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Secret of the Universe Revealed?

September 10, 2008

As previously noted, I often listen to Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN radio. They don’t always stick to sports, either. This morning they were discussing the new particle collider, whether it really needs a 17-mile underground ring, and whether it would help us understand the universe. Excellent questions.

Mike Golic, the true jock on the ESPN team, remarked that the topic made him think back to his freshman year at Notre Dame. A philosophy professor strolled into the classroom on the first day, held up his cup of coffee, and told the students that through a study of this styrofoam cup, they would learn whether there is life after death. Mike Greenberg then asked his radio partner whether they ever did, and Golic said he didn’t remember. He did, however, recall that the course material involved some Kierkegaard.

What do we learn from this story? 1) A particle collider cannot tell you everything. 2) Neither can a philosophy professor, but good try. 3) All kinds of people can be intrigued by the humanities. 4) And not always on NPR.

I know this is true because I’ve met a variety of folks interested in one aspect of the humanities or another. Also, I once taught at Purdue, and I had a few of Golic’s brothers-in-arms (defensive linemen) in my classes. We had some enjoyable discussions about literature, especially when the novels involved college mores and co-ed dorms.

Ironically, G&G then went on to talk about Lou Piniella and the Chicago Cubs’ losing streak, which again brought up the topic of life after death, at least in my mind.

This entry was posted by: Nancy
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