The recent podcast episode with Janet Kellogg Ray was a breath of fresh air! I have to be honest, I’ve been considering unsubscribing from the podcast for a while now, and this very week I came close to hitting the button but I thought, “one more episode”.
I’m sure I don’t speak for everyone, but for me, what’s been so powerful about the podcast - and what got me hooked - was hearing intelligent, thoughtful discussions about issues of how science and faith interact. Early on, it seemed like every week there would be an interview in which these topics are explored, along with HOW we as Christians who accept conventional science can engage in civil discourse.
Maybe it’s just me, but as the podcast has gone on I’ve felt a shift away from these philosophical issues and discussion and discourse, and toward just talking about climate change and animals and plants. Don’t get me wrong, climate change is THE pressing issue of our time, and initially I even appreciated these episodes as a departure from the other stuff. But as they’ve increased I can’t help but think this podcast has gotten away from its roots.
So I’m just here to cast my vote, so to speak, for MORE episodes like this one! I enjoy being intellectually simulated, especially when it helps me to think through how I can engage - in a CIVIL AND RESPECTFUL manner! - with those in my life who see the world (either faith or science or both) differently.
Thank you for all the work you do as an organization, and God bless!
Funny. I also felt that it was diverging a bit from the original episodes and that it’s recently got back on track because of podcasts about the ocean, environmentalism, stewardship and wildlife.
it was as great podcast. I think those types of discussions are good, as they relate to how we live life, often in a church environment either apathetic to openly hostile to science.
I do think the other topics are important, however, as science is not a one trick pony with evolution, and the culture wars have expanded to include environmental science, medicine, mental health, and other fields. Those in those fields need support as well. Hopefully, a good balance can be found.
I enjoyed the podcast too, although I would find a steady diet of evolution encouragement tiresome, as I’ve already accepted the scientific Theory of Evolution. The podcast covered other topics related to respect for mainstream science as well, and I think the guest had some really good insights. I have found the podcasts covering environmental science, and how Christians can approach those issues, informative too. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the replies! To be clear, I totally agree that variety is good, and a “science” podcast can cover an enormous range of topics. I didn’t mean to say they have to talk about evolution every time (though you’d expect it to come up quite a bit as you interview people who work in sciences, and also participate in faith communities, and you ask them background questions about how their journey of faith and science ties together!). I think this this podcast has done a great job discussing all sorts of areas of science and how we as Christians relate to them. But back to my point, at least early on, it seemed like the connecting thread across various science discussions was talking about how we view faith and science and their relationship to each other. You can do this across all sorts of fields and topics, and never run out of new ideas, perspectives, and people to discuss it with. So my real frustration was more about a sense that the podcast seemed to veer away from discussing this, and for a while there became more about sort an “awe and wonder” podcast. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for awe and wonder at creation… but to me, to focus on this for long stretches (months at a time) was not exactly what I signed up for. Again, this is just one person’s opinion, and there’s no judgment here! All their guests are brilliant and I’m sure it’s speaking to many people out there, otherwise they probably wouldn’t keep doing it.
Thanks for the feedback! Having intelligent, thoughtful discussions about the interaction of science and faith is always the goal of every episode of the podcast. Sometimes it comes out more explicitly when the person we talk to has thought and written about that – how science and faith interact. Sometimes it is more implicit when we talk to a scientist who happens to be a Christian but who doesn’t really work on the philosophical aspects of that.
Over the course of a year, I think you’ll see a pretty good balance of topics and diverse backgrounds of the people we talk to. But perhaps “balance” is kind of subjective…
What would prefer there to be less of? What would you prefer there to be more of? [asking everyone who reads this]
I’d love to see a conversation about how our reading of Genesis 2 can be informed by the history of spiritual awakenings. When ChatGPT was new, I asked it if there was a scholar who looked at this relation. Peter Enns was given, and his book The Evolution of Adam sourced with a total AI hallucination. Since then, I have thought about much I would love to see a conversation with Peter Enns and/or Craig Keener on this subject.
Well… since my primary interest is to explore the impact of evolution on Christian theology, I am all for more philosophical/theological discussion. On the other hand, everything is food for thought.
I don’t see where that was posted as a forum topic. When I found the podcast and tried to follow the “Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum” link, I get the “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private” message. Was it moved? (That is not by way of complaint. )
I think the “balance” is fine, but I’d like to see (hear?) some more episodes on “hot” topics related to the science-faith discussion. Recent examples:
- Peter Hotez on his book The Rise of Anti-Science (multi-parts for sure)
- Agustin Fuentes on the recent H. Naledi controversy/Netflix documentary (He was a guest on the “human uniqueness” series.)
