Live from On Being on Loring Park: Randomness and Revelation — A Civil Conversation about Science and Religion (Video)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 10:23am
Live from On Being on Loring Park: Randomness and Revelation — A Civil Conversation about Science and Religion (Video)

Join us at 1:00PM (CT) today for a live video stream of our inaugural live event at On Being Studios. It's sure to be a rich discussion about science and religion between two great thinkers.

Commentary by:
Mariah Helgeson (@mariahism),  associate producer for On Being
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Jim Bradley is a mathematician and a Christian. He's seeking to reconcile the scientific observation of randomness in the universe with the religious observation of God's action in the world. Michael Ruse is a Quaker-born philosopher of science and an atheist. He believes that it is possible to reconcile Christian faith with evolutionary theory. As part of The Civil Conversations Project (, On Being host Krista Tippett will draw them out on the fascinating ways science and religion are finding new paths to each other in our time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 (1-3 pm CT)

On Being on Loring Park
1619 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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Mariah Helgeson is an associate producer at On Being. She earned a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University. She grew up in Minnesota and was a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music.

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Wonderful conversation! Congratulations! Looking forward to more.

Plain and simple, this was a great show! I have a deep for people who can sit and discuss their personal beliefs that are as different as Mr. Ruse and Mr. Bradley. To often times people allow their emotions to get in the way and it is no longer a healthy discussion.

The questions arising from pondering evolution expand the wonder of the universe. When we consider the probability that evolution has occurred, is proceeding, and will arise again in unnumbered other worlds, other galaxies, who can doubt that somewhere else in God's creation (assuming there is a God... or not) another sentient species lives, loves, sins and needs redemption. If there is a God, why would he play this game only once? If I believe in the Incarnation, I think that too must be happening elsewhere.

Introducing the apparent conflict between 'purpose' and 'randomness,' Jim Bradley said, "Interpretation is critical."

That sentence is worth attending to. It can remind us of the importance of how we interpret phenomena and the word 'random' -- but also of the act of interpretation itself.

More directly, the act of knowing -- attending, perceiving, underdstanding -- is a central mystery, easily overlooked. (It is ignored, for example, whenever someone denies that there is meaning or truth -- while failing to notice that they are asserting that their statement is meaningful and true. Another example was referreed to later in this program: Hilary Putnam's "Ethics without Ontology." Such a concept only seems to make sense if we allow ourselves to ignore the arising, the ontology, of ideas themselves -- including moral ones.)

Awakening to the activity of knowing, and of awareness itself, has been regarded as central in many traditions. It is often imaged as becoming aware of the Light. (Like light, awareness is itself invisible, but makes all else visible.) In the context of this conversation, we might say it is awakening to the source of meaning.

Some references:

Geoff Swaebe, “Recognition of Being: An Interview with Georg Kühlewind,” in Parabola: Myth, Tradition, and the Search for Meaning (vol. 26, no. 2, Summer 2001). Currently available on line at

Georg Kühlewind, From Normal to Healthy: Paths to the Liberation of Consciousness. Lindisfarne Books January 1988. 978-0-940262-10-2.

Georg Kühlewind, The Logos-Structure of the World: Language As Model of Reality. Lindisfarne Books. 978-0-940262-48-5.

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