I lectured last night at Ottawa U, sooo cool. A really great Evolutionary Psychology class. Engaged students are always more fun. I was pretty impressed with the professor. At the first of the semester she emailed the Theology department looking for someone who could talk about the relationship between evolution and religion. Her concern was that the students only work with a Darwinian assumption and she wanted them to know there were other approaches to this questions of human origins. We exchanged some emails and my not being a young earth Creationist probably helped. I was able to talk about some of the ways that Evangelicals deal with the issue - and why these are internally coherent comprehensive worldviews. And then spoke about the resources within sacramental traditions to approach it differently. I probably came off hard against the Fundamentalist positions, I tend to favour a sacramental approach. Once I laid out a grounding of these worldviews we discussed some of the theories of religion. Everything from religion as a survival trait in our species to religion as a commitment to an intelligibility and directionality in the universe. Is religion just a way of appeasing our fears of the unknown, or is it something that gives us the resources to stand before the unknown? As with any academic work, the goal is not to end up with a definitive answer, but to get the possibilities out on the table. I think we did a good job of that.
Now today I'm supposed to get up, buy some new shoes (I killed my feet last night!) and after class scoot off to Montreal. But Chelsea, my youngest, woke up with a fever. Looks like I'm home for the day. I might make the end of my class. So much for my well thought out plans.