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Paul and Bill discuss some of the ways in which human minds go wrong. Paul wonders aloud whether the state of spiritual disconnection called "original sin" is specifically manifested in the ways parents relate, or don't relate, to children and the problems that follow from that for the rest of our lives. We discuss Henri Nouwen (a little) and Eckha…
 
Life is pretty intense for Paul these days. We present this interview with Megan Levis from the 2019 Society of Catholic Scientists archives, every bit as relevant now as it was then. It was originally presented as two episodes. Megan Levis is a fifth-year graduate student in bioengineering at the University of Notre Dame. The topic of her talk at …
 
This episode had to be rushed in due to Paul's travel schedule. He got to visit a location peculiarly dear to his heart, Lander, Wyoming, and give a talk at Wyoming Catholic College. It's just Paul's cut of the raw audio, bonus-episode style, since we had to record it Sunday afternoon. Paul and Bill discuss the visit and the substance of his field …
 
Paul and Bill talk here about a mix of psychology and societal dilemmas in light of Catholic values. Twelve-step programs have experience with an interpersonal phenomenon often called “taking someone else’s inventory,” Paul points out. This entails one individual assessing another through a facile psychological analysis of supposed characteristics …
 
Aida Ramos, Ph.D., is an associate professor of economics at the University of Dallas. She returns to TSSM, in this episode recorded early in the week of January 4, 2021, to discuss Catholic perspectives on United States policy efforts to stimulate the economy. During the discussion, Bill recalled a class he took at the Princeton School of Public a…
 
In this last episode of 2020, Bill and I discuss how attention, focus, and distraction are shaping us and being engineered in our media-saturated culture. We can't pay attention to everything, and in this environment, it seems that censorship is becoming a politically acceptable option for tech companies, as the Trump election corruption allegation…
 
Our guest, economics professor Dr. Aida Ramos, returned for further conversation after Episode 114. She pointed to wisdom in papal encyclicals from the past that we still need to tap into today—for the sake of just and reasonable arrangements in society and the economy. The granddaddy of these encyclicals is Rerum Novarum, from Pope Leo XIII in 189…
 
Paul and Bill spoke with Aida Ramos, Ph.D., an associate professor of economics at the University of Dallas. Prof. Ramos’ research and teaching at that private Catholic university include topics in economic development and Catholic Social Thought and their implications for public policy. She is the author of a book (Shifting Capital: Mercantilism a…
 
Your TSSM coverage of the 2020 US election with the unique perspective Bill and Paul provide. Be sure to let us know your ideas for the presidential hopeful cage match reality show that we clearly need to augment or replace the primary election system here in the 21st century... hit us up with your proposed names and formats using the links to the …
 
Paul and Bill focused on the 2020 elections as a point of tragically little focus in discourse or reasoning—but a good starting point for wide-ranging conversation about humanity’s desperate search for balance, hope, and sustainability in our hearts and minds. The desire for a higher wisdom—a happy medium, a golden mean—has always been complicated …
 
Brad Stalcup joins Paul and Bill in this episode to talk about his recent entry into the world of Catholic education. He began teaching religion to high school freshmen and sophomores in this fall semester of 2020—a time that Paul describes as a “baptism of fire” because of Covid-19 and today’s unusual circumstances overall. The vast majority of th…
 
In this episode, Paul and Bill are back together for a conversation that catches up on past episodes which pondered big problems in science, government, the economy, personal well-being, and more. The pondering focused on solutions as matters of step-by-step processes, but as our conversation starts, we’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the enormity …
 
A solo episode from Paul. These are the notes I used... the audio is balanced differently. Insight by Bernard Lonergan and 20/20 hindsight. What else (besides the coronavirus and similar epidemics) are we not preparing for? Can we? We can't know all the unknowns, and it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to quantify the risks even for th…
 
or Paving Paradise and the Parking Lots Bill and Paul discuss attitudes toward masks, and then consider why the science wasn't more settled on the subject long before Covid-19. We discuss the obsession of modern society with all things novel and consider how this plays out in science, politics, and our individual lives and families. 1. A discussion…
 
This is part 2 of our interview with Richard Garrett, author of The Kids Are Smart Enough, So What’s the Problem? Find an overview of his distinguished career in this story about Dick’s zeal for researching and promoting education reform. (The story was written for Purdue’s College of Engineering by Bill last year.) Dick’s book traces his growing c…
 
