Singularity 1 on 1 talks science and religion with Lincoln Cannon

The Singularity 1 on 1 podcast has published a discussion about the compatibility of science and religion between host Nikola Danaylov and Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

"Lincoln Cannon is not only a software engineer with degrees in philosophy and business but also the president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. In my first interview with him we talked about the compatibility between Mormonism and Transhumanism. In this special edition of Singularity 1 on 1 we debate whether science and religion are mutually exclusive – as I believe, or complementary – as Cannon argues that they are."

Singularity 1 on 1: Are Science and Religion Mutually Exclusive or Complementary?

Singularity 1 on 1 Interviews Lincoln Cannon

The Singularity 1 on 1 podcast has published an interview with Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

"Lincoln Cannon is one of those people who break the mold. He is not only a software engineer with degrees in philosophy and business but also the president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. So if, like me, you thought that Mormon Transhumanism is an oxymoron, you should put your presumptions away and give Lincoln the chance to explain why this is not the case. Then you can judge for yourself.

"During our conversation with Cannon we cover a wide variety of topics such as: the history and purpose behind the Mormon Transhumanist Association; the story of how Lincoln discovered the technological singularity and transhumanism; what is Mormonism and how it is compatible with both of the above; the relationship between Mormonism, science and technology; the historicity of the Book of Mormon; being feminist, intellectual or gay and how that relates to being Mormon and/or transhumanist ..."

Lincoln Cannon on Singularity 1 on 1: Reach Out to Religious Transhumanists

Member Survey 2012

Dear members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association,

It's time for the association's annual member survey. We hope to hear from you! Your feedback helps association leadership better represent and serve you. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete, and the goal is 100% participation. Click here to access the survey:

https://docs.google.com/a/transfigurism.org/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGxoYVlHUnp5S3pic2hpRFpTb045REE6MA#gid=0

Only aggregate results, without personal identifying information, will be made public. Only association directors and officers will have access to individual answers. One week from now, if you haven't already completed the survey, an association leader will reach out and contact you personally to see if you have questions or need assistance. In the mean time, you may contact admin@transfigurism.org.

Thank you for participating!

Brent Allsop
Member Survey Project Manager
Mormon Transhumanist Association
transfigurism.org

Request for Proposals: “The Science of Immortality”

The University of California at Riverside, with the help of a very generous grant from The John Templeton Foundation and under the direction of John Martin Fischer, welcomes proposals to investigate via empirical means questions that concern personal immortality. Such questions are central existential concerns that know no geographical or cultural bounds. They include questions about the possibility and plausibility of post-mortem survival; questions about the influence of beliefs about immortality on behavior, attitudes, and character; questions as to why and how persons are (at least pre-reflectively) disposed to believe in post-mortem survival; and more besides. The goal of this RFP is to make progress on these questions through empirical research. Read more.

Humanity+ Conference in San Francisco

1st - 2nd of Dec Pacific Time Zone (PST)

Revolving around the theme “Writing the Future”, the conference will explore the world of media and communicating Transhumanism.

What excites you about the future?
What frightens you?
How might the future change the way we live?
And how might we change the way we live in the future?

This includes work on Scholarship in Writing, Yellow-Dog Journalism, Games/Film Stories, Science Fiction/Fact, H+ Magazine, and Getting Paid! Further discussion on related disciplines like graphic design, documentary and film production, social media, etc will all converge. How will our media help us communicate about the technologies needed to dramatically extend human life? and to enjoy a radically improved and expanded life in a variety of senses as the future unfolds?

Official website: http://2012.humanityplus.org
Tickets: http://humanityplus2012.eventbrite.com/

Conference on Religion and Technology

Sponsored by Franklin & Marshall College Department of Religious Studies

Lancaster PA USA
Saturday, October 27, 2012
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Internet has given rise to much religious imagery. Both dreams of utopia and nightmares of apocalypse abound. It has also shaken up some of our certitudes about the human. Is there even such a thing or are we just underdeveloped machines? What does the expansion of internet technology mean for our experience of time, of space, and of the body? What kind of ethical conundrums arise from our computer-driven technology?

