So based off the last podcast

It seems that BioLogos is tossing around the idea of reaching out to the black community. They mentioned on one podcast about acknowledging their understanding of white privilege and brought up some of the historical accounts that tie into faith or science that was used to hurt African Americans and so on. They mentioned one about a black female astrophysicist I believe. I don’t actually remember what that woman’s field was.

One of my favorite things about BioLogos Is the podcast. I was just wanting to be more active in trying to see where the podcasts are headed. I have noticed there are not very many African Americans here. At least not with profile pics. They mentioned about trying to reach out more to that community and so I was wondering if there was plans lined out to interview black scientists, especially black scientists who believe in God and theistic evolution in general? I figure some of the scientists here would be more in touch with black Christian scientists than the average person.

Would be nice. BioLogos has generally been for the most part a white male evangelical organization. I was the sole regular female participant here for a long time.

It is only recently that BioLogos tried to include female scientists.

S James Gates would be a good choice for a black scientst. He’s a really good speaker.

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I’ll have to look him up. For me I enjoy anything that’s interesting. Just was hoping that if the focus is to push a wider range of views and societal differences that it would be on the positive light and not just negative.

Often in my experience I’ve noticed when something comes up where a group of majority white people reach out to mostly black people it mostly seemed to be focused on previous grievances and not on current greatness.

I always remember when I went to this black history thing in high school and it was like a few white people doing the introductions and then a few black teachers spoke. When the white people spoke 90% of the their introduction was not even about the people being presented but apologizing for pilgrims, racist preachers, cops and so on. Then the tiny part was about the teacher. Instead of cutting to the chase and letting a black businessman, scientists or wherever talk about their passion it was like at first the others had to get their “wokeness” out of the way. Which is fine, but it should not be the dominating theme in my opinion and often it seems like it is.

Like if three people were to interview the scientist you mentioned I would hope the hour was mostly that person sharing their thoughts and not like 28 minutes to do it after the rest of time was spent on apologizing for other people’s actions.

To be really honest, I’m not too sure if I agree with BioLogos’ new direction. My personal views aside, should BioLogos really be trying to stoke political discussion like this?

There will always be some who will try to make the topic political, so discussions about race can be difficult to navigate, but there is plenty to discuss aside from politics – our human history and the way we treat each other are very much tied in with our views on origins.

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I guess it depends on the aim they take.

I see two main contrasting movements that receive the most attention.

  1. Is a white guilt stricken movement that believes almost all the issues that African Americans face is caused by white America. They believe that systematic oppression directed specifically towards black Americans make it next to impossible for hardly any to succeed. They justify riots by saying how else can oppressed people get the attention of peaceful protests did not do it.

Then you have another side that takes no accountability at all. They claim that little black kids in public schools hearing about them coming from slaves has no impact on them. They have no compassion for broken families where fathers were arrested over pot and placed in jail for years and years forcing mothers to work two jobs to pay bills which made it easier for a kid to slack in school and roam the streets.

Neither sides seems to accept any info from the other. Both sides have numerous statistics to back up their belief and both sides have counter arguments to those.

Conversations seems to go like this:

A. The police forces are like modern KKKs committing genocide against blacks.
B. Out of 40,000,000 African Americans 230 was killed while 370 white Americans was killed.
A. Yeah but African Americans only make up 14% of the population so by population they are being murdered at a much higher rate.
B. Well most crime is committed by black people in America and they have the highest drop out rate of high school per population.
A. That’s because the police targets them more. If they pulled over 2 times as many whites they would be arrested for more things.
B. If it’s just about who the cops pull over why is there not a white Chicago with 300+ deaths a year like the south side of Chicago where more black men are murdered by gang violence than by cops.
A. That goes all the way back to when the African American communities were thriving and the government begin to flood the streets with drugs. Those events lead to the formations of gangs.

When I see dialogue it’s almost always like the above fictional convo. What I almost never hear is that most cops, out of roughly 1,000,000 full time and part time cops, you get almost none that beat or kill anyone, let alone innocent people. Out of 40,000,000 African Americans almost none are violent criminals with charges, and almost none are in gangs, and almost none so drugs. Out of 200,000,000 some white Americans most don’t support racism and most don’t kill anyone. That out of most protests almost none turn into riots.

Most people don’t have problems with each other. Face to face they don’t even have a glitch. It’s online where they tend to be more cruel, just like when someone is drunk. It’s the media that mostly highlights individual and outlier events and run them again and again with the purpose to drive up viewers.

So I believe BioLogos should practice some of the same things that AA does and that’s provide a doorway for people of color to come in through such as the scientist mentioned earlier. I think it’s important to do something to reach out to all our fellow humans. I hope that BioLogos does this in a way that does not emphasize the negativity in the world and focuses more on the positive. Such as black theistic creationist scientists and so on. Diversity is important in every aspect of nature and so it should not be any different with humans.

