Google+ more

Religion and Science Part 1: Beliefs and the Brain

Sunday, September 18, 2011
2:00 p.m. 

Panel discussion with Drs. PZ Myers, William Hurlbut, and
Loren Frank PhD
Paul Zachary "PZ" Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) and the author of the science blog Pharyngula. Dr. Myers works with zebrafish in the field of evolutionary developmental biology and also cultivates an interest in cephalopods. He has published numerous research papers in Nature and other notable scientific journals. He is a public critic of intelligent design and of the creationist movement in general and is an activist in the American creation-evolution controversy. He is widely regarded as a confrontationalist. In 2006, the journal Nature listed his blog, Pharyngula, as the top-ranked blog written by a scientist. Myers was named Humanist of the Year in 2009, and was honored with the International Humanist Award in 2011. Asteroid 153298 Paulmyers is named in his honor. 
William B. Hurlbut is a physician and Consulting Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University Medical Center. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris. 
His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology. He was instrumental in establishing the first course in biomedical ethics at Stanford Medical Center and subsequently taught bioethics to over six thousand Stanford undergraduate students in the Program in Human Biology.
Dr. Hurlbut is the author of numerous publications on science and ethics including the co-edited volume Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue (2002, Oxford University Press), and "Science, Religion and the Human Spirit" in the Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion. He has organized and co-chaired two multi-year interdisciplinary faculty projects at Stanford University, "Becoming Human: The Evolutionary Origins of Spiritual, Religious and Moral Awareness," and "Brain Mind and Emergence."
From 2002-2009 Dr. Hurlbut served on the President's Council on Bioethics. He is the author of Altered Nuclear Transfer, a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem cell research. In January 2010 this project received funding from the NIH for continuing studies on primates in anticipation of research with human cells.
Loren Frank PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his PhD in Systems Neuroscience and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and carried out post-doctoral work at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the faculty at UCSF in 2003. His research aims to understand how the brain takes in new information, stores it and then retrieves it to guide decision making.