home
RSS
My Take: The case for including ethics, religion in science class
Science teachers must make their subject relevant to students' lives by tackling religion and ethics, argues Arri Eisen.
December 15th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

My Take: The case for including ethics, religion in science class

Editor's note: Arri Eisen, PhD., is professor of pedagogy at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Department of Biology, and Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.

By Arri Eisen, Special to CNN

A referendum that would have restricted in vitro fertilization in Mississippi, disagreements on the causes of global warming, the question of how to allot health care resources for desperate cases at the beginning or end of life.

Many of today's headlines and hyper-polarized political debates happen at the borders of science and society, especially where science meets ethics and religion.

At the same time, in at what first appears to be in an unrelated domain, President Barack Obama and others call for more and better science education in America to compete in innovation with rising giants India and China. This at a time when American science literacy appears to be decreasing, and even students who like science drop like flies from that pursuit once they hit college and its huge introductory lecture courses.

Is it possible that rethinking the ethical calculus of how we teach science could enhance the pool of future scientists and enrich the quality of conversation around controversial issues?

What’s the connection? Well, from kindergarten on we often teach science as a body of information not relevant to anything going on in the world. This is a cell and these are its parts; memorize them and their functions. This is the human body and these are the different systems of which it is composed.

Such facts are important, but without a meaningful context (cell functions gone awry can cause cancer; all the body systems talk to each other, so depression can affect your cardiovascular system) such information has little real substance and is poorly retained.

This approach violates the first rule of good teaching: Integrate the information into your students’ lives and worldviews, including those based in religion or ethical systems, and translate it into something they can connect with and use. Science has an especially rich and often fraught role to play in society; if we don’t at least acknowledge this we imply it is unimportant.

Not surprisingly, studies show that when teachers do integrate science knowledge into students' lives, the students learn the science better.

But rather than incentivize teaching innovation that would allow science educators to discuss religion and ethics –- for example, creationism in light of evolution and vice versa, or the scientific and ethical implications of stem cells and in vitro fertilization – many teachers are afraid to even mention these issues, despite their importance, for fear of losing their jobs.

The classic example is the public school biology teacher without tenure who, understandably, finds it much easier to skip any discussion of evolution because of its potential controversial nature. This would be OK except for the small detail that evolution is the fundamental, underlying principle of all biology.

I teach biology at a private university. When I ask students in my cell biology course, “How many of you believe in evolution?” almost all of them raise their hands. When I ask them, “How many of you think something in addition to evolution accounts for humans being on earth as we now exist?” almost all of them raise their hands.

Two inconsistent thoughts coexist without an attempt to reconcile or integrate them. It is this kind of dissonance of fundamental beliefs and science that good education should address and help explore, and certainly not ignore. Only when science educators can proactively engage all societal elephants in the room and illustrate science's relatively limited power will two vitally important things happen:

First, as they are forming their beliefs — whatever they may be — students will be aware of the nature of science and its relation to complex ethical and religious issues. That means they’ll better appreciate different types of evidence and will be more likely to argue from and about that evidence rather than from emotion. Second, more students initially interested in science will continue to pursue it through college because they will better see its value and importance to the big issues and will learn science better.

How to accomplish this? How to break the vicious circle? One way is to frame the benefits differently — economic competition and innovation, national security, improved learning, or more substantial political debate — for different constituencies. For example, perhaps a politically conservative, religious audience might appreciate the importance of good science education through the lens of its importance to the economy or national security.

Another break in the circle is to help teachers learn how to teach science in context more effectively. I often find that simply acknowledging the ethical or religious issue relaxes students; a few others  have explored approaches for better integration of these issues.

In my cell biology course, we investigate the biology and chemistry of a cell surface receptor that helps induce good feelings in us when it binds to a chemical compound found in incense; this may help explain why so many different cultures and religions have independently evolved the use of incense in their ceremonies and rituals.

We discuss the detailed cellular and molecular biology of the research in the context of ritual; the students report this opens a door that’s usually closed between those two sides of their minds. Religious students, who say they often feel their beliefs are ignored or belittled on campus, find this discussion especially welcome and thought-provoking.

