Modern Plagues and the Prescience of Ray Bradbury

By |2020-05-14T19:42:56-05:00May 14th, 2020|Categories: Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Modernity, Ray Bradbury, Senior Contributors, Technology, Television|

Little did Ray Bradbury know of his prescience in 1951, as he criticized society’s obsession with screens and the far-ranging effects of technology. Could television supersede community? Could it control us to the point of isolation and loneliness? Bradbury’s writing gives us much to think about. I am haunted by a lonely man. At [...]

Science Fiction and the University of Chicago

By |2020-05-08T19:05:51-05:00May 8th, 2020|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Science, Senior Contributors|

During the spring semester of 1957, the University of Chicago invited a number of distinguished speakers to campus to lecture on the meaning and significance of science fiction as a genre. Robert Heinlein, C.M. Kornbluth, Robert Bloch, and Alfred Bester each gave insightful speeches, all of which were collected by Basil Davenport and published [...]

On Distance “Learning”

By |2020-05-08T17:21:44-05:00May 8th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Education, Technology|

Now it is at its heights that education in universities has been forced to undertake the impossible errand of distance-learning with its virtual classrooms. It is true that there is some remaining love of truth, even in the virtual classroom, but the wine of this love is diluted where the immediate interpersonal bond is broken. [...]

The Invention of Science: The Telescope & the Book of Job

By |2020-04-04T14:12:16-05:00April 4th, 2020|Categories: Atheism, Books, Christianity, Culture, History, Modernity, Religion, Science|

The Invention of Science by David Wootton is a dense, thought-provoking, and encyclopedic account of the Scientific Revolution. The book is an intellectual history, focusing mainly on the mental paradigm shift that the Revolution brought to Western Civilization. How man thinks about the natural world post-Revolution is not the same as how man thought before [...]

Three Reasons Why Internet Detox Books Leave Us Frustrated

By |2020-03-22T17:38:40-05:00March 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Culture, Modernity, Technology|

To the Christian struggling with the uncontrollable urge to engage in social media and internet searches, books like Nir Eyal’s “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” might appear to be a godsend. However, such instructions are bound to be frustrating and disappointing to those seeking lasting spiritual progress. Technology’s invasion [...]

Prometheus Unbound: Mary Shelley’s Admonishment About Scientism

By |2019-12-12T13:45:08-06:00December 12th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Literature, Modernity, Science, Technology|

In the Promethean Allegory, Prometheus is both hero and villain. In one ilk, he molded humanity out of clay to aid the titans in their struggle against the gods. But Prometheus’ revolution against the divine order cost him dearly. In a similar vein, is science more and more the quest to advance human knowledge, [...]

HAL Unplugged: Fear, Terror, and Salvation in Science Fiction

By |2019-11-21T15:21:51-06:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Film, Modernity, Paul Krause, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology|

Deep in the wellspring of science fiction is the ongoing struggle between mechanical monsters and holistic heroes. From bleak and dour tales of extermination and human destruction, to optimistic but nevertheless struggling and pathological battles to save life, science fiction has been battling with our modern monsters from the id boiling up inside of [...]

Visions of a Botanist: Explorations & Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest

By |2019-09-30T15:15:09-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College, Western Civilization|

In Wade Davis’ “One River,” every issue that a sound-minded person most cares about is joined under a novel aspect: sanity and the way to illumination, visibility and the manifestations of the divine realm, physicality and the gateway to transcendence. One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis (New [...]

Understanding Imagination

By |2019-09-18T21:54:46-05:00September 18th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College|

There is in our world a strong strain of relentless reductionism and blind rationalism whose inevitable complements are mechanical creativity-mongering and thoughtless image-proliferation. One antidote would be a revivified attention to the reason of images. Understanding Imagination, by Dennis L. Sepper (546 pages, Springer, 2013) When Professor Rosemann invited me to this colloquium—small in [...]

Quantum Physics and Mind

By |2019-08-29T11:04:07-05:00August 28th, 2019|Categories: Culture, George Stanciu, Science, Senior Contributors|

In 1989, the double-slit experiment revolutionized understanding of matter: The universe is not deterministic as promulgated by the worldview of Newtonian physics. Surprisingly, the meaning of quantum physics, a most arcane subject, remote from human experience, in light of these discoveries, raises the most profound question a person can ask—“Who am I?” In January [...]

Charles Darwin’s Two Faulty Metaphors

By |2019-08-04T21:59:11-05:00August 4th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Darwin, George Stanciu, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors|

Charles Darwin’s notion of the survival of the fittest remains a sacred idea in science—no indeed, in modern Western culture. The imagined war of every organism against every other represents a profound enculturation of science, prejudicing theories and obscuring the facts. The evidence, however, clearly shows that nature is not competitive but cooperative. “Charles [...]