science

Thoughts About Online Catholic Education

I should explain my background before hypothesizing. I taught high school chemistry in a Texas public school in the 1990’s for two years. I was 21, three years into a biology degree, and had taken no education classes because I had no plans to teach. But science teachers were in demand, the university granted me a Broadfield Science bachelor degree, and I became a teacher. […]

When Children Wonder if Faith Conflicts With Science

My first grader, Lucy, is learning about Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and The Fall. Typically, she’s dotting her i’s and crossing t’s. Typically, I’m bracing for the usual question. “Wait Mommy, who did Cain and Abel marry?” I’ll explain how we do not know, and for the first time she may wonder if faith conflicts with science. That pains me a little. […]

Should a Woman Pursue a Ph.D. in Science if She Hopes to Raise a Family?

Recently a university science major asked me some questions. “Do you recommend a young woman pursue a Ph.D. in science if she hopes to raise a family? Can she do both?” I had just finished speaking about my decision to leave my career and stay home with my “most important inorganic-organic composite material productions” (i.e. children). I have five daughters, so I’ve thought about these questions already. I […]

How Do I Evangelize My Atheist Friends?

A university student recently asked me, “How do I evangelize my atheist friends?” Here’s my angle based on experience. When I was a non-religious scientist working in lab, I sensed that science pointed to a greater truth. The order, symmetry, and predictability in this Book of Nature was not lost on me. I worked on artificial photosynthesis and nanotechnology and often stared […]

Two Vatican Scientists, One Great New Book

I’ve been enamored with Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? since the blue galley copy showed up in my mailbox. I haven’t read it all, but I’ve nibbled enough to know it’s full of wit and wisdom. My science-loving self can’t walk away from the proposition that’s in all the marketing copy: “Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light […]

Dear Chemistry Student

Dear Chemistry Student, Once upon a time, at the ripe old age of 21, I was a high school chemistry teacher. I know people often have a bad reaction to studying chemistry. It seems difficult, abstract, and useless. Indeed, you don’t need to know that water molecules have a distorted tetrahedral arrangement in which the H—O—H angle is 104.5° to be able to get on with […]

Does God Love Wolf Spiders?

  Outside the other day, we saw a wolf spider, the big jumping kind that bite. True to their faith, which inspires them to be true to their scientific spirit, the kids asked questions. “Can he hurt us? How come God created wolf spiders? How is biting good? Does God love wolf spiders?” I knelt down and locked my mommy eyes with the spider’s steely ones, and I imagined just how […]

Mom, Is It Possible to Love Someone Into Heaven?

We gather around our fire pit often in the evenings. As warm flames are wont to do, they inspire us to speculative conversation. My kids are no more insightful than anyone else’s kids, but their frankness reminds me that even though I’ve wised in maturity, much of my dazed adulthood was spent trying to forget or deny the simple truths I knew as a child. My daughters’ questions […]

The Mindless Flapping Leaf

Every springtime when the leaves reappear, I remember something profound I once said. I was a doctoral candidate at Penn State University, and our research group was dining outside on pizza and Corona® at our Friday afternoon spot. I wondered aloud, “Do you think people know how dumb we really are?” Off-the-record, of course. One of our projects was to artificially simulate photosynthesis. The contrast […]