Three scholars—Robert Geraci (Manhattan College, Religious Studies, historian) Thomas Carlson (University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, philosopher, Katherine Hayles (Duke University, Program in Literature, literary scholar) will describe these new mythologies and address these questions. Three faculty members from F&M will respond to their presentations: Misty Bastian (Anthropology), Stephen Cooper (Religious Studies), Peter Jaros (English).

There will be ample time for audience participation throughout. The day will end with a panel discussion on a specific topic provoked by the conversation of the day.

The conference is free and open to the public.

This event is open to the public.

Free; no tickets required.

Call for Papers: 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

We cordially invite you to submit papers to the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, which will be held on Friday, April 5th, 2013, in Salt Lake City, Ut. The aim of this conference is to address the many issues and topics that lie at the intersection of technology and religion, their impacts on each other, and on society in general. These papers need not focus only on specifically Mormon religious issues.

Papers should be approximately two to six pages in length. Authors of accepted papers will be given approximately 10 minutes to present the ideas in their papers at the conference. A selection of the best of those papers will subsequently be published in the conference proceedings, which will be made available online and potentially in print form. Therefore, papers should be written with the intent of eventual publication in mind (full citations, references, footnotes, etc.). Authors whose papers are selected for publication will be given an editor to work with, to prepare their final paper for publication.

Among the suggested topics are:

Mormonism
Religion, Anti-Religion and Fundamentalism; Authentic Mormonism; God, Gods and Godhood; Trusting and Being Christ; From the Fullness of Times to the Millennium; Immortality and Eternal Life in Worlds without End

Transhumanism
Transhuman-ism and Trans-humanism; Evolution and the Great Filter Argument; Moore’s Law, Kurzweil’s Law and the Technological Singularity; The Pace of Technological Change; Evolution; The Evolution of Technology; Simulation Argument; Solar Energy; Genome Sequencing; Synthetic Biology; 3D Printing; Genetics and Biotech; Nanotech and Molecular Machines; Robotics and Artificial Intelligence; Substrate Independent Minds; Uploading; Consciousness; Cultural Impact of Technology; Helping humans adapt to the pace of technological change

Transfigurism
Rejecting Fundamentalism; Rejecting Anti-Religiosity; Transfigurist Science; Transfigurist Politics; Transfigurist Art; Promoting Benevolence; Promoting Creativity; Engineering Transfiguration; Engineering Resurrection; Engineering Renewal of this World; Engineering Worlds without End; The Faith Assumption; The Angel Argument; The Benevolence Argument; The Creation Argument; The New God Argument

Please send submissions in RTF, PDF, or MS Word format to admin@transfigurism.org, by email attachment. Include author's full name, contact information, and title.

Some funding is available to reimburse portions of travel for presenters. Please indicate interest in being considered for travel support in the submission email.

For more information, visit the event website at transfigurism-2013.eventbrite.com or the official website of the Mormon Transhumanist Association at transfigurism.org.

Important dates
Conference Paper Deadline: January 12th, 2013 (Extended to January 19th, 2013)
Presentation Notification Date: February 1st, 2013
Conference Presentation: April 5th, 2013
Best Paper Awards: May 1st, 2013
Final Editing of Best Papers: May 1st - September 1st, 2013
Camera Ready for Published Papers: September 1st, 2013

For further conference related questions please contact admin@transfigurism.org. For further publication / formatting questions, please contact the publication editor, James L. Carroll, at james.carroll@transfigurism.org.

2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

Register today for the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, which will be held on 5 April 2013 from 9am to 6pm in Salt Lake City, Utah. Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. Previous conferences sponsored by the Mormon Transhumanist Association include the 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality conference, and the 2009 Mormonism and Engineering conference. The conference is open to the public.

Call for Papers
Click here to learn more about the call for papers.

