Debate on Niche Construction

I recently discovered an older (2014) article in Nature debating the value of the concept ‘niche construction’. The article nicely offers room for advocates and opponents of this concept. Niche construction is, briefly said, the notion that the relation between organisms and their environment is a feedback relation: organisms alter their environment through their actions, with […]

Religion and Science in “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity”

Earlier this week, a “Final Declaration” was published from a workshop on climate change, organized by, amongst others, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Obviously, this declaration is an important contribution to the debate regarding global warming (or, more euphemistically: ‘climate change’), inviting a number of enthusiastic as well as more critical comments in the media. […]

Making is Finding. A Poem on Theological Anthropology by Alan Nordstrom

One of the most important theological resources for my PhD-research is Philip Hefner‘s theological-anthropological work, mainly his concept of ‘created co-creator’. Perhaps one of the most captivating introductions to this concept has been written by Alan Nordstrom, in his poem ‘Making is Finding’. It has been published in Zygon, just over ten years ago, as […]

Cultural Niche and Education

One of the things that interested me in the study of culture by use of evolutionary models, was the concept of “niche construction”. I still think this concept offers possibilities to imagine how education should be done. After having read both Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett on meme theory, I wasn’t convinced that memes could fully explain […]

Why Science Does Not Break the Spell of Religion

This morning I made a note on a quote by Philip Hefner, from his “The Human Factor” (p. 86): “Jesus caressed and pressed things until they began to resist, and at that point, his experience moved him to utter “Abba, Father” — the significance being not that “Father” is masculine, but that “Father” is personal. […]

The Beauty of Theology

Using academic vocabulary is sometimes perceived as being elitist, ‘ivory tower talk’. And sometimes such criticism is justified. But then there’s this perspective on theological jargon… Source: Vítor Westhelle, Zygon, vol. 39, no. 4 (December 2004), p. 750. What do you think? Do you regard the vocabulary of your discipline, or concepts specific to it, as […]