Below you'll find more information on some of the topics touched on in Bill Moyers' conversation with Sir John Houghton. You can also find more information on religion in the news in our main Resources section. Plus you explore other opinions on belief and doubt and faith and science and other matters in our Perspectives section.
St. Anselm's Ontological Argument
Anselm's Ontological Argument, also known as the First Cause Argument posits roughly that we understand God to be the greatest possible being; we agree that if God only exists in our minds, we can imagine a greater being that exists both in the mind and in reality; and since God is, by definition, the greatest possible being, he must exist in our minds and in reality. This site, from Fordham University, contains both Anselm's original writings and analysis.
N. T. Wright, THE RESSURECTION OF THE SON OF GOD
N.T. Wright currently holds the post of Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. His book
examines the historical and spiritual evidence of Jesus's resurrection. The book begins with studies into ancient Greek texts and continues through a full-scale examination of early Christian beliefs about the resurrection in general and that of Jesus in particular, beginning with Paul and working through to the start of the third century. Excerpts from the book are included on the site.
Antoine Henri Becquerel
Sir John Houghton mentions the curiosity over fogged photography plates which led Henri Becquerel to discover radioactivity. This site from the Nobel Institute details Becquerel's life and work in X-rays and phosphorescence.
Einstein's Theory of Relativity
This site from the PBS program NOVA, details one of the most monumental discoveries of the past 300 years, Einstein's "eureka" Theory of Special Relativity helped explain the fourth dimension, and led to the famous equation E=mc2.
Edwin Abbott and FLATLAND
In his talk with Bill Moyers, Sir John Houghton described the lost work exploring the idea of dimensions and human perception called FLATLAND by Edwin Abbott. Abbott was a famous writer and teacher in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His books include PHILOCHRISTUS (1878), ONESIMUS: MEMOIRS OF A DISCIPLE OF PAUL (1882), SILANUS THE CHRISTIAN (1906), and his most well known, FLATLAND: A ROMANCE OF MANY DIMENSIONS (1884) which Abbott wrote under the pseudonym of "A Square." You can read the entire book online. View the discussion of FLATLAND.
FLATLAND: A ROMANCE OF MANY DIMENSIONS
FLATLAND is an account of the adventures of A Square in Lineland and Spaceland. In the novel, Abbott tries to popularize the notion of multidimensional geometry. The book has also been noted as a clever satire on the social, moral, and religious values of the period.
Big Bang Theory
This site from NASA walks users through the concept of cosmological theory. PBS's SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS also has an illustrated online timeline of big bang theory.