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Congratulations Taylor University Ethics Bowl Team

Congratulations to the Taylor University Ethics Bowl Team for winning the Regional Ethics Bowl competition. Both Taylor teams were undefeated in the competition with Team #1 defeating teams from Marian University, DePauw University and Indiana University and placing first overall in the competition and Team #2 defeating University of Arkansas, Ohio Northern University, and Mt. St. Joseph University and placing 5th overall.

They have qualified to compete in the national competition on February 21, 2016 in Reston Virginia to defend their national championship from last year.

Members of the team include Veronica Toth, Blair Hedges, Jackson Wilcox, Sarah Manko, Caleb Holleman, Loyal Juraschek, Kasey Leander, Sam Moore, Gabriel Harder, Chin Ai Oh, Bo Thomas, and Gloria Talbot. The coach of the team is Dr. Jim Spiegel.


2015 Walter Randall Lecture on Ethics and Research

Nancy Jones pictureDr. Nancy Jones, a Senior Science Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, presented the 2015 Walter Randall Lecture on Research and Ethics on Monday, October 19. Her topic was “Navigating the Nexus of Science and Ethics.” She talked about the difference between how science actually works and how it is sometimes perceived. Science is sometimes seen as the ultimate source of truth, but is really a way to model physical reality in a way we can begin to understand it. Science does not have the ability to produce moral values, but is influenced by the values that researchers bring to it. Science is best when it is objective, but objectivity is difficult to achieve. For science to be done well it needs to be done within a moral framework that science itself cannot produce.

This annual lecture series is done in memory of Dr. Walter Randall, a Taylor University alumnus, who returned to Taylor toward the end of his career as a researcher in physiology to include Taylor students in doing his research on cardiac physiology.


Conversation on Animal Welfare and Christian Ethics

everylivingthing-004The Center for Ethics hosted a Conversation on Animal Welfare and Christian Ethics on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. There were approximately 50 people present to discuss the recently released Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals written by Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Convention, Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Mark Rodgers of the Clapham Group. Our panel of speakers included Abby Skeans of the Clapham Group, Reasa Currier of the Humane Society of the US, Dr. Charles Arand of Concordia Theological Seminary and member of the HSUS Faith Advisory Council, and Dr. Jim Spiegel, professor of philosophy and ethics here at Taylor. The presentations by the panel explored the biblical theology of creation and how that impacts the way we care for animals as stewards of creation and referenced the history of Christian support for animal welfare, while recognizing that the place of human beings in creation is different than that of animals. There was a good discussion between those attending and the panel members following their presentations. If you are interested in the statement we were discussing it can be found at Clicking the “sign the statement” button allows you to read the statement and then choose if you would like to sign it.


Fall Ethics Events

The next few weeks will be busy for the Center for Ethics.

Students for Ethics has joined with Alpha Pi Iota, the health professions student club, to sponsor a discussion of the ethics of physician assisted suicide on Tuesday, 9/22/15 at 7 PM. The discussion will focus on Brittany Maynard and her decision to end her life with PAS and her advocacy of legal PAS.

On Tuesday, 10/6/15, the Center for Ethics will be hosting a Conversation on Animal Welfare and Christian Ethics. This will be a panel discussion focused on the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals. This statement was written by several evangelical leaders in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States and will be released at the end of September. the discussion at Taylor will be the first of a series of discussions across the country as a part of the Every Living Thing campaign being coordinated by The Clapham Group. Taylor University’s Dr. Jim Spiegel will be on the panel along with Reasa Currier of the Humane Society of the United States; Dr. Charles Arand, member of Humane Society Faith Advisory Council and Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis; and Abby Skeans of The Clapham Group. the discussion will be at 7 PM in the Recital Hall.

On Monday, 10/19/15, Dr. Nancy Jones will be coming to Taylor for the second annual Walter Randall Lecture on Ethics and Research. Dr. Jones is a senior health science policy analyst at the
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the NIH. her topic will be “Navigating the Nexus of Science and Ethics”. We will meet at 4 PM in Euler 109.


