practice?


We welcome Dr. Simon Potter to our meeting to discuss  

Non-overlapping Magisteria: the incompatibility of science and religion, from mathematics to the human genome

He submitted this synopsis of his talk: 

“Dr. Simon Potter realised he was too lazy to be religious at the age of 15 and since that point has pursued a career in science in order to avoid the metaphysical as much as possible. He has, however, become increasingly frustrated at religions’ attempts to encroach on what he regards as his territory. This seminar will explore his attitudes to this encroachment and what a reasoning individual’s approach to that should be. “

Sounds like Dr. Potter does NOT support the idea of ‘non-overlapping magisteria’. We look forward to hearing him discuss the frustrations experienced by scientists when their work conflicts with the values of the religious.  

Come with your questions!   

Dr Simon Potter is an internationally renowned expert in biomaterials design and processing. He earned a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and did further postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia. Dr Potter is the Chief Scientific Officer for Genome Prairie, based in Winnipeg, as well as an Adjunct Professor in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Currently, he is engaged in the Genome360 project to repatriate cancer testing back to the province, to reduce the patient journey from weeks to days. 

About our Monthly Meetings

Welcome! Our regular monthly meetings are always open to the public. Come early for dinner, drinks, or just to visit. Our social and (optional) dinner time begins at 5:30. Meeting is at 6:30 followed by the presentation at about 7:00 PM. Late-comers and drop-ins are welcome, so if you can’t make it on time or stay till the end, don’t worry. You can eat during the meeting if you’re late – the buffet is open till 8 PM.

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Charity of the Month

In celebration of Darwin Day (February 12th), our February charity is usually something related to the environment, conservation, or animal welfare. This year we will be supporting the Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program.  Details in the February newsletter.


February 16, 2019
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:




Canad Inns – Polo Park
1405 St. Matthews Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0K5 Canada
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