Los Alamos Faith And Science Forum: Beyond The Neo-Darwinian Evolution Synthesis Wednesday

LAF&SF News:

Bob Reinovsky will present the last lecture in the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum summer series Wednesday. The title of Reinovsky’s talk is “The Future of Humanity”. The theme of the 2018 Summer Series is “Purposeful Evolution”.

We begin addressing the implications for the future of humans of the bio-chemical and molecular-biological processes that we have been studying in the last 5 lectures. We begin by reviewing the concept of Darwinism, the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, and then discuss the meaning of purpose in evolution, distinguishing purpose from directionality and from simple adaptation.  We will consider ways of thinking about the future: philosophical/analytic, modeling, and imagination; addressing each in turn. 

We will consider a few representative views from classical and contemporary thought including a few contemporary views that are positivist (Pinker et al) and some that are profoundly negativist (Huntington, Mishra), and acknowledge just a few thinkers who come from a faith perspective that we have encountered in our previous studies (de Chardin and Haught).  We conclude with perspectives from just a few of the imaginative writers of future fiction.

The meetings will follow our usual format: light supper at 6 p.m., talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by questions for the speaker and then table discussions. These talks will be in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Church at 1738 N. Sage Loop in Los Alamos.

Reinovsky is a plasma physicist and currently a program manager who has worked at LANL for 32 years as a researcher, group leader, and project director. For many years, he was comfortable with an orthogonal relationship between his faith system and his understanding of science.  – with a faith system full of purpose; and a science system of limited, but purposeless scope. For Reinovsky it was a system where faith and science intersected at the origin (with God) but interacted little otherwise.  He now finds more consistency between scripture and the conclusions of modern science than conflict and wrestles with what can be learned by considering both a continuously evolving faith and continuously evolving models of the physical universe.

The Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum (LAF&SF) is an incorporated 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization seeking to understand faith and science and how they fit together. The website is www.lafsf.org.


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