And now for something completely different…
René Girard came to Stanford University in 1981 after a prestigious academic career at Johns Hopkins. Robert Harrison, one of Girard’s younger colleagues at Stanford became one of René’s friends. Professor Harrison has hosted an on-campus radio program, Entitled Opinions, which has more recently been streaming on the internet as a podcast. The show’s format is usually an interview with some local scholar, visiting professor or author, though sometimes Harrison offers his own freewheeling aural essays on topics of interest to him. He interviewed René on two occasions seventeen years ago which are still available on the show’s website:
A few weeks back, Entitled Opinions featured an interview with Maria Elena Monzani, lead researcher at the Stanford Linear Accelerator investigating cosmic mysteries large and small (e.g. the origin and destiny of the universe, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, etc). Toward the end of the exchange Harrison began to reflect on, what seemed to him, the apparent violence and randomness of celestial bodies colliding, imploding, exploding and the ultimate pointlessness of our endlessly expanding entropic merry-go-round – which elicited an amazingly gracious and faithful response from Dr. Monzani who prefaced her comments with “Because I’m a practicing Catholic…” To hear this interesting exchange, listen beginning around 40 minutes into this podcast (or listen to the entire show to delve into the mysteries of the universe):
- Dark Matter, God, and the Fate of the Universe with Maria Elena Monzani | Entitled Opinions (stanford.edu)
For those of us who are not physics PhD students her obvious attitude of gratefulness to God for our world and her life in the face of all she has learned about our universe both of its past and its telos is inspiring.