Hi there, family and friends! I have started a blog.*
What Will my Blog be About?
I’m still conceptualizing it, but I have some ideas. First of all, I love science (as my friends roll their eyes and say they had no idea.) Short of filling my Facebook newsfeed with geeky stories every two minutes, I thought perhaps I could channel some of the science headlines that I want to share in a more organized fashion. With a nerdy blog, I can make a list of really cool animals or volcanoes if I want to! I can describe a single species ad nauseam if I want—if I want no readers. Or I can share some of the awesome headlines of the day. The sky’s the limit! Well, my obsession with “Once Upon a Time” on NetFlix might be the limit; but, you know, same thing.
Second, I’m most definitely a faith-based person, and I like exploring different ideas within my faith and how they relate to science. The Great Debates that seem to occur in the comments sections of 10,001 different news pages, YouTube, Facebook, and all other cyber spots out there seem to indicate that you can either be scientific or you can be someone who believes in a higher power. I say pish-posh to the narrows! Don’t believe me? Well I guess you’ll have to stay tuned.
What Are My Bloggy Goals?
First, I would love to spark excitement about science! Stats show the US is lagging in scientific literacy compared to the rest of the developed world, but I think that when folks can see that science isn’t just a textbook—it’s an exciting way to learn about the amazing world around us—maybe that literacy level might change. So much of our world today requires some basic background knowledge, we owe it to ourselves to be informed citizens before heading to the polls or making various choices in our daily lives. Just look in the news—vaccines, global climate change, cancer, energy development, rises in autism diagnoses, seafood, organic vs. non-organic foods, the World Cup (wait…)—all of these topics and others require more knowledge than what you get in a newspaper article if you want to have a meaningful discussion. Part of the problem, though, is that there is a gap between the general public and the scientific community. We can speculate all we want about what’s causing the gap, but the only thing I know to do is inspire you to learn more. Plus, our world is darn cool. No, our planet is awesome! I’m blanking on really strong adjectives, but when you come up with one, that’s our universe! As I get going with this blog, I’ll admit that I’m definitely going to be biased towards biology since that’s where my training comes from, but I can admire and appreciate other disciplines from afar. Quantum mechanics…very afar.
Second, I’ll admit this is kind of a left-field reason, I want to help homeschooling families with science at home. I was homeschooled K-12 and I had a great experience with it. English was my mom’s second language and she only had a GED, but she was tremendously dedicated to my education. My sister and I never fell below the 90th academic percentile, and good heavens’ knows it wasn’t because we’re unusually smart (well, my sister is.) We simply had a mom who made our education and life experiences her first priorities. I believe that any motivated parent can do that as well, and I want to help! Science at home isn’t easy, though. Ask my mom. By high school, I needed tutoring for chemistry and physics, and we were always looking for creative explanations and experiments for me to bridge some gaps. Now, to be perfectly honest, I never really bonded with chemistry and I certainly never fell for physics, but I made some decent progress in my own little corner of the scientific community. Now I want to go back and help the folks who are where I was ten-fifteen years ago. Hopefully I can serve up some suggestions on how to supplement your selected curriculum and go deeper than the dusty pages.
Third, I want to foster a better relationship between the church and members of the scientific community. Since I have roots in both faith and science, I’m at a better point than most to understand the deeper significance behind all the confusion, dislike, rejection, and miscommunication on some very important and yet incredibly sensitive subjects in science. As someone who was raised conservatively and still believes in my Lord and Savior, I understand exactly how frustrating it can be to talk to an evolutionary biologist who doesn’t know or care why you believe what you do, but rather is only concerned with telling you how wrong you are and insulting your intelligence because of it. On the flip side, evolution was the subject of one of my doctoral qualifying exams, and I could probably tell you more about a molecular clock than I can the digital clock on my cell phone. The thing is, though, I’ll be upfront and say I’m not in it to instantly change minds. I just want to clear up some confusion, share some information, put the discussion on a better playing field, and hopefully diffuse some of the tension. I don’t like deriding comments coming from members of either the church or academic community, but I get both and I’m sure there are plenty of others who do as well. I just want to be a peacemaker J It doesn’t have to be science or faith. Unite the kingdoms! (But only if there’s a really hot prince in it for me…otherwise, we can just be friendly neighbors.)
Fourth: woman in science (drops the mic.)
Wrap up the Rambling**
I think this will do it for today. For future reference, I can’t picture myself coming up with more than one or two posts per week, but I guarantee you will get your full dose of Maria in each one (take that as either good or bad). I’m also going to guess that for a while, I’m going to be posting more gee-whiz kinds of things rather than diving into the deep, but we’ll get there. Hopefully this all made sense and sounds like something worth reading!
Peace, love, and science!
*Does that count as a complete introduction? Ok, cool. I can check that part off my list. I stared at my computer screen for about three minutes, unintentionally making an angry duckface, until I decided a pleasant greeting and statement of the obvious would suffice.
**Does that still count as alliteration?