Recently in Geek-dom: Carl Sagan’s Lecture Notes

Good morning Isaac, Arth, Elliot, Kendra, et al. It’s Friday. This blog post is like Darth Maul’s corpse: it comes in two parts.
Part One: this series.
“Passion is great for being a superhero.”
“But not so great for being a reporter?”
– Supergirl and her friend in a recent episode of her show.
Unlike most journalists, I’m assigned to write opinion pieces for this journalism class I’m taking. I’m encouraged to get passionate about stuff. My nerdy interests and my faith should be things I get passionate about, hence this new series to satisfy the new assignment.
But this assignment also made me wonder about that passion. I feel like I’m taking the middle road between wholeheartedly recommending fandoms and tearing to shreds anything that a Christian might find questionable. As a result, my passion is undermined by an effort to see things from both sides. I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix that.

Part Two: the news.
In recent news, the Library of Congress released digital versions of Carl Sagan’s course notes from when the scientist taught at colleges like Harvard. In addition to educational materials and challenging test questions, Sagan included commentary that encouraged critical thinking and discernment in learning about scientific observations; after all, the Tobacco Institute apparently ignored the health hazards of smoking in their research.
Christians can and should study science, but with that same discernment, as many otherwise brilliant scientists make observations with the assumption that God does not exist.

This critical thinking is the key to my middle-road dilemma. I’m trying to encourage viewing nerdy fandom stories with discernment; they may threaten a Christian’s faith otherwise. But that doesn’t mean a Christian can’t enjoy these stories. As Isaac and I continually point out, there are lessons to learn and Christian themes to draw from them.
So what is the point of this blog? Perspective. We add to the already passionate conversation about these nerd-geek concepts. Ideally, our Christian worldview adds something new. At the very least we make you think. That may be the best we can do, and as long as it satisfies the Persuasive Writing assignment, I’m happy.
Isaac, I’ll hear from you on Wednesday.


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