Monday, October 23, 2006

Owen Gingerich


While my daughter and I were in Massashusetts last weekend,we went to hear my undergraduate thesis advisor give a talk at a bookstore. I learned from him that he was coming down to this area, so we are going to go hear him again today.

He has recently published a book on science and religion. At the bookstore, he explained that he grew up in the Mennonite tradition--his father's four great grandfathers were all Amish ministers. He went to an evangelical college, and was hesistant to go to graduate school in astronomy because how would that be serving the needs of the world? His chemistry professor advised him to study astronomy if he felt called, saying "We can't let the atheists take over any field." I love the thought that he has come full circle and is enriching the discussion of science and religion.

3 comments:

nancytoby said...

Heh, I wonder how he'd react to being told "We can't let those religionists take over any field."

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the perfect thing to say to someone who "wanted to", but also didn't not want go against his culture and tribe/beliefs.
Instead of shutting a door, he opened one!

Joann said...

I've known a few people who were raised Mennonite and left the community for education. All were aflicted with terrible guilt and increadibly difficult relationships with their loved ones who stayed.

It takes courage with a capital "C" to move away from the community that is generally all you know.

While many of us have difficulties with our family relationships, THAT is a huge leap between cultures, value-systems, and becoming a non-conformist among specialists in non-conformity.

Sounds like an interesting book.

It's nifty that you're getting to enjoy so much time with E. this year. SO much more affirming than some of what I heard you've experienced at the same age. That's a great gift to E.