Tag Archives: Candles in the dark

Society’s fear of science

Here’s another video from the recent Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark conference. This time Lawrence Krauss discusses science and politics.

Lawrence Krauss is always of good value. He is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Department, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative and Inaugural Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. He is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics.

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A naturalistic approach to human morality

There has been a bit of discussion about morality lately on several New Zealand blogs (see moral things, What’s So Great About Objective Morality?, My take on morality, Thinking Matters and Where do our morals come from?. This has tended to be centred around a scientific or ‘naturalistic’ understanding human morality and its sources. Participants in this discussion and others interested in the subject might find the Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark conference videos interesting. The conference included sessions on Human Flourishing/Eudaimonics and Your Brain on Morality.

I have only started watching these videos but have found the talk by Owen Flanagan interesting. A professor of Philosophy at Duke University, he also holds appointments in Psychology and Neurobiology and is a Faculty Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience. Flanagan has written several books; the most recent is The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World.

Have a look at the video below of Flanagan’s presentation.

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Candles in the dark

The Beyond Belief Conferences are becoming an annual event – the third conference occurring at the beginning of this month. The are a great source of new and stimulating material related to belief, reason and the popularising of science. Organised by The Science Network videos from the conferences go on line quickly and receive a lot of attention.

Videos from this year’s conference Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark are currently going up. (There may be difficulties due to numerous downloads). I normally download the lot, burn them to DVD and watch at my leisure. DVDs of the previous two conferences can be purchased on line.

This year the speakers were asked  to propose a Candle – a potential solution to a problem that they have identified in their area of expertise or informed passion. Presentations are groups in session with the titles Human Flourishing/Eudaimonics, Politics and the Brain, Morality & the Brain, Money & the Brain, and Law & the Brain. More details on the Speakers and conference agenda are at the web site.

The list of speakers and the agenda indicate a very stimulating conference. I am looking forward to viewing these videos.

Download videos from Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark

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