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The Past and Future of Evolution


Posted: Apr 20, 2008

I (J. Hughes) just returned from a wonderful conference on the history and future of the theory of evolution.

The conference was held at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute in Madison Wisconsin, a beautiful facility that sponsors both hard science educational programs as well as programs like this one on social and ethical issues, for professionals, and high school and college students.

I gave two workshops and the closing keynote address. The first workship was on Buddhism and evolution with a local Buddhist monk Rev. George Churinoff of the Deer Park Buddhist Center. The second was on the emerging biopolitics, and my co-presenter for that one was Janet Staker Woerner, the CEO of Converging Communications and an IEET member and booster. My closing keynote address was on the future of human evolution, introducing ideas about our transition to posthumanity and the existential risks we face along the way. The slides are here if you are curious.

Among the many excellent speakers at the conference were folks like Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education; Robert Pennock, a philosopher and a-life researcher at Michigan State University; and John Haught, a Teilhardian Catholic theologian and defender of evolution from Georgetown. I was thrilled to meet and be interviewed by one of best public affairs radio show producers in the world, Steve Paulson, the Executive Producer of To the Best of Our Knowledge. Over lunch I recruited two more IEET interns whom I hope to introduce shortly. So a successful 36 hours, and a big thank you to BTCI’s executive director, Karin Borgh, for setting up such a great conference.


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