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Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.
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Peter M. J. Hess serves as Director of Outreach to Religious Communities with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) in Oakland, California, to promote understanding of the interface between science (particularly evolution and climate climate) and religious belief. With an M.A. from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley), he co-authored "Catholicism and Science" with Paul Allen (Greenwood Press, 2008), and is a fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR). He teaches courses in environmental ethics and science and religion at various universities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Entries by Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.

Hijacking the Ark: Do Creationists Own the "Noah" Story?

(24) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 3:17 PM

First published by the National Center for Science Education.

We humans are natural storytellers. For tens of thousands of years we have told and retold stories around campfires and in royal chambers and religious gatherings, in genres ranging from song to poetry, from performance to film. Many of...

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An Appreciation of Ian G. Barbour (1923-2013)

(3) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 10:03 AM

First published by the National Center for Science Education.

All mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language, and every chapter must be so translated... God's hand is...
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Science, Catholicism and the Papacy in the New Millennium

(143) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 2:06 PM

Experiencing three popes inside of 10 years prompts reflection on continuity and change in one of the world's longest surviving institutions. From my perspective at the National Center for Science Education, it's interesting to consider papal involvement in science, especially with regard to contemporary issues of central importance, such as...

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Murder, Blasphemy and the Quest for a Truly Pro-life Ethic

(2) Comments | Posted December 25, 2012 | 11:33 AM

The politicking began, not surprisingly, as soon as the sirens faded in Newtown. Ardent appeals for stricter control on assault rifles were met by equally strident calls to arm classroom teachers. Some claims were preposterous, such as that of Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, who said that "gun...

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Religion and the Reality of Climate Change

(75) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 10:57 AM

Matthias Claudius penned some memorable lines in German two centuries ago that became in translation England's most popular harvest festival hymn:

We plough the fields, and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God's almighty...

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The Titanic, Climate Change and Avoidable Tragedies

(33) Comments | Posted May 21, 2012 | 12:02 PM

One of the most legendary maritime disasters was the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. In a pivotal scene in James Cameron's 1997 film, master shipbuilder Thomas Andrews looks around the magnificent foyer of the grand staircase, swarming with frantic passengers. Rose Bukater asks how serious the situation is. Says...

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Creationism and Monkey Business in Tennessee

(436) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 12:23 PM

I'm no kin to the monkey, no no no
The monkey's no kin to me, yeah yeah yeah
I don't know much about his ancestors
But mine didn't swing from a tree.

That's the first verse of a famous creationist ditty, "I'm No Kin to the Monkey,"...

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Rapture Interruptus: Bursting the Bubble of Apocalyptic Expectation

(429) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 3:02 PM

The "day of rapture" predicted by Harold Camping for May 21 was greeted with fanfare and jollity by the unsaved, but it came and went without much incident. Fundamentalists shivered in anticipation, earthquakes struck in various parts of the world, and piles of unoccupied clothing mysteriously appeared here and there....

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