Al Brunsting series of talks

by alexeyburov

Starting Jan 28, we’ll have a series of talks of Al Brunsting, based on his book God Is Here to Stay: Science, Evolution and Belief in God, coauthored with Thomas R. McFaul. As it is written in the Preface, “The purpose of this book is to answer one question: what does the best scientific knowledge suggest regarding whether or not God exists?

Al Brunsting is not a Fermilab employee, but he is a physicist who has a track record of fifteen issued US patents, forty publications in refereed scientific and technical literature, editor of the Patents Review Board of Applied Optics, designer and developer of fiber optics products applied to telecommunications, and an international science award winner (Otto-Bayer Award) for substantial contributions in self-blood glucose monitoring.

Thomas McFaul is the social scientist and humanist who has spent most of his adult life in academic settings where he has dedicated over forty years to teaching and scholarship in the fields of sociology, philosophy, ethics, and comparative religions. He has written numerous articles on topics ranging from bioethics to the emerging global village. He has authored a three volume trilogy on the future of peace and justice, truth and freedom, and God, and a book that focuses on the formation of the moral imagination as a transformational process.

The book received multiple good endorsements from public figures, both theists and atheists. Below are a few of them:

“The manuscript is well written and well argued, and surely it will be an important addition to the God-and-science literature.” “A good and interesting book. Congratulations!” —Francisco J. Ayala, 2010 Templeton Prize winner and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ayala is a noted author on the history of science and science and religion.

“The authors have an unusual approach to rank the probabilities of various arguments being convincing for the existence of God.” —Owen Gingerich, Harvard University, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and History of Science.

“. . . an interesting and thought-provoking book.” “. . . you reached your conclusions in an intelligent and fair-minded way.” —Jim Stein, Professor of Mathematics at California State University, Long Beach and active in mathematics education for the State of California and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Stein is a nonmilitant atheist and a published author.

So we are going to hear and weigh all the arguments both pro and contra God’s existence, presented by a physicist, who applied significant efforts to collect and ponder all of them. Although the book’s cover focuses on the conclusion, its philosophical interest lies rather in quality of the argumentation than in the conclusion the authors make. How good is this quality? Each of the listeners will have a possibility to judge and discuss.

Note that Jan 28 we have a room change: instead of our usual Req Room (WH4NW), this time we are getting together in Racetrack (WH7X). Everybody is welcome. Feel free to come with your lunch.