...or as Paul wanted to put it, "Lies, D--d lies, and p-values." This episode contains a conversation between Paul and Bill in which you’ll learn new things about their experience in particular fields—geology and journalism, respectively—and where their zeal to harvest and connect information bumps up against troublesome uncertainty. You’re accusto…
 
Paul and Bill welcomed Dick Garrett to our podcast. Find an overview of his distinguished career in this story about Dick’s zeal for researching and promoting education reform. (The story was written for Purdue’s College of Engineering by Bill last year.) Dick’s book, The Kids Are Smart Enough, So What’s the Problem?, traces his growing concerns ab…
 
At the time of this taping, Paul was in the middle of the Metis “bootcamp” program learning the capabilities, tools, and insights of data science. This conversation ranged widely in the realm of data analysis and management, examining its relevance to Paul’s field of geology but also exploring the world’s immersion in what Bill would call a data ec…
 
Bill interviewed a leading Catholic voice in public affairs, especially in bioethics and the culture of life: Richard Doerflinger. His latest column for Catholic News Service examines the implications of the “Science Wins” maxim publicized by Pfizer Inc. in a recent TV commercial. You can see the commercial here. Doerflinger mentioned libertarian b…
 
Paul and Bill discussed autism—a subject that arose in Paul’s discussion with Pat Flynn in his own podcast. John Ratey, popular psychologist, talks about how our sensory apparatus affects how we function in everyday life. Paul’s comments on the subject of autism connect candidly with recollections from his early life. Hilaire Belloc, a legendary Br…
 
Part 2 of a three part conversation between Paul and Bill, where the main themes are skepticism, Catholic education, the mysterious absence of the Spanish Flu from our historical consciousness prior to 2020, and the philosophical conundrums of materialism, transgenderism, and scientism. Paul and Bill continued their conversation about skepticism to…
 
In this episode we begin with an unscheduled excursion into the realm of the neurobiology of the two hemispheres of the brain and the psychology of reparenting (with nods to our past conversations with Darcia Narvaez, and about codependency and Twelve Step work). We discussed the questions related to whether psychology based on a right-brain/left-b…
 
In this episode, Bill presents excerpts from an interview with fellow Secular Franciscan Tim Short, director of formation for the Indiana Region. They discuss, among other things, St. Francis' attitude toward creation and how it relates to the larger picture of the medieval Christian intellectual world and the birth of modern science. Tim Short, OF…
 
In this episode, Bill and Paul discuss the coronavirus, economics and risk, and the L'Aquila earthquake trial. Paul and Bill continued a discussion that began in the previous episode. They allowed the sense of gravitas they felt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to push them along a path through many uncertainties—where it’s tempting to rely on …
 
Bill and Paul discuss the topic on everyone's mind, the coronavirus and social distancing, through the lens of social polarization and isolation that already so characterized American, Western, and modern society in general. One should not assume that “social distancing” breaks connections. Paul and Bill got together to talk about the subject and f…
 
We welcome Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., to the microphone. She is a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in developmental cognition, the human brain, and behavior. She has authored or edited numerous books, including Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom: First Nation Know-how for Global Flourishing (2019); Basic needs, wellbeing…
 
Where can the search for connections between faith and science (that is, between the deeper sense of meaning in life we all crave and the tangible experiences that our five senses tell us are “real”) take us? Our podcast series today receives inspirational guidance from community-builder and up-and-coming recording artist Micki Miller. She helped u…
 
This week, events have forced another "greatest hits" episode, and so we bring you for your convenience the entire Maureen Condic interview from the June 2019 Society of Catholic Scientists meeting in a one hour and forty-five minute extravaganza. The following are Bill's liner notes from the first run episodes. University of Utah’s information pag…
 
Bill and Paul are both losing their minds with stress this week, so we're glad to just get the episode out. It takes in a bit of philosophy and Paul manages to use some illustrative points from the history of geometry and geology if that's your thing. I didn't get her credited in the outro, but Morgan Burkart produced the audio for this episode. Li…
 
Dr. Thomas Ryba is a senior lecturer and adjunct professor teaching philosophy and religious studies at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Purdue University’s College of Arts. He also holds the title of Notre Dame Theologian-in-Residence for the Aquinas Educational Foundation, offering instruction and guidance on staff at the Saint Thomas A…
 
