Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Beyond Belief

A few years ago I found a series of lectures called ‘Beyond Belief’, the first one back in 2006 I think at the Salk Institute, in San Diego, California (I nice place to have a three day lecture in November). The first event covered the threat of religion on the world, as well as looking at science, I found it fascinating; to hear some of the greatest scientists alive today talking at the same event was inspiring. There were Nobel Prize winners, and more professors than at Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Now I know originally the focus was on the rise of religion and its attempts to force a change, a negative change in their eyes on the world as a whole. But the Beyond Belief’s held later in 07 and 08 concentrated on other topics as well. One I especially enjoyed was about neurology, and how the brain works, and of course the one about sound and music which showed how Beethoven created his 9th Symphony. I found the whole series excellent, and was looking forward to seeing the next event, but they stopped them after 08. Some of the great scientists to grace the event were the likes of Richard Dawkins, Paul Davies, Sam Harris, Sir Harold Kroto, Lawrence Krauss, VS Ramachandran, Michael Shermer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Steven Weinberg, Daniel Dennett, Anthony Grayling, and many, many more.

The lectures that I still remember and stand out were by Paul Davies, Sam Harris, Sir Harold Kroto, and VS Ramachandran. I could go into details but you can get the Beyond Belief DVD’s which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in science or the threat religion has on the world. When I first started this blog, and was a bit deluded into thinking my ideas might actually be true, I sent an email to Sir Harold Kroto and he kindly replied. The other scientists I sent one too didn’t reply and I thought that was particularly nice thing for Sir Harry to do considering how busy these guys are. Watching the lectures helped me to formulate my concepts and ideas about the world and reality as well as other things. VS Ramachandran’s lecture about amputee victims and their phantom limb pain was fascinating.

I will leave by saying I wish they would do more lecture series like Beyond Belief; I loved them and found them extremely educational.

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