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More on the exciting news…

October 9, 2009

Okay, so I teased you a bit today and I’m sorry. I had to figure out how much I can tell you right now.

So, here is the deal. A science professor at Ohio State approached me about how she can help bridge the gap between science and faith. She is working hard to do this at Ohio State in an approriate way through having lectures like the one being sponsored by Ohio State and the Columbus Science Center.

We started talking and ideas have begun to flow. I can’t give away any more information right now other than the following:

1) How can we build a bridge between science and faith, especially through the gap in the university and the church while maintaining the realms of both?

2) What programs can we design for good dialogue among theists and nontheists in the area of science? What areas can we agree on? How do we make teaching science a priority for faith based groups?

The answers for these questions is what has given me some excitement and the potential to see the spirit of our conversations here happen all over the nation. This has huge potential and I hope to give you more information as we progress.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Matheus permalink
    October 9, 2009 8:15 pm

    The way I see it, it is something that the churches should be doing themselves in their own sessions. Universities can’t be involved in this, it would be tantamount to indocrination, or at least violating the separation of church and state. I don’t think there is religious discrimination in scientific or academic circles, so the problem is mostly in the other side.

  2. thomas2026 permalink*
    October 9, 2009 8:52 pm

    I don’t think there has to be a violation of church and state, Matheus. It could be, but that’s why we are going to plan it right. And, my part may not be officially university sponsored, but part of the grant process.

  3. erp permalink
    October 9, 2009 11:06 pm

    Also not all universities are public. And even public universities can encourage discussions.

    I’m also not sure that the gap is between science and religion but rather between people who reject science and those who don’t. In the latter category are many religious and non-religious people (and even the former category has some non-religious people along with the fundamentalists).

    Tony Blair in his recent speech seems to think a gap is (or should be) between people of faith and those who aren’t (and doesn’t seem particularly interested in bridging it).

  4. Richard Eis permalink
    October 10, 2009 6:04 am

    Yes but Tony Blair is a dick.

    I think you are on a hiding to nothing in some quarters but I also think its worth trying. I’d like to see the misinformation about science dealt with by the church itself properly.

  5. AdamK permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:12 am

    I really, really dislike the “bridging the gap” language. Sounds like an invitation to a mushy-metaphor party.

  6. erp permalink
    October 10, 2009 10:12 am

    Tony Blair may have gone in strange directions, but, he is influential. I should have been clearer but people seem to perceive two gaps

    1. Between atheism/secularism (these two are distinct but tend to get lumped together) and ‘faith’. The ‘faith’ side itself has splits and Blair seems to want to unite religions (at least the Abrahamic ones) against both those who use violence in support of a particular faith and also the secularists/atheists.

    2. Between science and those who reject it in part or whole. The latter includes some but not all religious people (Young Earth Creationists, Intelligent Designers versus Ken Miller, Francis Collins and their kind) and also those who embrace pseudo-science who might or might not be religious.

    For science in churches there is the evolution weekend.

  7. fauxrs permalink
    October 10, 2009 10:22 am

    It would be a far cry from the state of affairs we have right now where at least whats visible in public circles is a religious distrust of science and in some cases a blatant effort to remove science from primary education by religious whack-a-loons.

    Any effort by religion to counter that effort would go a long way.

    I cant speak for any athiest other than myself, but I have few issues with the individual parishoner, my issues deal almost entirely with the church and the religious right who are trying to subvert my government to further the privledge of their religion over all others, or no religion as the case may be.

    Furthermore their efforts to reduce our educational system, which has enough problems on its own, to little more than sunday school.

  8. Matheus permalink
    October 10, 2009 1:50 pm

    I still don’t see the point of doing this on universities. There, atheists will not care and christians will probably have already accepted science.
    This is one thing that needs to be done at churches, or at least to a much younger audience, maybe at schools.

  9. Alex permalink
    October 12, 2009 12:39 am

    This is almost certainly the most militant thing I’ll ever say on this website, but to my sensibilities, bridging the gap is a bad policy for either side of the debate. The correct answer to my mind is always to say (in the nicest words possible, of course) “I’m right, you’re wrong, but I like you as a person” and wait for the proof to pile in on your side of the argument. If you’re right, you have no reason to give up the high ground, so to speak.

    It’s a binary choice, either God exists or He doesn’t, and coming together in the middle only makes all of us mostly wrong instead of some of us being completely right. From a utilitarian standpoint, I think I prefer knowing that somebody out there has their facts straight, even if it turns out that it isn’t me.

    Dichotomy is cool. Bias is cool. They make things happen. They make life interesting. Heck, they make this comments section interesting.

    To put it another way, how ridiculous would we feel if we got everybody convinced %100 in the truth of Evolution, only to find out that God did, in fact, create the earth in 6 days 6000 years ago? Or that the entire world rests on the back of a gargantuan tortoise? Obviously, I don’t personally believe either of those to be the truth, but I like that people out there do think that way, because it encourages people on “my side” of the fence to react with research, proof and evidence.

    Likewise, I’m certain that there is a Christian out there who is glad that some televangelizing pulpit-pounder somewhere knows exactly the chapter and verse to “negate” whatever spiffy stuff science discovers next week, who thinks that Universities are “liberal Atheist Satan-worshiping brain-washing facilities,” who believes that Richard Dawkins is the Anti-Christ. He is happy that people on “his side” of the fence react with fits of rage, burning crosses, and incomprehensible gibberish on Fox News. (Did I mention that the best reason to use Straw Men is because they are fun?)

    I like that guy, because he stands up for the silly, ridiculous, childish shit he believes, just like I do. Only what I believe isn’t childish and ridiculous. Or maybe it is. (Nebulous un-graspable “truth” is cool, too.)

    I guess the point of this post is that I think the whole debate’s cool just the way it is, as long as people stop killing each other, and Fred Phelps and Bill Maher both take a long walk off a short pier, hand in hand.

    Dichotomy is cool. Compromise is boring.

  10. AdamK permalink
    October 13, 2009 12:26 pm

    Alex — What a great comment.

  11. Alex permalink
    October 20, 2009 9:59 pm

    Thanks, AdamK. I’m glad that the only response I got wasn’t “F*&% You.”


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