Scholars from EdUHK and HKBU co-host platform to discuss the origin of the universe

The two-day seminar will examine the question of origins from the perspectives of science, philosophy and religion.

Dr Barnes will deliver a talk entitled “God, Science and the Beginning of Time” at EdUHK on 19 June 2023.

“A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned” written by Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes

Over the past 50 years, there has been increasing consensus among natural scientists, theologians, and philosophers that science and religion do not oppose each other but are rather complimentary to the other’s body of knowledge. Understanding this, scholars from various academic disciplines across the globe are trying to narrow the conflicts and separation between science and religion through productive dialogue.

To help provide a platform for such dialogue, Dr Chan Man-ho, Associate Professor from the Department of Science and Environmental Studies, EdUHK and Dr Andrew Loke, Associate Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy from the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), are co-organising a conference entitled “The Question of Origins – Contemporary Science, Philosophical and Religious Perspectives”. Internationally renowned astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Luke A. Barnes will be the conference’s keynote speaker, while scholars from Hong Kong and mainland China will be joining the panel discussions of the two-day conference.

Dr Chan said, “Many great minds have been attracted to pondering the question of the origin of the universe. This includes whether there is an intelligent agent creating the universe, or whether it was created out of randomness. While this question used to create confrontation between religion and natural science in the past, increasing efforts have been made by the academic community to narrow down the conflicts between science and religion in recent years. We hope that the conference will provide an interdisciplinary platform for scholars from different academic backgrounds to have constructive dialogue.”


Co-chaired by Dr Chan and Dr Loke, the conference is scheduled to be held in HKBU on 16 and 17 June 2023. As aforementioned, Dr Barnes will be delivering the keynote speeches during the two-day conference; the first is entitled “Finding Design in Physics”, while the second is called “How God can use Randomness”. Dr Barnes, also a renowned apologist, will also be giving two public talks—“The Fine-tuning of the Universe for Life” and “Is the Universe an Accident”—on 16 and 17 June. In addition, he will be delivering a talk entitled “God, Science and the Beginning of Time” at EdUHK on 19 June 2023.

Dr Barnes is a theoretical astrophysicist, cosmologist, and postdoctoral researcher at Western Sydney University. He received his PhD in astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 2009. He has published papers in the fields of galaxy formation and the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. He is the author, with Geraint Lewis, of “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos”, published by Cambridge University Press. He has also published papers on the philosophy of science, and regularly engages in public outreach through public speaking, articles in the popular press, and social media. He is a John Templeton Fellow.

Dr Andrew Loke holds a PhD in Theology from King’s College London. His doctoral dissertation is “In Defence of the Incarnation: Historical Basis and Coherence”. He obtained his M.B.B.S. degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) from the National University of Singapore and Master of Arts degree in Philosophy of Religion from Biola University.

Talks given by Dr Luke A. Barnes:




16 June, Friday


SCT 503 (LT3), Cha Chi-ming Science Tower, Ho Sing Hang Campus,

Hong Kong Baptist University

Keynote Speech 1:

“Finding Design in Physics”

17 June, Saturday


SCT 503 (LT3), Cha Chi-ming Science Tower, Ho Sing Hang Campus,

Hong Kong Baptist University

Keynote Speech 2:

“How God can use Randomness”

16 June, Friday


ICA, Shop 209-220,

2/F, 33 Marble Road,

North Point

“The Fine-tuning of the Universe for Life”

17 June, Saturday


St. Andrew’s Church (old church building)

138 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

“Is the Universe an Accident”

19 June 2023, Monday




“God, Science and the Beginning of Time”