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Prehistoric Pain: Dinosaur Suffering and the Evolutionary Hermeneutic

Featuring: 
Peter M.J. Hess, Ph.D.
Peter Hess, Ph.D.

Date: 
August 8, 2013
Location: 
Buena Vista Community Center
715 East Main Street
Buena Vista, Colorado

Can I believe in a good, omnipotent and omniscient God in the face of evolutionary evil? Why did the dinosaurs and other animals suffer so much pain? The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that we should at least consider it to be a truth about the natural world. The belief that God created the world makes it easier to understand the workings of the natural world through the senses that were given to us by God. Denying science is a profoundly unsound theological position. Science and faith are but two ways of searching for the same truths. Some questions that will be discussed: If humans were the desired end result of evolutionary history, then why would a good God have initiated a process involving 3.5 billion years of suffering on the part of pre-human animals?; and If the metaphysical premise is of a God that is all-knowing, all powerful and benevolent, then why does suffering exist? These are burning questions that are being debated in both scientific and religious circles and are of interest to many people in today’s society. When science and religion work together, answers can be found and understanding can be achieved.

Presentation is part of the
Collegiate Peaks Forum Series


For more information: 

Independent Investigation Group Awards

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

IIG Awards

Time: 
8:00pm
Date: 
July 29, 2013
Location: 

The Steve Allen Theatre
4773 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, California
 

For more information: 

Visit the IIG website

Evolving into the Image of God

Featuring: 
Peter M.J. Hess, Ph.D.
Peter Hess, Ph.D.
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
July 20, 2013
Location: 
Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, Tennessee

This paper explores theological dimensions at the intersection of biological evolution and the Christian doctrine of the “image of God.” How can we reinterpret the doctrine of the imago Dei to reflect what we know from science, that humans are “stardust become conscious of itself” 13.7 billion years after the Big Bang?

The Bible does not contain a well-developed doctrine ASA Logoof the “image of God.” However, the moral and spiritual response of humans to the Word of God is intelligible only in light of the imago Dei.

The imago Dei is a foundational teaching of Christian theology, for only if humans reflect God’s image are we able to comprehend and respond to God’s invitation.

This paper will argue in light of contemporary science that the primary criteria for reflecting the image of God are moral understanding, spiritual responsiveness, the capability of sustaining authentic relationships, and a sense of responsibility for God’s creation. This is a theology in which God works in, with, and through creation to transmit the soul integrally through the evolution of human physical nature and its increasing neural endowment. This theology is consistent with a Hebraic understanding of the person as a psychosomatic unity, and addresses a number of important theological problems: (1) it argues against a dualism in which all and only human souls are “saved”; (2) it dissolves the genetically unintelligible disjunction between prehuman hominids and Homo sapiens; (3) it renders ecological theology more coherent; and (4) it maintains the integrity of both scientific and theological perspectives on reality.


This is a presentation at the
American Scientific Affiliation Annual Meeting

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Science Education and Climate Change

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.
Time: 
2:00pm
Date: 
July 18, 2013
Location: 
Las Trampas Room
Rossmoor Hillside Clubouse
3400 Lower Golden Rain Road
Walnut Creek, California
(map)

Dr. Berbeco will discuss how climate change will impact California communities and the science behind these predictions. Learn how this information is being presented to students across the county for 21st century challenges.

Note: Rossmoor is a gated community off Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek. Tell the gate man you are attending a club meeting. Directions: After the gate - turn first right onto Golden Rain Road and Go 0.5 mile (up a hill and down). At the bottom turn left onto LOWER Golden Rain Road. Go 0.4 mile. Entrance for parking is on the left. We will be in the Las Trampas Room near far end of the long building alongside the lawn bowling rinks.

