Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Passion of the Cosmos

Here we are, a mere 9 days from the kick-off to the Cambridge Science Festival!

Have you booked your tickets? Have you checked to see who else is coming?

Beware! Some details in the print program have been updated.

And now... hear about today's CSF event highlight from organizer, Andrew:

The Passion of the Cosmos: 
Scientists on Evolution, Cosmology, and Religion: Open Forum
Sunday, April 21, 2:00pm-3:45pm

The Monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, 980 Memorial Dr., Cambridge

I can't be religious because it's unreasonable and unscientific, right? I can't be true to science and follow religion without betraying one or the other. Or can I? Galileo and Niels Bohr were religious. And isn't St. Francis of Assisi kind of awesome? I have faith that science and religion may not always be enemies, but whether you agree or disagree, this is the event for you!

Maybe you're like me, fascinated by meditation and prayer techniques that help bring out the best in us as humans, and bringing about dialogue between the religious people, psychologists, and neuroscientists. Maybe you see the great potential in religion to guide social movements like for Indian independence and Civil Rights in the USA. But maybe, like me, you find yourself hesitant to use religious language and ideas in everyday life as this so often leads to misunderstandings and even abuse.

Perhaps, I think, we could "fix" the problems with religion and use its great potential if we could apply scientific method to it, making hypotheses, testing them, and adjusting our algorithms for living as necessary. The 12 Steps of AA and the Eightfold Path of Buddhism often invite exactly this kind of participation. Rather than settling questions through councils or by decree to determine "one truth," there ought to be discussion, continuous questioning, and personal responsibility. That's what I feel.

But some people disagree, including better educated and very experienced scientific professionals who are also fully religious!

Come and hear from a physicist who says the most authentic of religious understanding is beyond the scope of science, a scientific spokesperson who sees the discoveries of science as demanding a response of praise, an astronomer who asks the big questions wherever she looks, outside or in, and a children's neurologist who deals with the harsh and beautiful realities where science and religion meet: in the ever elusive human soul. Also speaking will be a monk and member of the Monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, where the event is being held.

The best part of this event is that YOU are invited to speak!

If you like science, religion, both, or neither, come, talk, or at least listen and learn. The conversation should be epic this April 21st at The Passion of the Cosmos: Scientists on Evolution, Cosmology, and Religion.

See you then.
- Andrew, Intern at The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


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