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I think Laura expressed it well, and would just add that while we try to stay away from politics, it is important to address racism as it intersects both the science of genetics and human behavior as well as our Christian faith and witness.

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The next live stream event will be Monday with BioLogos Board member Bishop Claude Alexander.

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Agreed. That’s essentially what I was trying to type up as well. Ultimately in my opinion, racism is not a political issue. It’s a heart issue. It’s an issue some try to manipulate to get what they want. Just like how religion has been abused by evil people.

I think of a talk I heard in person several years ago that I just thought was gross. It was by a black probation officer at a predominantly black high school. The cop essentially started off the conversation like this.

He said that he’s here to reach out to the few that will listen. That most wont and many will find themselves as unproductive adults addicted to drugs, selling it, in gangs, or in prison. That the young women need to be careful because of not they will just end up with multiple babies by multiple men and none of those men will be around to help them because they will be killed , in jail, or running the streets. So that the young women need to look for young men with good grades, that had both parents at home and that the boys father was not a felon. To look for those traits and let the rest waste away.

That was supposed to be the cops motivational speech to high schoolers. Then a Haitian immigrant who became a citizen by joining the military who left and went back to Haiti with his family gave a speech.

He said something along the lines that everyone in here has the potential to be whatever they want. But that they all must start now. Regardless if they fail out they can get a GED and go to college. That without a college degree they can still study and learn how to run a successful business. That even if they don’t want to go to college or own a business they can join the military, or they can work for someone else and still make enough money to survive. They don’t have to follow in the footsteps of their fallen peers and that it’s never to late to be a good father, to be a good uncle, or be a good son. That gangs and drug dealers live by the sword and die by the sword. They don’t know peace. They don’t know their kids. They are always worried that what they share with their friends will be used against them. That they don’t need to worry about the biggest house and faster cars wit the best stereos and feel the urge to get them as soon as they get money. That they can save up and so on. That they are made in the image of God and anyone who says they can’t be better then they are now is their enemy and anyone who says they can’t fall further down is a liar.

Both men talked about the same subjects. One just seemed to paint a much more negative picture where he accented the negativity and the other accented hope.

Deb Haarsma has also done a lot of networking with the Association of Hispanic Theological Education.

Samuel Caraballo’s non-profit works with Hispanic churches educating and raising awareness of needs and promoting inclusion of people with disabilities.

The INTEGRATE curriculum BioLogos has been developing highlights the work of a one Christian scientist or theologian in each unit and we made a conscious effort to provide role models who were not only white men.

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I was looking at that on YouTube earlier. I hardly use it and noticed lately I’ve been seeing channels with the coming soon feature. Did not know it existed until recently. Definitely curious to see how they approach this.

Not accurate. The organization has existed since 2009. Deb Haarsma has been the president since 2013. Kathryn Applegate has been on staff for ten years, and I believe she was personally recruited by Darrel Falk. The Board, Advisory Council, and speaker’s bureau have always included women. Francis Collins has always cared about promoting the work of female scientists, so much so that he now refuses invitations to serve on speaking panels if women are not also represented.

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Would it be too political to suggest a movement to promote the idea that Female Intellectual Empowerment Matters?

Yep. Come up with a different hashtag.

S.T.E.M. and the Humanities for everyone!

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S. James Gates is a theoretical physicist and is a good communicator. I heard him at the World Science Festival some years ago. (Of course, the festival is cancelled this year!)

I’m thinking of female scientists who actually do posts here.

“BioLogos” doesn’t “include” people on the forum though. Anyone who wants to participate can. There aren’t all that many male scientists who post here either.

The BioLogos website and podcast, which are where BioLogos is actively seeking out participation from people, regularly feature women. The BioLogos conference featured female scientist speakers. They don’t have control over who posts on an open forum.

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Hi, BioLogos staff here!

Those on our panel tonight are individuals already in our network (two pastors and a biologist), but yes, we are always looking to increase representation, both in race and sex. We have a very long list of people we are hoping to make connections with for writing and podcast content, but will always take more suggestions if you know of any!

Historically, many of our restrictions have come from those who are active participants in the evolution and faith discussion. This discussion tends to be led by a specific demographic. As we have been able to expand our topics, we are finding more and more relevance to the broader scientific community that a greater diversity of people would be interested in joining the conversation, including medicine, bioethics, etc.

I personally would hope that people do not see us as striving toward racial inclusion in our content creation would be seen as engaging in “political discussion.” We do recognize that STEM representation for some specific groups of POC has historically been low, and for whatever reasons people may attribute to that it may have something to do with “politics,” we acknowledge access to education and other societal issues have indicated or contributed to this disparity. Our stance on politics at BioLogos is that we will never advocate or tell you to vote for a certain party or platform. That does not mean we will avoid talking about current things that are affecting our fellow Christians, scientists, humans.

As the sole POC on staff, I am acutely aware of representation and support the desire for a diverse range of voices that fall within the BioLogos belief umbrella.

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