Fact & Opinion

The Question of Contact

July 11, 2017 heralds the 20th anniversary of the release of Contact, the sci-fi classic based on Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name. Carl Sagan was, to some, a controversial figure. Indeed, the first time I heard his name as a teenager, the Christian punk rock band One Bad Pig was calling him a pagan for believing in evolution. (They suggested he would fry like bacon.) But even though he was a prolific science communicator (he hosted the first Cosmos), and was renowned for … [continue]

Fact & Opinion

The Monk’s Time Machine

As a product of the Enlightenment, most science fiction is undergirded by a distinctly post-renaissance philosophy, which leaves a wealth of ancient and medieval philosophy untapped. Not since C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy has the world received a distinctly science fiction tale rooted in a medieval worldview. However … [continue]

Fact & Opinion

The Secret Meaning of HBO’s Westworld

HBO’s recent sci-fi/fantasy series Westworld was one of the best TV shows this Fall. On the surface, Westworld taps into traditional sci-fi and contemporary philosophical questions about artificial intelligence and consciousness. But there is a deeper meaning that many might miss. And it’s not about artificial intelligence, “bicameral theories of mind,” or skeptical metaphysics, but about … [continue]