In this episode, Bill and Paul discuss the role of deacons and others filling the role of "elder" in the Catholic Church, and the need for parishes to work hard at learning how to communicate with each other in this new technologically mediated cultural world. Bill mentions new work by the McGrath Institute to help parishes with this task. Photo: a…
 
Paul, still missing his Watson Bill, opens up a discussion about questions of economics and political science, ranging from rural U.S. parishes to the geopolitics of an ideal future. This podcast's title and logo were inspired by the "What Should I Do?" discernment retreat put on by the Indy Catholic young adult ministry this past weekend.…
 
For my money, it's harder to believe in the Christian Last Things of life after death, judgment, and the end of the world than it is to believe in the "First Things" of creation and providence. The prophetic and apocalyptic literature of the Bible predict, or seem to predict amid very strange language, some very difficult things to square with our …
 
Unfortunately, this week Paul got deathly ill and that prevented us from recording the promised "end of the world" episode. Here instead is a re-edited version of Bill's interview with Fr. Robert Spitzer from August 2018 (originally run as Episode 20). One of our earliest interviews and still, amid all the great guests who have given time to this l…
 
Today's episode is a rundown of the Indianapolis Gold Mass, followed by a short selection of readings from Scripture and a bit about Albert the Great specifically, with a scrap of meditation on the vocation of a scientist. Gold Masses for those in the natural sciences were celebrated in a dozen cities on Nov. 15, the feast day of St. Albert the Gre…
 
Today's episode is getting recorded in a tight slot on Sunday night. Bill is out of town at a workshop on self-publishing and Paul has spent an awful lot of time over the last three days peering into the engine bay of a 1987 Jeep Wrangler and screwing and unscrewing things. Robert Barron and Brandon Vogt pulled excerpts from the Joe Rogen - Dawkins…
 
This week Bill prods Paul along as he recovers from a massive proposal hangover. This week's episode is the end of a much longer conversation that may or may not otherwise remain on the cutting room floor about Jordan Peterson and other topics as far afield as Homestar Runner. We run down the list of Gold Masses that have been publicly announced to…
 
Dr. Jonathan Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Science and chair of the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. He is also the vice president and a co-founder of the Society of Catholic Scientists. In this “part 5” of our interview, Dr. Lunine notes that planetary science was not always a distinct field. It drew upon co…
 
In this week's episode, we discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life in our own solar system. Dr. Lunine talked about extraterrestrial life. It’s very possible that at least microbial life exists on other planets, he said, but the chances of complex, multicellular life are much more difficult to estimate. We simply don't know what the possib…
 
Dr. Jonathan Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Science and chair of the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. He is also the vice president and a co-founder of the Society of Catholic Scientists. In this “part 3” of our interview, Dr. Lunine talked about exoplanets. The discovery of planets outside our Solar System ha…
 
Dr. Jonathan Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Science and chair of the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. He is also the vice president and a co-founder of the Society of Catholic Scientists. In this “part 2” of our interview, Dr. Lunine cited the book Secularity and Science by Elaine Ecklund (mentioned and linked…
 
Dr. Jonathan Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Science and chair of the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. He is also the vice president and a co-founder of the Society of Catholic Scientists. Here is information about the Vatican Observatory. It was one of the starting points for Lunine’s exploration of the compat…
 
Father John Hollowell is a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He is well-known for his blog, “On This Rock.” His pastoral duties include parish leadership and chaplain roles at DePauw University and the Putnamville Correctional Faciltiy. Fr. Hollowell spoke with Paul Giesting about the number of priests throughout history who have also been…
 
Paul here. A short episode this week. We're taking a little time off to celebrate the milestone of releasing our last SCS 2019 conference speaker interview with Megan Levis last week. The pace of interviews is likely to slow a bit, but we have several that we're looking forward to. Next week we have Fr John Hollowell, an engaging priest, campus min…
 
This is the second half of TSSM’s interview with Megan Levis. We talked at greater length about this graduate student’s research and its good fit with values-informed thought, with the Society of Catholic Scientists, and even literature. The Society held its third annual conference at the University of Notre Dame a few months ago. In Megan’s presen…
 
Megan Levis is a fifth-year graduate student in bioengineering at the University of Notre Dame. The topic of her talk at the annual conference of the Society of Catholic Scientists was “Created in the Image and Likeness of Man.” She described the University’s bioengineering program. Growing what can be deemed the beginnings of a human brain, for pu…
 
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