Keynote Speakers

Aubrey de Grey will speak on "Why it is a sin NOT to strive to develop medicine that eliminates aging". He is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for the repair of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one.

Richard Bushman will speak on "From Humanity to Fulness the Mormon Way". He retired as Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University in 2001, and then came out of retirement in 2008 to accept a position as visiting Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and Co-General Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Mormon Scholars Foundation which fosters the development of young LDS scholars. With his wife Claudia Bushman, he is the father of six children and twenty grandchildren. He has been a bishop, stake president, and patriarch and is currently a sealer in the Manhattan Temple.


Special Guest Speakers

Carl Teichrib will speak on "A Christian Critique of Christian Transhumanism". He is a Canadian-based researcher, writer, and communicator regarding the historic and contemporary worldview shifts taking place, including political and economic globalization, and socio-religious trends. He is the editor of Forcing Change (www.forcingchange.org), a monthly publication dedicated to documenting and analyzing the structures of transformation, and is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. Over the years, his work has been utilized by other researchers, authors, and commentators. Carl’s biases are transparent: he embraces a Christian worldview (evangelical/conservative), is pro-liberty (versus politically imposed equality), pro-individualistic (versus consensus collectivism), and pro-free market (volunteer and consensual exchange).

Peter Wicks will speak on "An Atheist Transhumanist Critique of Religious Transhumanism". He studied mathematics at Cambridge, England, where he obtained his PhD in 1991. Since then he has worked mainly at the European Commission, where his responsibilities have ranged from environment policy to research on industrial accidents. In 2011 he took unpaid leave from the Commission to explore alternative career opportunities. In recent years he has become fascinated by the potential philosophical implications of emerging technologies, and broadly supports the goals of the transhumanist movement. Though raised as an Anglican Christian, Peter currently regards himself for all practical purposes as an atheist.


Registration Discounts

If you are a voting member of the association, or if you are a speaker at the conference, the association will cover the cost of your admission and give your guest a discount. Also, if you represent a media outlet and would like to report on the conference, the association may cover the cost of your admission. If any of these cases apply to you, please contact an association officer or email admin@transfigurism.org for your access code.

If you are a student, unemployed or resident of a less-developed country, discounts are available at registration time. Conference organizers will ask you to provide evidence of your student, unemployed or residency status when you check in at the conference.

Click here to register for the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association!


Travel Assistance

The association may cover up to 50% of your travel costs to attend the conference if you meet the following criteria:

1) You must be a voting member of the association.
2) You must present a paper at the conference.
3) You must live at least 300 miles from Salt Lake City.

If you meet the above criteria, you may request assistance by contacting an association officer or emailing admin@transfigurism.org.


Food

Lunch will be served at the conference and is included in the reservation price. During registration, you can designate whether you will join us for lunch, and whether you would like a vegetarian meal. Everyone attending the conference is also invited to gather for dinner at a nearby restaurant (to be determined) after the conference. Dinner is NOT included in the reservation price, but you can designate during registration whether you will join us, so that we may arrange a reservation at the restaurant.


Lodging

The association cannot directly cover lodging expenses. However, association members living in Salt Lake City and nearby areas may be able to help. We encourage members willing to provide lodging in their homes and members seeking lodging to communicate on the association Google group and Facebook group.


After-Conference Activities

We invite conference attendees to enjoy a leisurely tour of Salt Lake City and possibly attend a session of the LDS Church worldwide conference together on 6 April (the day after the MTA conference). If you would like to participate, please indicate your interest during registration, so that we may make appropriate arrangements.


Click here to register for the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association!

Association Financial Summary


As of September 17th, 2012, the MTA has $5,264 total cash on hand with $706 in the endowment.

The full report can be found at http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/finances/

Karl Hale
CFO

New Mormon Transhumanist Association Bloggers

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has added several member blogs to those aggregated on our website home page and blog page, as well as to our feeds and social network broadcasts -- reaching nearly 20,000 persons per week!

