Guest Post: Doing Faith and Science Like It’s 1718

659px-Les_Astronomes_Jesuit_astronomers_with_Chinese_scholars_Beauvais_18th_century crop

I was seated in the Bell Memorial Union at California State University, Chico, on a beautifully sunny fall day, interviewing one of my students, Giovanni, 19, who grew up in a devoted Catholic family and attended one of the finest Catholic high schools in the Silicon Valley before heading to Chico State.

These conversations always fascinate me because so many emerging adults—those 18-30 year olds among us (perhaps even reading this blog)—are declining to affiliate with any religion. When asked which box to check in response to “What religion are you?” 35-40% will mark “none.” I want to find out why. One key reason, noted by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group,emerging adults are becoming “nones” because they see the church as “antagonistic to science,” unwilling to take in, or take on, its insights and challenges. Continue reading

Dinosaur Sunday

Dinosaur_park_formation_fauna
Dinosaur park formation fauna By J.T. Csotonyi [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
The title says it all, and why not? As well as events in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, churches celebrate harvest time, remember fallen soldiers, back to church Sunday, Mothering Sunday, and so on. Why not, once in a while, celebrate a particular aspect of the created order such as dinosaurs Continue reading

The Hiddenness of God: An Alternative to ‘Science and Religion’

Freeimages.com/Armand
Freeimages.com/Armand

How does the person of Christ make sense of my experience as a scientist? This is the last in a series of five posts from this year’s Scientists in Congregations conference, the topic of which was ‘Christ and Creation’. In the closing lecture Wilson Poon, who is Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at Edinburgh University, began with this question and suggested that we look to ‘the laboratory of the cross’ for the answer. Continue reading

Guest Post: Unexpected Conversations

MRI scan of a caterpillar immediately before making a chrysalis. Copyright, Gavin Merrifield GEMRIC 2015
MRI scan of a caterpillar immediately before making a chrysalis. Copyright, Gavin Merrifield GEMRIC 2015

Despite the uncertainties that come with being a scientist today I count myself to be in a very privileged position. Currently I use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to study various fish, spiders and caterpillars. This unusual combination of research always ensures that there is something new to see whenever I scan a new subject. My lab was the first to see a spider’s heart beating – amazing stuff! Continue reading

Pilgrimage: Exploring Science and Theology outdoors

© Vineet Agarwal
© Vineet Agarwal

David Atikinson_largeI recently met someone who runs pilgrimage walks with a science and theology theme. At the Scientists in Congregations conference in St Andrews, I spoke to Revd Professor David Atkinson, a retired plant scientist who is now Continue reading

Spirituality, Ecology and Death: Jesus the Mediator in Colossians 1

© Ruth Bancewicz
© Ruth Bancewicz

The thought that God might have visited our own planet in human form is so mind-blowing that most people react in one of two ways: either to reject it as nonsense, or to try and understand how it affects us. Continue reading

Communities of Practice: Scientists in Congregations

Figure 1: License: CC0 Public Domain Figure 2: By Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Figure 1 (left): License: CC0 Public Domain
Figure 2 (right): [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
What do congregations have to teach scientists? This was the question that James K. A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, asked at the Scientists in Congregations conference in St Andrews last month. The theme of the conference was ‘Christ and Creation’, and the aim was to draw the conversation on science and religion beyond ideas of a generalised God to a discussion about science and Christianity. Continue reading