Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

Science, religion, and truth

Last fall someone from the BYU-Idaho Communications Office wanted to interview me about FDSDCI 101 - Science Foundations, a general education course required for all students that I had a hand in developing and that I currently teach.  One of the main things we discussed was the relationship between science and religion.  This makes sense since BYU-Idaho is affiliated with and is supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and because science and religion are both important parts of the general education of all of our students.  

We covered several topics during the interview, but central to our discussion was the fact that no matter how, where, or when we find truth, a truth will not conflict with any other truth.  This is something that we discuss at the very beginning of each semester in my FDSCI 101 classes.  

That discussion is based in part on an address titled "Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions" given by Elder Richard G. Scott in the October 2007 General Conference of the Church.  FYI, Elder Scott is a retired nuclear engineer and now a prominent leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.    

You can see his address by clicking this link:

In his address, Elder Scott identified inspiration and the scientific method as the two avenues for obtaining/discovering truth.  

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the campus photographer asked if he could come by my class on the day that we discuss truth..."Sure, no problem."  Well, you can see where this is going...

This afternoon I checked my campus mailbox and found the latest edition of "News and Notes", the BYU-Idaho newsletter for Faculty.  I have to confess that sometimes I don't even flip through them, but this time I sat down and took a look.  Toward the back of the newsletter I looked down and!?  What in the world!?  Oh...yeah...  

It took a number of months, but the interview, photograph, and story finally came out.  Here it is.  I think they did a good job with it. 

This article gives you an idea of some of my thoughts on the science, religion, and truth.  That is, that any truth, if it is a truth, will not conflict with any other truth, regardless of its source.  

I also know that we not only can, but should be people of faith AND of  learning, including science.

(Originally posted 1-27-2012)

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