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Two Windows

Two Windows

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Published by Gary Walter
Sometimes the fight between worldviews is just because we see things from a different perspective.
Sometimes the fight between worldviews is just because we see things from a different perspective.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Gary Walter on Dec 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Two Windows
by Gary WalterI recently had the opportunity to attend apanel discussionw
ith world-classphysicist Dr. Freeman Dyson. While I don't pretend to be a great thinker, nor doI have any direct knowledge of Dr. Dyson's teachings, a quick survey of GoogleandWikipediae
asily convinced me this would be a great way to spend anevening.Information and ideas feed my soul, you might call me aninfovore. So, afterreading the followingquote
, I quickly rearranged my schedule to attend thisevent at theUniversity of Portland
Science and religion are two windows that people look through, trying to understand thebig universe outside, trying to understand why we are here. The two windows givedifferent views, but they look out at the same universe. Both views are one-sided, neither is complete. Both leave out essential features of the real world. And both are worthy of respect.Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientificmaterialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring bothscience and religion into disrepute. The media exaggerate their numbers andimportance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious peoplebelong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that thegreat majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions.
Sitting in the front row, less than 15 feet this venerated scientist, I consumed andformulated ideas like a starving man. In the days since, I've learned that Dysonis revered and hated; he is a genius and a rebel; he is also casual, funny, andamazingly agile for a man soon to be 86 years old.During the discussion, someone asked him to discuss how he could be a scientistand a Christian at the same time. Basically, he repeated the ideas in the firstparagraph of the quote above. While he had many other interesting andsubversive thoughts, including the answer to a broad philosophical question Iwas able to ask, it was the idea of the two different windows that reallycaptured
.I am blessed to live in a rural community, so during my hour-long drive home, Iwas able to introspect and digest some of the ideas I heard last Wednesdayevening. I want to share with me the epiphany that came to me after thisencounter.It occurred to that the idea of looking
hrough two different windows is anego-centric perspective. It assumes that we are at the center of the Universe,and everything else is on the periphery of our sphere. What if it were just theopposite?

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