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High Gravity= {Religion + Science} _______________________ __ Philip Clayton Claremont School of Theology October 2013 Class 6.

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Presentation on theme: "High Gravity= {Religion + Science} _______________________ __ Philip Clayton Claremont School of Theology October 2013 Class 6."— Presentation transcript:


2 High Gravity= {Religion + Science} _______________________ __ Philip Clayton Claremont School of Theology October 2013 Class 6

3 High Gravity= {Religion + Science} _______________________ __ Ethics, Technology … and Religion

4 Ethics in Research: Stem cell research Ethical issues at the start and end of life The rights of subjects in scientific experiments Warfare technologies Ethics in Applications: Activity vs. passive euthanasia Quality of life concerns “Designer drugs”: the ethics of pharmaceuticals Computers, ethics, and Artificial Intelligence Access to medical technologies

5 Ethics and the Environment

6 Thesis Scientific facts + religious interpretations and motivations ------------ > More powerful forms of prophetic activism



9 Threats to Animals & Plants: The Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes)The Harlequin Frog (Atelopus varius) EXTINCT

10 Mount Schrankogel, Austria Irreversible Changes to Ecosystems & Animals

11 Islets off of Antarctica's Anvers Island

12 Portage Glacier, 2005 Portage Glacier, 1914

13 Marr Ice Piedmont in Antarctica, 2000

14 Bangladeshi Village, 2005

15 Seasons are Changing The Swamp Sparrow in the Southern United States

16 Heat Wave in Chicago, 1995 Extreme Weather

17 Tuvalu in the South Pacific, 2005

18 Guangdong Province in China, 2005



21 Less than 1% of the world's water is readily available for direct human uses 1/3 of the world's population live in countries that are experiencing moderate to high water stress Floods and droughts claim lives and cripple economies By the year 2025, 2/3 of the world's population could be facing serious problems with water availability.

22 Children playing in heavily polluted river in the slums near Bombay, India.

23 The Aral Sea

24 China’s most polluted sea absorbs nearly 5.7 billion tonnes of sewage & 2 million tonnes of other solid waste each year—43 out of 52 rivers flowing into it are severely polluted. In 2006 80% of the 112 discharge outlets in Tianjin, Shandong, Liaoning and Hebei frequently discharged chemicals, industrial waste and sewage into the sea. Fish are dying & a massive algal bloom, or red tide, has invaded it. Still the local government is planning more miles of factories and harbor facilities. The Bohai Sea, China

25 Bohai Sea, China


27 Mexico City


29 Beginning of Time--1830: 1 Billion 1830-1930: 2 Billion 1930-1960: 3 Billion 1960-1975: 4 Billion 1975-1987: 5 Billion 2005: More than 6.5 Billion 2050: Expected to reach 9.2 Billion Current Rate: 80 Million per year



32 Wind Power

33 The Genzyme Center Sustainable Development

34 Paris Bike Share

35 Consume Less, Share More, Live Simply

36 So… Is it happening? Is the data enough?

37 Again… Is it happening? Why not? What role can (must) the religious traditions play? What in our theological traditions allows us to play this role?

38 Ethics at the Beginning and End of Life

39 Technology & Eschatology

40 Transhumanism … the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, esp. by means of science and technology.

41 Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity “Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity - - technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light…”

42 Ray Kurzweil on religion: “A primary role of traditional religion is deathist rationalization – that is, rationalizing the tragedy of death as a good thing. Malcolm Muggeridge articulates the common view that ‘if it weren’t for death, life would be unbearable.’ But the explosion of art, science, and other forms of knowledge that the Singularity will bring will make life more than bearable, it will make life truly meaningful …” The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, 372.

43 We are merely information: “The self-awareness that we call consciousness is not a supernatural soul, but the natural consequence of our semantic complexity that gives us the ability to conceptualize ourselves. As information, we can be translated from one storage medium to another, combined with other information, and expressed through an almost infinite variety of instrumentalities. When we emerge into cyberspace, we should no more lament the loss of the bodies that we leave behind than an eagle hatchling laments the shattered fragments of its egg when it first takes wing…” William Sims Bainbridge, The Immortality Institute

44 Ray Kurzweil. The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, p. 20.

45 Discussion and Q & A ∞


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