I posted an entry this week over at Qideas about science and evangelical religion. Columnists are hyperventilating at what they perceive to be the anti-intellectualism of the Republican candidates, and more than a few are drawing conclusions about evangelicals from what they hear. But survey data on attitudes toward science among evangelicals are more encouraging, … Continue reading Science and religion
I keep forgetting to come back here and note things I've been writing elsewhere! Here's a piece on conspiracy theories in science that I've been wanting to write for awhile. One version was published at Q Ideas, and a longer version was published at Biologos. The main point is that an identifier of denialism (what … Continue reading Faux-skepticism: Conspiracy theories about science
Americans are losing their vision. Literally. Researchers are learning that the real reason for the dramatic surge in myopia is that we are becoming a nation of dedicated indoorsmen.
Having ignored environmental issues for so long, we may wish we could simply look up some Bible texts, or trust our hearts, to determine what to do--how to steward the earth well. We can't. We wind up aping the ideologies and practices of the left and the right, without much to contribute ourselves, being either uncritically accepting or unreasonably dismissive of claims of environmental crisis. The way to learn a virtuous approach to creation care, is to begin with small, repeated, steps of faithfulness, knowing that we will make mistakes, but concerned more to develop a virtuous character than to "follow rules" or "follow our hearts".
By now you're bound to have heard of the great "Climategate" scandal of late 2009. Hackers broke into the computer archives of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and stole data and email archives dating back 10 years. Then, somehow (who can say?) these files found their way into the hands of climate uber-skeptics. It was discovered that--shock, horror--climate scientists were saying rude and very unscientific things about their most relentless critics.
Well the Copenhagen talks are upon us, and public enthusiasm on global warming has cooled significantly, indicating that the skeptics are right about one thing: much of the recent attention has been driven by media hype, not by informed concern. It is worth continuing to work on a public consensus. So why not start with some Christmas reading?!
The "problem of overpopulation" is taking care of itself. Public policy should focus more directly on the things that make people better off. Coercive population control is immoral, and other efforts at "regulating population" are less effective than helping families lead productive, rewarding, and flourishing lives.