How Covid raised the stakes in the war between faith and science – .

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How Covid raised the stakes in the war between faith and science – .


Haarsma told me that the rise of the creationist movement in the 1960s, led by engineer Henry Morris, increased skepticism between some evangelical churches and scientists. The divide has continued to widen due to bioethical conflicts around issues such as stem cell research and euthanasia, but more so due to a latent cultural assumption that faith and fact clash. When President Barack Obama appointed Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian (and founder of BioLogos), to head the National Institutes of Health in 2009, some questioned whether Collins’ religious faith should disqualify him from the post.

A 2018 study from Barna, a Christian research and polling company, found that “significantly fewer teens and young adults (28% and 25%) than Gen X and Baby Boomers (36% and 45%) %) ”Consider science and faith as complementary. Young people increasingly see an essential conflict between faith and science.

I asked Haarsma who is to blame. Is it the fault of religious communities for denigrating science or the scientific community for denigrating faith? She laughed and said there was a lot of criticism to be made.

Sometimes a vocal minority of prominent scientists marginalized religious communities. Haarsma cited un tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson, a prominent astrophysicist, from Christmas morning 2014: “On that day, a long time ago, a child was born who, at 30, would transform the world. Happy birthday Isaac Newton. It’s smart, but it seemed to make fun of Christians on one of our holiest holidays. These kinds of messages arouse unnecessary animosity. If the cultural conversation requires people to choose between their faith and science, most will choose faith, but we don’t have to ask people to choose. It is a false choice.

At the same time, Haarsma said, there are Christians who present faith as opposed to the obvious, instead of “faith as a commitment lived in response” to the evidence. She also said the passionate anti-science rhetoric of a minority of Christians online encourages scientists to reject people of faith as a whole.

So, I asked Haarsma, what is the path to reconciliation? If this dichotomy between faith and science is really a faux dichotomy, how to purge it of our larger cultural discourse and our imagination?

I heard his voice rise with passion. It is the work of his life and the work of his organization. She proposed practical steps: The message to religious communities should be: “Don’t trust science instead of God, trust science as a gift from God. Church leaders can praise God for creation and the unique ability to study and understand it. Churches can also shine a light on scientists, especially people of faith who are leaders in their fields. (BioLogos has an office of scientists and other academics that cater to faith groups.)



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