Archive for July 6th, 2017

For Ask Roger Anything, Chris asks:

How do you spiritually reconcile your faith with your acceptance of science?

I don’t really see a problem with this. Faith is what I believe, and science is what I know, or what is reasonably knowable. There’s no contradiction. My running joke used to be “God allowed the Big Bang,” which is overly simplistic, I suppose.

This Slate story about a 2015 Pew Research Center survey on religion and science, indicates: “Highly religious Americans are less likely than others to see conflict between faith and science.”

I think this is true: “The people who are farther away from religion themselves tend to see stronger conflict, because they’re not as close to actual religious people… They aren’t seeing all those people who don’t have a conflict.”

The problem happens, I think, when people use, for instance, the Bible as a history book – mostly, it is not – or as science book – surely, it is NOT – rather than as a series of stories, written by a bunch of different writers, over a long period, that help shape a theology.

And of course, this was established long ago, well before Galileo and Copernicus got jammed up with their heliocentric “heresy”.

Currently, “the media tends to focus on those rare flashpoints of controversy, such as fights over evolution and the content of science textbooks, and to highlight the most outspoken conservative fundamentalists. For the nonreligious, these strong voices become the faces of religion, and these flashpoints become evidence that religion and science are in conflict. In fact, religious Americans by and large support science.”

What was your favorite or most memorable science demo as a kid?

It was almost certainly at the Corning Museum of Glass, an hour west of Binghamton, with a bunch of “I didn’t know they could do THAT with glass” moments. We went there at least four times before in 1972, when it was damaged in the flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes and was subsequently rebuilt.

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