Monday, November 14, 2005

Toronto Weekend

So, I decided to be a bit crazy by going to Toronto, for a set of lectures from Douglas Jacoby sponsored by the Toronto Church of Christ.
Crazy because I have a project demo this Monday...

Friday, 5PM, my train was leaving to Toronto. It was the first time I travelled by train in North America (after using this mode of transportation abusively while in Europe).
This option was more expensive than the bus, but the fact that it took that one 4h15 to reach destination, compared to the ~7h that the buses took, was a major motivator.
The train did remind me a little bit of the Swiss trains for the airplane-like seat arrangement. It had a lot bigger storage space for luggage, was only on one floor, and was definitely a LOT noisier than a Swiss InterCity (but not as bad as a very old clunky Regio). It was weird to hear the whistle all the time. It was so frequently that it did feel like "all the time". Good thing I could put music on :)
Arriving, I got to the rendezvous metro station and waited for my hospitable brother at Starbuck, because Tim Hortons did not have power plugs for me to connect my laptop (my battery is pretty low), I got to Starbucks.
After he picked me up, we chatted a bit, petted his cat, then got to bed.
Saturday, we ate breakfast together, prayed in the car together, and went to Convocation Hall to attend the lecture from Douglas Jacoby on reasons to believe. I was with a few brothers and sisters to lunch in Chinatown, and got the following classes on archeological evidence and world religions.
Overall, my expectations were very high, and they were not met. The format where we could ask questions was good, but not what exactly I was hoping for.
I went to study and worked on my OS project afterwards, then got to spend the evening with 2 sisters, and loved it very much. We ate at a Hong Kong restaurant (both sisters are from Hong Kong) and I got to try out Ox Tongue... it was very yummy. I'd eat it anytime. We spent 3 hours together, and it was cool to know their dreams, their conversion stories, what they think of their native land, etc.
I definitely want to keep in touch with them.
On Sunday, we got to Convocation Hall again for the worship service. Douglas Jacoby was teaching about evolution, dynosaurs, the big bang, etc.
I did not realize the importance of the Big Bang from a theological perspective, because it means that the scientists recognize that there was a start to the universe... a nothing that lead to something!
In general, he stressed the importance to dissociating the why from the how... evolution does not necessarily mean that God does not exist... its a matter of mechanism to let creation happen. Same thing for the Big Bang. In fact, the fine tuning required for a working universe (with margins of errors of the magnitude of 10^-20) hints towards God.
A brother took good care of me after service and escorted me back to the train station. I cancelled my ticket and returned with brothers from Montreal after a little bit of wait.

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