Here are the newest additions:


Here are the oldies but goodies:


If you are a member of the association and would like your blog to be included in the aggregation, please contact admin@transfigurism.org. Enjoy!

Carl Youngblood Presenting at Sunstone


Carl Youngblood, CIO and founding member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will be presenting at the Annual Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City at 9:45am on Thursday, July 26th. The title of his talk is "Compassionate Obsolescence: Coping with Technological Change." Additional information and registration instructions can be found at Sunstone's web site.

Transfigurist Quarterly Issue 5

The fifth issue of the Transfigurist Quarterly, highlighting news and events related to the Mormon Transhumanist Association, is now available. You're invited to download and share it.

Transfigurist Quarterly Issue 5

Association Financial Summary


As of the end of May, 2012, the MTA has $5,410 total cash on hand with $706 in the endowment.

Our 2012 conference cost the association $3,144 beyond the participant registration fees of $440. The majority of the conference expenses went to travel reimbursement for voting members of the association for whom the association paid half of personal travel expenses. In total, the association reimbursed members $2,295 for travel to the conference.

The full report can be found at http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/finances/

Karl Hale
CFO

Mormon Transhumanist Association Channel

Now you can watch conferences and presentations, sponsored by the association or participated in by our members, on the new Mormon Transhumanist Association Channel!

Conferences

Presentations

... and more. Subscribe to the Mormon Transhumanist Association Channel today!

Conference 2012 summary posted to YouTube

This slick seven minute summary of the Association's April conference was posted on 19 May 2012. Complete with background music and professional transitions, the video captures the spirit of the conference and speaker highlights!


Video Caption:

"The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association was held on 6 April 2012 at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Speakers addressed the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. The conference streamed live for online viewers, and recordings are now available on the Mormon Transhumanist Association channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3893B119820E9DC1). Please post comments and questions, and share these recordings with your friends and family. Thank you!"

Best Paper Award from April's Conference

We had a wonderful conference this year, and all the conference presentations are available online. There were many excellent presentations and papers. We have chosen to extend a best paper award to the top 1/3rd of the papers submitted to the conference, (the top 6 papers), with an invitation for them to have their papers included in a published conference proceedings. Each paper was ranked by three (and in some cases four) reviewers. No reviewer reviewed their own paper.The decision was not just made based upon the quality of the oral conference presentation, but also upon the suitability of each talk for printed publication (the best talks are not always the best papers and visa versa). 

This award goes to, in alphabetical order:

Chris Bradford on “Bodies Without End: Embodiment in a Substrate-Independent World” 
Brad Carmack on “Mormonism Beyond the Gender Binary” 
James Carroll on “Epiphenomenalism, the Problem with Property Dualism”
Marcus Flinders on “Taxation in a Millennial World”
Karl Hale on “Worshiping an Extra-Terrestrial Humanoid Deity”
Micah Redding on “Transhumanism and the Christian Story”

The authors of these papers will have the opportunity to have their papers published in a "proceedings" if they so choose. This proceedings will be available online, and (perhaps) also in print form. This final proceedings should be considered a peer reviewed publication. The inclusion of their papers in the proceedings is conditional upon their acceptance, and their working with our editors to get the papers up to publishable standards, complete with a uniform format, and with sufficient citations etc. If some authors aren't interested, we will extend an additional invitation to one of the runners up.

Several very excellent papers were not considered for this award or for publication in the proceedings, because the authors have expressed a desire to extend these papers, and publish them in a journal format elsewhere. In some cases these papers were very good, and otherwise might have been chosen. We would like to extend each of these authors a special invitation to consider submitting these papers to be included in the first edition of the new MTA sponsored Journal. Whether they choose our journal to submit their excellent papers to, we wish them all the best in finding an appropriate venue for their excellent work.

Thanks again to all who participated,

James L. Carroll
Proceedings Editor

Leadership Title Changes

The Association Board has approved the following title changes for leaders.

