It is refreshing to read that the AAAS is making headway (as well as individual christian scientists). There really needs to be a christian affiliation of scientists that can close the gap between congregations and the scientific community. This may not change minds, but perhaps it can start to change some hearts.
This appears to be an exclusively American/evangelical problem. In Europe, the Catholic Church has always taught that science and faith go hand-in-hand. (Yes, there was an issue with Galileo, but that was over his ego and insistence that, as a scientist, he was therefore qualified to be a theologian. The Church had no such issue with Copernicus.) In fact, many scientific discoveries, theories, and breakthroughs were made by Catholics (even by members of the clergy!): the Big Bang was theorized by a Jesuit; the theory of dominant genes was made by Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar; and Copernicus was a canon lawyer and almost became a priest.
To date, the Catholic Church has agreed with scientists that: the Earth is round; evolution is an acceptable theory of how human bodies formed; the Earth - and the universe - is much older than 7,000 years old; etc. Catholics do not believe that the universe was created in six 24-hour days; rather we understand that some parts of the Bible are more poetic than strictly historical. None of this is controversial to Catholics. The only issue the Church has with scientists is when they overstep their bounds, e.g., claiming that because Heaven is not “in the sky” or “in outer space” or anywhere else observable by scientific instruments, it doesn’t exist.
But biblical literalism and the Bible as scientific/historic textbook is NOT the Catholic understanding of the book that it compiled.
Well, I didn’t mean that part, of course, but the rest of it seems nice.
At least it isn’t a fundamentalist who thinks that science is devil’s work or an anti-theist who thinks that science disproved the resurrection or even God and thus, all theists are irrational lunatics.
Very cool. So glad part of @swamidass’s involvement featured prominently, though he was involved in other aspects than just the (significant!) advisement of Concordia Seminary. In fact, the project was much broader and nuanced than suggested in the article, which only addresses Phase I, the pilot program. Forum members should note that this effort has now moved into Pase II, and is stepping into year two of five. News about the project, including how new Seminaries can be involved, the Phase I final report, and video and curricular resources can be found at the project website:
If you’re connected to a seminary in any way, please make them aware of this opportunity.
Also, to clarify my own involvement to this project, I participated in the panel which lead to Phase I, was the Senior Program Associate for Phase I, and am a part of the Advisory for Phase II. AND, while I am glad to have been part, this is a project that was conceived many years before my involvement, and one that involves many, many, people both within AAAS and without. It could not have happened without the work and dedication of a great number of some of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.