A Matrix of Science and Religion
by Colleen Scheck, producer
Science historian Robert Crease evaluated responses to a 2008 Physics World survey that asked, “Which of the following reflects your views on science and religion?” He found he could place them in this matrix.
Dr. Feynman’s Father
Andy Dayton, Associate Web Producer
Right now I’m reading (or listening to, rather — in audio book form) The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, a collection of physicist Richard P. Feynman’s short works. Feynman was a unique and fascinating figure — not only was he a genius (he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965), but he was also a skilled explainer, storyteller, prankster, and bongo player (among other things).
The video above is from a 1981 BBC interview with Feynman, and includes some of his thoughts on religion, doubt, and uncertainty. Watching this, I couldn’t help thinking of our program “A History of Doubt.” His enthusiasm lies in the act of questioning rather than in belief: “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
This same interview is also excerpted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, and one thing that stood out to me was how much Feynman referenced his father’s teaching. I’m excited by Feynman’s ideas, but in some ways I’m even more fascinated to hear him trace those ideas back to his father. With “The Spirituality of Parenting” broadcasting this week, it seemed fitting to share a few of these stories — to catch a glimpse of how Feynman acquired his faith in doubting, as he tells it in the following video:
The Wonder of Water
by Trent Gilliss, online editor
Video snacks are the latest rage among the working proletariat nowadays. People are hungry for the sentimental, the celebratory, the enigmatically natural joy of physics, the contemplative, the comic — especially at 3 pm on a workday.
For me, one of the pure pleasures of video on the Web is discovering cinematic joy in a short commercial that I may have dismissed because of timing and the medium. But, with a set of headphones forming an aural cocoon, I can experience the magic of water balloons floating and bursting in super-slow-motion, reflect on my children and wife, and appreciate what an immensely beautiful world that presents itself. All in a Schweppes ad; can you believe it?