I just heard on the news this morning that Science Fiction Writer Arthur C. Clarke has died. Asimov and Adams died several years ago, Gary Gygax died a couple of weeks ago, and now Clarke? Most of the writers who helped form my imagination during my teenage years now appear to be gone from this world, barring a Night of the Living Dead. I think Bradbury is left as the sole representative of the authors of the "Golden Age" of Science Fiction.
Clarke has a lasting influence on me, particularly in his "Three Laws of Technology:"
1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
One is very useful when talking about the humility that both scientists and theologians need to practice within their disciplines. Heresy in both disciplines sets in when an "expert" practices certitude.
Three is especially useful when talking about why we don't want to use a "God is in the Gaps" philosophy in the dialogue between religion and science. What was attributable only to divine intervention yesterday is basic science today.