As you may remember, I attended Word of Fire’s Wonder Conference last January. It was a wonderful experience (pun intended) exploring various topics of faith and science. I also enjoyed being a “fly on the wall” to compare this conference with ACME (Astronomy for Catholics in Ministry and Education).
Now, I must offer a disclaimer. I was one of Bishop Barron’s students when he was Father Barron. He was one of the best teachers at Mundelein Seminary and we had a nice conversation at the Wonder Conference. Still, I did cringe when the Bishop proclaimed, “This is the first time a conference like this has ever been done!” My admiration for Bishop Barron and the thunderous applause the crowd gave to the statement made me hesitate to approach the microphone and sheepishly state, “Well… This actually might be the second…”
However, as time has passed, Bishop Barron was right. ACME provides a practical approach immersing a small group of people in the world of professional astronomy. Participants are invited to engaged that science and bring their faith to the experience. Wonder was a conference of well over one thousand people that provided topics ranging from faith and astronomy, ecology, apologetics, artificial intelligence, biology, and historical reflections on the industrial revolution as it pertains to technology. So, both Wonder and ACME are first of their kind!
Time does change how people perceive things, which is why I’m glad it’s been about six months between the conference and the posting of the presentations. Has my opinion of Wonder changed with the passing of time? Welcome to the theme of my next few posts!
My approach to this post and my next will be to share what I considered to be the most memorable presentations. I would ask you to take some time to watch the presentations, write down what sticks out to you, and, in my next post, I will share with you both what stuck out to me back in January and then see if those takeaways still resonate today.
For today, I offer you two presentations: One on Artificial Intelligence and another on the environment. The reason I share these presentations together is that they are very different topics, but the methodology was similar in approach. Enjoy these presentations! Next post, let’s chat about what was memorable to you. And I’ll share what was memorable to me.
Artificial Intelligence and the Role of Technology in Our Relationship with God – Fr. Anselm Ramelow
The Franciscan View of Nature and Natural Being – Fr. Joachim Ostermann