New Here?
     
Posts tagged "Science"


Science Is From Mars, Theology Is From Venus: A Conference Breakout Preview

This conference breakout preview comes from Bonnie Poon Zahl and Bethany Sollereder.

According to the Pew Research Center (see here and here), over half of American adults who were sampled (59%) believe that, in general, science is often in conflict with religion. But “conflict” is only one way of seeing how science and religion might relate. Other possibilities include “independent”, “competition”, “dialogue”, “discussion”, “engagement”, “partnership”, “collaboration”, among others. Some, like scientist and theologian Alister McGrath, take a more nuanced approach, and describe the relationship as complementary, while historian John Hedley Brooke (writing before Facebook was a thing) simply described the relationship as: “It’s complicated”. How about you? How do you view the relationship between science and religion?

We (Bonnie and Bethany) have spent a great deal of our professional and personal lives thinking about how science and religion might relate. We’ve heard people tell us that Christians can’t be scientists, on the one hand, and that theology is the queen of the sciences, on the other – and everything in between. One of us is a scientist (Bonnie) and one is a theologian (Bethany) and we’d like to invite you on a brief journey on the history of how we’ve gotten into this complicated relationship through our disciplines of psychology and theology– and more importantly, hear your thoughts on –the unanswered questions about how science and theology speak to the suffering in the world and in personal lives.

Mind-Controlling Nanobots and Love in the “Lows”

Mind-Controlling Nanobots and Love in the “Lows”

Only recently have I come to appreciate ‘preventive care’ in daily life: Put air in your tires so they don’t wear down; lock your windows at night so your PlayStation doesn’t get stolen; brush your teeth everyday so you don’t get gingivitis. But, even though a lack of foresight can lead to chaos and, most frustratingly, drain the bank account, things nevertheless get a little hairy when every daily activity is preventive. We quickly find ourselves living of life of control-freakedness–of trying to finagle a life lived according to our expectations.

Last week’s episode of Science Friday mentioned a developing technology in the vein of preventive care, and I was reminded why I don’t…

Read More > > >

Disembodied Truth Part I: Biblical Science, Creationism, Truth in Love, and Dover Beach

Disembodied Truth Part I: Biblical Science, Creationism, Truth in Love, and Dover Beach

I want to think for a second about the ways we tend to process language in different places. At our conference last weekend, Nadia Bolz-Weber spoke eloquently about how a sermon is a local event, preached to a specific people at a specific time in the contexts of the larger worship service, the community’s makeup, the identity of the pastor, and so on.

To use just one of these vectors, community makeup, a sermon on the prodigal son parable could differ by audience. To an audience of religious burnouts who have committed the obvious sins over and over, a focus on…

Read More > > >

Science Is Not the Enemy (But with Friends Like These…)

Science Is Not the Enemy (But with Friends Like These…)

The New Republic recently posted some pretty provocative thoughts on (capital-s) Science – you know, the discipline that’s been martyred and victimized in the contemporary era like none other (?). Not that adjudicating on the territory of different fields of study is particularly fun or interesting, but there are definitely some nuggets in this piece, and also some coals – brownies n’ frownies, as one of my Bible study leaders from college put it.

The author, Steven Pinker, thinks that science shouldn’t be maligned or dismissed by the political left (for environmental/human rights atrocities made possible by Science) or by the right (for…

Read More > > >

Argumentative Apes and the Wisdom of Foolishness: A Social Science Roundup

Argumentative Apes and the Wisdom of Foolishness: A Social Science Roundup

Two weeks ago, New Scientist wrote an excellent article alluding to many of the social science themes we cover. We’ll start with two thought-experiments noted in the article that illustrate human selfishness or irrationality:

1. Imagine an outbreak of disease threatening a small town of 600 people.  Given budget constraints, we can develop treatment A, which is guaranteed to save 200 people, or treatment B, which has a one-in-three chance of saving everyone and a two-in-three chance of saving no one. Which would you pick?

2. Imagine a different outbreak in a different town, with another choice between two…

Read More > > >

Spiritual Entropy, or: The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Fallacy of Self-Help Christianity

Spiritual Entropy, or: The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Fallacy of Self-Help Christianity

We couldn’t be more excited to have another guest post from Michael Belote of Reboot Christianity. This time, he talks about “spiritual entropy” – the idea that our lives tend to become less organized or “together” as time goes on:

Scientists have a crucial insight about the world when they talk about entropy, that is, a system’s tendency to become more disorganized over time. It certainly applies to our inner lives. To explain what I mean, I have to start with a little science lesson.

One of the most important subjects to an engineer is that of thermodynamics – the study of…

Read More > > >