Thursday, September 23, 2004

Public Broadcasting Broadening

So someone in the "spirituality" department at PBS finally got their act together, and exchanged the inane neo-transcendentalist ramblings of Wayne Dyer during the fund drive for a serious conversation about God. Who would have thought that the same channel that produced the controversial Carl Sagan documentary Cosmos would now air a program that parallels documentaries on the lives of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, interwoven with a conversation with modern skeptics and believers. And believe it or not... the God squad (so far) has the upper hand.
But how hard is it to gain an upper hand with closet modernists? The "skeptics" they've invited on the show, at least one complete with mock turtleneck and blazer, have claimed that
"Science is the only common objective standard,"
which means they've got a lot of catching up to do in contemporary physics! Though coffee-shop atheists still think that science can "account for everything," don't they realize that real scientists who spend their time in laboratories not coffeeshops have (for quite some time) conceded that the ever-so-slippery universe has popped out of yet another box designed for it by generations past - this time the box labeled "science is the only common objective standard"? Of course not all scientists today are Christians, let alone theists, but the old "I believe in science, not God" resort simply doesn't work anymore. But it is still attempted... and the result is that the self-professed "free thinkers," don't seem to be so free.

In Howatch's latest novel, when someone insists,
"No... I don't believe the Christian stuff about the resurrection of the body. That's just contrary to common sense."
a priest responds
"So is much of the world revealed by modern physics!" (p. 424)
Whether it pleases readers of Skeptic Magazine or not, in this day and age a response like that by a believer is fair game. What's foul is pretending that the world can still be "rationally" explained with neat and tidy Newtonian categories. It can't. This of course doesn't mean Christianity wins, there's still a lot of battles to fight, it's just that that's not one of them.

So Bravo to the post-Sagan PBS for airing an actual debate. Part II airs tonight at 9pm, and will I hope air again.