A weekly dose of science for the church

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Keeping the Change

Can a leopard change its spots? (Jeremiah 13:23). Can people really shift their views, or do they ultimately snap back to where they started? This is the problem of persistence and change. We tend to go back to old patterns unless we keep working at change.

Tools for a Divided Nation

While faith and science debates—such as the Intelligent Design paradigm, an old vs. young Earth, or a literal Adam and Eve—seem peripheral to our political division, the experience of having those conversations offer us tools that translate to our current predicament.

Readers’ Choice

We’re always curious to know what interests you, and one way to figure that out is by noting which newsletters receive the most views. These are your top choices for 2020, beginning with (in my opinion) the most provocative question of the year.

Clementines and Exoplanets

Clementines and Exoplanets

How are we finding all of these “exoplanets”—planets beyond our solar system? And how can we tell if they might host life? That’s our focus as we continue our astrobiology series.

Technology Picks Up the Pace

Technology Picks Up the Pace

All in all, we know that technology accelerates life, and it increasingly feels like we can’t keep up. For centuries, theologians and mystics have reminded us that we need to slow down in order to find God, and that deep relationships with our God and our friends grow slowly in the soils of time. Science tells us many of the same things (naturally, with some scientific haggling), particularly about how excessive use of technology impoverishes ourselves and our relationships.

Prescribing Church

Prescribing Church

The religion-vs.-science narrative persists in our wider culture, but that’s clearly a false narrative when it comes to the interface between religion and health. Study after study shows positive connections between health and things like church attendance, religiosity, and religious coping.

God Says to Forgive. So Does Science.

God Says to Forgive. So Does Science.

It is hard to let go of wrongdoing and to make it right. We need help. That help can come in many forms. Of course, it begins with Scripture and the Holy Spirit working in us and the saints that support us. But it may also come in the form of . . . science? Yes, science.

Nothing Buttery

Nothing Buttery

Atkins believed all those “nothing but” statements—nothing but atoms, chemical elements, genes, and neurons—and for him, that meant there is nothing more. Davies saw an amazing picture of the natural world that suggested more—mystery, meaning, and maybe even purpose.

Will Science Land in My Church

Will Science Land in My Church

I learned again that first night of class that our task as Christian leaders is to move people from felt needs to real needs. Felt needs are simply wants, wishes, and hopes in our gut that reflect basic necessities for life like safety and physical essentials. Real needs are deeper and in their truest form what God has for us.

Youth Have Doubts. And That’s Okay.

Youth Have Doubts. And That’s Okay.

We have given our youth space to ask their questions and even voice their doubts. If you follow the research on young persons and faith, that space is important. And that includes helping them engage science and faith. There are good reasons to believe the church’s failure to address such questions is one cause for the continued rising number of religious “nones.”

The Science of Grit and Resilience

The Science of Grit and Resilience

Jesus in the Passion gives us the ultimate example of what researchers often call grit or resilience—a suite of cognitive and character traits working together in combination to achieve a goal in the face of great adversity.

Science and the Resurrection

Science and the Resurrection

Can a scientist believe in resurrection? Can a thinking person really accept one of the most outrageous claims in Christianity? We think so. So how do scientists who are Christians understand the resurrection?

Forgive Us Our Biases

Forgive Us Our Biases

You largely trust your own mind, right? It is a source of reliable knowledge, except, maybe for those moments you can’t remember where you left your keys.  Well, psychology tells a very different story. There are dozens of biases that impact how reasonably, or accurately, or unselfishly our minds function.