Science and culture are not independent areas of human activity, as media and academic mythology insists. Instead, culture shapes science and science shapes culture. That’s the basic insight underlying the work of the Center for Science & Culture, clearly evident in the debate about biological origins. Since the 19th century a culture of materialism has warped scientific inquiry about the evolution of life. In a feedback loop, ideas about evolution have spread toxic materialism outward from the elite to the cultural mainstream. As the Science Uprising series shows, we know how that has turned out.
A Widespread Confusion
We also know that evolution is far from the only field that demonstrates how challenging the relationship between science and culture can be. Discovery Institute launched the Walter Bradley Center to explore, and warn about, an increasingly widespread confusion about natural versus artificial intelligence — again, with culture as a force that shapes our thinking.
Now Discovery is getting ready to enter into a conversation with leaders in the information and technology industry, centered in Seattle, about these themes. It’s the COSM conference, this coming October 23-25, in Bellevue, Washington. Organized by Discovery Institute co-founder and renowned futurist George Gilder, COSM will consider what Gilder calls the “systems of the world” that determine the future in culture, the economy, and technology. Robert J. Marks and William Dembski of the Bradley Center will join Gilder and other leading thinkers — Peter Thiel, Steve Forbes, Ray Kurzweil, Carver Mead, and more.
A Vision of the Future
The COSM conference is designed for an audience of investors, executives, researchers, and others “seeking to peer into the future of technology.” The illuminating insight is that the future will not unfold in splendid isolation from culture, but in a dynamic, perilous dance with it, with much at stake for our public and private lives.
This event is not sponsored by Discovery’s Center for Science & Culture, and it is not about the debate over intelligent design. Nevertheless, there is a natural affinity. George Gilder has predicted, in his book Microcosm, that the “overthrow of matter in science leads plausibly to the ascendancy of information and mind in contemporary technology, and hence in economic as well.” It’s in the study of ID, and of the limits of artificial intelligence, that the “ascendancy of information and mind” over brute matter is most clearly seen.
Join Discovery Institute at COSM for a sparkling, three-day discussion with some awesomely visionary speakers. The price reflects the intimate and exclusive nature of the event. There is a $1,000 discount now through September 6. More information and a link to register are here.