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Relying on Science but Missing the Truth

The son of a scientist and a doctor, Jad Abumrad, is co-host of Radiolab one of public radio’s most popular shows today. In a TED talk in 2020, Abumrad talked about his approach:

From 2002 to 2010, I did hundreds of science-y, neuroscience-y, very heady, brainy stories that would always resolve into that feeling of wonder. And I began to see that as my job, to lead people to moments of wonder. Now, I love science, don't get me wrong. But there was something about that simple movement from science to wonder that just started to feel wrong to me. Like, is that the only path a story can take?

Around 2012, I ran into a bunch of different stories that made me think, No. One story in particular, where we interviewed a guy who described chemical weapons being used against him and his fellow villagers in Laos. Western scientists went there, (tested) for chemical weapons, (but) didn't find any. We interviewed the man about this. He said the scientists were wrong. We said, “But they tested.” He said, “I don't care, I know what happened to me.” And we went back and forth and back and forth, and make a long story short, the interview ended in tears.

I felt horrible. Like, hammering at a scientific truth, when someone has suffered. That wasn't going to heal anything. And maybe I was relying too much on science to find the truth.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This same misplaced reliance happens in the arena of faith and science. Some trust so heavily in man’s scientific wisdom, which can soon become outdated, that they fail to see God’s eternal truth. As Romans says, “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Rom. 1:19)


Jad Abumrad, “How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany,” TED Talk (6-25-20)

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