If you haven’t already, you’ll soon read about a new development in the war between science and religion.
- “How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science”
Tish Harrison Warren, The New York Times (November 7, 2021)
- “Reviews | How Covid raised the stakes in the war between faith and science”
newsnetdaily.com (November 7, 2021)
I can’t read the original piece in The New York Times, since it’s behind a paywall and my household budget permits only a limited degree of unnecessary spending.
A subscription to The New York Times isn’t nearly high enough in my priorities to even make the list, and that’s another topic.
I did, however, find this snippet in an online blurb:
“…I worship each Sunday with physicians. My church prayed for an end to the pandemic and asked God to help scientists in their vaccine research. We never saw a conflict between the work of God and efforts of science….”
(“How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science,” Tish Harrison Warren, The New York Times (November 7, 2021))
That was not, putting it mildly, what I expected to read.
Over the last half-century-plus, I’ve seen the occasional assertion that faith and reason, science and religion, aren’t mutually exclusive; but I’ve seen such claims mostly in science-oriented periodicals.
Seeing what seems to be at least speculation that ‘willful ignorance’ is not a foundational requirement for Christian faith in a mainstream newspaper? I’ll take that as good news.
“…Anti-Science Rhetoric of a Minority of Christians….” Interesting!
Again, I don’t have access to T. H. Warren’s piece, so I can’t know whether it concludes with a tentative conclusion that maybe Christians aren’t all anti-science twits.
On the other hand, I think that’s a real possibility. Partly because I found this, in a review of the Times piece:
“…If the cultural conversation requires people to choose between their faith and science, most will choose faith, but we don’t have to ask people to choose. It is a false choice.
“At the same time, Haarsma said, there are Christians who present faith as opposed to the obvious, instead of ‘faith as a commitment lived in response’ to the evidence. She also said the passionate anti-science rhetoric of a minority of Christians online encourages scientists to reject people of faith as a whole….”
(“Reviews | How Covid raised the stakes in the war between faith and science” newsnetdaily.com (November 7, 2021))
The newsnetdaily.com review doesn’t identify “Haarsma,” but I suspect that the reference is to Deborah Haarsma.
She’s a research scientist and former professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin University. She did her doctoral work in astrophysics at MIT, undergraduate work in physics and music at Bethel University.1
With those credentials, I’m pretty sure she’s not a Catholic. But I’d also say that most Americans would acknowledge that she’s a Christian. Even though she is a scientist.
Opinions, Priorities and My Plans for the Week
The COVID-19 pandemic is still in progress, and I’m still encountering more-or-less-daft pandemic-related opinions and claims. So I could spend the rest of this week looking up who’s saying what, and why I still think getting vaccinated was a good idea.
But I’ve already talked about viruses, vaccines and why I think acting as if my neighbors matter is a good idea. Rather often.
Besides, “A Star by Any Other Name” is long overdue. I should have it ready by Saturday.
Finally, some of what I’ve said about science and religion, COVID-19 and the common good:
- “COVID-19: Attitudes, Frustrations, and Perspective”
(September 4, 2021)
- “Evolution: Science, Religion, Opinions and Me”
(August 28, 2021)
- “The Unmasked Minnesotan’s Second COVID-19 Shot”
(June 11, 2021)
- “New COVID-19 Vaccines: Goodish News, Ethical Issues”
(December 16, 2020)
- “Religion and Science: Different Paths to Reality”
(ovember 14, 2020)
1 This may or may not be the “Haarsma” quoted in this week’s piece:
- Deborah Haarsma
The Covid19 has mutated, discovered in Israel so more spreading increases & deaths to follow.
I’m not surprised. Disease happens, and disease pathogens change. Particularly viruses. (I talked about that last December: “My Top 10 Science News Stories For 2020,” Beware the Mutant Virus?)