Dr. Alan Ashton, former professor of computer science at BYU and co-founder and former president and CEO of WordPerfect Corporation, spoke at the Summerhays Lecture on October 12. His talk was titled “Light from on High Illuminates Science and Religion.”
Dr. Ashton was introduced by a barbershop quartet formed by students from the computer science department. The lyrics of their song told of Ashton’s achievements as a computer program developer.
Dr. Ashton compared scientists (using scientific methods) to religious figures (relying on religious experiences), noting that both groups are searching for answers. He suggested that when we find disagreement or inconsistencies between science and religion, it’s usually a case of one of the groups not understanding the other group’s position. As we learn line upon line, we can usually come to a place of understanding, where both groups are validated.
At the end of the lecture, Dr. Ashton responded to questions from the audience. He included some of his perspectives as a mission president and as president of the Provo Utah Temple.