Top hunting podcast covers science vs faith

This might interest some. I am a regular listener to the #1 and #2 charting hunting podcasts, MeatEater and Bear Grease (made by the same group of folks).

Regularly they cover topics around paleontology, evolution and paleoanthropology. I have often thought, hmmm, podcasts like these probably have a lot of YEC listeners, I wonder how this sits with them.

Well, the host of Bear Grease, Clay Newcomb, went there this week. He regularly witnesses his faith but this week, as a closer to six weeks talking about the Folsom site, he gave a 12-minute rap about the interface between science and faith. Episode 32, 49:00 mark.

It’s too long to transcribe, but it’s good. He lays out the conflict between YEC and science. Then approvingly quotes John Lennox about the Bible being literature, written with a purpose, which was theological, not a science textbook. Rather than going totally metaphorical he asserts a day-age view, and points out the general parallels between the Genesis 1 sequence and the scientific view of the story of the Earth. He then switches to defending faith and highlighting the metaphysical limits of science.

I think it’s really great that he went there!

I’m not American, but it seems like YEC is part of a deeply dug-in culture war there. That culture war forces people to either reject science or reject faith, which is a great shame on either count. That false conflict does much harm, so it’s gotta be helpful for a prominent cultural figure to raise it and try to reconcile the sides. He approached it with sensitivity and care, and that’s reflected in the overwhelmingly positive feedback he’s receiving on Instagram.

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What metaphysical limits does science have?

The answer is right there in your question. metaphysical
One of those is not completely like the other, though one subsumes the other. Science is in the subsumed one.

OK, if we rationally go beyond the mere empirical, what metaphysics do we encounter and what do we miss?

axiology, anthropology, responsibility, morality, …those sorts of things we like to discuss around here … not to mention philosophy and mythology - ultimate origins narratives and anything / anyone behind all those, whether it be labeled as ‘supernatural’ or deity or not.

[granted … anthropology is solidly a science, and so doesn’t belong on that quick list; nonetheless, they do tend to scoot right up against all the even more interesting stuff.]

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Without science and rationality they are all useless. Especially morality.

Wow! That’s so interesting that a pod like that would get into this! Thanks for sharing!

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And without a substantially good grasp on our humanity (especially morality) science and rationality are worse than useless. They are dangerous!

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Better the good-hearted idiot than the intelligent devil.

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It’s an fantastic podcast. Been listening to it since episode 1. He actually brings up his faith and science on and off throughout the series. I mean mentioned one of the earlier episodes months ago about the guy who can do like 400 bird calls and how even though I don’t hunt to kill and eat I use the info there to track wildlife since much of it is southern eastern focused. Really liked the Daniel Boone series too.

With that said and despite me mostly liking him I don’t think I could ever actually get along with him. I found his whole “ why he killed the chicken “ argument earlier on just mostly ridiculous and was a bit irritated with him. But all of that goes beyond the scope of the post and over all I think he’s probably a good guy.

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Our hands are smarter than our hearts that’s for sure. But I’m pushing back with, for science here, not as the basis of mere technology, but as the means of understanding our ‘hearts’. Our minds. Our morality. Because regardless of Jesus’ moral genius, which I can think of none better of any age, despite the fact that Jesus stood on the shoulders of prophet giants, we have never measured up since the unforced communism of the earliest Church. Dr. King and Gandhi stood on Jesus’ shoulders; I can’t think of any others between them and Him. None since. None. Jorge Bergoglio is a good man. The best Pope. But not in their league. Our understanding of morality has struggled even to get back to Jesus’ level through politics, psychology, for the masses and struggles yet. Social justice has come a long way for the masses as a by-product of… our clever hands. Technology. Technology increased our productivity, despite injustice and our social morality FOLLOWED. It seems horribly stagnant globally at present as we’re confronted by the failure of democracy: technology is exposing that failure, is now part of the problem in the dumbing down by the internet. Morally we’re marooned. Because we will not address structural inequality. We will not tax wealth. Still. We never have. We refuse to be fair. To be just. To return the land to the commons. And that is invisible to all here. Somehow you seem to think that there is another, higher morality and that as Christians you automatically have it and everyone else needs it. You’re right. But it’s not what you think. It’s your privilege. Material privilege.

Science vs. faith is a meaningless false dichotomy. The first genetic, moral commandment is do no harm, breaking the second breaks the first. Be fair. No. BE FAIR. Really fair. Unfairness harms. No more progress can be made because that is exposed. Especially, above all, in the West.

Jesus was ALL about equality of outcome for ALL. In this life. Pretence of metaphysics having any meaning in the face of His condemnation of the rich is empty. Hollow. And worse. A whited sepulchre. Full of corruption.

We all need it. All of us “cultural Christians” still need it today too - as I think your cynical critique all-too-accurately charges.

At the risk of diluting your needed points here, I will offer up the following - not necessarily as the best possible response to your charges, but as one that well-represents our current Christian culture (for better or worse) - raising, I think, some good points as he does so. So don’t take the following as my endorsement of all that the good Bishop offers up, when people like you say …

I recently listened to this Bishop Barron video where he would (does) give some response to the notion of absolute equality.

For my own response to this, I would (along with you) note the futility of all our labors and efforts to be saviors of ourselves much less the rest of the world. Unlike you, I think there is zero possibility that science or anything like it will ever fill that gap. Government too will fail. Education … hasn’t worked where it’s been had. And yet - all these things can become wonderfully effective agency when subsumed to the service of love of all humanity - as Christ modeled and taught. [By the way, if you want to enjoy a wonderful Christmas story that goes right along with all this: enjoy Henry Vandyke’s “The Christmas Angel”. It may be flowery nineteenth century prose, but it’s a wonderful and seasonally heart-warming read of less than 20 minutes or so.]

So while Barron makes a lot of sense - he is still very much (and understandbly so - aren’t we all?) an establishment figure. Yet I do believe you tap into nothing less than a prophetic vein with some of this, Klax.

Amen. I would go so far as to say that the rest of the world needs to evangelize the west with all our worship of wealth and weapons, or at least our near-universal complicity with establishments that are mired in the same. Show us who Christ is. Christ is either universal in that reach for all, or else is no savior of anyone.

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I’ll hasten to add to my above post that when I say “the rest of the world” needs to evangelize the west, I’m meaning that as a withering critique of the west, and not as some ringing endorsement that “the rest of the world” has it all together. I’m under no illusions about that at all. The scriptures often speak of a mere remnant being on the road to life. I’m also under no illusions that, as I write this, I can pretentiously consider myself part of any such “elite remnant”. There may be some small seed - or remnant of me that gets glimpses of what many others see more clearly - and if Paul would not consider himself as having “taken hold of it” yet, then I know I still have to hang out the “still under construction” banner too on pretty much every aspect of my own life. I don’t doubt this will be true of most of the world, though many of the poor (both materially and in spirit) all have a pretty good head-start on us. That is what I was suggesting as I spoke of the west (at least its wealthier contingents - which is most of us) needing to be evangelized.

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I get it from the prophets Merv. Isaiah 1 is pure socialism 700 BCE. Micah, Ezekiel were men of, for the people. Jesus is the (con)summation of the prophets of the social gospel. I see virtually nothing of it in the Church, which is mute in the face of Babylon. And worse. Speaks with the same voice.

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Since I listen to many podcasts and jump around I’m still catching up to this one. But I’m wondering if what sparked this conversation was in part because of the end of the Warner Glen pt 2 episode where WG mentioned God and creation because online I seen a growth of science and faith discussion popping up among Dry land lion hunting posts mentioning this episode.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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