Catholic Scientists to hold conference on non-human intelligence

Catholic scientists

The Society of Catholic Scientists (SCS) will hold its 2021 conference in Washington D.C. on the subject of non-human intelligence.

The conference titled “Extraterrestrials, AI, and Minds Beyond the Human” will take place at the Hilton Hotel from June 4-6. The event will also be live-streamed.

Conference discussions will provide scientific and theological insights on the subjects of real and hypothetical intelligences. There will be emphasis 0n extraterrestrial and artificial intelligences.

Dr Stephen Barr, president of the Society of Catholic Scientists, said four of the invited speakers will discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life from their respective fields. These fields are astrophysics, astrochemistry, evolutionary biology, and Catholic theology.

“There’s a lot of excitement because in recent years, astronomers have discovered large numbers of planets orbiting other nearby stars. They could learn a lot about these planets. For example how far they are from the star, how big the planet is, even things about the chemistry of the planet in some cases”, Barr told CNA.

The conference will also include two Poster Sessions. One for presentations on the conference’s theme and another for presentations on topics such as the correlation between science and faith.

Barr said the SCS conference provides an open forum for reflections on the intersection between science and the realms of theology and philosophy. He said the conference’s goal is the same as the goal of the Society of Catholic Scientists. That is to foster community among Catholic scientists and to be a witness to the world. He emphasized the importance of promoting a successful collaboration between science and faith.

“[It’s] very important nowadays because there are many people out there who think that science and faith are incompatible,” he said.

“I think if people see that there’s a large organization of a large number of scientists, [who are] devout, practicing Catholics, I think it has a witness value and is stronger evidence for people in the science department.”


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