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Evolution and Reductionism PDF Print E-mail
“In our world,” said Eustace, “ a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”

“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of.

-C.S. Lewis in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The dilemma of modern humans, according to the late Walker Percy, is that we live in an era in

which we understand more about the universe in which we live than ever before and less about

what it means to be human than ever before. We are in his words like a child “who sees

everything in his world, names everything, knows everything except himself.”

This dilemma shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all we are complicated beings. On

one hand we are marvels of mechanical cause and effect The hand, the eye, and the ear are

so complex that in the minds of many they bear witness to a creator. The complexity of the

human brain alone rivals that seen in the rest of the visible universe. On the other we are

spiritual/mental/emotional beings, too. Consider Bach’s choral works, Shakespeare’s plays,

Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. Are they merely the by-products of matter? More than one

philosophical naturalist has remarked on the irony that if humans are indeed merely accidents of

an impersonal universe, then in us oddly the universe has begun to contemplate itself.

In an effort to simplify our self-explanations, we’ve tended to reduce one facet of our being to

the other. To the Platonic Greeks we were ghosts somehow trapped in a machine, and the

machine was less important than the ghost if for no other reason because it is disposable. We

do die after all. It’s a view of people that produced Gregorian chant and gothic architecture

amongst other beauties, but at the same time tends to strip the actions of physical people in a

physical world of their value.
UT Commencement Speech 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Navy SEAL Commander Tells Students To Make Their Beds Every Morning In Incredible Commencement Speech
U.S. Navy admiral and University of Texas, Austin, alumnus William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week to give seniors 10 lessons from basic SEAL training when he spoke at the school's commencement.


McRaven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, stressed the importance of making your bed every morning, taking on obstacles headfirst, and realizing that it's OK to be a "sugar cookie."

Here are McRaven's 10 lessons from his years of experience as a Navy SEAL, via University of Texas, Austin:

Newsletters PDF Print E-mail

Perspectives — January 2006


January 2006 PDF Print E-mail


A Monthly Newsletter of Hill House, Austin
January 2006

  • A Word from the Hill House's Director
  • Heartbreak & Grace: The Life and Songs of Johnny Cash
  • Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design

    A Word from the Director

    Dear Friends,

    This month's edition of Perspectives has something for both sides of your brain.
    For the scientifically-minded Dr. Ray Bohlin weighs in on the controversy surrounding teaching intelligent design in public schools. Given the recent federal court ruling that teaching ID amounts to teaching religion, many feel the future of ID is in doubt… or is it?

    Some fans of the arts may scorn the music of Johnny Cash, but I don't. Growing up in Alabama, my first exposure to popular music came through country/western radio, and when I was a boy, Cash was king. Denis Haack's review of the Man in Black's autobiography and music renews fond memories and strengthens my faith.

    As always we welcome your comments and questions. Email us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Grace and Peace,
    Greg Grooms