Understanding and Caring for Earth and its Creatures
When: June 10, 2021, 3:30 pm - Thursday
Where: Swang 230
From a Christian perspective, the planet is essentially on loan to us from God. Early in scripture, the admonition to “fill the earth and subdue it” brought on a mission to understand the planet and serves as a basis for much of our modern science. In this session, we will examine the impact we are having on the planet and also how the dialogue around that has led to division. We aim to propose approaches that promote health care for the creation and common understanding among the inhabitants.
Wayne Rossiter, University of Rio Grande, “Industrial and Technological Progress: Is the Invisible Hand Friend or Foe?”
We live in a transitional period in human history, directly in the upswing of a geometric increase in industrial and technological advance. Unlike any prior generation, our daily lives have become deeply embedded in a global industrial network, and the pace of change is accelerating. Both singularly and in the collective, the reach and power of our actions outpaces our ability to consider their consequences, and our quest for “more, faster, cheaper” as a metric of progress fails us. I argue, as David Ehrenfeld has, that all humanity suffers when decision-makers forget who is steward, and who is King, of all creation.
Joe R. Miller, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminar, “Ethics & Climate Change: Setting the Stage for Dialogue Between Science and Faith”
One of the more contentious topics today is Climate Change and the ongoing debate about its veracity and long-term global impact. Building on the tradition of scientist-theologians Thomas F. Torrance and John Polkinghorne, I set the stage for a new narrative of environmental care where both normal science and normal religion offer a great gift to the other. Making room for heuristic skepticism, I offer ten resolutions to reshape the dialogue to produce meaningful long-term socio-political solutions.
Jeff McCormack, Oklahoma Christian University, “Emerging Infectious Diseases: Implications on Wellness and the Economy”
Beyond the public health impacts of regional or global emerging infectious disease (EID) are socioeconomic realities that are often not considered. This session will look at examples of EID like SARS and Covid-19 and the damages and costs to society, the effects of a reduction in labor supply, as well as losses in sectors unrelated to health such as travel and trade. The use of teleconsulting will be highlighted for addressing the recent outbreak of Dengue Fever in Honduras. Additional discussion will include the economics of EID, optimal policy responses and strategies for implementing global disease surveillance and response.
Jonathan Witt, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture, Convener
- Wayne Rossiter, University of Rio Grande, “Industrial and Technological Progress: Is the Invisible Hand Friend or Foe?”
- Joe R. Miller, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, “Ethics & Climate Change: Setting the Stage for Dialogue Between Science and Faith”
- Jeff McCormack, Oklahoma Christian University, “Emerging Infectious Diseases: Implications on Wellness and the Economy”
- Dodd Galbreath, Lipscomb University, Respondent
- Sarah Collier, Lipscomb University, Respondent