Faith, science, and climate change are focus of April adult education

Did you know that over 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and largely caused by humans? At the same time, only half of white evangelicals say global warming is occurring, according to a 2015 survey from the Pew Research Center, and only a quarter of them say it is caused by humans and is “a serious problem.” For many conservative Christians, climate change taps into a deeper mistrust they have of science; something which has a long history.

During April, our consideration of public ethics will focus on the environment. In this regard, we will first look at the conflicts between, and the compatibility of, science and religion. Such an examination delves into some central philosophical and political questions, such as:

  • What are the most authoritative sources of knowledge?
  • What is the most fundamental reality?
  • What kind of creatures are human beings?
  • What is the proper relationship between church and state?
  • Who should control public education?
  • Can either scripture or nature serve as a reliable ethical guide?

Here’s our schedule for the month:

  • April 8: For our 10 a.m. adult education, Chuck Nicol will present a brief history of the conflicts between science and religion, from Galileo to Darwin to the Scopes trial and “Intelligent Design.”
  • April 14: Come join in this year’s March for Science! Last year we had a handful of “Christians for Science” among the 10,000 marchers. Let’s have a large contingent this year!
  • April 15: Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Dr. Ted Peters, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Union Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Dr. Peters will talk about the compatibility of science and religion in both services and at the adult education class.
  • April 22 and 29: For adult education, we will watch and discuss the climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” which is the follow-up to the 2006 Academy award-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth.”