High school educators in Wisconsin showed that students who read original texts from Darwin and intelligent-design scholars, and discussing those texts, critically learned evolution better (without rejection of other worldviews) than those taught it in the traditional didactic manner. Teaching potentially controversial science can work if done in an interactive, engaging fashion and in a rich historical and societal context.

Clearly, there are a multitude of reasons for America’s polarized politics and decreasing science literacy and innovation that go beyond just teaching science better. But sometimes a little creative wrestling with and engagement in systems and programs that already exist can make a difference.

Once I offered the opportunity for anyone in the cell biology course to simultaneously take a seminar course focusing on the societal and ethical implications of the biology discussed in the cell course. Half the biology class wanted to enroll in the seminar.

A dozen students — all future scientists and health care workers — wound up in the course, representing seven different religions and traditions, from Christianity to Jainism to Judaism.

Students were amazed so many of their peers took religion seriously, and those students tell me that the conversations and debates we had in the course, together with the seminar, resonate to this day. Many say science is now woven together with ethics and religion in their minds; they can’t think about biology without thinking about its meaning in the greater context.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arri Eisen.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Education • Opinion

soundoff (2,297 Responses)
  1. Fizzylift

    Religion and science. Never the twain shall meet. It's time to give religion the burial it deserves. Mythology class 101?

    December 16, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  2. Daniel

    I don't agree with everything he says but this is a good place to start:

    Kenneth Miller (prof. of Biology at Brown University)

    The categorical mistake of the atheist is to assume that God is natural, and therefore within the realm of science to investigate and test. By making God an ordinary part of the natural world, and failing to find Him there, they conclude that He does not exist. But God is not and cannot be part of nature. God is the reason for nature, the explanation of why things are. He is the answer to existence, not part of existence itself.

    There is great naiveté in the assumption that our presence in the universe is self-explanatory, and does not require an answer. Many who reject God imply that reasons for the existence of an orderly natural world are not to be sought. The laws of nature exist simply because they are, or because we find ourselves in one of countless "multiverses" in which ours happens to be hospitable to life. No need to ask why this should be so, or inquire as to the mechanism that generates so many worlds. The curiosity of the theist who embraces science is greater, not less, because he seeks an explanation that is deeper than science can provide, an explanation that includes science, but then seeks the ultimate reason why the logic of science should work so well. The hypothesis of God comes not from a rejection of science, but from a penetrating curiosity that asks why science is even possible, and why the laws of nature exist for us to discover.

    It is true, of course, that organized religions do not point to a single, coherent view of the nature of God. But to reject God because of the admitted self-contradictions and logical failings of organized religion would be like rejecting physics because of the inherent contradictions of quantum theory and general relativity. Science, all of science, is necessarily incomplete – this is, in fact, the reason why so many of us find science to be such an invigorating and fulfilling calling. Why, then, should we be surprised that religion is incomplete and contradictory as well? We do not abandon science because our human efforts to approach the great truths of nature are occasionally hampered by error, greed, dishonesty, and even fraud. Why then should we declare faith a "delusion" because belief in God is subject to exactly the same failings?

    December 16, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Observer

      What he missed is that there is NOTHING to prove the existence of God or that "creation" couldn't have been caused by something/someone else, like say a committee of zombies. He has presented nothing to support God.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • Kevin

      I like Ken Miller, I really do. He's a champion of biology and a great speaker. But his theology wrecks his otherwise rational thought processes. Atheists don't believe that God is natural. We only need God to be natural in order to determine if he is real or not. If God is not natural (ie. supernatural, or beyond nature) then he is not testable. By definition this means that the existence of God is unnecessary to explain... well... anything! Therefore we simply cull God from our set of necessary criteria; result = atheism. If God is supernatural then there's no reason to believe in him at all.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • Daniel

      I don't want this sound confrontational but it is a thought I think is worth merit to discuss.

      Suppose I were to ask you to prove that you love your wife/husband. Well then, I would expect you to recount to me how many years you've been married, how you still kiss her goodnight and tell her that you love her every night. In other words, you would provide all sorts examples of how you have shown your love. In the same way, I (and prof. Miller I believe) find God displaying his existence everyday to me, in my family, in the sun overhead, and in the beauty of mathematics (I am a mathematician). The question of God's existence is not a question that science can answer because it exists outside the bounds of science. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God in the same way that science cannot prove or disprove value judgments such as beauty and emotions. Yet I doubt anyone would suggest that beauty doesn't exist.

