Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Appearing in San Francisco

I will be speaking at two separate events in San Francisco in late February (yes, 2008 is just around the corner!).

First I will be delivering a new-and-improved version of my old (and ever-popular) talk on Miracles and the Historical Method, which mixes a little humor with a lot of education on how to apply a whole "tool kit" of historical methods on any claim about history, using ancient miracle reports as a thematic example. This I will be delivering (with slide show) for the San Francisco Atheists at their general meeting on Saturday, February 23 (program begins at 6pm). You can see their upcoming calendar for more info, but the event should take place as usual at Schroeder's (a nice German restaurant and pub--if you can afford it, the Pfeffer steak rocks!) on 240 Front Street (near Embarcadero BART, see link for map and directions, but it's a short and easy walk if you can navigate the maze of downtown SF).

The following Tuesday (February 26) I will be speaking for the popular San Francisco lecture series Ask a Scientist on ancient science. The title they're giving this is The 2000-Year-Old Computer (and Other Achievements of Ancient Science). I will briefly discuss the nature and limitations of ancient science (of the Greco-Roman period), and then survey four of their best examples (not the best four, just four of a great many excellent achievements), from the ancient construction of maps and computers (the latter being the computer, of the event's title, which incidentally has long been my Avatar), and on to the physics of watermills and experiments on kidney function. This will be a much-shortened version of what I gave at CFI West (Los Angeles) back in October (including slides), with two examples covered in twenty minutes, followed by Q&A from the audience, then two more examples in a second twenty minutes, followed by another Q&A.

The latter program begins at 7pm at the Axis Cafe on 1201 8th Street (just north of 16th street, before Irwin). But be sure to go to the cafe's website and click their link for "directions" (actually just a map but nevertheless useful), since I'm told its tricky to find. It's about nine blocks south of Market, "at the base of Potrero hill" (the nearest BART station is Civic Center), so something of a trek by foot. Best I can tell, you can catch the Muni Bus #19 (posted destination Navy Yard) on Market as it passes BART toward 7th street (or catch it down 7th as it heads south from Market), then get off when it gets to 16th street (at which point it will be heading down Rhode Island). Then you'll be just a block away. Fare is $1.50 last I heard, but it may have gone up. It runs every 15 minutes. It returns along the same route (posted destination Beach).

6 comments:

zhadi said...

erm... and what DATE is Ask a Scientist? I couldn't find that listed...

Richard Carrier said...

Yikes! Thanks. Fixed.

Solon said...

Aren't you giving any talks on the mystical origins of all your moral claims and preaching?

Jon said...

I went to your last talk at the CFI. I found it interesting. The Christian attitudes weren't surprising given how Christianity needs power and science subverts an idealized scope Christianity wants to control in a person's life. Also I imagine people couldn't understand the value of the benefits of scientific understanding and philosophy and its beneficial applications. I would love to see you debate Dinesh D'Souza because he loves to claim the exact opposite of this in Christianity and science.

I'll try to make one of these. It's a few months out. Maybe you can post a reminder.

petrich said...

That might be nice, at least if it was a written debate like the Thomas-ReMine debate some years back. It was hosted by the New Mexicans for Science and Reason and the Twin Cities Creation Science Association, and it can be read at their respective sites.

Richard Carrier said...

Solon said... Aren't you giving any talks on the mystical origins of all your moral claims and preaching?

No more than I plan to give any talks on why I am certain the earth is flat. :-)

Jon said... The Christian attitudes weren't surprising given how Christianity needs power and science subverts an idealized scope Christianity wants to control in a person's life.

This is obviously not a necessary property of Christianity, just a contingent one, which it is perhaps (at most) prone to. Otherwise there have been many Christians who have reconciled some form of the religion with independence of thought, and these revised forms of the creed are no less plausible than its more draconian forms (though perhaps no more so, either).

Jon said... Also I imagine people couldn't understand the value of the benefits of scientific understanding and philosophy and its beneficial applications.

The Christians evidently didn't. But many pagans did, and said so, articulately.

Jon said... I would love to see you debate Dinesh D'Souza because he loves to claim the exact opposite of this in Christianity and science.

I doubt he would debate me on the topic of the history of science. He has no qualifications in that subject (whereas I shall soon have a Ph.D. in it), and his position regarding it is not only indefensible, but catastrophically refutable from abundant evidence.