Lodge, Faith and Science Can Find Common Ground
1. Describe the conservative Protestant religious “anti-science” movement
a. Can a biologist who believes in evolution and works on environmental issues be a Christian? Why might someone think not? Is there a conflict between faith and evolution?
b. Are scientists atheists? Is the author right that “atheism is over-represented among scientists?”
c. Do you agree with the author that “nothing in the official teaching of Catholicism opposes evolution. Creationism is a recent Protestant invention, based on extreme, literal interpretations of the first three chapters of the Bible’s book of Genesis.”
2. Describe the conservative Protestant anti-environmental movement. Consider:
a. “Humans, because they are made in God’s image, have a divine right to exploit the natural world.”
b. Politically important climate skeptics reject “the threat of global warming” because of “strong Protestant convictions that God created natural resources for humans and that we are arrogant in thinking that we can affects God’s plan for Earth.”
c. “Environmental protection harms human welfare and because the world is temporary, long-term protection is unnecessary.”
3. Is it true that “many environmentalists argue that humankind should protect nature for its intrinsic value, with little apparent regard for the importance of its use for human welfare.”
4. Is the author correct that the Pope’s framing protection of the environment as protecting human welfare is a useful common ground between conservative Protestant views and environmentalists?
5. Explain and evaluate: “Evolution, alongside issues such as climate change, stem cells, abortion and gay marriage, has been conscripted into the culture wars, with science increasingly suffering collateral damage.”
a. Is the author correct that respect for science is now also divided along political lines?
b. Is the author correct that environmental protection–which used to be bi-partisan, now has become destructively partisan?
6. Do you agree with the author that the Pope is to be commended for
a. “Respecting the scientific consensus on climate change”
b. “Recognizing that the economy and the environment are inextricably linked, especially for the desperately poor”
c. Emphasizing “the importance of loving and tending the gift of creation.”