      Science is a great triumph of mankind. But science has overstepped itself when it seeks to discredit all other types of knowledge, knowledge that does not exist within the bounds of empirical truth.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Observer

      Daniel,

      Science looks for truths, whether it supports previous beliefs or not. It's not out to get religion. It just disproves much of it.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • CSchell

      You, Daniel, do NOT truly understand Science! IF you use Science in your daily work, and yet are a "Religious person" ... by that I mean "Believing in a GOD", if nothing else ... then I can only conclude that you fall within the category of "Intellectual Schizophrenics", working with reason & logic during the day, only to go home (or Church?) to think illogically! Even Grade School children have the intelligence to ask the question "But, where did GOD come from??" Somehow, the brainwashing by Religion convinces those children to believe that "GOD just always existed", end of question! How stupid!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Daniel

      I agree, science is not out to get religion. Unfortunately I think far too many see the two as incompatible (see above ^) while it must be acknowledged that science requires a certain type of Kantian faith that the world as we encounter it is consistent with the world as it actually is. There is value in both! And if you read the Bible might I suggest starting with the Psalms. Even a non-believer could enjoy the poetry.

      Further, I feel that you may not amount to much in science if you are too afraid to make a fool of yourself Cschell. And by your reasoning I suppose I fall into the same category as Planck and Einstein in being an 'intellectual schizophrenic.' In that case I'll take it as a compliment.

      Anyways, I'm going to go pray and go to bed. I look forward to watching Tim Tebow defy all rationality once again as God's divine intervention leads the Broncos over the Patriots! Let's see science explain that one hah

      December 16, 2011 at 3:01 am |
    • dinabq

      Why do I need to believe in God and worship him/her/it? Are you saying that if I don't believe in God, bad things will happen to me? Or I'll go to hell? I don't see how a God impacts my life one way or another.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • CSchell

      Let me be clear ... there are MANY "Intellectual Schizophrenics" working as Scientists, Engineers, etc. I've known many! Most of them are quite competent in their use of Science in their daily work ... but in NO way would I label them as "True Intellectuals"! Your mention of Planck as an example of an "Intellectual Schizo" is somewhat valid ... but Einstein would NOT fall into that category. But it matters not ... why should it be a compliment to be "Intellectual Schizophrenic?? Personally, I want to be a person of Reason (24/7) until the moment I die! And, at that point, there will be NO disembodied "Soul" that passes to an Afterlife of any kind (this is the "Greatest Lie" that Religions perpetrate against Humanity)!! BTW, what's Tebow going to claim when his luck runs-out? That his God was just "distracted" by something more important? LOL

      December 16, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • Primewonk

      The problem with many theists is that they assume atheists are ignorant about the concepts of gods. Most atheists are former theists who u derstand various religious texts much better than theists.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  3. YeahItsMe72

    I think if a science teacher wants to mention at the beginning that before science we used to believe all sorts of crap like 'fill in most Religious beliefs here' then explain what we've actually learned, that's about as far as religion deserves to enter the Science room.

    Look in a philosophy class someone might argue that 1 + 1 = 1 (two souls added together make a new single partnership), that statement might fly in the context of a philosophy class, but that doesn't mean it should be taught in math class to offer a 'complete picture' of addition.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  4. JM Prof

    This is a really poorly constructed, dangerously naive statement about teaching paradigms and practice. The author fundamentally fails to understand why the creationism debate is problematic in a science classroom, blaming it on 'fear of getting fired.' While sanctions maybe the ultimate result, it's initially about dramatically disrupting your classroom environment and causing the learning process to self-destruct in such a way that it's rendered unrecoverable...over an issue that doesn't belong in the conversation in the first place and can only be perceived by students as assaulting and insulting. Do a good job explaining what science is and you don't need to enter anything else into the argument....the students will figure it out.

