FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 3: Big Questions


2. Investigation


The goal of this topic is to give students practice in carefully drawing conclusions by focusing on the ethical and philosophical implications of developments in applied science and technology.

Continuing from the journal prompt students responded to at the end of the previous topic, the majority of this session will be an academic dialogue on the question: “What are the ethical, philosophical, or theological implications of this scientific development?”

For the discussion:

  • Consider starting class with the desks arranged in a circle.
  • Explain or review your expectations for the dialogue.
  • Remind students that you will look specifically for virtuous behavior.
  • Let them know that you expect them to go beyond personal opinion and give detailed references from the readings and/or other evidence they studied.

For the debrief:

  • Bring the dialogue to a conclusion about 15 minutes before the end of the session.
  • Allow ten minutes for a debrief.
  • Spend some of the time on content—correcting erroneous thinking or pointing out logical thinking.
  • Spend some of the time debriefing virtue—praise students who acted virtuously or bring up moments when students failed to do so.

During the last five minutes of class, assign the following writing task:

  • Pick one specific article from those provided and write a personal response in the form of an essay, short story, poetry, or other type of writing—feel free to be creative.
  • In your writing, include a response to the following questions:
    • How should a Christian respond to the opportunity to utilize this discovery or technology?
    • Why should they respond in this way?

You may consider including a Movie Night activity as an optional addition to this topic. Gattaca is a PG-13 science fiction film from 1997 that imagines how society might be negatively changed by human genetic modification. It can be a helpful tool for exploring how scientific inquiry might be related to theology, ethics, philosophy, literature, and/or faith.

For information on Gattaca and its relationship to currently available technologies see:

Next Topic: