Scientists are praising Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on climate change, a major written work calling on Christians to care for the planet and reverse harmful effects, which is set to be released on Thursday.
"The encyclical is going to go out to over 1 billion Catholics — that's a way of getting a message across to a segment of society that the scientific community could never do," said Jeff Kiehl of National Center for Atmospheric Research, according to USA Today. "I mean it's just unbelievable."
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt added: more >>
Montana students have a constitutional right to go on a public school field trip to a dinosaur museum, despite threats from secularists that a lawsuit would follow, according to a legal group based in Florida.
The Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group, contacted officials at Glendive School District last Thursday regarding the public school system's cancellation of a field trip to the Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum after administrators received a letter from the Washington D.C.-based secular group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, threatening a potential lawsuit if the students went on the field trip because the museum teaches the biblical view of Creation.
The secular group's threat of a lawsuit led to the school district's decision to cancel the field trip for its elementary school students. more >>
The Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham has responded to separate claims by two former Christian NASA astronauts who said that it is possible for believers to accept science and evolution and the idea that the universe is several billions of years old, by arguing that such beliefs go against the Bible.
Ham argued in a blog post on Answers in Genesis that such scientists "are ignoring many theological and scientific problems — and once again are confusing observational science and historical science."
Ham responded to two articles — one from May, in which Leslie Wickman, a scientist and former astronaut who once served as a Hubble Space Telescope engineer, argued that science and religion are not incompatible. more >>
Editor's note: The following is a chapter from When God and Science Meet: Surprising Discoveries of Agreement. Published by the National Association of Evangelicals, the book has 12 authors total, discussing areas of agreement between science and Christianity. You can get a free download or order hard copies at the NAE website.
Strong statements have described Christianity as the fountainhead of modern science. Equally strong statements have called it the greatest opponent of scientific progress. Neither is adequate. Instead, the best historians offer a complicated picture for which the key words are negotiation, compromise, maneuvering, accommodation and rethinking.
In the Middle Ages, theologians like Thomas Aquinas taught that God was separate from the world and that experience (not just thought) was necessary to discover what God had done in creation. Yet these positive steps were matched by negatives. The strong influence of Aristotle meant that medieval theology viewed nature as an emblem for higher realities and that it favored reasoning by deduction over learning based on experience. Yet an enduring gift from the Middle Ages was the powerful idea of "God's Two Books" — knowledge from Scripture and knowledge about the physical world both come from God and therefore cannot be contradictory. more >>
Billionaire Bill Gates has shared his summer book reading list, among which is included The Magic of Reality by atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Gates called Dawkins "one of the great scientific writers" of all time, despite what he said is his "overzealous" and "antagonistic" view of religion.
When recommending The Magic of Reality, Gates wrote: "It's an engaging, well-illustrated science textbook offering compelling answers to big questions, like 'how did the universe form?' and 'what causes earthquakes?' It's also a plea for readers of all ages to approach mysteries with rigor and curiosity." more >>
A study that purported to show gay marriage opponents can easily be convinced to change their minds if they talk to gays was retracted after finding it used fake data.
The study, "When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality," was published in the December 2014, issue of the journal Science. It was widely reported in the media and cited as evidence that support for gay marriage is inevitable.
Donald P. Green, professor of political science at Columbia University, retracted the study after learning that his co-author, Michael LaCour, a UCLA graduate student, had used fake data. more >>