Can Science Explain Everything?

Can Science Explain Everything?

Are there questions science is incapable of answering?

The 2024 Veritas Forum

March 21, Colonial Hall (Squires Student Center)

Science has answered so many questions about how the universe works and how we can work for the betterment of humanity.

Faced with such scientific advances, many conclude there is no longer any need for religion and belief systems to understand the mysteries of our universe.


But do the limits of science as a way of knowing mean that there are some questions science is incapable of answering?

And is there a need for science itself to be informed by religion or human values?

Join us on Thursday, March 21 for a discussion with MIT chemistry professor Dr. Troy Van Voorhis and VT philosophy professor Dr. Wendy Parker, moderated by Dr. Kevin Pitts, the Dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Science!

Join Us On Campus

Thursday, March 21

7:30 PM

Colonial Hall, Squires Student Center

Meet Our Speakers

Troy van Voorhis

Troy Van Voorhis is the Haslam and Dewey professor of chemistry at MIT, where he currently serves as department head. Troy is an expert in quantum chemistry whose research focuses on using computers to understand and predict the electronic properties of molecules. In particular, his work addresses questions of how solar energy can be efficiently captured and stored. He is the author of numerous scholarly publications and a fellow of the David & Lucille Packard foundation. He enjoys spending time with his wife and his four children, and riding his skateboard to work when the weather cooperates.

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker is Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Tech. She earned undergraduate degrees in both Meteorology and Philosophy, followed by a PhD in the field of History & Philosophy of Science. Her research addresses philosophical questions about scientific modeling and computer simulation, scientific evidence, and values in science, with a particular focus on climate science. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and published in a wide range of philosophical and scientific journals. In addition to contemplating how science works, she enjoys playing tennis, running, and watching sports of all sorts.

Kevin Pitts, moderator

Kevin Pitts serves as a Professor of Physics, Lay Nam Chang Dean’s Chair, and Dean of the College of Science at Virginia Tech. Previously, he was Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he also served in a number of administrative capacities including Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Associate Dean in the College of Engineering. He carries out research in experimental high energy physics at large particle accelerator facilities and served as Chief Research Officer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

What People Think

“Really enjoyed the panel at the end for us all to have our questions answered.”

– Alex, undergrad student, Veritas 2023

“Seeing how many students could come together and talk through these things amicably was a great encouragement!”

– Lauren, undergrad student, Veritas 2023

“The Christian tradition is rich with liberating resources for our present moment.”

– JillAnn, VT staff, Veritas 2023

“That the VT students asked excellent questions across the board… was a great encouragement to me, that they were so engaged and deep.”

– L., alumnus, Veritas 2023

“There are hard questions that are being asked by students and professors, and the Christian faith is more than robust enough to answer academia as well as minister to our hearts and souls.”

– Tracy, community member, Veritas 2021


The Veritas Forum


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