63 minutes | Mar 31st 2020

Ancient Prophecy and Modern Scientific Forecasting

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How has the modern practice of scientific forecasting taken over the ancient role of priests and other experts who interpreted signs and provided warnings? I start off talking about the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which was clearly foreseen by many experts who offered urgent warnings to policymakers. I then look at the theme of “knowledge or beliefs about the future” in a selection of stories in the Hebrew Bible, arguing that these stories are often about taking advice from the right authorities. I conclude with the argument that people who consider themselves religious or spiritual today are responsible for following the advice of scientific experts such as climate scientists and for being the most enthusiastic about supporting their recommendations.
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