"The Humanism of Doctor Who"


HFSD is pleased to sponsor a special book club event in July. Please join us for a fascinating lecture entitled "The Humanism of Doctor Who: A Critical Study in Science Fiction and Philosophy" by Professor David Layton, based on his book of the same name.

From 1963 to 1989, the BBC television program Doctor Who followed a time-traveling human-like alien called "The Doctor" as he sought to help people, save civilizations and right wrongs. Since its 2005 revival, Doctor Who has become a pop culture phenomenon surpassing its "classic" period popularity and reaching a larger, more diverse audience. Though created as a family program, the series has dramatized serious themes in philosophy, science, religion, and politics. Doctor Who's thoughtful presentation of a secular humanist view of the universe stands in stark contrast to the flashy special effects central to most science fiction on television. This examination of Doctor Who from the perspective of philosophical humanism assesses the show's careful exploration of such topics as justice, ethics, good and evil, mythology and knowledge.

Professor David Layton, author of "The Humanism of Doctor Who", has asked us to watch two particular Doctor Who episodes prior to attending his lecture: 1) "The God Complex" and 2) "The Rings of Akhaten" as his talk for this group will focus on those two episodes. Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v_wiiCuLRsY1U

About Professor David Layton

David Layton was born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1964. Because his father was in the Air Force, he moved to a few places before settling in Redlands, California, in 1972. He graduated from Redlands High School, received a B.A. in English from UC Riverside, and a Masters and Ph.D. in English from UC Santa Barbara. He is currently Assistant Professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at DeVry University, working mostly from the Pomona campus in Southern California. Prior to teaching at DeVry University, he taught at multiple institutions both onsite and online, including South University, University of Phoenix, American InterContinental University, Santa Monica College, Glendale Community College, Long Beach City College, Citrus College, Pierce College (Washington), South Puget Sound Community College, and Olympic College. Along the way, there were some academic publications, reviews of books, films, and music, a handful of short stories, and some presentations, conferences, and committees. He continues writing on philosophy, science fiction, Doctor Who, progressive rock, critical thinking in education, and debunking postmodernism.
[from Amazon.com]

http://www.amazon.com/The-Humanism-Doctor-Who-Philosophy/dp/0786466731/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371096039&sr=8-1&keywords=humanism+of+doctor+who

Optional Luncheon

Please join us for an optional lunch at Pho Ca Dao & Grill, an excellent yet inexpensive Vietnamese restaurant located at 11808 Rancho Bernardo Rd.  It's in the shopping center just north of Rancho Bernardo Road between the 15 freeway and Bernardo Center Drive.

 

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  • Debbie A.

    I ended up wanting to pick Dr. Layton's brain about numerous things following the presentation/discussion. He has a wealth of knowledge about different genres of literature. I knew this would be interesting, but I learned much more than anticipated.

    July 22, 2013

    • Wilfredo P.

      It would be a great idea to pick Dr. Layton's brain, Debbie! He is definitely very well read. That was a superb presentation. I'd like to bring Dr. Layton back for another presentation on a different subject in the future.

      July 22, 2013

  • Wilfredo P.

    By the way, I'm sure that the fact that the Dr. Who panel at Comic Con took place around the same time negatively impacted the attendance for this event. There were fewer "Whovians" there than I expected. But this could not have been prevented, as this event was scheduled months in advance and we did not know the Comic Con schedule at that time. Still, we had a pretty good turnout for the event. It was definitely successful.

    July 21, 2013

    • Robert (Rob) H.

      I think it was funny that the whovians sat on the same side. (As far as I could tell.)

      July 21, 2013

  • Robert (Rob) H.

    fun and interesting

    July 21, 2013

  • Wilfredo P.

    Excellent presentation by Dr. Layton. "Dr. Who" is the show that best demonstrates the validity and usefulness of humanist values. If you haven't watched the show, I highly recommend it. And I also strongly recommend Dr. Layton's book. It is profound! You'll learn a lot about humanism and philosophy by reading it.

    From the question and answer session, I learned that humanism is inherently atheistic. At least that's the way it should be. Part of humanism is rejecting anything supernatural. We shouldn't have to call ourselves secular humanists. Rather, it should be the religious humanists who should define themselves as non-secular humanists.

    The lunch afterwards was fun. And the food was delicious! Ten attended, which is a pretty good turnout. It was nice to talk to everyone, especially the new members. Thanks to all who attended.

    July 21, 2013

  • Wilfredo P.

    I just added the language for the optional luncheon above. I hope some of you can join us for a late lunch after Professor Layton's presentation. Pho Ca Dao & Grill is one of the nicest Vietnamese restaurants in San Diego. The food is very good there and also very reasonably priced.

    July 20, 2013

    • Debbie A.

      Hi Wilfredo... would have been available BEFORE the meeting for lunch. I have to run to another meeting that afternoon. Sorry I'll miss it. This restaurant sounds yummy.

      July 20, 2013

  • Paul

    You're doing this topic DURING Comic Con?!

    July 15, 2013

    • Wilfredo P.

      Yes. That was part of the plan. Plus, we had to consider the professor's schedule. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a venue closer to downtown. However, this event is posted on the Dr. Who fan club Meet-up site and we expect a good turnout.

      July 15, 2013

    • Paul

      It starts at the same time the Who panel ends (assuming all runs on time). Seems poorly timed. I'll be in Hall H.

      July 15, 2013

  • Wilfredo P.

    Just watched the first season on DVD and was very impressed by the show. You can watch entire episodes online, but if you want the DVDs, they are available at the city and county libraries. There are few such programs for thinking people shown in the U.S. It helps that the show is also funny and features good acting. Finally, British pop star Billie Piper as Rose Tyler is charming and easy on the eyes. :-)

    2 · July 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I think it is a very entertaining show as well and agree with the assessment of Billie Piper but keep watching...but I'd have to say that there are many "thinking" shows produced in the US, especially with regards to sci-fi.

      July 14, 2013

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