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"Science and The Good," with Dr. Paul Nedelisky

February 4th, 2020 | 2 min read

By Caleb Wait

Can science tell us how we should live or why we should be good and not evil? Paul Nedelisky joins Matt, Derek, and Alastair to explore these questions and discuss his latest book (co-written with James Davidson Hunter), Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality.


Intro + historical overview of science as a reason for morality [0:00 - 9:10]

The naturalistic fallacy, and moral norms and the sciences and how these two consisted of modernity [9:10 - 16:30]

How science as the basis for morality affects politics and social institutions/demographics [16:30 - 22:40]

Is the rise of evolutionary psychology and its input in social discussions (e.g., gender, masculinity) a form of natural theology/ethics? [22:40 - 30:50]

Nature has influenced Christians and evolutionary psychologists in different ways, increasingly there is resistance to natural accounts of reality. Are upcoming trends moving towards naturalism or away? [33:40 - 39:07]

How evolutionary and natural moralism is being received at popular levels and on college campuses [39:07 - 42:29]

The “Positive Psychology Movement” [42:29 - 45:15]

The insufficiency of science to answer the need of grace [45:15 - 49:11]

Resources mentioned:

Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality

Article: BLOODLESS MORALISM by Helen Andrews (First Things)


If you’re interested in supporting the show financially, you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.



Caleb Wait

Caleb Wait (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is a writer and the producer of Mere Fidelity. He and his wife Kristin have two children and live in Northern California. You can follow him on Twitter @calebwait and he invites you to email him at