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Round Table Discussion on Atheism and Critical Thinking, Part 2


It's been a while since we've had some true round-table discussions.  Accordingly, we are offering a series of four round-table discussions (one per month) that will be led by HFSD member James Hutson.  These lectures will take place on the second Thursday of the month starting in July and will be held at the County of San Diego Library, Casa de Oro Branch.  These meetings may appeal to members who normally cannot make it to our weekend daytime meetings.

James is graduate student who studies the history of science. His concentration is early 20th century physics, but he has a solid liberal arts background as well.

Please join James for what promises to be an educational and intellectually stimulating series of round table discussions!

Here is a description of each lecture/discussion:

1. July 11, 2013. A brief historical overview of the history of science and philosophy. The lecture will be about a half hour or so from Ancient China and the Greeks to the formalization of modern science in the middle of the 19th century. The discussion will be about an hour to and hour and a half after that.

For the first discussion, the recommended reading is Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, a record of man's understanding of space and how it has changed, and Steven Weinberg's Dreams of a Final Theory, which discusses our understandings of physics and our philosophical foundation for it from a historical context. People needn't read these books to enjoy our conversation and are welcome to read anything else that they feel is close to the subjects we will talk about.

Recommended readings will be published for the other lectures when they are posted on our Meet-up page.

2. August 8, 2013. The focus of the second meeting will be where science and philosophy stood in relation to religion and political ideology throughout most of civilization.  We will learn and discuss why certain orthodoxies were imposed and how heretical ideas were treated.  Dreams of a Final Theory is recommended for this discussion.

3. September 12, 2013. The third discussion will emphasize the modern era from about the middle of the 18th century up to today and the academic course that the sciences, philosophies and religion took as the world globalized and industrialized. The key topic here is the contentions between each of these disciplines, where they disagree with one another and why.

4. October 10, 2013. The final discussion will focus on modern history and a brief overview of the political, economic and general cultural landscape that developed in the world and what impact this had on religion, philosophy and science. What did the common person in the modern era think? What the purpose was of these intellectual investigations?


Join or login to comment.

  • j

    Thank you all for attending. The discussion was informative and stimulating as always. Thank you so much guys.

    -Jim Hutson

    August 10, 2013

  • Wilfredo P.

    Another very good discussion led by James. I learned a lot from him and the members who attended. And I got the titles of some good books for my ever-growing reading list!

    August 8, 2013

  • j

    Hey here's a list of books for next time that people might find interesting to read before next time's meeting.

    Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
    Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
    The Rise of Modern Science: Islam, China and the West by Toby Huff
    Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer

    That's a lot for now but also on the philosophical side anything by Dan Dennett and W.V.O. Quine would be a great introduction to the philosophy of science.

    I hope to see many of you there next time.


    July 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Will Durant also has some great overviews.

      July 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds great. . . I'm not sure of my calendar right now, but I will try to make it and update the RSVP as soon as I can.

    July 28, 2013

  • James C.

    I missed the first session, so I'll ease into this discussion as best I can.

    July 13, 2013

10 went

  • Wilfredo P.
    HFSD Board Member, Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • j
    Graduate Student,
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
    +1 guest

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