Past Lectures ยป


Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins

by Dr. Robert M. Hazen
on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 5:30pm, Franklin Peterson Hall

Dr. Robert M. Hazen is Senior Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and the Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. He received the B.S. and S.M. in geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1971), and the Ph.D. at Harvard University in earth science (1975). He is author of 350 scientific articles and 20 books, including "Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origin". The Past President of the Mineralogical Society of America, Hazen’s recent research focuses on the role of minerals in the origin of life, the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres, and the development of complex systems.



2010 - 2011

Mysteries of the Delphis Oracle: Ancient Religion, Modern Science

on March 31, 2011

Dr. John R. Hale is an archaeologist and director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Hale has conducted fieldwork in England, Scandinavia, Portugal, Greece and the Ohio River Valley, and is currently director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville, where he is studying such diverse subjects as ancient ships and naval warfare, and the geological origins of the Delphic Oracle. Professor Hale's work has been published in Scientific American, Antiquity, The Classical Bulletin, and the Journal of Roman Archaeology.

Gorillas and God: The Evolutionary Roots of Religion

on September 22, 2010

Dr. Barbara King is a biological anthropologist and Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at The College of William & Mary.

Dr. King's books include The Information Continuum: Social Information Transfer in Monkeys, Apes, and Hominids, The Dynamic Dance: Nonvocal Communication in African Great Apes, Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion, and Being with Animals.

2009 - 2010

For Friends and Faith: Understanding the Paths and Barriers to Political Violence

on March 25, 2010

Dr. Scott Atran is a research director in anthropology at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France.

Dr. Atran's books include Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion, and The Native Mind: Cognition and Culture in Human Knowledge of Nature (co-authored with Douglas Medin).

Creationism Goes Global: From American to Islamic Fundamentalism

on October 2, 2009

Dr. Ronald L. Numbers is the Hilldale Professor of History of Science & Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He is the author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Science and Christianity in Pulpit and Pew, and Darwinism Comes to America.

Origins and the Meaning of Life

Religion after Darwin?

on April 2, 2009

Dr. Philip Kitcher is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and James Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University.

He is the author of Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism, In Mendel's Mirror, and Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design and the Future of Faith.

Origin of the Laws of Physics

on November 20th, 2008

Dr. Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University, where he established BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science.

He is the author of The Mind of God, How to Build a Time Machine, and Cosmic Jackpot.

Two Ships at Night

on October 23, 2008

Dr. Lawrence Krauss is Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Initiative, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, School of Earth and Space Exploration, BEYOND Center, and Department of Physics at Arizon State University.

He is the author of The Physics of Star Trek, Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth... and Beyond and Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra-Dimensions from Plato to String Theory and Beyond.

A History of Conflict and Cooperation

The Dance of the Fertile Universe: Did God do It?

on March 28, 2008

Dr. George V. Coyne, S.J. is a Jesuit Priest and an astronomer. He is the Director Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory and Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at University of Arizona.

He is the author of Wayfarers in the Cosmos: The Human Quest for Meaning.


Islam and the Transformation of Greek Science

on March 6, 2008

Dr. George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University.

He is the author of Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance and A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories during the Golden Age of Islam.


Doubt - Where You'd Least Expect It

on October 25, 2007

Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at The New School, New York.

She is the author of Doubt: A History and The Happiness Myth along with her poetry books, The Next Ancient World, Funny, and The End of the Soul


Creationism and Evolution: A Historical Perspective

on September 27, 2007

Dr. Eugenie Scott is a physical anthropologist and Executive Director of National Center for Science Education (NCSE).

She is the author of Evolution vs Creationism: An Introduction and is considered the leading critic of creationism and its offshoot intelligent design.

Nature, Belief and the Supernatural

Natural & Supernatural: Miracles & the Order of Nature

on April 12, 2007

Dr. Lawrence Principe is Professor of chemistry & History of Science, Medicine & Technology at Johns Hopkins University.

He is the author of The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle And his Alchemical Quest.


Evolution and Religion: Two Sideshows and the Main Event

on March 8, 2007

Dr. David Sloan Wilson is distinguished professor of biology with a joint appointment in anthropology at Binghamton University.

He is the author of numerous books, including his first book for a general audience: Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives.

Bodies and Souls

on October 26, 2006

Dr. Paul Bloom is the Professor of Psychology at Yale University.

He is the author of Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human