Weekend science, religion and etc. reading list

Much apologies on the slow blogging the past couple weeks. I promise to now return to a more consistent pace. I return from my mini-break with the reading list. It’s a bit long to make up for the absence.

  1. Biology prof James Krupa describes his experiences teaching evolution at the University of Kentucky.
  2. Adam Laats provides some analysis of Krupa’s essay. Check out the first comment on the post.
  3. Another Laats post, this one on appreciating evolution. I love the brilliant closing: ‘”Perhaps “appreciation” would be a better match for the way most people think of these things. After all, we can all “appreciate” a painting, even if we don’t like it. We can understand where it’s coming from, understand why it has become a famous work of art. We can do all those things—get a profound understanding of the painting—and then say equally truthfully, “I don’t think it’s good.”’
  4. John Inazu asks if religious freedom is imperiled. Money quote that ties into a point I’ve raised before: “The pressure on the category of “religion” raises another question that Smith takes up in Rise and Decline: the notion of “conscience.” Smith notes that at the time of the Framing, the “free exercise of religion” was “virtually synonymous with freedom of conscience.” As a purely linguistic matter, the word “conscience” would have been a better fit than “religion” for the trajectory of “belief” that we have witnessed in American society. It would have more easily encompassed all kinds of non-religious but deeply held beliefs that we see today.”
  5. Via Inazu, law professor Douglas Laylock on Indiana’s Religious Freedom law.
  6. A National Geographic interview of Francis Collins on–of course–BioLogos.
  7. Fascinating article on Jeremy Lin at ESPN. In case you’re wondering, this is the ‘misc’ part of the reading list.

2 Comments

  1. “Smith notes that at the time of the Framing, the “free exercise of religion” was “virtually synonymous with freedom of conscience.” As a purely linguistic matter, the word “conscience” would have been a better fit than “religion” for the trajectory of “belief” that we have witnessed in American society. It would have more easily encompassed all kinds of non-religious but deeply held beliefs that we see today.”

    I agree. I think support for the Indiana RFRA would be easier for some people to understand if it were framed in that way: The government should not force you to violate your *conscience* absent a compelling governmental interest in doing so. Would you rather the government be allowed to force you to violate your conscience *without* a compelling governmental interest?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree. I think the tricky point here is that for some people, living by their conscience results in what another group considers bigotry. So there’s a line to draw. I suspect you and I agree how to draw that line. Many disagree.

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