2011 Event Media Release Daniel Dennett
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Tuesday, 4 October 2011
IF DINOSAURS EVOLVED INTO BIRDS, WHAT WILL RELIGIONS EVOLVE INTO?
Sydney Opera House, Drama Theatre, Sunday 20 November, 3pm
“Unlike traditional philosophers, Dan is a student of neuroscience, linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer science, and psychology. He's redefining and reforming the role of the philosopher." Marvin Minsky
American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist, Daniel Dennett is known for his provocative and controversial views. Hear him discuss the topic of religion at Sydney Opera House followed by a Q&A.
Dennett is known as one of the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism," along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. His 2006 book, Breaking the Spell, reviews religions through the scientific lens of evolutionary biology. He says the spell he wishes to break is not religious belief itself; but the idea that religion is off-limits to scientific inquiry. “Religions are an important natural phenomenon and we should study them with the same intensity with which we study all the other natural phenomenon,” he says.
Dennett traces the origins of modern religion from ancient folk beliefs and analyses its role and effect in today’s world. He says religions are brilliantly designed through a mixture of evolutionary (natural selection) and human design.
Religions have changed more in the last century than in the millennium before that, and they will probably change more in the next few decades than they did in the last century. Dennett’s talk is an opportunity to hear about the future of religions from one of the world’s most important living philosophers.
Dennett is the author of 16 books and 300 scholarly articles. His other books include Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Consciousness Explained. He is the recipient of the Richard Dawkins Prize and been named the American Humanist Association Humanist of the Year. He also writes on artificial intelligence, the brain and intelligent design. He was educated at Harvard and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy at Oxford.
Who: Daniel Dennett
When: Monday 20 November, 2011 3pm (75 minutes, no interval)
Where: Sydney Opera House, Drama Theatre
Tickets: $30 sydneyoperahouse.com / 9250 7777
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