April Meeting: Religion and Climate Change

Published by MNA on

Black-and-white photo of Greg smiling in a jacket and tie.

Minnesota Atheists welcomes anthropologist and science blogger Greg Laden to talk to us about the intersection of religious communities and climate change denialism at our April 27 meeting in Maplewood. A frequent guest on our radio show, this month, he’ll join us in person.

Most of the important events in the Bible are linked to climate change. Genesis describes the creation of a planet with a rapidly changing climate. Noah helped all the animals and his family escape an epic flood. We can guess that the seven years of lean following the seven years of abundance associated with the early days of the sons of Israel were a climate effect. The plagues were a form of “weather whiplash.” Indeed, during the times of Moses, wildfires may have been more common, given the number of burning bushes reported for the time.

After all this you would think that mainstream “Abrahamic Religion,” as an organized entity, would be on the forefront of climate change. It is not.

We’ll look at the links, some overt, some more subtle, between efforts lead by the religious right to damage science education and parallel efforts to deny climate science. There is a reason that the National Center for Science Education addresses both evolution and climate change curriculum in public schools. But don’t expect the link to be simple or straightforward. Historically, there has been almost as much denial of climate science from the secular community as from the religions community, a situation that has been changing in recent years.

This talk is mainly about the most current thinking–in some cases rapidly changing thinking–about climate change and an update on efforts to hold back progress in dealing with this important issue.

Greg Laden writes about climate change, evolution, science education, and other topics at National Geographic Science Blogs and other venues. He is a trained biological anthropologist and archaeologist who has taught at several colleges and universities. Today he mostly engages in climate-change-related science communication. 

Where: Maplewood Public Library
3025 Southlawn Drive
Maplewood, MN 55109  

When: Sunday, April 27, 2014 1:00-1:15 p.m. – Social time
1:15-1:45 p.m. – Business Meeting
1:45-2:00 p.m. – Break
2:00-3:30 p.m. – Greg’s Presentation
4:00-whenever – Dinner at Olive Garden

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