#106 | Jonathan Tweet | Grounded in Science

Submission 106
Jonathan Tweet
University Unitarian Church (Seattle, WA) 8231

What is your suggestion or idea?

As Unitarian Universalists, we use, and are inspired by, sacred and secular understandings that help us to live into our values. We respect the histories, contexts and cultures in which they were created and are currently practiced. We heed the findings of science and resist the temptations of dogma.

These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for the religious ancestries we inherit and the diversity which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

UUs tend to love science. Heeding the findings of science differentiates us from a New Age movement. Without science to ground us, we would be subject to pseudoscience, misinformation, and social-media fads.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

Congregants I’ve spoken to have universally valued science and wanted to see it included in the text. Most congregants are shocked and displeased when they hear that the new text eliminates the reference to science.


The formatting has been lost in these proposals so the reader can’t easily tell what’s added in this amendment. Likewise, readers can’t see which text has been struck through.

We’re correcting and adding any formatting important for context that got lost during the import. This post and others will be corrected soon.


I am concerned about the absence of science and reason in the proposed values, and fully support the sentiment of this proposal.


Our fellowship is in agreement with this suggestion. We’d like to see a petal added for “reason”, which we believe includes science. Our discussions suggest our humanists values of reason and science have faded to the background.


I like the way you have added science here. I would prefer to see this included with more detailed references to other sources, such as world religions, art, and direct experience.


Yes, “reason” is a definitive value in UUism. Some people say that “reason” is bad because it’s part of white supremacy, but that’s just one idea, and most UUs don’t agree with that.


Like you, I’d like to see more changes to the Inspirations section, but I also favor singling out science for its own amendment. If “science” is combined with other changes that are less popular, then science might get voted down on account of the other changes in the amendment. I think that science is important enough that the delegates should discuss and vote on it in isolation.



I had thought of science and reason. So you do not think science should be bundled with reason? truly on its own?

I think that’s a likely a very astute observation that Science should be voted on as an independent amendment, NOT combined with anything else.

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Thanks for the good question. I’d be happy to see reason included with science because they go together. Both UUs who like reason and those so denigrate it would agree that reason and science go together.

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@JonathanTSeattle Good. Reason and science indeed do go together for me too, and so this mean that a single amendment partnering reason and science ought be proposed. I hope this is one of the grouped topics for the May workshop so we can work on forming it into a powerful amendment.

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I agree with capturing “reason” and “science”. Our old phrase of a “responsible search for truth” caught that very well, I always thought.

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That is very sound practice. I agree that it must be retained.

yes, that is an important phrase

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To all who wish to continue to pursue the notion of an Amendment to add Reason as a UU Value: