May 19, 2007

Science & Religion @ Hampshire

Hampshire College's Science and Religion has sponsored some great lectures in the past academic year. I just learned that videos are available for two of the lectures at Google Video. Way to go, Hampshire!

Here's what you can see:

Natural and Supernatural: Historical Perspectives on Miracles and the Order of Nature
Lawrence Principe
April 12, 2007

"In the popular press and daily conversation we often hear events casually described as miracles. This abusive use of the term, however, leads us to forget that the word has a precise and highly-restricted theological meaning that was developed over centuries of scholarly investigation, particularly in the Latin Middle Ages. This lecture illustrates how precise discussions of miracles opened up crucial questions about the way the world works and the way in which human beings are able to study and understand it using the method we now call science. Indeed, several current science/religion issues are illuminated or resolved by a careful consideration of the miracles."

Lawrence Principe is Professor of chemistry & History of Science, Medicine &
Technology at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle And his Alchemical Quest.

Evolution and Religion: Two sideshows and the main event
David Sloan Wilson
March 8, 2007

"Evolution and Religion are perennially in the news, but not for the right reasons. On the one hand we have debates about creationism and intelligent design. On the other hand, we have attacks on religion by evolutionists such as Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell and Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion. Both of these are sideshows compared to the main event: The serious study of religion as a natural phenomenon from an evolutionary perspective. I will review the nascent field of evolutionary religious studies and what it means for the more general study of cultural evolution, evolutionary psychology, and the quality of everyday life."

David Sloan Wilson is distinguished professor of biology with a joint appointment in anthropology at Binghamton University. He is also founder and director of EvoS, a campus-wide program that uses evolutionary theory as a common language for studying all human-related subjects in addition to the natural world. His books include Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (with Elliott Sober), Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (co-edited with Jonathan Gotschall), and his first book for a general audience: Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives. More about Wilson from Cogscilibrarian.

See Wilson here:

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