Monday, January 28, 2008

Appearing in Indianapolis

In addition to my upcoming appearances this February in San Francisco, I will also be appearing as the featured speaker for the Third Annual Darwin Day Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, sponsored by the Center For Inquiry Indiana and the IUPUI Freethinkers on Saturday, March 8 (2008). The all-day event runs from 8am to 4pm in the IUPUI Campus Center (420 University Blvd.) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Registration fee is required (plus additional if you want the meal), and early registration is highly recommended, as the event is going to be well advertised and space will be limited.

I will speak at 9am on "Ancient Roman Creationism: Scientific Pagans vs. Armchair Christians," expanding part of my previous San Francisco talk on the comparison between scientific creationists like Galen (who actually did science to confirm their theory of intelligent design) and early Christian creationists (who did no science at all), with some comparisons with ancient evolutionists (yes, evolution theory is that old) and modern creation "scientists" like Behe. Two other speakers on evolutionary subjects then follow, and then I will join them at 2:30pm for a panel discussion on "How to Respond to Creationist and Intelligent Design Advocates."

For more details see the Conference Website. They will also have a table at which my book Sense and Goodness without God will be sold (along with other CFI products) throughout the convention, which I'll be happy to sign whenever I'm free.


6 comments:

Eric D said...

I'd be there.. but I'm going to be at a concert Friday night in Columbus, and I don't think I'll be up for getting to Indy by 9am. Unfortunate - it'd be cool to have another chance to see you, though I wouldn't have your book because I lent it to a friend (she was Christian, now she's investigating).

B. Dewhirst said...

Off topic, I know...

Ken MacLeod (briefly) praises Sense and Goodness over here.

Thought you'd like to know. I imagine your name will crop up in his new (fiction) book as the guiding light for the protagonist, or something.

Richard Carrier said...

Thanks for the info, B.

I'll leave it up just so you and anyone else will know I'd prefer to get this info by email (my permanent address is rcarrier@infidels.org) rather than have it posted at random on my blog (unless it's a blog about my book).

But I do appreciate it.

Stan said...

Apparently "doing science" is the metaphysical "good" for you. When did you last do science, and what exactly was it? No extrapolations or Just So Stories such as the evolution natural history folks are addicted to; real empirical, repeatable, falsifiable science.

The reason I ask is that this blog appears to be science-fetishist, with no recourse to actual empiricism. Can we see some evidence for each comment please?

It seems the world of science-fetishism and evidence-worship is sorely lacking in actual evidence. Starting with the evidence for "no god", of course, the science-fetishists and evidence-worshippers veer off the track and straight into the swamp of metaphysics, making them religious advocates of the cult of "no god".

Being a cult, it makes no difference that requiring evidence but providing none is irrarational, not to mention dishonest; it is a cult practice, and need not be questioned.

Richard Carrier said...

Stan said... Apparently "doing science" is the metaphysical "good" for you.

I don't know what you mean by a "metaphysical good," so I have no idea whether this is a correct or incorrect depiction of my views.

Stan said... When did you last do science, and what exactly was it?

I took every science course offered in high school (from physics to physiology and all involved hands-on replication of scientific experiments and observations), including an adjunct course in practical laser physics (producing, as a result, my own hologram from scratch), and a college-level multi-course in electronics engineering (which involved learning and testing several theories of electricity and electronics), and several college courses in scientific subjects (most notably geology, which included lab and field work), and served as a sonar technician in the field (in which I applied, and thus in effect tested, numerous scientific models and findings, the same way practicing doctors and engineers do in their own fields).

But that's largely moot, since I didn't talk about me. I talked about cultures and societies. The "good" you seem to be referring to is a social practice, and its product the product of an entire society. Thus it is "good" (in various senses) that we know what the kidney is and how it works (one of the examples I gave at Indianapolis), and only science made that possible, which in turn was only made possible by people embracing scientific values. I now benefit from this knowledge (by reading books and articles conveying it) without having to re-discover it with my own scientific research (though I know how to do so if for some reason I had to).

Thus scientific progress is measured as the cumulative product of a social system, not the progress made by an individual, since the latter is lost if not transmitted to the next generation.

Stan said... No extrapolations or Just So Stories such as the evolution natural history folks are addicted to; real empirical, repeatable, falsifiable science.

I don't know what you are referring to here. Are you asking if I have personally done any scientific field work pertaining to evolution theory? As it happens I have (in geology), but again I don't see what that has to do with anything. What is valuable is all the work that has been done, not all the work I myself have done (which has only been replicative and not groundbreaking, obviously, but still real, empirical, repeatable, falsifiable science).

Stan said... The reason I ask is that this blog appears to be science-fetishist, with no recourse to actual empiricism. Can we see some evidence for each comment please?

Which comments do you mean?

And if you are speaking of other entries on this blog (as you seem to be), please post your comments within those entries, and not here.

As to where science as a source of knowledge fits into my epistemology you will have to read my book Sense and Goodness without God.

Stan said... It seems the world of science-fetishism and evidence-worship is sorely lacking in actual evidence. Starting with the evidence for "no god", of course, the science-fetishists and evidence-worshippers veer off the track and straight into the swamp of metaphysics, making them religious advocates of the cult of "no god". Being a cult, it makes no difference that requiring evidence but providing none is irrarational, not to mention dishonest; it is a cult practice, and need not be questioned.

You obviously need to read my book, where I explain the difference between science and philosophy and the role of evidence and method in each. I then provide the evidence you seem to be asking for, and never say anything I consider immune to question, in my book.

Otherwise you seem to be using the word "cult" in a completely non-standard way here, and thus in effect producing mere rhetoric rather than any sort of meaningful observation.

Richard Carrier said...

For those who are interested, a summary of the event (amidst other discussion about CFI-IN) was discussed in a later blog entry about the event (see especially this, and my posts in reply further down).