Climate scientists have assumed that the overwhelming weight of evidence would carry the day. It hasn't. Indeed, studies show that, when individuals are challenged with facts contrary to their core beliefs, those beliefs temporarily harden.
Scientifically-minded religious believers contend that a careful reading of the Book of Scripture teaches that God is the creator of the heavens and the earth. Is that how God did it? I have no idea. But it's possible that God did it this way.
Perhaps at the heart of this question are really two deeper questions. First, are humans special and unique, above and beyond other animals? Second, is the specialness or unique nature due to a God? In other words, is there a God?
For most of the 20th century, lucid dreaming received almost no attention from mainstream psychologists. Most researchers seemed to think it was impo...
I'd welcome an alien in my church pew any Sunday, as an astrobiologist who is also a pastor. However, none have shown up as yet.
Given a forced choice between physics and faith, then, some people choose physics and some people choose faith. I think this lose-lose feeling is rooted in a culturally influential but historically false conception of the relationship between science and religion as one of perpetual warfare.
Greater comfort, I think, is to be found in the realization that infinity is as problematic for science as it is for religion. Much as an infinitely perfect God leads to logical clashes with reality, an infinite multiverse bedevils attempts to apply tools such as probabilities to our understanding of the world.
Science tells us that there was no Edenic paradise, no first couple, and no sinless parents of humanity. And while most scientists and some theologians and philosophers teaching at Protestant Christian colleges know this, very few are willing to speak out.
After the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, conservative religionists tried seizing the opportunity to exclude people from their midst whose non-heterosexuality troubles them. The president of my own alma mater was one of them.
Big History is humanity's first and only creation story derived from global collective learning. While secular, it nevertheless reveals a way of thinking and speaking about God that is undeniably and inescapably real.
Reality is my God and evidence is my scripture. Big history is my creation story and ecology is my theology. Integrity is my salvation and ensuring a just and healthy future, not just for humanity but for the entire body of life, is my mission.
That science and spirituality should have even this much in common is fairly astonishing. The problem, however, is that reality has no ownership. It's simply real.
Rather than framing the conversation as "choose either science or religion," or encouraging attacks and counter-attacks, or presenting simplistic views on each side, what would it look like to have a provocative, respectful and thought-provoking discussion on this topic?
The trait people identified as the least desirable in a president: "Atheist." 53 percent of Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is an atheist. It beat out pot-smoker and adulterer.
Years ago, when I pastored a church in Hawaii, I met a young woman named Mary, who was working on her Ph.D. in biology. On the one hand, Mary felt drawn to Christianity. But on the other hand, she struggled with the issue of science and faith, especially evolution.
While it may be disappointing, I have to confess to people who ask for my insights on the meaning of it all that astronomy doesn't provide any clearly useful data on matters of sin and souls. But it does offer some humbling insight into the scale of the problem.