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The penultimate curiosity: The interplay of science and religion over 30,000 years


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Science and religion are often thought of as distinct, even contradictory forces. Yet, according to a new book by Andrew Briggs and Roger Wagner, they both complement and benefit from one another. “The Penultimate Curiosity” (Oxford University Press, 2016) explores the complex interplay between science and religion over a period of 30,000 years — from cave paintings to quantum physics.

AEI’s Program on Human Flourishing is pleased to present a book discussion on “The Penultimate Curiosity,” moderated by AEI President Arthur C. Brooks, and a preview of a new documentary exploring themes found in the book. A wine and cheese reception will follow, and copies of the book will be available to purchase.

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Apr 10, 2016

The distinguished Princeton moral and legal philosopher discusses the major themes of his work. Click "Show more" to view all chapters. For more conversations, visit http://conversationswithbillkristol.org
Chapter 1 (00:15 - 39:28): Conservatism and the University
Chapter 2 (39:28 - 55:00): Growing Up in Appalachia
Chapter 3 (55:00 - 1:04:38): What is Natural Law?
Chapter 4 (1:04:38 - 1:23:57): Why We Need Social Conservatism

The McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, Robert George is one of the nation’s most distinguished students of legal and moral thought. In this conversation with William Kristol, George discusses the state of American conservatism as well as the condition of freedom of speech and thought on university campuses. He also details the development of his own political and moral views, including his interest in the natural law tradition in moral philosophy. Finally, Kristol and George discuss the importance of social conservatism in our public policy debates today

 

 

Transcript

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WARNING May Cause Thoughts

 

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Eric Metaxas talks with Ard Louis, professor of theoretical physics at Oxford University about "science and faith and life,” pushing past the oft-asked questions on these topics.

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Oct 26, 2016

In his new book Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days (Georgetown University Press), Eric Trager draws on extensive local research and interviews with Mohamed Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders to dissect the traits that helped the group win power -- in many cases the very same traits that contributed to its rapid demise. To mark the book's release and discuss the Brotherhood's near-term prospects, the Institute hosted a policy forum on October 18th, 2016 with the author and two other speakers, Nancy Youssef and Michele Dunne.

Eric Trager, the Institute's Esther K. Wagner Fellow, was in Egypt during the 2011 revolt and has conducted research there frequently in the years since. A former Fulbright Fellow, he holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and has been published widely in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic, New Republic, and other media.

Nancy Youssef is a distinguished Egyptian American journalist who currently works as senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast. During her long career with McClatchy, Knight Ridder, and other media outlets, she held top positions and played key investigative roles at news bureaus in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Washington, and other locales, covering multiple wars and garnering several awards for her work.

Michele Dunne directs the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Previously, she was the founding director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, a visiting professor of Arab studies at Georgetown University, and editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin. As a Middle East specialist at the State Department from 1986 to 2003, she served at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and on the secretary's Policy Planning Staff, among other roles.

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Oct. 7, 2016 (I believe)

All pretty interesting But Forward to 20:20

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el Hayden, author of "Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror" in conversation with Steve Scher (formerly at KUOW). Recorded March 14, 2017 at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA and sponsored by University Book Stor

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Jun 13, 2017

Recorded on June 2, 2017

Senator Benjamin Sasse joins Peter Robinson to discuss his book The Vanishing American Adult and the growing crisis in America of prolonged adolescence. Senator Sasse argues that children are growing up, entering adolescence, and becoming stuck in the transitional stage to adulthood as they fail to become financially independent from their parents. He argues that because this generation of children is growing up during a time of relative peace and prosperity, it has allowed millennials to grow up without the issues of previous generations that were raised in war time. In this era of consumption and material surplus, he argues that adolescents are leading age-segregated lives and not developing a work ethic and that both their parents have an obligation to teach their children to grow up. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of intergenerational learning by allowing children to be raised around their grandparents and other adults to help them learn that the trivial trials of youth don’t matter in the long run.

Senator Sasse believes that there are certain virtues that American children have to learn to become productive and happy adults. Part of that is by teaching children the distinction between production and consumption and how to find happiness and self-worth through jobs that make one feel like a necessary part of the company/society. This, he argues, will help raise peoples’ self-worth and lead them to happiness and fulfillment in their everyday.

Senator Sasse finishes by stressing the importance of building children’s identities as readers to help foster the growth of ideas and active learning over the passive activities of sitting in front of screens. He notes that sedentary life is not fulfilling and that by encouraging people to participate in production over consumption will lead to more fulfilling lives. He ends on the optimistic note, that while our youth may still need guidance, overall America’s best days still lie ahead.

For the full transcript go to
http://www.hoover.org/research/vanish...

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May 12, 2017

Dennis Prager's Keynote Speech at the Family Policy Institute of Washington's 10th Anniversary Dinner.

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Published on Aug 23, 2017

Recorded on July 23, 2017
Thirty years after Ronald Reagan’s famous denouncement of the Berlin Wall, Peter Robinson reflects on writing the Brandenburg Gate speech and why it was so important to include the now memorable words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, turns the tables on Uncommon Knowledge’s host, Peter Robinson, sitting him down in the interview chair to discuss that famous speech and his journey to becoming Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter.

Peter Robinson's journey to becoming Ronald Reagan's speechwriter began in Oxford as he was trying his hand at becoming a novelist. After a year of writing a book Peter wasn't thrilled with, William H. Buckley advised him to try to become a speechwriter in Washington, DC. Peter left Oxford and. after a series of interviews, was given the task of speechwriting for then vice president George H. W. Bush and eventually became a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan.

