Talk of the Stacks: 2010 Finale- Einstein’s God.

I am at Talk of the Stacks. Tonight the speaker is Krista Tippet. She is the final speaker in the 2010 series. She is talking about her new book, Einstein’s God. (Overshadowing the lecture is the stark reality that I will probably have to stay at Safe Bay tonight. I am on the wait list, but there is no room at the shelter tonight. I’m going to try to somehow put that out of my mind as the lecture begins). The crowd is packed. It is not clear that there are enough seats in the audience for all of the people who are here. A quick count reveals 7 seats are available, but they are going to be filled up as well. Afterwards, there will the book signing. Magers and Quinn donates a portion of sales of the books to the Talk of the Stacks efforts. Judging by the crowd, Krista Tippet is a much anticipated author. Her books included details about her own spiritual journal.

Krista Tippet takes the stage and begins to talk about the joy of libraries. She feels that a library is filled with treasures that anyone can enjoy for free. She relied heavily upon the libraries for resources in starting her show and finding diverse guests including muslim voices.

Krista Tippet is discussing the relationship between nature, science, and religion. She wants to avoid what she sees as a pointless tension between science and religion. Religion is re-emerging as a global issue. Krista Tippet sees religion as a linchpin of diverse identities.

Krista Tippet wants to talk about the issue of religion intelligently, with a focus on science. Tippet is talking about the diverse inspirations of scientists.

Tippets subject is Einstein and she begins to discuss Einstein’s religious perceptions. According to Tipppet, Einstein’s religious and philosophical statements have been overlooked. Einstein was attempting to look at past, present, and future as an illusion. Time, for Einstein, was subjective and cyclical. Einstein saw the past, present, and future as block time. (The idea appears to be that time is eternal.)

She makes an Einstein joke about God playing dice.

Tippet then talks about the dangers of “soundbite” arguments that reduce science and religion to soundbites. Tippet does not see any inherent tension between science and religion and feels that often reinforce each other.

Tippet feels that the cultural narrative that places science at odds with religion leads us astray.

Tippet also takes the time for some geek humor.

Spoofing Neibuhr, Tippets says she wants her show to have t-shirts that read, “I am my own most vexing problem.”

At the end of the night, I stand in a long line and hand Tippet my latest public advisory. I thank her for an interesting discussion, focusing on time but not making much sense owing to my own fatigue.

At a minimum, like other journalists, she is now aware of the campaign to save Dollhouse.

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