Science Missioner

Welcome to the Science Missioner's page. The Science Missioner role exists to make connections between the church community and the local science community, to enable dialogue on matters of science and religion, and to help the church engage with some of the scientific issues that affect us all, such as global climate change and how to respond to the challenges it presents.

 

You can link to the Science Missioner's web site here.

New blog posts will appear on the Science Missioner web site. Previous blog posts can be read below.

For more information you can email me at science.missioner@churnchurches.co.uk.

                                                        Jennifer Brown, Science Missioner

 

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Science in the Bible?
This is the text of a talk I gave recently as part of a series of Lent lectures on science & religion. I began with the question, "Can you find science in the Bible?".

Epiphany and astronomy
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. In the Church’s calendar, this is the day on which we celebrate the visit of the magi (wise men) to the infant Jesus. Anyone who has attended a church or school nativity play will be familiar with the story of the three wise men who, following a star, came from the east to bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The star is a key player in this narrative, and many have wondered to what, exactly, the ‘star of Bethlehem’ refers.

Does natural disaster equal natural evil?
Anyone who follows the news will know that, in recent weeks, there have been natural disasters in different parts of the world: one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded struck the Pacific coast of Mexico and there was a major earthquake along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Events like these, in which there is injury, loss of life and destruction of property, are often referred to as examples of ‘natural evil’. Serious illness, too, sometimes attracts this label.

Thoughts from the Science & Religion Forum Conference
I am writing this on the second day of the Science & Religion Forum conference. The conference this year is very much focussed on the dialogue between science and religion and the place of ‘science and religion’ as an academic (or theological) discipline. The talks so far have been extremely interesting, encompassing the past, present and potential future of science and religion.

Is there life on Mars?
The novels and films of science fiction are inhabited by a vast array of alien life, some very like us and some very much not. In some cases, that alien life is friendly but, in the world of science fiction, it’s very often hostile, creating a threat to the human heroes that adds tension and drama to the story. Almost always, the alien life is as or more technologically sophisticated than humanity. But do we really believe that there is life out there?

Doubting Thomas - a role model
Yesterday was, in the western Church, the 2nd Sunday of Easter (that is, the Sunday one week after Easter Day itself),, and the Gospel reading for the day was from John's Gospel, telling about the risen Jesus' appearance to his disciples. But one of the disciples, Thomas, wasn't with the rest, and when told that they had seen Jesus, that he was risen from the dead, Thomas didn't want to accept their word for it. To this day, we refer to him as 'Doubting Thomas'. But is this fair? In his place, would any of us have been less sceptical?

The importance of light
2015 is the International Year of Light (see www.light2015.org for more about it). This is an international celebration of the importance of light in science, technology and human life. Light is essential to life on earth.

Science & Faith come together in the discovery and reburial of Richard III
This week sees the reburial of King Richard III, beginning yesterday (Sunday 22 March) with his body being received into Leicester Cathedral.

The age of scepticism?
It is no secret that church attendance in the UK, Europe and even America has been in decline in recent years. Some have seen this as evidence that science has 'disproved' religion, with the result that people no longer feel a need to believe in God. But is that really the reason?

Girls don't do science?
Today's (22 Feb 2015) Sunday Times has a story on its front page reporting a finding from the OECD that girls in the UK perform much worse than boys in science. Why don't our girls do well in science? Girls are no less capable than boys when it comes to science (as results from other countries show).

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