Polkinghorne Podcast

There are a whole host of Christian thinkers who have written books on the relationship between science and religion, though I have found none more helpful than Sir John Polkinghorne (and Alister McGrath). Those currently enrolled in Dr. V's Philosophy of Science course may be interested in this recent podcast interview with Polkinghorne, entitled "Quarks and Creation" (53 mins, transcript here if you prefer to read it). Here's the description:
Science and religion are often pitted against one another; but how do they complement, rather than contradict, one another? We learn how one man applies the deepest insights of modern physics to think about how the world fundamentally works, and how the universe might make space for prayer.

Caffeine Ergo Sum

Is it just me or is there a mysterious link between philosophy and hot beverages? Perhaps hot drinks are inherently stimulating (hence the phrase "steeped in thought," perhaps). I certainly drink much more tea and coffee since I began studying philosophy at Providence. I'm even willing to assert that the development and spread of Western philosophy bears an uncanny resemblance to the expanding global trade of coffee and tea in centuries past (I think this would make for a research great paper next time Dr. V teaches History of Philosophy).

Socrates was known to meditate all day in the snow, though he probably came inside for some hot chocolate from time to time. Descartes couldn't have stayed holed up in that Bavarian cabin for very long without a nice relaxing cup of piping hot tea at the end of each day. Legend has it that Aquinas strode the damp, chilly streets of medieval Paris with a travel mug in hand. Schopenhauer was probably so gloomy because nobody ever brewed the poor guy a decent cup of coffee. And Sartre certainly didn't hang out in that coffee shop for the free wireless internet.

This phenomenon continues on in modern times. In fact, Christopher Hitchens has recently written a brief (and thoroughly English) article entitled "How To Make a Decent Cup of Tea." Providence's own Dr. V has been known to frequent Lecoka in Steinbach, as has yours truly (I recommend their vanilla bean cappuccino). Yes indeed, it certainly seems that hot beverages are conducive to philosophical thought.

Continuing this long and fruitful relationship between philosophy and hot drinks, this semester the Philosophy Foosball Club will be meeting on odd-dated Wednesdays in the Providence cafeteria at noon, beginning January 19th. The cafeteria has a fine array of Lipton teas, and surprisingly decent coffee (they also serve lunch). Hope to see you there!