Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wanderers June 8, 2005

Jim Buxton wants Wanderers to know that KOPB is rebroadcasting an interesting episode of This American Life tonight, about religious education. 8 PM (91.5 FM in Portland).

This morning we hosted a meeting with Steve Runion, a high school science teacher with creationist views. He sketched out his beliefs and the kinds of struggles he encounters. The Q&A was animated yet cordial, with many overlapping and divergent views expressed.

For example, how would it be different if highly evolved ETs created the world i.e. what evidence would distinguish between God versus some Alien Nation. Or couldn't the story involve a combination of both?

Afterward, we discussed the role of personal experience in belief systems, open versus closed systems etc. The world of John Nash came up a few times, as exemplary of how personal experiences could lead one to pursue different models of reality.

George Hammond was big on the point that "models" (we hope useful to their holders) is perhaps a better word than "theories," for that which we develop and seek to reality-check in the grand scientific tradition (which tradition may be more efficient at updating its core models than some religious ones -- healthy competition keeps the evolutionary picture interesting).

Another question: so how applicable is the notion of intelligent design from this point foward, i.e. aren't we intelligent and don't we design?