Science

Painting of a forest monster.

Humanity’s brakes really are starting to fail.

By Justin Katz | April 20, 2021 |

The year 2020 became a cultural cliché, given the sense that reality’s wheels were coming off, but it might be more accurate to say that people (particularly elites) are refusing to accept traditional safeguards that were simply passed down culturally and accepted intrinsically.  (Think media objectivity, colorblindness, the existence of truth, and so on.) Leslie…

The Great Thinning?

By Carroll Andrew Morse | January 9, 2013 |

Anyone want to attempt some big-picture speculation about what the numbers presented by Jeff Wise in Slate Magazine imply for a society that has baked the assumption of a growing population into its institutions and basic perceptions of the future…Instead of skyrocketing toward uncountable Malthusian multitudes, researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 3: Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, “What Can Genomic Science Tell Us About Adam & Eve?”

By Justin Katz | July 11, 2012 |

The Portsmouth Institute conference on “Modern Science, Ancient Faith” closed in spectacular fashion with Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, who teaches both biology and theology at Providence College. With the ease and humor of somebody used to speaking before college students, Austriaco explained what genomic science tells us about our ancestors and speculated about the timing and…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 2, Session 4: Dr. Michael Ruse, “Making Room for Faith in an Age of Science”

By Justin Katz | July 10, 2012 |

With a joke about philosophers and theologians (he being the former), Michael Ruse used the dinner speech of day two of the Portsmouth Institute conference on “Modern Science, Ancient Faith” to take up the ostensibly neutral (mutually skeptical) approach to arbitrating between religion and science. He referred to both approaches to knowledge as “symbolic” —…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 2, Session 3: Kevin O’Brien as Dom Stanley Jaki

By Justin Katz | July 9, 2012 |

At each of the Portsmouth Institute’s conferences (except the first, as I recall), Kevin O’Brien of Theater of the Word has had some sort of performance. Last year, being on Catholicism and Shakespeare, his troupe performed scenes from Shakespeare with accompanying commentary. O’Brien’s other two performances, however, were self-composed biographical lectures given in the character…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 2, Session 2: Dr. William Dembski, “An Informative-Theoretic Proof of God’s Existence”

By Justin Katz | July 7, 2012 |

From an entertainment standpoint, the most interesting aspect of Bill Dembski’s talk at the Portsmouth Institute conference on “Modern Science, Ancient Faith” was the continuation of what is apparently a long-standing head-to-head with the previous speaker, Ken Miller. Dembski is a notable personage on the intelligent design side of the public debate, and at one…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 2, Session 1: Dr. Kenneth Miller, “To Find God in All Things”

By Justin Katz | July 5, 2012 |

Brown University biology professor Ken Miller opened the second day of conferences at this year’s Portsmouth Institute conference, “Modern Science, Ancient Faith.” Readers may find his name familiar, inasmuch as he was a central figure when the teaching of evolution was big news a few years back. He also stood out, among the academics for…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 1, Session 3: Dr. John Haught, “Evolution and Faith: What Is the Problem?”

By Justin Katz | July 4, 2012 |

Georgetown University theology professor John Haught firmly established the theme of the Portsmouth Institute conference on “Modern Science, Ancient Faith” with his talk on the reconciliation of religion and science — even if he arguably did so without explicitly stating it. Dr. Haught did so by taking up several of the philosophical objections to Christian…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 1, Session 2: Abbott James Wiseman, “A New Heaven and a New Earth”

By Justin Katz | July 3, 2012 |

Among the truly fascinating aspects of the entire 2012 Portsmouth Institute conference, “Modern Science, Ancient Faith,” was the pervasive appearance of an underlying theme. That, in itself, is not surprising; the fact that nobody took its appearance as opportunity actually to state it is. In retrospect, in the second lecture of the series, Brother Wiseman…

Portsmouth Institute, Day 1, Session 1: Dom Paschal Scotti, “Galileo Revisited”

By Justin Katz | July 2, 2012 |

It was fitting that the the 2012 Portsmouth Institute conference, “Modern Science, Ancient Faith,” held at the Portsmouth Abbey school, opened on the topic of Galileo. Brother Scotti addressed the ways in which other factors brought about the Catholic Church’s blunder with respect to Galileo. There were internal politics. Factional rifts between the Jesuits, who…

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