Sunday, February 22, 2009

Truth, Tolerance, & Eternal Education

I really like watching BYUTV on their Move Network. That's because I really like something less than half of their programming, and like to pick and choose what I watch and when I want to watch it. (I have always been picky.) But those things I choose to watch I really enjoy. One of my favorite programming items are the BYU Forums and Devotionals. I loved these when I was there and still do. So yesterday morning when my standard 6 hours was up around 4, I got up and in the process of looking for something to occupy me came across the rebroadcast of a Forum from three years ago, 28 Feb. 2006, by a chemistry professor, Juliana Boerio-Goates.

Don't miss this one, it was great! Go to Saturday, February 21st at 4:00 a.m. and listen to the Forum address. She talks mostly about chemistry stuff, which I really enjoy, even though my aptitude is not strong in the physical sciences. I really enjoyed her explanations about how the study of heat, like the study of light, can reveal much about the properties of the world we live in. And there are some great take-aways for those willing and able to find object lessons in some of her demonstrations (e.g., only when you turn up the heat high enough can you liberate molecular structures enabling something to become something else). And she does a number of pretty cool demonstrations, like showing how cranberry juice absorbs green and blue light but not red; freezing broccoli by sticking it in a boiling liquid, and levitating a magnet with liquid nitrogen.

But the best part of her remarks came at the end when she got philisophical about the false "science/religion" dichotomy. She indicated that a little humility on both sides of the debate would enhance the discussion tremendously. By the end of her remarks I was feeling a bit humbled by the realization that one of the most important reasons we must pursue eternal education is that it seems that only truly educated people are truly tolerant. Or as one of my favorite quotes from Man's Search for Happiness, "Only when we are unafraid of truth can we find it." I need to become both more educated and more tolerant. More quotes from the Forum:

"Light can neither enter into, nor eminate from, a closed mind."
John Meacham

"... faith tied to weak reason runs the grave risk of withering into myth or superstition, while reason deprived of the knowledge that comes from Revelation ultimately arrives at questions which it must acknowledge that it cannot answer."
Pope John Paul II

"Faith is the rock foundation of all religions, but there is no special virtue in blind faith ... Here is the firm foundation for our religion - a religion that describes the glory of God as intelligence and proclaims that man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge."
President Hugh B. Brown, Vision & Valor

"The fundamental principle that has guided my religious life is that I need believe only what is true. The gospel is the truth as learned or discovered by whatever means and tools I can lay my hand or mind upon."
Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist

"In essentials, unity;
In doubtful matters, liberty;
In all things, charity."
Pope John XXIII
Ad Petri Cathedrum

1 comment:

  1. President Eyring's father's book, Reflections of a Scientist is one of my favorite books.