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The Transcendent Brain: Spirituality in the Age of Science

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
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Staring at the stars, falling in love, or listening to music, humans sometimes feel a connection with things bigger than ourselves. But these awe-inspiring experiences are not easily understood by science, which holds that all things can be explained in terms of atoms and molecules. In his latest book, The Transcendent Brain: Spirituality in the Age of Science, the novelist and physicist Alan Lightman draws on intellectual history and conversations with contemporary scientists, philosophers and psychologists to interrogate our place between these worlds. Can materialism explain our appreciation of beauty? Or our feelings of connection with nature and to other people? Is there a physical basis for consciousness, the most slippery of all scientific problems? Lightman weaves his investigations together to propose what he calls “spiritual materialism” – the belief that we can embrace spiritual experiences without letting go of our scientific worldview.

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These talks are co-organized and moderated by Fred Dylla, Executive Director Emeritus of the American Institute of Physics and author of Scientific Journeys, Linda Dylla, former public information officer at the Jefferson Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy, and Colin Norman, the former News Editor at Science.