2020 Lenten Seminar Series

The 2020 Lenten Seminar Series has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the situation changes, or alternative opportunities for meetings become available, we’ll let you know.

The Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum will participate in the 2020 ecumenical Lenten Seminar Series, taking place each Thursday in Lent at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, New Mexico. The schedule of talks and speakers is shown below. Talks will begin at about 6:30 PM, following supper at 6 PM, and followed by a short worship service at 7:30 PM.

Science and Religion:  Two Modes of Being and Knowing

A “Sampler” of the work of the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum

March 5     Are you a Robot? Brain, Mind, and Soul – The Questions — Bob Reinovsky

We see a steady increase in overall robotic capability and increasing capability in specifically (digital) robotic brains. Given that we are experiencing an increasing understanding of the neurological functioning of the human brain and its relationship to “mind”, is there also “robotic mind”?  — and how does it differ from a “human mind”? Could it develop a soul?

March 12   Evil: Is Anyone Responsible? — Gerry Wood

Evil – “I know it when I see it and I shudder when I think of it.” But, can we agree on how to define evil, its extent, and cause? Over the ages philosophers and theologians have tried to characterize evil.

cancelled – COVID-19: March 19   Near Death Experiences — Glen Magelssen

Over the last thirty to forty years there has been increased interest in the events surrounding a near death experience. Researchers began interviewing people with this experience and soon realized their shared stories had many similarities.   What are the possible explanations for the patterns reported by those experiencing near-death, and what are the implications?

cancelled – COVID-19: March 26   Are We Broken? Original Sin and Gene-Culture Co-evolution — Nelson Hoffman

The “Modern Synthesis” of Darwin’s theory of evolution made it hard to believe that homo sapiens suffers today from some kind of inherited flaw, originating in the behavior of a prehistoric man and woman.  But now, in light of the “Extended Evolutionary Synthesis”, including gene-culture co-evolution, can we finally understand how the effects of the disobedience of an ancient king and queen might be written into our genes? 

cancelled – COVID-19: April 2       Why Hope? — Morrie Pongratz

Wikipedia defines hope as “an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.” We will then consider how the ideas of the scientist/theologian      Teilhard de Chardin, John Haught, and Steven Pinker give us reason for hope for the   world at large.

Prof. John Haught delivers a public lecture at Fuller Lodge during his visit to Los Alamos in June 2017

About us: The Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum is a group of scientists, engineers, professionals, and laity helping people to think about science and religion, and the harmony and complementarity of these two modes of being and knowing, by providing information, education, and a framework for dialogue. All of us want to delve deeper into the discoveries and mysteries of religion and science, and see what we can learn together.

Every summer since 2014, we have presented lectures by local speakers and visiting scholars on topics at the intersection of science and religion. Our summer lecture programs typically begin with a light dinner, then a lecture by a local speaker, followed by table discussions. These programs are centered around a particular theme for each summer. In addition to local speakers, we have broadened our discussions each year by inviting a visiting speaker of national stature to give evening lectures.

Our annual reports, beginning with the report for 2016, are available for download here.

The Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum is an incorporated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

We also have a discussion group on Facebook.

You can contact us at nels.in.newmexico@gmail.com

Prof. John Haught delivers a public lecture at Fuller Lodge during his visit to Los Alamos in June 2017