Messiah College

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Keynote Address: Dr. Edward Tenner

February 25-29, 2008

We live in an era seemingly dominated by the power of modern science and its associated technologies. This has been both a cause for celebration and anxiety because all the material benefits of modern science and technology have been invariably accompanied with angst and uncertainty about how this affects our experience of being human. Scientific understandings of the world and modern technological advances (in communication, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, stem cell research, nanotechnology, etc.) are transforming human life, raising new questions about what it means to be human, how we communicate with one another, relate to our environments, form communities, and remain persons of faith. Do these developments empower us or deny us our agency? Are humans increasingly becoming cyborgs--living beings who seamlessly integrate with machines? How we respond to these trends and questions will no doubt shape our worlds for generations to come.

The 2008 Spring Humanities Symposium provides an opportunity for the Messiah College community to explore the many aspects of technology and humanity. The Executive Committee for the Center for Public Humanities has planned this symposium with the hope that it will generate public dialogue that contributes to our common life together and to our understanding of the wider world.



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