ORU Engineering Department hosts Engineering and Metaphysics 2012 Conference in June

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

Walter BradleyOral Roberts University College of Science and Engineering and The Blyth Institute will host the Engineering and Metaphysics 2012 Conference on June 15-16 on campus.

The conference explores ways in which non-reductionistic views of humanity influence and impact engineering and design disciplines. It also considers how topics from the field of engineering might shed light on metaphysical questions. It covers aspects of humanity including creativity, intention, ritual, morality, and spirituality, and how they impact engineering design decisions.

"Natural systems exhibit an engineering expertise that far exceeds anything mankind is capable of producing, or even imagining," said Dominic Halsmer, dean of the ORU College of Science and Engineering. "Furthermore, the fact that these incredibly complex systems are so readily and profitably reverse engineered by human beings strongly suggests that such systems were engineered in the first place. Perhaps reverse engineering techniques can be profitably applied in nature to assist in answering important metaphysical questions."

This year's plenary speaker will be Walter Bradley, distinguished professor of Mechanical Engineering at Baylor University.

For participants who would like to present a paper or talk at the conference, abstracts are due March 31, 2012. Topics should be relevant to the engineering and metaphysics dialogue, but can be on a wide range of topics. A conference proceedings volume will be assembled, and the deadline for inclusion in the proceedings will be for the final paper to be ready by Aug. 1 to allow time for modification based on input from the conference. Acceptance of abstracts for talks does not guarantee inclusion in the final proceedings volume. Send abstract submissions (less than 500 words) to submissions@eandm2012.com. Abstracts will be accepted or returned within three weeks of submission. Send any questions to the same address.

Early bird registration of $98 will end Jan. 15. Registration does not include hotel arrangements. For more information, send an email to info@eandm2012.com or go to http://www.eandm2012.com/.

About Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University is a world-renowned Christian university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1963, ORU serves students from 49 states and over 50 countries, representing over 40 denominations. Offering 64 undergraduate majors, 14 master's programs and two doctoral degrees, plus NCAA Division I athletics, ORU actively engages students to hear God's voice, excel in academics and go impact their world. For more information about ORU, visit www.oru.edu.

About the Engineering and Metaphysics Conference
In 2000, some of the world's most eminent scientists and philosophers (including Walter Bradley, Simon Conway Morris, Alvin Plantinga, Michael Behe, and others) gathered together on the campus of Baylor University to discuss nature's ultimate reality - in other words, its metaphysics. The resulting Nature of Nature conference sparked great discussions within many areas of science and philosophy. The goal of the Engineering and Metaphysics conference is to take the question one step further and ask, how does the ultimate reality of nature influence engineering practice, and what does the field of engineering have to say about the nature of reality?