Tasty Tidbits 9/5/11

  1. Strange academic ritual.
  2. New Orthodox Liberal Arts College (and one prof’s position on evolution).
  3. Sacramental ontology.
  4. Aphorism du jour.
  5. Jesus more popular than Justin Bieber?

1

Today is one of the days I’m glad not to be an academic:

  1. Editor of peer-reviewed journal publishes an article he finds distasteful and inappropriate, but which meets the criteria of peer review.
  2. Editor then falls on his sword when criticized, but won’t withdraw the article.

The paper in question, published in the journal Remote Sensing, was skeptical of the extent of anthropogenic climate change, claiming that computer models inflated temperature increases.

Then mainstream media covered the academic brouhaha, seeing fit to identify by religion just one of the actors: one author of the skeptical paper is (gasp!) a “committed Christian.”

Well, I guess that settles it. “Scientists sorta suppress crackpot Christian.” Nothing to see here. Move along now.

2

An Orthodox Christian liberal arts College, St. Katherine, opened in San Diego this year with 13 students (they thought 10 would be a good start). An Ancient Faith Radio podcast interviews Dr. John Coroneus, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the school (who also is an Orthodox Seminary graduate), about the intersection of faith and science.

Dr. Corneus notes:

  • Orthodoxy has no “Galileo” and no animosity between science and Orthodoxy.
  • Evolution provides a useful experimental framework; that’s what scientific theories are for.
  • Intelligent design doesn’t provide a useful experimental framework.
  • Neither evolution nor intelligent design is capable of explaining the meaning of human life.
These are Dr. Coroneus’ own views, but they’re typical of Orthodox Christians, in my limited experience, and I’m pretty darned sure the Church has no official position to the contrary. But it doesn’t get much play in popular press, where the story arc, apparently memorialized in a secret stylesheet somewhere, is “Noble scientists suppress crackpot Creationists.”

3

Speaking of the inadequacies of materialistic explanations of the human person (see the New York Times Opinionator on the limits of Naturalism, too), what if materialism is equally incapable of fully explaining the rest of creation? What if we need a sacramental ontology of creation?

I’ve blogged separately on this bigger-than-tidbit topic.

4

What happens in a far country doesn’t stay in a far country.

5

The Jesus Daily Facebook page is more popular than Justin Bieber’s Facebook page. I haven’t visited either one.

Bon appetit!