Engaging the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI: The Need for Respectful Criticism

As I noted in a previous entry, I believe that Pope Benedict is open to respectful and meaningful criticism of the sort which might be given by one competent scholar to the work of another or by one devout Christian thinker to the thoughts of another — else why would he go out of his … [Read more…]

Engaging the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI: Theory of Knowledge

Pope Benedict has an appropriate respect for the human mind and its products, cultural and intellectual and spiritual. Yet, there’s a big gap in his thought that could be filled only by a proper appreciation for modern empirical knowledge, including in a very explicit way the problem areas of mathematics, physics, and evolutionary biology. I … [Read more…]

Looking for Creativity in All the Wrong Places

A news story about an international meeting of the Jesuits, [ Cardinal Rode Exhorts Jesuits to Love Church], includes these paragraphs: [Cardinal Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life at the Vatican] also mentioned the “feeling of ever growing separation between faith and culture, a separation which … [Read more…]

Einstein and Bohr: Don’t tell God what to do!

Alastair Rae adds a wrinkle to a famous comment by Einstein: When Einstein said that ‘God does not play dice’, Bohr is said to have replied, ‘Don’t tell God what to do!’ [Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality, Alastair Rae, Cambridge University Press, Canto Edition, 1994, page 22] He notes that there’s some doubt as to … [Read more…]

The Metaphysics of Position, Momentum, and Missed Field-goals

After discussing a use of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to understand the results of experiments in the fairly straightforward case of the polarization of light-waves and of individual photons, Alastair Rae speculates: [If] we understood properly what the concepts of position and momentum mean on an atomic scale we might find it…illogical to possess definite values … [Read more…]