On the Importance of Scientific Literacy

Martha Lindbeck, Ann Milliken Pederson

Article Type: Perspective

Publication Date: 7/1/1993

Issue: Faith, Science, Technology (Vol. 13, No 3, Summer, 1993)

Are these two disciplines so independent that they cannot carry on a conversation with one another? Can we change the way we know the world so that we are not confined to language games within individualized households? In learning another language we expand our own vocabularies, construct new metaphors, and learn more about ourselves and the world in which we live. Conversation necessitates transformations that enrich the lives of both participants. How does such a conversation begin? To carry on a conversation within another discipline, one must possess the desire to learn the other’s language. Each must esteem the other discipline as one worthy of respect, as a defensible field of knowledge, and as a way of knowing that points toward truth. Church leaders who engage in conversation about the ways in which science and scientists understand our world have taken a significant step in becoming scientifically literate. Common vocabulary must be learned, methods must be tried, and patterns in learning how to talk with one another must be encouraged.

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