    There is a problem with the way that this is handled, but the solution isn't to be elitist and combative in a classroom. This is precisely why it's ludicrous to award PhD's without extensive teacher training, and further evidence of how incredibly out of touch with reality a lot of these academics are. Any trained teacher worth his or her salt knows EXACTLY why the author's statements to mesh with reality. After teaching at nearly every level of the educational system at some point, I really think that a lot of student failures/problems at the higher education level are related to PhD's being wholly unable to teach properly. Good teachers are made not born, and it's unfair and irresponsible to assume that just because somebody knows a lot about something that they can automatically teach it. If anything, this article makes a very good argument for teacher licensing standards at the college and university levels.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • dinabq

      Most universities hire people that can publish papers and bring in the research dollars. If the person can teach as well, then that's a bonus - not a requirement. I can understand why students are turned off by the way science is taught at most universities. Religion has nothing to do with it.

      Also consider that scientists and engineers are being laid off, and new graduates can't find jobs. The job market for scientists and engineers as been iffy since the 80's. I know plenty of my friends with degrees in science and engineering (we graduated in the 80's) that are doing something else because they couldn't find a job in their field, didn't like working in their field or got laid off repeatedly and went on to do something completely different.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  5. Mike D

    Science, like weapons have the potential to change peoples lives (or end them). What we do with these tools is the determination of the person who wields them. If you need to be taut ethics at such a late stage in life, it's probably already too late. As many have already stated, being ethical has little to do with being associated with a religion, even though most like to think they invented virtue. For those that feel they need a "refresher course" in how to be a descent human being, they're are thousands of churches, Synagogs, and Mosques out there that will help you along. There's no need to mingle the two, to appease a minority of people that need to have it everywhere they are.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  6. CSchell

    The author of this Opinion article obviously does NOT understand Science! It is therefore not clear WHY Emory University is allowing this person to teach a Cell Biology class! It's good to see that most of the Commenters see the fool-hardiness of mixing Religion into a Science class ... there is NOTHING that Religion brings to the table, insofar as Science is concerned. If a school wants to create a "Seminar" for the supposed "integration of Science & Religion" then DO so ... same as teaching a "Bible course" (for whatever "value" THAT may be!) ... but do NOT try to pass-this-on as Science!! Someone below has already suggested (tongue-in-cheek) that we should begin teaching Astrology in Astronomy classes, Alchemy in Chemistry classes, etc, etc. This is EXACTLY the point!! Why would ANYONE who understands Science want to confuse students of Science by mixing-in Religious fables, illogical reasoning, etc??? This topic is NOT "Rocket Science", people! The simple concept of teaching only Science in Science classes should not escape any reasonable person. As for making Science more relevant, by including "Real World Applications", I'm all FOR that ... but NOT by including Religious doctrines! Get Real!!

    December 16, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Gold26

      How about you explain the cause and reason for everyone in the world then. You apparently know it all. Explain the Holocaust with science. Explain how something can come from nothing with science. If you know so much about science, you should be able to explain without a doubt how so much unorganized matter formed the galaxies.

      You should be the next ruler of the world since you know everything about everything without a doubt! Please enlighten me.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Observer

      "Explain how something can come from nothing with science."

      It's the same story for Christians to prove God came from nothing and then made matter from nothing. At least science admits it doesn't know.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Andrew

      ... Well, considering explaining the holocaust would likely require a psychologist, and how I'm not a very big fan of the field in general, I'm not going to comment on it.

      As for your other questions, I'm much more qualified to answer.
      "Explain how something can come from nothing with science".
      I take this question to mean 'explain how it is possible for something to come from nothing', rather than 'explain how something came from nothing' which implies that 'something DID come from nothing, now explain how'.

      The difference is subtle, but substantial, I can do the former with science, however I cannot do the latter, as it operates under a false premise.
      How is it possible for something to come from nothing? Well, first lets look at our universe, and see if we can find an analog. Quantum flucuations works pretty well, what happens is you have tiny particles with energy far more than whatever created them which exist for brief amounts of time. It's like starting with one baseball, picking up two baseballs, and for a brief enough moment in time, you have twenty of them. So if I ask 'where did the extra energy come from', or 'where did the extra baseballs come from', I have a hard time answering with anything physical that isn't 'from nothing or from nowhere'. And yet, it is a rather demonstrable phenomenon, virtual particles are shortlived, but they have much more energy than what is allowed by any classical interpretation of the universe.

