Trinity Christian College faculty attending the March for Science Chicago: myself, Dr. VanderWoude (Chemistry), and Dr. Carlson (Biology)
On April 22, Earth Day, my family and I took the train into downtown Chicago, got off at the VanBuren stop, and headed the to March for Science in Chicago. According to estimates, we were joined by about 40,000 or so other people in the Chicago march. Later in the march, we met up with two other faculty members from my college as well.
The march, of course, brought people from many walks of life. Many who are scientists themselves, but also many others who recognize the importance of science and the thoughtful use of scientific information. I especially wanted to to be there to stand up for the importance of science as a Christian. I see science as a gift from God that allows us to understand and care for His creation. While the media may often portray science and faith as being at odds with one another, that's not really a fair portrayal. God created the world and everything in it, and he also gave humans the minds and abilities to investigate that creation. When we make discoveries in science, we are discovering God's work in the world. I see that as especially important in the context of earthkeeping; God calls us to be stewards of the earth and its biodiversity. We need good science to be good stewards and to protect the planet and all that it provides for people across the world.
Some people had voiced concerns that the march might be too politicized. However, I was pleased to see a number of signs speaking to the fact that people of different political persuasions could all stand together to support science. If you look at the mission of the March for Science, you will see that indeed there is a political aspect in that part of the mission is that policy will be informed by scientific information. However, this should be the case for all political leaders and political parties. As a Christian, I recognize that we need more than science. For example, climate science can tell us about changing weather patterns and rising seas, but ethics and faith speak to the need to act on these problems to minimize their negative impacts on those who are most vulnerable.
If you'd like to read more about what some other Christian are saying about their faith and the March for Science, check out what was written by the president of Biologos, Deborah Haarsma, and by biblical scholar Chris Smith whom I had the privilege to get to know when he volunteered with Graduate Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
Standing up for science with the whole family
I'm a biology professor at Trinity Christian College. I'll be using this page to share interesting stories related to ecology and conservation at Trinity and in the Chicago area (although I might be tempted to expand my geographic focus upon occasion).