Education: Initiatives to bridge faith and science

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
523,
Page:
531
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/523531b
Published online

Two initiatives aim to increase awareness and acceptance of science by US Christian communities, some of which resist science-education efforts.

BioLogos (http://biologos.org) was founded in 2007 by Francis Collins, then leader of the Human Genome Project, to encourage other Christians to accept evolution in the context of their faith. Trust and respect for Collins has been key to its success. Its grant programme has so far disbursed a total of US$3.9 million to 37 faith–science partnerships.

In fostering dialogue between theologians and scientists who are Christians, BioLogos is forging a middle ground between presentations of science that are antagonistic towards faith and faith that will not accommodate science. Last month, for example, a BioLogos conference of scientists, theologians and pastors helped to articulate the overlap between theology and evolutionary theory (see go.nature.com/ovnpwb).

A programme by the American Association for the Advancement of Science takes a different approach, in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (www.scienceforseminaries.org). Their pilot project has helped ten seminaries since 2013 to integrate science into the curriculum for training religious leaders. One seminary includes evolutionary biology in courses on biblical interpretation; others teach neuroscience, genetics or ecology within explorations of identity and environmental stewardship.

Science education is a public good that we as scientists should help to reinforce across all faiths with partnerships such as these.

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Affiliations

  1. Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    • S. Joshua Swamidass

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