Wednesday, April 19, 2017

March for Science

March for Science

I’m going on a science field trip this coming Saturday.  Not to the seashore or to the Aquarium (although we do welcome 80,000 kids a year free on school science trips, to help build a new generation of ocean stewards.) 

No, my field trip is to San Francisco, to join the March for Science, one of over 500 such marches taking place worldwide April 22. March for Science - San Francisco celebrates public discovery, understanding, and distribution of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet. We are a nonpartisan group, marching in support of the following goals: Communication, Funding, Policy, Literacy, and Diversity.”

“God gave us brains for a reason and is happy when we use them.”  That’s how I paraphrase II Timothy 1:7 for our Blue Theology groups, to explain why we do citizen science research as part of our ocean stewardship mission trips and why faith and science are not mutually exclusive.  “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power and love and of a sound mind.”  Or as they say in 12-step meetings, “We can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for God gave us a brain to use.” 

If life is a journey, then every day is a science field trip.  We would be wise to use those God given “sound minds” to help ourselves and others.

My pic this week is the fantastic teacher Ms. Frizzle, star of the Magic School Bus series of books, TV shows and video games that have inspired several generations of kids to be scientists.  I loved reading my kids the Magic School Bus books about science trips inside the body and under the sea and out into space. Illustrator Bruce Degen drew this new pic to support the Science Marches.  (Love the test tube earrings!)

I wish I were in Paris so I could go to their “marche citoyenne pour les sciences, contre l'obscurantisme!”  But SF will do fine.  Thanks Jeff Spencer for organizing a group of “People of Faith for Science.”  We’re meeting at Justin Hermann Plaza at 10:45 – join us, or go to a march in your city.  Or watch the big one in Washington DC – it’s being streamed live.

Like all field trips, it will be an adventure.   I will learn new things and meet new people, and I will come home “another way,” changed.  That’s how the wise men came home from visiting Jesus, “another way,” changed.  Magi means scientist, and they certainly returned from their field trip changed.   

“Science not silence.”  I doubt the magi were silent on their return.   Science saves lives, connects us and is our only hope (besides changed hearts) for stopping climate chaos.  Banning science from laws, policies, or education is not using our God given brains. 

I’ll write next week about my experience.  I hope to see some cool funny protest signs like the ones at the Women’s Marches.  I might go to the sign making workshop here in Monterey this week for our local march.  They have suggested slogans, and my fav so far is “What do we want?  Evidenced based science! When do we want it?  After peer review!” 

Please, be a faithful person – use your head.

Blue for our youth mission trips and adult pilgrimages.  I write here and on Facebook every Wednesday.  May 9 is a Retreat/Resource Day for Clergy and Religious Educators in Pacific Grove.

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