The Best Evidence for Evolution

Featuring: 
Andrew J Petto, Ph.D.
Andrew Petto, Ph.D.
Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
June 22, 2013

Science Under the Rug: How Government and Industry Hide Research and How to Fight Back

Featuring: 
Joshua Rosenau
Joshua Rosenau
Time: 
3:00pm to 4:15pm
Date: 
June 21, 2013
Location: 
Netroots Nation
San José, California


Panel Discussion featuring:
  • Joshua Rosenau, NCSE
  • Robert Proctor, Stanford
  • Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
  • Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
  • Robyn Thomas, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Attempts to suppress and obscure science are increasingly common features of many public policy battles, especially around tobacco, evolution, climate change, guns, and abortion. Eighty-five years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, Tennessee just passed another law attacking evolution education—and lumped in climate change Netroots Nation 2013and stem cell research to boot. Other legislators have forced doctors to tell patients falsehoods about their pregnancies and abortion and compelled teachers to mislead students about sex and sexuality. At the NRA’s behest, federal funds for gun violence research were eliminated, and basic data on gun violence cannot be gathered. Meanwhile, Big Tobacco and fossil fuel producers are the most prominent - but hardly the only - industries which have conspired to obscure research and attack researchers who reveal their products’ dangers. We’ll learn more about how science is being hidden and attacked, and how we can fight back.

For more information: 

Legends, Hoaxes, Frauds, and “Frauds” of Science

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott

Date: 
June 15, 2013
Location: 
Doubletree Berkeley Marina
Berkeley, California


Perhaps because of its existential implications, the science of evolution has been particularly fraught with accusations of fraud and misbehavior. Far more people have heard about the famous Piltdown Man hoax than, say, the Midwife Toad hoax. SkeptiCal13 logoWe have no evidence that paleoanthropologists are any more likely to play games with the truth than herpetologists – although they certainly get more publicity! But there is a difference between actual fraud in a science and accusations of fraud, and certainly for evolutionary science, creationist accusations overwhelm reality. In this presentation I will talk about actual scientific fraud, such as Piltdown and “Archaeoraptor”, and also erroneous claims of fraud made by creationists, such as the peppered moth “fraud.”

For more information: 
visit the SkeptiCal Conference website.

Exploring climate change denial in the face of reality

Featuring: 
Peter M.J. Hess, Ph.D.
Peter Hess, Ph.D.
Time: 
2:00pm
Date: 
May 16, 2013
Location: 
Las Trampas Room
Hillside Clubhouse
Rossmoor
3400 Lower Golden Rain Rd.
Walnut Creek, California

Sponsored by the
SF Bay Area Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers & Skeptics

For more information: 

Can you be a better skeptic than a 6th grader? Testing Claims of the Paranormal

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
May 8, 2013
Location: 
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California

Bring your inner sixth grader to a meeting of the Bay Area Skeptics! Good teachers have used claims of the Bay Area Skeptics logoparanormal to teach scientific reasoning to elementary and middle school students. Join Bay Area Skeptics as Dr. Scott guides you in formulating experiments to test paranormal claims. Audience participation required! (No actual sixth graders will be harmed in this demonstration.)


This presentation is a
SkepTalk
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics

For more information: 
see the Bay Area Skeptics Event List

Science Education under Assault: Stopping Anti-Science Legislation in its Tracks

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, NCSE; Michael Gamel-McCormick, Senate HELP Committee; Barry Kosmin, Trinity College; MODERATOR: Kelly Damerow, Secular Coalition for America
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.
Time: 
9:15am
Date: 
April 25, 2013
Location: 
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Anti-science legislation is sweeping the nation. Bills that aim to insert so-called “Intelligent Design” theology into public school curricula have been proposed in more than a dozen states. Particularly dangerous, these bills attempt to undermine scientific research by creating a false sense of Secular Coalition For Americacontroversy around accepted scientific theories such as evolution by natural selection. And the push against science doesn’t stop at evolution—it also affects areas such as sex education. Taxpayers are footing the bill for religious indoctrination not only through public schools, but via voucher programs and tuition tax credits. What can be done to protect science education in our schools at the federal level? What can concerned citizens do within the states? And what’s the best way to halt the continued public funding of religion and stop anti-science legislation?


Sponsored by the
Secular Coalition for America

For more information: 

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