Beginnings


So it has now been one year since my first blog post.  I mostly started as a motivator to look into certain topics, as a way to improve and practice my writing, to explore and engage in the world of blogging, to document my thoughts, and as a reference archive.

Reflections: My aim was to write at the interface of Environmental Science and Bible, I think I have not done too badly at this although I think the tendency is perhaps toward Ecology/Nature and the Bible.  I have also significantly branched out from this theme, including, for example, a blog series on coffee brewing methods.

Time demands: I’ve tried to keep a fairly steady flow of posts (~weekly); however, it is quite difficult sometimes to find the time.  Even though the posts are quick thoughts, it can still take a little while to find links, pictures, references etc.  I always have ambition to look into a topic in more detail and do further research, but this never really happens.  I would like to give more opinion where I can, rather than just relay information.

My favourite post: I think my favourite has to be the honey and Bible posts.  This achieved the blogs aim in highlighting a new piece of scientific research (the discovery of ancient beehives) that led to advances in Biblical interpretation.

Future plans: I would like to continue much as I am, blogging will likely take a lull with the imminent arrival of our second child.  I still haven’t got around to posting much layperson introductions to my own research.

Housekeeping: I will now post photos and family stuff on a separate microblogging site (Pimentel Pics).  I have a new header (Reading) that will keep a record of all the books I’ve read since beginning of year 2011.  I have also updated/improved the About Me section and included a blogroll  (links) in the sidebar under various categories.

Well where better to begin than the beginning!  Whole rainforests have probably been felled to produce the number of books written on the subject of the first couple of chapter of Genesis.  I don’t want to say much, but it may be prudent to start with the oft-quoted:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. ” Genesis 1:28 KJV

So it seems we have the Almighty’s permission to reap from the Earth whatever we can, to denude its resources and trample over anything that gets in our way.  This of cause is a very naive interpretation, but unfortunately not too far removed from the perspectives of some.  However, another view point emerges when we read on into the second creation account:

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”  Genesis 2:7-8 KJV

Now we see how we are not owners of the Earth, but have ourselves been lovingly fashioned from the earth (literally an earth clod) and placed in a garden with the imposition to serve and preserve it.  Therefore, could it be that we are commanded to master the Earth (a call to Scientific endeavour?) in order that we can fulfill our call of caring and nurturing the garden in which we have been placed.  The stewardship of creation can be achieved with the help of understanding and technology garnered from science.

In part as a response to the recent challenge set by an editorial in the journal Nature (see quotation below), I am endeavouring, as a scientist working in a climate related research field, to present my own personal perspective on various overlapping interests. I do not want to jump directly into the highly charged climate-change shouting match, but hope to shed some light by skirting around some of the connected and not so connected issues in a somewhat unique manner. I intend to come at this from a faith perspective, as a practicing Christian, and someone who has a deep fascination with the Bible. Lets see how it evolves.

“… No matter how evident climate change becomes, however, other factors will ultimately determine whether the public accepts the facts. Empirical evidence shows that people tend to react to reports on issues such as climate change according to their personal values.  Those who favour individualism over egalitarianism are  more likely to reject evidence of climate change and calls to restrict emissions. And the messenger matters perhaps  just as much as the message. People have more trust in experts — and scientists — when they sense that the  speaker shares their values. The climate-research community would thus do well to use a diverse set of voices, from  different backgrounds, when communicating with policy-makers and the public. And scientists should be careful not to  disparage those on the other side of a debate: a respectful tone makes it easier for people to change their  minds if they share something in common with that other side. …”

Nature 463, 269 (21 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/463269a; Published online 20 January 2010