      Still though, you might argue 'well, they're still coming from the universe itself', which is true. But then once you go beyond the scope of our universe, assuming causality seems a very strange thing to do. Why assume causality outside of the universe? Do you have a model of nothingness, or of other universes, or of a multi-verse to allow you to assume that independent of the universe, causality, the principle that 'nothing can come from nothing' still holds? I have just as hard a time assuming that causality exists independent of the universe as I do that it doesn't, in other words, commenting on it seems intellectually dishonest.

      What then does science say about the origin of the universe? Not a whole lot, everything from the planck epoch and before is entirely untouchable by modern physics today, we have no model of quantum gravity, and we can't even say if a time 'before' the universe makes sense (after all, time is a dimension).

      That's roughly what science has to say about the origin of the universe. You can make whatever assumptions you like, but they're likely not justifiable.

      As for unorganized matter forming galaxies, quite a LOT of information exists about that, specifically related to the CMB.
      It has to do with small scale density variations in the early universe caused by things like thermal movement... when coupled with gravity, it caused the universe to form a large general structure, which can be seen in the CMB with very very tiny fluctuations.

      If you want to read more about the physics behind galactic formation, you should check out the WMAP and COBE papers, which discuss the science researching the CMB. They'll also inform you about the theoretical models they used to build our understanding, so you'll be reading papers by people like Zel'dovich or Peebles discussing the original predictions of anisotropies in the CMB and how they relate to galactic formation.

      If you feel the need though to argue 'god' in place of 'I don't know yet' (as is the case for the 'origin' of the universe), or 'because of understood natural processes' (As in the case for 'galactic formation') then you have effectively turned off your quest for truth based in evidence over comfortable faith. God is a weak explanation, as it can never be falsified.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:39 am |
  7. Atlantan

    Religion is not a science, last time I checked. Pre-Enlightenment-esque bs over here. I don't care what the reasoning is... religion isn't science.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  8. Fritz Hohenheim

    Religion is not science, in fact most doctrines of any religion contradicts what we know about the universe. Take the soul for example. How is it supposed to interact with the body it belongs to? Physicists understand the laws that bind atoms and subatomar particles and how they interact completely. If you believe in a personal soul that is somehow connected to a person, you must also believe that the formulas that relativity and quantum physics teach us are wrong. There is no way around this. If you do this, then you must also believe that most of what we know about the universe is wrong. Again there is no way around this. Believe in the supernatural requires that you reject the laws of physics.

    Religion is simply contradictory to science and we must not give it a quasi justification by including it in science classes.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  9. Sandra

    No, no, no, and again NO. Putting religion in science class resulting tests with answers to questions with GOD DID IT? No. That farce called "Intelligent Design" (Creationism in new clothing) isn't science. If eyes are so 'intelligently designed' why do so many need glasses? Intelligent design? Human reproductive organs.. what intelligent designer would put that between two sewers? Creationism? A story invented by ignorant bronze age dessert dwellers passing off as 'science'? Are you &&$^^%$ kidding me??? NO!

    Keep religion out of science classes, and keep it in churches, where it belongs!

    December 16, 2011 at 1:45 am |
  10. Robert S.

    If you become interested in science because you feel a strong relation or connection to your own religious beliefs, fair enough. But at some point in your research career in the sciences, you will begin to disbelieve what you are setting out to discover. When this happens, you ultimately slow down the evolution of future science discoveries because so many people will not face facts to what they are learning. Modern scientists can separate fact from belief in order to excel the current scientific exploration age. When you mix the two components, facts become fiction, and fiction is never taken seriously enough to be a scientific theory.

    Keep the two separate.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  11. In Reason I Trust

    While this author may be able to use religion to guide students interest in science, other teachers would use the opening to sneak creationism into the classrooms. There is no need to go near this slippery slope, we do not need to discuss leprechauns or unicorns to teach good science, likewise there is no need to include religion either.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Smokin with the J-Man

      Yes, agreed - this guy is smarter than most public school teachers. I can only imagine my impotent 11th grade biology teacher trying to moderate a discussion with evolution and intelligent design in the mix... makes me cringe thinking about it.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  12. David

    I don't think science and religion make a very good mix. My kid's recently posed the question of whether Jesus could escape from a black hole. I told them to ask their mom.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Smokin with the J-Man

      The J-Man could totally escape from a black hole

      December 16, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  13. cnn makes bad headlines

    The headline is far more inflammatory than the words in the article. What the person suggests is actually fairly reasonable, not even actually about injecting religion or ethics into science, but merely to put science into familiar context for students. I'm sure we can all agree that examples make for good teaching tools. CNN is just trying to troll everyone.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Q

      The idea sounds intriguing, but again, Intelligent Design/Creationism are legally "religious views", having been found so in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Board case back in 2005. As inappropriate as it would be to advance these religious views in a public classroom, so would it be inappropriate to denigrate them in a public classroom (i.e. the inevitable consequence of comparing their respective evidence and proposed mechanisms).