- Ryan Burge on the chart he just published regarding the rise of the “nones.” (Science denial is a contributing cause.)
I’d also like to see a few interviews like this, which would probably satisfy @case4christ1’s desire to see an occasional “roots” episode.
- Dru Johnson’s recent book What Hath Darwin to Do with Scripture?
- Daniel Houck’s recent book Aquinas, Original Sin, and the Challenge of Evolution
Thank you for your hard work, Dr Stump!
I really enjoyed this podcast episode, too.
I agree with @Jay313 's suggestions, as great ones to consider (though I don’t know all of them), too.
I deeply admired the author’s compassionate response to the insult of “monkey god.” I am sure some of her motivation and insight comes in her book, but maybe also more on how she actually practices the kind responses and listening to those who are scared of science and vaccines would help. I am more disappointed in my response to conspiracy theorists and vaccine skeptics recently–I know that as crazy as their reasoning is, we are the same people in feelings and motivation at base. How does one value the others best for who they are, not the distraction of their opinion? I need help in reminding me that it’s the person, not their position, that matters the most. It’s a Christian (Christlike) value), but I forget it often, sadly (and as an interesting by product, in treating others appropriately as Christ would, it’s even easier to do that to oneself). Thanks.
For me personally, I always really enjoy the ones coming at it from biology. I really like the stewardship focused ones on how we need to have greatest consideration for wildlife. I think environmental issues is very important and wish some of it would be more focused on how individuals can directly affect their local area. Like how can they use science and stewardship to make their yards better for their environment. How can they build homes that are better for the environment. How can they get active in their local community to clean rivers and forests.
But I enjoy whatever really. Anything that a scientist who is a Christian is interested in that’s good theology and science will be fun to listen to.
Part of it should also be is it just Christians who already accepts science or is it more geared towards the teens and college students in their young 20s who was raised up with YECism.
Take the recent podcast with the octopus and turtle. I liked it. I even found one of her books on Hoopla. The octopus one.
I would also like to see more theologically in-depth ones. Not necessarily like The Bible Project or The Bible for Normal People but something that discussed the story of Jews in Egypt and then discuses the literary science of why it’s probably not literal and bring in archeologist or whoever that are Christians but shed some more scientific/historical light on the subject.
Jim, it’s great to see you here, actively engaged on the forum and interacting with listeners! Thank you for your response. And wow, what an amazing community here - so many thoughtful responses. I’m very encouraged by this community.
I agree with many of the responses to your question. I’m not the best at ‘content generation’ ideas, but to speak of it totally subjectively, the episodes that resonate more with me are those in which the discussion goes further than merely talking about/marveling at creatures, and gets into more of the philosophical questions behind it all. I’m very impressed with your ability to ask powerful questions that lead to thoughtful answers and reflection on what it means to be a Christian who values science in a society that seems to assume we don’t.
Now that I think about it, reflecting on the past year or so, the episodes that didn’t resonate with me as much may have strongly correlated with your sabbatical. (By the way, good for you for taking one! I recently got to take one myself, and I had no idea how sorely it was needed until I did it. Praise God for organizations that see the value in this Biblical practice, even as it poses logistical challenges to the organization to pull it off!)
Again, thank you for your heart and for your hard work serving this wonderful community. God bless.
Thanks Casey and all the rest who have chimed in. Among the episodes we have planned over the next six months or so, I think you’ll all find something you like (which, of course, is different than all of you liking all of the episodes we have planned… I’m afraid, given the subjective nature of things we all like, that that is mutually unsatisfiable!).
I had originally planned to spend a good chunk of time on the Forum posts for each podcast episode, discussing in further depth the conversations. But some combination of my getting busy with other things and not a lot of discussion here about the episodes led me away. I’d be happy to try that again if there is interest.
Looks like it never got posted. We will fix ASAP and link to this thread! Thanks
It would be fantastic to see you more around the forum, even if in very focused ways–discussing the podcasts. But it’s entirely understandable, that other things get in the way. Happens here all the time.
I enjoyed the podcast, and have been listening to “Pathogenesis,” that Dr Ray mentioned she was reading (she didn’t necessarily endorse it), on Audible. I am really interested in Kennedy’s intriguing interpretation of how pathogens and plagues may have influenced history, from the arising of Homo sapiens among other hominins, to Christianity, Islam, and slavery (I’m about halfway through the book and am looking forward to his thoughts on more). I also just received Dr Ray’s 2 books in the mail (“Baby Dinosaurs” and :“Monkey God,” and plan on reading them, too. Thanks
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