My coven is a wee bit different from most covens, most of the members are scientists by education and by employment. We have a chemist who was just honoured by the ACS (American Chemical Society), an immunologist who just had a paper published in Science magazine, 2 seismologists, and me the lowly naturalist, who no longer works in the field but does volunteer. Just an FYI, to get a degree as a Naturalist Interpreter you end up with several minors in scientific disciplines, mine are in Botany, Biology, Horticulture, Geography and one I can’t remember and for fun, one in photography which is more science than art when you get to the darkroom stuff. You also end up with random classes in things like astronomy, physics, ecology and other things.
All of us have our woowoo side. Some of us are more cosmologist than pagan. I still approaching things from the logical standpoint before the UPG, usually until the UPG slaps you in the head with a wet fish.
We are scientists first in view point and as we have lovingly called ourselves, Geeks, nerds and propeller heads. This has led us into some interesting situations over the years. I went to a Dianic ritual a long time ago during the AIDS crisis where the women started yelling, “Death to Scientists”?? Who the hell did they think was going to find the cure? Faith healers? I don’t think so.
Our Chemist has taught some fun Chemistry workshops at Pagan camps at it always amazes us how illiterate a lot of people are about basic science issues like the water cycle or how the Darwin’s theory works in practice and what he really said not what they think he said. It’s the creature with the best adaptation to a given habitat not the “fittest” for example. Not the same thing at all.
We have a little thing we do at equinoxes and solstices involving the globe so we see the light change as it hits the globe and are often amazed as to how few people actually know what causes equinoxes and solstices or don’t know that if you have a solar eclipse it has to be accompanied at the by a lunar eclipse in about 2 weeks. They go together, people!
People don’t know that their DNA changes and that there is a fairly new division of genetics that studies the changes called epigenetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics) this studies the changes in DNA that can do things like trigger cancers. The gene is already there but what is the trigger that causes that gene to express itself and is it environmental or from food such as soy which can alter DNA in a negative way.
Being Dianically inclined can make having a grounding in science particularly annoying because so many women seem to have a fear of the sciences and math and therefore an incomplete or completely incorrect understanding of how scientific disciples work. OR they are just frustratingly illogical.
There is nothing in magic or spirituality that is antithetical to any science. If you don’t believe me read some physics like string theory.
I highly recommend reading Terry Pratchett’s Science of Discworld 1, 2 & 3. I need to get 4, it just came out in May. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Discworld-Terry-Pratchett/dp/0091951704/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376944017&sr=8-1&keywords=science+of+discworld)
A lot of people need to take an anatomy class or microbiology. Just because you believe vaccines cause autism doesn’t make it true. The latest research this week says it may have to do with having labour induced. They also have found that there may be changes in the fluid in the placenta from things like household chemicals and organophosphates in pesticides and another study has pointed to the grandmother’s exposure causing DNA changes in the children of their offspring.
And then there are the people who claim they are vegetarian because they won’t eat a sentient being. The problem with this is that there is more and more evidence that plants have some form of sentience. A study that came out in the last 6 months showed that plant’s roots have decision making capabilities about the direction they send their roots to grow when presented with a choice. What are you going to eat now?
Science is a series of disciplines lumped under one name and it is almost infinite in its study and no one can claim to know all of them unlike the early Natural philosophers like Newton who also wrote on Alchemy as well as things like energy conservation and gravity.
To be a scientist is to question everything and not have a closed mind to any answer no matter what the answer is. This explains how the founder of JPL could be a member of OTO. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Whiteside_Parsons)
To be a scientist, it to be creative for it is by thinking creatively we get new answers to old problems. If you are not creative you are simply not going to come up with anything new. Science and its disciplines are where magic comes from. It’s magic to plant a seed and have a plant come up. It’s Botany and Genetics and Horticulture that define that plant.