Readings for Wednesday, July 11:
MacWilliams, "Science Playing God," in Religion in Science Fiction (80-94)
In this essay MacWilliams analyzes two key texts- Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau- and shows how they helped to initiate the common theme of "Science Playing God." Read this text carefully, and think about other media that you've read or watched that plays on this theme. If you aren't familiar with the texts that MacWilliams discusses, consult Wikipedia. How do we think of science differently today than during the 1800s?
Chiang, "Catching Crumbs From the Table"
This short science fiction story was published in a scientific journal, of all places. It imagines what an article in that journal might look like in the future, summarizing the history of scientific research and technology. Pay close attention to how computers and machines are treated in this future society.
Nancy Fulda is a contemporary writer whose short stories are just starting to win some important awards. "Godshift" is a riff on the classic Science-Gone-Wild motif, but it uses contemporary physics as its setting. Have fun with this story, and think about its theological implications. What is Fulda saying about God here?
Finally, we'll be reading Brown's "Answer" in class tomorrow. No need to read it in advance, but bring your syllabus with you to class so you'll have it in front of you.
Comment below with responses to these three readings!