Science-Religion Interface Resources

from a United Methodist Astronomy Professor

Intelligent Design is the latest battle in the "culture war" over different worldviews now waging primarily in the United States. The reason why in the Western world, it is such a big deal for the United States alone, has to do with the very important role religion played in the foundation of the country, as Michael Ruse describes in his article "America's Evolving Problem" on the Science & Spirit site (local PDF copy because the original site link is no longer available). The articles below by my brother and I are the preliminary explorations of a way to balance the truths of both science and religion while honoring both so we do not feel we have to give up the contributions of one to have the other. These articles are offered with the humble realization that they are two perspectives in a vast continuum of beliefs of how science and religion interact and work together. They are offered with the hope that they will help you navigate through the rhetoric of the pundits and shouters on the extreme outer edges of the debates with an open mind and heart.

I am presenting these as my personal views and not as astronomy fact or scientific theory like all of the rest of the material on the Astronomy Notes site. I am in both "camps" in the science-religion debate/dialogue. I am an astronomy professor with a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Washington and I am an active, participating member of a christian church called Wesley United Methodist Church in Bakersfield, California, USA. One person described my particular faith as one town called "Methodism" in the province called "Protestantism" in one state called "Christianity" in one country called "religious-spiritual experience" in the world of human experience.

Articles

  1. Note to students. With this short note, I simply want to make you aware that it IS possible to be both a believer in a religious faith and a scientist who agrees with the evidence of an old Earth and universe (billions of years old) and that life has developed and changed through the process of evolution-natural selection (including "macro-evolution"). Recent books by scientists who are also devout practioners of their religious faith are listed, as well as, online articles and podcasts by others who mesh their religious and scientific views without compromising the truths of either.
  2. BC Renegade Talk "Getting Lost in the Universe: Looking for the Needle of Meaning in a Universe of a 100 Billion Haystacks". Contains a slightly longer version of the actual talk I gave on April 21, 2016. Bridges the religious and secular views. PDF of the text of my talk (no pictures)
  3. Interfaith Panel on Science & Religion 2014. Every year Bakersfield celebrates the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi with a conference on some topic that brings the various faiths together. In 2014 it was a panel discussion on the compatibility of science and religion. I was the rep for Christianity and others spoke from the perspectives of Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Follow-up article for the newspaper.
  4. A God-centered reason for science and sustainable living. A reply to the carefully crafted sentence "Only Nature knows when the next cooling will begin."
  5. Darwinism, Faith and Morality from a talk given at the Norm Levan panel on October 13, 2009. There are links to the slides I used and a slightly expanded version of the "script" I used for the talk. I had about 20 minutes to present my view on how evolution and faith can be compatible..
  6. One scientist's perspective on Intelligent Design from a talk given at the Norm Levan panel on Intelligent Design (ID) at Bakersfield College on April 21, 2006. There are links to the slides I used and an expanded version of the "script" I used for my talk. I had twenty minutes to talk about the evolution - creationism conflict as well as some specific critiques of ID, so I know that this is too brief an exposition. New: annotated versions of each of the slides were posted on August 28, 2007. These new slides have the expanded script of my talk plus the pictures from the slides.
  7. Some Troubles of Intelligent Design: A Look at the Culture Battle Between Science and Religion by my brother, Brett Strobel. He is an ordained clergyperson in the Christian Protestant denomination called the United Methodist Church.
  8. More Comments on ID and Religion-Science from email exchanges with two of my brothers.
  9. The Truth of the Bible Is Metaphorical------ a more than literal meaning describes a way to take the Bible seriously and as a sacred text without having to deny reason. Metaphors are not "lies" but in fact speak more truth than a literal meaning ever could. This material comes from "The Heart of Christianity", a book by Marcus Borg, a popular Christian scholar who has articulated what literally millions of mainline, non-fundamentalist Protestant Christians in the United States have felt for many years.
  10. Why not teach Intelligent Design In Our Schools? A passionate look at the controversy. My first foray into this discussion on ID. I wrote it in response to the efforts of high school district board members to have ID taught in the district's science classes. The high school district board members making the proposal are actually young Earth, Noah flood geology creationists with a decidedly fundamentalist viewpoint. I admit that this piece is not as humble as I claim to be at the top of this page.

Go to Astronomy Notes home

last updated: June 17, 2016


Author of original content: Nick Strobel