Five years after Peter Robinson became President Reagan's speechwriter it was Peter's turn to write one of the president's important speeches of the year to be delivered in Berlin during the height of the Cold War. To get the speech right, Peter spent a day and half in West Berlin researching the points of view of diplomats and politicians, all of whom all made it seem as though the Berlin Wall was something people hardly noticed any more. This view turned out to not be shared by the citizens of West Berlin, as Peter discovered later that evening when he sat down to dinner with citizens of West Berlin, where the dinner host said if Mr. Gorbachev is serious about perestroika he'd get rid of this wall. Peter’s dinner hosts went on to talk about how much they missed their families whom they hadn’t seen in decades because, though they lived just a mile away, the wall stood between them. That statement and the sentiments of the people of West Berlin struck Peter; after a series of drafts he came up with the now well-known line, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" That line, however, almost didn’t make it into the final draft of the speech as various advisers counseled against it and tried to persuade Peter and President Reagan to remove it. In the end, though, President Reagan insisted, and the line was kept in and remains to this day one of his most famous statements.

For the full transcript go to
http://www.hoover.org/research/speech...

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Published on Sep 14, 2017
Recorded on July 12, 2017
 
The Dilbert comic strip artist and political philosopher Scott Adams sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. He discusses with Peter his theory of “talent stacking,” the idea that rather than being an expert in one particular skill (i.e., Tiger Woods and golf), one can become successful by stacking a variety of complementary nonexpert skills. Adams demonstrates how talent stacking has been beneficial in his life because he has stacked comic artist skills with his MBA and experience in corporate environments to create a wildly successful comic strip that resulted in spin-off books, a television series, a video game, and merchandise. His business skills gave him the tools to create a business satire comic strip and the skill set to manage the business that evolved from that strip.
 
(Snip)

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Sep 22, 2017
 

 

The Hoover Institution hosted "Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative" on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.
Hoover Institution & Director of Washington, D.C. Programs Michael Franc welcomed Presidential Historian and New York Times bestselling author, Craig Shirley for a discussion of his new book Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative.
The only authorized biography and with help from Newt Gingrich, Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative explores how Newt Gingrich, a twice-failed nominee to Georgia's sixth district of the House of Representatives, rises in influence in American politics, becoming one of the most significant conservative politicians, only surpassed by President Ronald Reagan.
When Newt Gingrich became a representative of Georgia's sixth district in 1979-the first Republican to ever be elected there- he came on a platform of cleaning up the corruption reeking the political world. In the span of twenty years, Gingrich went from outsider to Minority Whip, to becoming the Speaker of the House Representatives.

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Oct 11, 2017
 

 

Recorded on February 14, 2017 Norman Naimark, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and an expert on Eastern Europe and genocides throughout history, brings his considerable expertise to Uncommon Knowledge to discuss the history of genocides from ancient to modern times. Peter Robinson sits down with Naimark to discuss his latest book, Genocide: A World History. Naimark argues that genocides occur throughout history, from biblical to modern times across the world. He considers genocides to be “the crime of crimes, worse than war crimes or crimes against humanity,”
 
Naimark defines genocide as “intentional killing of a group of people as such,” meaning that the intention is to eliminate that group completely. He stresses the difference of this definition from warfare, as in war two sides are killing each other with the intention of subjugation rather than extermination. He goes into detail about a few incidents that he considers genocides, including but not limited to Nazi Germany, Stalin’s genocide of the kulaks, the Armenian genocide in the early 1900s, the Carthage genocide in 146 BC, the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s, and the Yuki genocide in California in the 1850s.
 
Naimark argues that as genocides occur in contemporary society, sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their citizens; if they fail to do so the international community has a moral and civic obligation to step in to stop those genocides from occurring. Granted, he argues, that the cost of intervention needs to be assessed before stepping in but that overall each country has a national obligation to prevent the systematic extermination of people.
 
(Snip)

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From the Comments.......

 

 

I completely agree with Mr. Dreyfus as to the need for civics education, and I applaud this effort. His sense of history, however, is slightly off. We are not the first in the history of humankind to call for equal justice under the law:

"'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly."

"Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits."

"Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike."

"Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent."

"It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice."

"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Source? The Bible -- not the New Testament; rather, the much-maligned Old Testament/Hebrew Bible ("Tanakh"). In those legal books -- Leviticus and Deuteronomy, plus some wise words from Proverbs -- most people wave off because they're so "boring," and "judgmental."

* Mr. Dreyfus also ignores the Magna Carta (1215), which was the ancestor -- via English law -- and formed some of the basis of our Constitution, which was written by men (Jefferson and Adams, for example) who had been educated in the English legal system. While the leaders of the new country made important changes, some of the language was taken directly from the Magna Carta (particularly the Fifth Amendment). Of course, the rejection of monarchical rule (which had already weakened significantly in England by that time) was an important feature of the new government. But back then, there was still a strong class system, and few people rose above their "station" -- certainly very few enslaved people -- until the 19th century. And even then, the upper classes and rich industrialists were very much powers behind the scenes. Dreyfus describes an important ideal, but let's not play fast and loose with history.

_________________________________________________________________________

* I would point out that at the time John signed it (with a sharp pointy thing at his back) it really only covered The Barons.

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