On the Life of Pi, story telling, and the truth

Unknown-3With one voice, philosophers and theologians throughout intellectual history have affirmed the fundamental religiosity of man. In Yann Martel’s book Life of Pie, the young boy, Piscine Molitor Patel, embraces this impulse in spades—becoming (unbeknownst to his parents) a follower of Christ, Krishna, and Allah. The first part of the book paints a portrait of “Pi” as a gentle, clean hearted, and wise worshipper of the divine as well as a contented zookeeper’s son.

The American Idol Audition, Ph.D. Dissertation Defense, and the Human Longing for Quest

Unknown-2My favorite part of American Idol is the first few weeks. The Idol Machine travels around the country and people come out by the thousands to stand before the judges and sing their heart out. The goal is the get the coveted yellow piece of paper and to be told “Your going to Hollywood.” As I watched the show these past few weeks (yes, I admit it), it dawned on me that there are a lot of similarities between an American Idol audition and a Ph.D. defense. I’ve been through one, and I’ve watched the other for a while now. As I watch Idol, a funny thing happens to me, I find emotions reminiscent of the day when I defended my dissertation arise within the contestants and sometimes within me. The audition and the defense are of the same piece:

Forks in the Road in Choosing a Model of Origins

UnknownIn my last post, I introduced Gerald Rau’s new book Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything. Rau’s book is very helpful in framing the issues surrounding the debate over the origin of the universe, life, species, and humans. I don’t find it as helpful in its assessment of the merits and shortcomings of each model (indeed this isn’t Rau’s goal). But, I do think we can discern from the book certain “forks in the road” that can help us in choosing a model of origins.

Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything

imagesI’ve just started reading Gerald Rau’s book Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything, and I must say, I am finding it incredibly helpful. There is a lot of heat, and less light these days in the so-called “science vs. religion” wars. Rau’s purpose (as far as I can tell 80 pages in) is simply to educate without taking a side on the various positions one may hold in explaining four separate events: the origin of the universe, life, species, and humans. The book is well organized and contains many helpful charts (these alone are worth the price of the book) at the end that set each of the models side-by-side, highlighting similarities and differences.

Top Five Blogs from 2012

UnknownThis week marks the year anniversary of the Brilliant and Beautiful Blog. One year ago I decided to add my voice to the cacophony that is the Internet, and in my first-ever blog I explained why.