Science and religion join to discuss environmental attitudes

Haley Keding

An “attitude of reverence toward the world,” physics professor Jon Secaur said, is key to developing a healthy perspective on the environment.

The Catholic Student Association invited Secaur to speak Thursday as part of its Catholic social teaching series, which addresses modern issues like preserving the environment and provides direction on how Catholics should react to such issues. 

Secaur decided to focus his talk, titled “Caring for Creation,” on the human perspective of the earth and how to live a more environmentally friendly life.

“I want to go a lot deeper than these kinds of things,” Secaur said.  “I want to talk about why we should care about the world in the first place.”

Stacey Forte, a senior integrated mathematics major and CSA prayer and worship officer, agreed with Secaur’s emphasis on respecting creation.

“We should be stewards of the earth and work to sustain it, not destroy it,” Forte said.

Forte and two other CSA students organized the discussion and said CSA’s decision to address the environment in November was intentional.  During this month, people give thanks and spend time outside enjoying God’s creation, so CSA thought it would be a good time to discuss the teaching.

Junior physics major and CSA education officer Paul Billig saw Secaur as a good match for the topic of the night.

“He has the unique standpoint of being a physics professor and a devout Christian,” Billig said. “He’s living proof that religion and science don’t need to fight over caring for creation.”

Secaur compared his knowledge of science and religion to a View Master, a toy that combines two 2-D images to create one 3-D image.  He said both lenses separately give him a beautiful picture, but when they are put together, he gets a deeper, more complete image.

“It adds another dimension that people would not see with one perspective or another,” Secaur said.

Contact Haley Keding at [email protected].