That. Was. Profound.
@NLENTS, that was profound, beautiful, insightful, heart-warming, and even I dare say inspirational. Your thoughts deserve a much bigger audience than just this thread. @swamidass, it would be great to see Dr. Lents featured on the main webpage of Peaceful Science. What an eloquent expression of our shared wonder, hope, joy, and humanity in general as we ponder the exciting frontiers of science.
I agree. We are working on developing a media strategy now, likely with a podcast and a system for the blog. Right now we are just limited by resources, so we can’t do everything we should. Hopefully soon!
You are far too kind, sir. Then again, it’s a darn good thing that people are kinder to us than we deserve. Peace.
Agreed. I imagine most if not all of us have had our moments of awe where we truly fell in love with science. For me anyway it happens again and again.
For sure. In fact, I often tell students that if you don’t experience some awe/transcendence or thrill/exhilaration, then research probably isn’t for you (though there’s a lot you can do with science besides being a researcher yourself) because research is often difficult, frustrating, and often very tedious work. Right now I am drowning in DNA sequencing data, which could be a very boring task that is like a cross between data-entry and proofreading, but because of what the sequences actually are, and what they’re revealing, it’s incredibly exciting!
Sounds like fun!
It would probably make a great thread for us to share our WOW! moments. For me it’s looking through my telescope at a distant galaxy and realizing the photons hitting my eye have been traveling through space longer than the Earth has been in existence. Or chipping out a trilobite fossil and realizing I’m the first living thing to see the specimen in 400+ million years.
Jesus of Nazareth, who the Bible calls the Prince of Peace, had a lot to say about kindness, peace, mercy, and love. We all benefit when we recognize the importance of these shared values and our common humanity.
Well said. Moreover, when we share humor—even about one another—we converse as friends with shared interests. @Greg, when I turned a few keywords and phrases in this thread into “I gave up hacking for Lents”, I was not mocking Dr. Lents. When I proposed a Ken Burns PBS documentary on the history of Peaceful Science—and imagined @swamidass delivering an appropriate parody of a famous sentence from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address while wearing a stovepipe hat—I was not mocking Dr. Swamidass. Among other things I was exploring the fascinating twists of language complexity and the ways in which we warm our conversations with whimsical little tangents and a sense of camaraderie amid a lot of very technical and serious academic topics.
Meanwhile, ideas and the people who publicly promote them can and must be subject to public critique. Wrong ideas and poorly supported opinions deserve careful scrutiny and, yes, criticism. @Greg, it strikes me as quite interesting that you have often posted very negative judgments about Christ-followers on this forum who do not agree with your preferred interpretations of the Bible—and yet when others dare disagree with various of your favorite heroes, you speak of “dishonoring God and failure.” (I assume that you mean some kind of spiritual failure.)
Dr. Lents replied to you appropriately:
Not in this way, though…
A collection of our various WOW! moments could also make a great article on the main webpage of Peaceful Science—and some fascinating interviews for the proposed podcast series Joshua mentioned.
In my own career I had opportunity to “look over the shoulders” of great theologians, linguists, and Ancient Near Eastern scholars. On PeacefulScience.org I feel like I’m similarly observing the work and thoughts of scientists from close range. So when I read @NLENTS saying, “Just yesterday I was poring over DNA sequences from the Neanderthal genome.” and sharing his personal reactions, it beats virtually everything I saw that morning when I visited LiveScience and the BBC science webpages.
YES. Hey @swamidass a post (with a thread for conversation) in which some of the resident PS scientists walk people through some of our most “fun” discoveries would be really illuminating about how we do our work. I would truly love this and I think others would, too.
What a really nice to thing to say and we should be doing more of this! Just wait until I feel ready to tell you about what I was looking for in those Neanderthal DNA sequences - it’s really wild! And it’s also relevant to conversations we’ve had here about where new genes come from, etc. Stay tuned!
When you describe your research and share your personal reactions to what you are observing, it also helps combat the far-too-popular belief among some of my Christian brethren which claims, “Scientists only study cave men [!] because they are determined to undermine the Bible and promote atheism.” It becomes far more difficult to stereotype and trivialize people with differing opinions when one begins to see them as individuals with positive motivations, engaging personalities, and similar excitement about understanding the natural world.
Thread created: Moments of Awe and Wonder in Science.
I noted his name. I respect Mallinson as a very Gospel centred theologian. I still think we in the Missouri Synod circles (or nearby) need to figure out what the convention resolution really means.
It is funny you say this. Really, I was already going farther, expecting I would have to issue some errata when legitimate points are raised. I’ve already built a plan for this. There is already a webpage where I will be accepting error reports and publicly noting why I agree or disagree (The Genealogical Adam and Eve, Erratum). These would all be fixed in the next edition, if we get there.
I will certainly be engaging negative reviews, but I do not yet have a plan for this. I would not put them in the endorsement page, as this misrepresents them. I’m sure forum topics will be spawned. I am not sure yet how I will be organizing this for easy access on the book page.
There are some critics that will disagree with the entire aim of looking for common ground. They may come from atheist, OEC, ID, EC, or YEC camps. When this happens, there will be opportunities for others here to step up and help make the case for common ground. Some of you may be tapped, in these cases, to make a response to people from your own community.
You know I plan to do my part. But one way that I will approach this, and I hope that you will consider this also, is that I will not feel the obligation to respond to each and every voice, just so that I/you can say that you “engage with all critics.” Some critiques are simply not valid - those you can simply point to the explanations you’ve already given and be done with it. But what I’m really talking about are those critics that are not acting in good faith. You’ve somewhat convinced me that sometimes it’s desirable to respond, even to those operating in bad faith, so that the audience of the political theatre can notice the contrast between those being earnest and those who are not. However, there is also the danger of unwittingly elevating certain critiques, or certain critics, by bothering to respond to them. I think you should be judicious, even somewhat choosy, about which critiques are worthy of a response from you. You can determine which are “good points” and which are simply feet-stomping. Try not to swing at the pitches in the dirt. (A lesson I learned all too well.)
I agree. This will a learning experience for all of us, especially me!
This can be yet another example of Peaceful Science pursuing and demonstrating a “better way.”
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead. "–Albert Einstein