Thursday, February 09, 2012

Dr. Daniel Dennett in Calgary Saturday!!! (revised)

Update: Due to mechanical failure, Dr. Dennett's plane did not arrive in Calgary on time.  His talk has been rescheduled for Saturday Feb 11, 4:30 pm in ST140.

Exciting news - Daniel Dennett is the speaker for the University of Calgary's 27th annual Darwin Dinner, and I (along with a friend) get to pick him up from the airport tomorrow!  For those of you who are in town, his lecture, entitled 'The Evolution of Reasons' will be held in Science Theatres 140 at 4:30 pm.  If you can't make it, you can get a taste of Dr. Dennett at 7:20 am on CBC radio.

I've been reading Breaking the Spell, Dennett's most famous contribution to that seemingly ubiquitous genre of anti-religious treatises.  I can say that it is likely the best that any of the big four (Dennett, Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins) have produced, and am finding it to be stimulating rather than infuriating (although brace yourself for a less-than-sensitive opening metaphor).

I'll let you know how the talk goes, along with the behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Tyrrell Museum I will be taking with Dr. Dennett on Saturday (if everything goes as planned)!


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Anonymous said...

how'd the talk and airport-picking up go?

Matthew said...

So, as I said Dennett got stock in Idaho for the day and his talk had to be pushed back to Saturday. He surprised us all by arriving in Calgary Friday night, during the banquet, and so my friend left early to pick him up while I remained to monitor the activities. The next day his talk was packed - standing room only! - and was quite interesting, being primarily about the transition from non-life to life, and how this allowed a transition from how come questions to what for questions. He argued for the both the importance of design and teleology in evolution, contra Dawkins. I was able to then sit in with members of the philosophy department with Dennett over dinner at a Thai restaurant. Over all, it was an interesting experience!