      December 16, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Kevin

      Well, I read the article and disagree with the author almost completely. He's just proposing a form of religious accommodationism.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, I saw the ti'tle to this article and it reminded me of the article a week or so ago saying that Muslims are more Religious than other Faiths. That article was the total package though. It got the other Faiths to post feeling their Religions were being slighted and of course many of the Atheist went bananas as well.

      This article was aimed straight at the Atheist and dance many of them did. 🙂

      December 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  14. Seriously

    What an incoherent article. Yes, teach science in context (the depression example was actually very good I think), but that's different from having discussions on ethics and religion in science class. Creationism should be in anyway legitimized by science, as it is simply unscientific.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Seriously

      *not be in any way

      December 16, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  15. Seth Hill of Topanga, California

    The theory of evolution tests whether life on this planet can be explained without any designer or purpose. It's hard to get that basic idea across without comparing evolution to theories of design, purpose, and creation. I strongly believe evolution explains life much, much better than religion can. And I love discussing evolution in contrast to creationism, intelligent-design-ism, etc.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Tom

      Sure, teachers need to mention creationism/intelligent design to explain the concept by contrast, but real discussion of the religious view is out of place in a science class. It's not science.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Primewonk

      Except that there is no theory of ID. Nor is there a theory for any of the thousand different creation myths.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  16. Azrael

    Science without ethics is dangerous.......

    December 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • sharoom

      Thinking ethics = religion is stupid.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Kevin

      Which is why we take ethics extremely seriously in all scientific disciplines, and why there is, not only societal, but professional, backlash when ethics give way to ambition. Let's not join Arri Eisen's confusion in thinking that ethics are intrinsically woven into religion and for that reason they're not practiced in science. Ethics are separate from religion, and they are a big deal in science.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • mike

      this chap makes no mention of religion being "ethics" pull your head from your you know what

      December 16, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • zakr12

      Then what about cloning, genetically modified foods,and certain prescription drugs all raise questions of ethics without including religion. The nazi's conducted eugenics, the witch-hunts has francis bacon. Ethics is fundamentally interconnected with science

      December 16, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Kevin

      mike, I might suggest the same. I did not intend to suggest that Arri Eisen, the author, believes that ethics and religion are one and the same thing. What I said was "woven", implying a relationship. And I'm using his words, by the way. And also if you read the darned thing Arri conflates ethics and religion throughout the article.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  17. This is God posting from Heaven

    dumbest idea ever.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
  18. zakr12

    Ethics and Religion courses do directly address science because it impacts the discipline, they do not teach science. Therefore is it impossible for science to not address these same issues that impact its acceptance, but not teach it?

    December 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
  19. Brian

    Religion is a joke and everybody knows it. Just go to church and you will see what I mean.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  20. Steven L. Bullington

    After reading several of the comments, I knew that God would forgive the foolish ones, but he would not forgive me as a Christian for not responding.
    All you have to do is look around you and you will see Sodom and Gomorrahs in all our cities.
    Jesus said that we would all have to be more like little children to live with him and the Father!
    We start taking away their innocence in kindergarten and teaching them not to trust in anyone but themselves and man? Look where that's gotten the human race!
    The Holy Spirit says salvation is available to everyone, but few will ask!

    December 16, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Q

      Perhaps he was referring to Amalekite children and infants?

      December 16, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • Mike D

      I usually don't respond to those clearly focused on their religious faith, since you made the point;

      "The Holy Spirit says salvation is available to everyone, but few will ask!"

      I must respond that if salvation was available to everyone, you shouldn't have to ask.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Observer

      Speaking of Sodom and Gomorrah, what did the Bible say was the sin of "Sodom and her daughters"? Was it being gay?

      December 16, 2011 at 1:45 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.