This talk is based on a paper authored by Dr. Stamos in which he argues that the widespread modern belief in universal human rights is a mass delusion, a modern myth. The argument is based on the origin of universal human rights in the European Enlightenment and the fact that the cultural foundation of the myth is the rise of democracy and capitalism combined with Christian creationism and a belief in species essentialism. Dr. Stamos argues that modern secular/philosophical attempts at defending the reality of universal human rights come to a full stop once the basic facts of evolutionary history are taken into account.
IN SEARCH OF TIME A talk by Dan Falk, Amazon's #1 Physics Author Time is at once intimately familiar and yet deeply mysterious. It is thoroughly intangible: we say it flows like a river yet when we try to examine that flow, the river seems reduced to a mirage. No wonder philosophers, poets, and scientists from Aristotle to Einstein have grappled with the enigma of time for centuries. The mystery of time has captivated science journalist Dan Falk, who sets off on an intellectual journey in his latest book, In Search of Time: Journeys along a Curious Dimension (McClelland & Stewart, October 2008). In this illustrated talk, Dan will discuss some of the most intriguing aspects of time: how our ancestors first learned to measure it; how we suspect it and the universe began, and what the end of time may hold for us; and a brief look at the physics of time travel and the paradoxes it seems to entail.
Psychology, brain science and evolutionary theory converge to show that morality and politics, no less than art and religion, are grounded in emotion. Emotions are themselves the legacy of our biological, historical, and individual pasts. These can result in counterproductive emotional dispositions. The implications for human rationality are sobering.