Origins News Roundup for July 9, 2014
Change is in the church. The Wyoming Association of Churches has spoken out in favor of the Next Generation Science Standards, which include expectations that students understand evolution as well as climate change and global warming. The Casper Star-Tribune reports, “The churches say teaching evolution in schools should not be an issue for people of faith.” The group of churches has voiced their support in the midst of Wyoming’s legislative controversy over the standards. News like this should bring a bit of hope to those who recognize the harm of an American Christianity that shies away from science. In that vein, check out “Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity,” from the Fixed Point Foundation’s executive director Larry Taunton. The article summarizes the findings of a lengthy project to better understand college-aged atheists and their reasons for unbelief in God. The project’s most surprising discovery? Most of the young atheists interviewed had actually grown up in churches but had left the faith in frustration with their churches’ “superficial answers to life’s difficult questions,” including questions about origins.
The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion will be coming out with a podcast series “Chats with John Polkinghorne” in the fall. Faraday released a preview of the series, in which Polkinghorne converses with an interviewer about the recent developments concerning cosmic inflation and the multiverse theory. The discussion ends with a bit of theological wisdom from the physicist and priest: “I think it’s very important to recognize theologically that if God is the creator of the world, then all these natural processes of the world are expressions of God’s will. God works as much through natural processes as through any other means. God doesn’t only work by sort of poking a divine finger to push things this direction. God endows creation with those processes which will lead to very remarkable consequences.” Beyond the John Polkinghorne interview, Faraday’s YouTube channel contains numerous videos of scholars speaking on a broad range of topics in science and religion.
Finally, if you’re looking for religion, science, and fun explore the blog Jesus & Dawkins. The author describes it best: “What do pop culture, Christianity, science, and atheism have in common? This blog.” And if that’s not quite enough, Popular Science offers some amazing, unexpected, and even slightly strange photos of the week.