North Park Symposium on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture

I’ll be speaking at the 2016 Symposium on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture (Sep 29-Oct 1) at North Park University in Chicago (where I taught Physics for nearly a decade). The theme is “Science and Religion” and my talk is entitled “Knowing in Part: The Demands of Scientific and Religious Knowledge in Everyday Decisions” or “‘She Blinded Me With Science!’ and Deciding Whether to Wear Checks with Stripes.” I think there are tickets you have to buy, but the schedule has more information and a registration link. My talk builds on the framework I presented in The Nature of Environmental Stewardship.

An Easier Way to Remember the Three Criteria

In The Nature of Environmental Stewardship, I proposed three criteria we need to consider to obey a command:

  • Importance of the command (e.g., is it optional, a required duty, contextually applied, etc.).
  • Goals of the command (e.g., what is the command trying to accomplish).
  • Practice of the command (e.g., what you actually do to obey the command).

James Peterson, an ethicist at Roanoke College, came up with a nice alliteration for these three criteria: Priority, Purpose, and Practice. A lot easier to remember ☺. Thanks, Jim!

When Science Doesn’t Work

About my blog posts: In the About section of this blog, I describe that I want this blog to support the kind of dialogue my eponymous book advocates: a dialogue focused on understanding the other side to increase the likelihood of creating robust and stable compromise solutions. To that end, I’m going to try and make most of my posts on environmental topics not be advocacy pieces. Instead, I want to focus on posing questions (both supportive and critical) that an issue, article, news event, etc. suggests, in the hope of encouraging and supporting dialogue. I admit, this is certainly not what most blog posts are like, but why not try something different? So, here it goes …

Arts and Letters Daily recently highlighted an article by William Wilson in First Things entitled “Scientific Regress.” In it, Wilson poses questions about the foundation of the authority of science and, by implication, how to use science in policy-making. These questions are related to Chapter 5 in my book. Some questions I thought of from reading the article:

  • Is the human aspect of science troublesome to the enterprise of figuring out what to do? Why or why not?
  • Does the article justify a non-policy-prescriptive approach to science and policy, even assuming the article’s arguments is correct? Why or why not? What approach do you think the article does justify?
  • Does scientism as the author describes enter into environmental issues? If so, in what ways? If not, why?