This week on Thinking with the Church: a conversation with a biologist who designed – together with his students at Cristo Rey Prep in Houston – one of the experiments sent to space on the Space-X 9 and conducted aboard the International Space Station, with a convert to Catholicism who came to the fullness of the faith through a conviction in the oneness of truth and the need to seek the truth intrepidly, with an officer in the United States Navy, and with a Jesuit priest currently doing doctoral work in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Our first round-table edition? Not yet. Fr. Brian Reedy SJ is our guest this week.
Fr. Reedy is an open book: ask him anything, and he’ll tell you what he thinks, and why – which makes talking with him as challenging as scaling a sheer mountain face, and refreshing as a cool spring in the desert – but don’t take my word for it: click below to hear the episode (show notes are below the player, and will be updated throughout the week)
*************** Show Notes ****************
Cristo Rey Jesuit Prep and the SpaceX 9 slime mold experiment:
In the introduction, I mentioned the work of a group of students led in part by our guest this week, Fr. Brian Reedy SJ. The story of dedication, perseverance in the face of extreme adversity, and good ol’ fashioned pluck, is one to tell. You can find out more at the following links: Press Release from the Cristo Rey Network announcing the successful launch following the first, failed launch in 2014; NASA mission pages detail of the students’ experiment; more about the Cristo Rey Jesuit school network
Leonhard Euler was a Swiss mathematician and polymath, whose contributions to number theory, pure and applied mathematics, physics, and engineering continue not only to influence but in many ways to direct the course of scientific discovery and technological achievement today. His theorem, which Fr. Reedy mentions toward the end of the conversation, is – forgive this mathematical layman’s conceit – essentially a mathematical expression of hermeneusis: the ability to see the deep unity in diversity and the infinite variety within the oneness of the created order – the forest and the trees, if you will – a mathematical foundation for our ability to see the whole without eschewing the question, “Which is which?” – a kind of thinking that is philosophy as I care about it most deeply.
Leonhard Euler, portrait by Emanuel Handmann