Tag Archives: science

The Reformation and the Rise of Science

30 Oct

There was nothing inevitable about the emergence and consolidation of Western science. Part of the explanation for science turning out the way it did has to do with the religious reformations of the sixteenth century. Read Peter Harrison’s fascinating essay on this here: The Reformation and the Rise of Science – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Signs and wonder: How people of different faiths view the total solar eclipse

21 Aug

Emily McFarlan Miller at Religion News Service helps us consider eclipses religiously: Signs and wonder: How people of different faiths view the total solar eclipse | Religion News Service

The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society

14 Apr

Copernicus’s Body Identified by Stray Hair in a Book

23 Mar

Stuck in a book for centuries, strands of Copernicus’s hair helped identify his body in 2005. Who says books aren’t important?

Source: Copernicus’s Body Identified by Stray Hair | JSTOR Daily

What Does a [Natural Science] Curator Do?

10 Jul

If you have ever wondered what a curator does, this post by Charles Preston the Draper Natural History Museum of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West provides an enlightening explanation: What Does a Curator Do? – Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Bryan College Is Torn: Can Darwin and Eden Coexist?

21 May

Bryan College campus

In case you did not know, the Scopes Trial in Dayton, TN in 1925 did not settle the issue of the teaching of evolution. Beliefs about creation, evolution, and the Bible still bring controversy.

Bryan College of Dayton, TN–named for William Jennings Bryan, a reformist politician yet a conservative Protestant, who argued against the teaching of evolution in the Scopes Trial–is undergoing some turmoil over the issue. Alan Blinder has a fine report on the situation in the New York Times. You can read it here: Bryan College Is Torn: Can Darwin and Eden Coexist? – NYTimes.com.

Also, this controversy relates to some of the issues raised in Molly Worthen’s recent book, Apostles of Reason. You can find some earlier posts on the book here.

Creation and Debating Darwin

9 Dec

There were so many things I thought I knew as a lifelong Christian and as a historian of American religion: about Darwin, about nineteenth-century science, and about who took up which positions and why. Even about Scopes, Bryan, and Darrow. Nearly all of those things turned out to be more complicated than I thought. History usually does. (Christian History Managing Editor Jennifer Woodruff Tait)

Christian History‘s latest issue (107) is Debating Darwin: How Christians Responded. My copy arrived in the mail a few days ago. I’ve started to read it, and I find it very helpful so far. You can find the entire issue online here.

(The periodical has been around for a while. For most of its life it was published by Christianity Today, but after folding briefly, it has been resurrected as an independent publication. It does not pretend to provide cutting-edge scholarship. Instead, it seeks to provide to a broad evangelical audience syntheses of historical knowledge on various Christian topics.)

I point all this out since issues surrounding creation and science are of concern to the Northwestern College community. Indeed, my colleague Don Wacome is offering PHI333 this spring. Entitled Creation, the course sounds fascinating, since, to quote from the poster/handout from Don, it will explore “the ideas of creation, providence and miracles,” examining “intelligent design” along the way.

Historical perspective can help in all of this, so, if you are interested, take a look at the Debating Darwin issue of Christian History.



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