Virtual Idea Lab


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    God of the Big Bang: How Modern Science Affirms the Creator

    My new book on Science & Faith is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I wrote this book for anyone who has ever wondered, like I did, how to reconcile what science and faith have to say about life’s biggest questions. It’s also for those skeptical of faith who fully believe that science is the only way to know anything and for faithful believers who distrust science and suspect its “motives.” And, it’s for all those in between these two extremes who may be confused and put off by all the combative and nonproductive dialog on the topic. My hope is that by offering thoughtful consideration of these two separate but connected ways of knowing, this book will promote the kind of constructive dialog that tears down the imaginary wall between science and faith. And in the process, you’ll recognize more of the God, who is big enough to encompass them both.
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    Absorbing & Developing Qualified Fighter Pilots: The Role of Advanced Simulators

    (Click on title to download pdf) This monograph documents RAND Corporation research on fighter pilot absorption, the process of ensuring that a pilot new to a weapon system gains sufficient experience with that system to carry out combat missions. After describing the role of the operational training environment in producing experienced pilots and the benefits of training with high-fidelity simulators in mission training centers (MTCs), we focus on survey results that show what factors, besides flying hours, contribute to the development of pilot experience. The surveys on which much of this document is based were conducted between October 2002 and October 2003.
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    Absorbing Air Force Fighter Pilots: Parameters, Problems, and Policy Options

    (Click on title to download pdf) The U.S. Air Force currently faces unprecedented problems in itsefforts to provide adequate training for new and inexperienced pilots in itsoperational fighter units. On the one hand, there are too few fighterpilots in the active component to meet current and anticipated demands. On the other hand, the number of new fighter pilots entering operational units currently exceeds these units' absorption capacity, yielding a degraded training environment that ultimately threatens to compromise military readiness. This report assesses the Air Force's training dilemma with a view toward finding ways to remedy it in both the short and long term.Toward this goal, it defines the key parameters that influence a unit'sabsorption capacity, presents a best-case scenario on which to basenumerical analyses, and offers several options decisionmakers can exercise.Although there is no simple resolution to the Air Force's training problem,a thorough understanding of the dynamic processes involved in aircrewmanagement, together with a comprehensive analytic framework, promises to greatly aid decisionmakers in their efforts to address this issue. (This document presents a summary; the full text is available at Amazon.)