On A to Z

a-z-2013Someone declared April as A-to-Z Challenge Month. Sure, the challenge’s intent is to have a separate post for each letter, but hey – I have a streak of independence.

With 1,167 posts before this one, why not use my archives to meet the challenge? After all, even frequent readers aren’t aware of some of the posts.

Therefore, I present A Frank Angle’s A-to-Z. Visit as many as you like, because as in my tradition, there is something for all …. so hopefully you’ll visit at least one.

AFAa2zBadgeA is for Acquaintance – People that were not in my graduation class: set 1 and set 2

B is for Ballroom – … and ballroom dance delivers benefits

C is for Cruising – We like cruising, so start your trip with a click

D is for Dinner Group – … We hosted a night of Chopped

E is for Education Reform – Although the need is obvious, here are the obstacles

F is for Frank – Yep, that’s my name, but these are the All-Time Franks in baseball

G is for God and Government – I must say that this post about the separation of church and state is pretty darn good

H is for Handbells – It takes many bells to make one instrument

I is for Italian – I’m 100% Italian heritage, and Ellis Island is an important place

J is for Joys – To whatever give you joy, but for some of us, it’s reliving the cartoons of our youth, and here is where the series started, which led to the first honoree

K is for Knowledge – What do you know about supersonic kangaroos?

L is for LearnerLearning should never stop

M is for Moderate – This early post defines an independent moderate, thus shows why neither party wants me … well, except for my vote

N is for News – Staying informed is important, but there is something more biased than the media

O is for Ohio River – A story from my hometown on a river during my youth.

P is for Politics – I wrote this shortly after the 2008 election, but before the Tea Party’s emergence (which is what makes this post interesting)

Q is for Quantum – Actually, this past post was On a Quantum Thought

R is for Recipes – I’m sort of a Foodie, so try Cranberry Sausage Spaghetti or my own spaghetti sauce that offers a little crunch

S is for Science – Like sports, science has players, plays, rules, and boundaries

T is for Trieste – A beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea that is the place of my birth

U is for Universe – The universe is vast and inspiring, and this post includes one of my absolute favorite videos

V is for Victory – The raised arm created an unexpected moment in college

W is for Wonders – There are many wonders in our world, and let’s not forget Fibonacci, Pi, and Tau

X is for X-Factor – and one X-factor in life is forgiveness

Y is for Why because I can – This is the first main post about the religion-science interchange; now there are 44, plus here is the very first post

Z is for Zinfandel – I enjoy a wide spectrum of wines, especially reds, but zins were the first to capture my fancy – and cheers to the wine group at church

AAA+++ Bonus for the bloggers on my sidebar and on the More Bloggers page, for as without them and you, I wouldn’t be here, so try to visiting someone soon that you don’t know, and tell them I sent you.

Addendum: To learn more about the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge, click here.

On The Faith of Scientists

One day, I happened to go into a Half-Priced Books location to kill some time. Later, I walked out with an interesting book for $8 that sells for $25 on Amazon.

Written by Nancy Frankenberry, Professor of Religion at Dartmouth University, The Faith of Scientists is an anthology of twenty-one scientists through the ages. From early scientists as Galileo, Kepler, and Newton to later scientists as Darwin and Einstein, and eventually to modern-day scientists as Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, and Stephen Hawking, this book offered a peak into the personal views about the interchange between science and religion.

With each scientist isolated into their own chapter, Dr. Frankenberry consistently follows a pattern introducing the scientist in her own words over 3-5 pages followed by selected writing from the scientist.

From Pascal’s Catholicism to Ursula Goodenough’s religious naturalism to the atheism of Richard Dawkins, this book broadened my understanding of the spectrum of thoughts regarding the interchange between science and theology – especially because we live in a society where various factions pit science and faith against one another.

The Faith of Scientists is not a theology book for as the majority of the text is the words from scientists. Nor is it a book about all scientists and all perspectives. Nor is it a book with answers because a consistent vision about the interchange between science and theology does not exist.

However, The Faith of Scientists is a book that stimulates thinking, even though readers will disagree with someone. For me, it helped me understand the range of thought with atheists and agnostics – which I find to be an important aspect of my personal journey. Interestingly, reading this helped broaden my understanding, and at times, appreciation for some views with different views than mine, which allows me to find some common ground with others.

The anthology begins with Galileo and an inauguration of the apparent conflict with his empirically established views regarding the solar system, and the dogma of the Church. From a historical view, it is interesting to watch the shifting patterns of questions and concerns that the writers grapple with.

I suggest reading Nancy Frankenberry’s anthology of writings by 21 notable scientists from the 16th century to the present, as it is both surprising and illuminating. The selections center on faith, their views about God and the place religion holds–or does not hold–in their lives in light of their commitment to science.

The Faith of Scientists is a good read – an enjoyable read – and one that can increase understanding and stimulate discussions. Also, it can be easily read in segments from time to time.

On Wisdom and Creation

The Tree of Wisdom contains many branches; of which three are science, theology, and technology. While science tells us about our observations in nature, theology aims to provide meaning beyond the boundaries of nature. Meanwhile, technology is an important too because many disciplines use it to aid understanding. In terms of the Tree of Wisdom, it is up to each of us to examine the branches for reflection, integration, and application.

God gives His creatures room to be themselves – and for we humans, the space is enormous. This independence is one of God great gifts. With our minds, we can discover the great potentiality of His ongoing grand creation and His great purpose.

The human brain may be the most complex system in the natural world. Because our brain differentiates us from other living things, we have also determined that the grand creation of nature displays patterns, connections, unity, universality, and interrelationships of which we are a part. God gave us an ability to investigate (through science) and discover (through theology) that he is the ultimate source of our revelations.

I close with these words from Francis Collins, a scientist who led the Human Genome Project and is currently the head of the National Institute of Health.

I do not believe that God who created all the universe, and who communes with His people through prayer and spiritual insight, would expect us to deny the obvious truths of the natural world that science has revealed to us, in order to prove our love for Him. (from his book, The Language of God, 2006)