Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dark Star As Epistemology Teaching Aid

My wife and I are leading a Bible study right now concerning evolution, creation, Intelligent Design, and related issues. We are trying to give everyone enough of a grounding in these subjects to understand how evolutionary theory ended up in the driver's seat; the limitations of scientific theory; that there are a variety of different Christian perspectives (theistic evolutionists, such as Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute), Old Earth Creationists (such as astrophysicist turned evangelist Dr. Hugh Ross), Young Earth Creationists, and biologists and biochemists who are Intelligent Design advocates.

We are also trying to get everyone to understand that when scientists reject supernatural explanations, it doesn't mean that they are denying the existence of God--they are arguing that you can't construct scientific theories (which are, after all, suppose to enable prediction of events) with an "M" for "miracle" in a formula.

The discussion will get more excited in the next few weeks, as we discuss the problems of translating yom, the Hebrew word that is usually rendered as "day" in translations of Genesis--but actually has quite a range of meanings, not just "twenty four hours."

Anyway, this evening, to get everyone thinking about epistemology--the study of how we know what we know--I showed the climatic sequence from Dark Star. If you've never seen this film--which was John Carpenter's directorial debut--you should. It was originally a 65 minute student film, and when you look at the special effects, it does show. But it is still screamingly funny--especially the sequence at the end, where one of the humans attempts to reason with a "smart bomb," raising doubts about how much we can trust our senses to arrive at truth. (Oh, and of course, it has the best country & western outer space song ever written. Okay, the only country & western outer space song ever written.)

Oh, and the smart bomb's eventual reaction leads me to Romans chapter 1:21-23:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools....

No comments:

Post a Comment