Annual Report 2014-2015

The Annual Report of the Taylor University Center for Ethics for 2014-2015 is available by clicking on the Annual Report heading or at this link. Read about what the Center has been doing in the past academic year.


Students for Ethics sponsors discussion of religious freedom

Students for Ethics has sponsored several student discussions focused on the ethical issues related to current events throughout the year. The most recent discussion on April 22 featured a faculty panel of Dr. Jim Spiegel, Dr. Nicholas Kerton-Johnson, and Dr. Stephen Phillips addressing the issue of religious freedom in relation to the recently passed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There were over 40 people in attendance and excellent participation in the discussion.


Taylor University Ethics Bowl Team Wins the National Championship

2015 national champion Ethics Bowl team

Congratulations to the Taylor University Ethics Bowl team who won the national championship on 2/22/15.  They won all three qualifying matches (against Duke, Santa Clara and Texas Pan American).  Then they defeated Villanova in the quarter-finals, Indiana University in the semi-finals, and Whitworth University in the championship match.  The competition took place at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa, California.  32 teams total, all having qualified by finishing among the top teams in their region.  There are ten regions nationwide, with several hundred teams competing across the nation.



The cases topics at nationals were the following (two cases covered per match):

  • The ethics of unpaid internships
  • The use of ancient artifacts (Roman lead ingots) for scientific purposes
  • The ethics of “prescriptive planting” farming technology
  • The killing of civilians in war
  • Parental rights of rapists
  • Fracking
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Minimum wage
  • Horse slaughterhouses
  • Stealth (undercover) journalism
  • Media use of “crowdsourcing”
  • Transgendered people and public bathrooms

Team roster:

Jess Biermann, Senior (Philosophy)

Nathaniel Cullen, Senior (Philosophy and Environmental Studies)

Kasey Leander, Junior (Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics)

Davis Meadors, Senior (Philosophy)

Caleb Nagel, Senior (Political Science)

Mark Taylor, Senior (Philosophy)

Veronica Toth, Junior (English)


Non-roster E-Bowlers who were on the Fall regionals team and made the trip to nationals, supporting the team in various ways:

Kyle Carruthers, Senior (Professional Writing)

Lydia Grace Espiritu (Philosophy)


Jim Spiegel is the coach.

Katie Duncan is the assistant coach, and she led the team in the Fall when the team qualified for nationals.


Taylor Univeristy Ethics Bowl team qualifies for national competition at 2014 Regionals

2014 regional ethics bowl team








The Taylor University Ethics Bowl team took second place in the Midwest Regional Ethics Bowl competition on November 1, 2014 which qualifies them for the national competition in Costa Mesa California on February 22, 2015. Taylor University was one of 15 schools competing in the regional competition. The team was coached this year by Katie Duncan. Students on the team include:

Veronica Toth (Junior, English Lit)

Kayla Gotha (Senior, Political Science)

Kasey Leander (Junior, History/PPE)

Joe Kasper (Senior, Chemistry/Math)

Mark Taylor (Senior, Philosophy)

Jess Biermann (Senior, Philosophy)

Nathaniel Cullen (Senior, Philosophy)

Davis Meadors (Senior, Philosophy/Bib Lit)

Caleb Nagel (Senior, Political Science/History)

Lydia Grace Espiritu (Junior, Philosophy)

Seth Brandle (Junior, Political Science)

Blair Hedges (Sophomore, English)

Stephen Weick (Senior, Philosophy)


Annual report for 2013-2014

The annual report of the Taylor University Center for Ethics for 2013-2014 is now available on the Annual Report page. Copies of the Integration of Faith and Living statement and the Five Year Vision are included with the annual report.


5 year vision for the Center

The steering committee for the Center for Ethics has developed a five year vision for the center. This vision is now posted at Five Year Vision.