Are scientists within the bounds of morality as they pioneer genetic engineering? Did the Creator's creative activity include a "big bang"?

Such questions are posed in "Faith & Reason," a one-hour documentary airing on most PBS stations September 11. Hosted by science writer Margaret Wertheim, the program touches on the historical link between religion and the work of scientists. It also takes viewers into the modern laboratories of controversial scientific disciplines, such as genetics, to examine the connections and conflicts between science and faith.

But Wertheim says the primary purpose of "Faith & Reason" is to document an emerging dialogue between theologians and scientists. The program argues that the often-antagonistic post-Darwin relationship between Christianity and science is yielding to a new model in which believers are more open to the idea of God working through natural processes and in which scientists are more amenable to spiritual perspectives.

Wertheim says the discourse between scientists and people of faith has been taking place for two decades but has picked up momentum recently. She notes that evangelicals, who had been largely absent from the dialogue, are beginning to join the conversation in greater numbers. One, Nancey Murphy of Fuller Theological Seminary, is featured in the documentary.

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