Brad Carmack
Chief Operations Officer

Carl Youngblood
Chief Information Officer

Karl Hale
Chief Financial Officer

Lincoln Cannon
Chief Executive Officer

Marcus Flinders
Chief Legal Officer

The board of director titles will remain unchanged, as specified in the constitution:

Brad Carmack
Director and Secretary

Bryant Smith
Director

Chris Bradford
Director and Vice President

David Foster
Director
Dorothy Deasy
Director

James Carroll
Director

Karl Hale
Treasurer

Lincoln Cannon
Director and President

Michael Ferguson
Director

Nathan Hadfield
Director

New Directors Elected

On 1 May, 2012, two new directors will take their places on the Board of Directors: Dorothy Deasy and James Carroll. Lincoln Cannon has been elected to continue serving as a director.

We extend sincere thanks to the outgoing directors: Carl Youngblood and Brent Allsop. Brent will be the project manager for the annual member survey, and Carl will continue in his role as Webmaster. See the new directors' profiles here and their bios below.

-Brad Carmack
Association Secretary


Dorothy Deasy

Dorothy Deasy is a freelance design researcher specializing in strategic qualitative projects for new product development and branding. A Christian Existentialist and a Methodist, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Masters of Applied Theology. She is developing a Spiritual Direction practice, with an emphasis on theology for a transhuman age. Dorothy is an occasional contributor for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

James Carroll

James has a PhD in computer science, and a minor in Ancient Near Eastern history. As a graduate student he taught Pearl of Great Price, Isaiah, and the Book of Mormon in the BYU Ancient Scripture department. He is serving a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory, doing ensemble machine learning research and computer assisted raidographic analysis for nuclear stockpile stewardship. His interests include machine learning, statistics, linguistics, consciousness, comparative ritual, and photography.

Recordings of the 2012 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association


The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association was held on 6 April 2012 at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Speakers addressed the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. The conference streamed live for online viewers, and recordings are now available on the Mormon Transhumanist Association channel on YouTube. Please post comments and questions, and share these recordings with your friends and family. Thank you!

Call for papers: Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Technology and Human Flourishing

Technology changes us, and the world around us, in countless ways. The stuff of science fiction is now, in many cases, reality, and it can make our lives longer, healthier, and more productive than ever. But technological advance is not without complication, and even ardent proponents of technology recognize that our present age of innovation is fraught with concern for unintended consequences.

The 2012 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture invites reflection about technology and how it contributes to and, at times, compromises human flourishing. How should we understand and evaluate both the promise and peril of the things we create? What implications arise for our understanding of what it means to be human and live well? How might theological considerations, in particular Christian convictions about the things we make and how we use them, illuminate our understanding of technology?

A complete call for papers including a list of confirmed speakers and possible topics can be read online at www.baylor.edu/ifl/technology.

Please share news of this announcement with your colleagues via e-mail and social media. We hope to see you at "Technology and Human Flourishing" in the fall.

Live Stream of the Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference


The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 6 April 2012 from 9am to 5pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. The conference schedule is below, and the program is now available for download. For those unable to attend in person, the association will provide a live stream of the conference on the association website home page at http://transfigurism.org. Those who can attend in person may still register today!

MORNING SESSION 9:00am-12:00pm
Conducting: Lincoln Cannon

9:00am-9:10am BUSINESS Lincoln Cannon

9:15am-9:25am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Subverting Dogma in an LDS Context”

9:30am-9:40am Varden Hadfield on “How Amazing is Grace? The Role of Jesus Christ in Mormonism and Transhumanism”
9:45am-9:55am Dan Wotherspoon on “Things Mormon Transhumanist Nerds Should Keep in Mind When Interacting with Potential Non-Transhumanist Allies — Especially Ones within Their Own Tradition”
10:00am-10:10am Kathy Wilson on “From Mormon to Mystic”
10:15am-10:25am Brad Carmack on “Mormonism Beyond the Gender Binary”
10:30am-10:40am Evan Hadfield on “God as Universal Experience: A Buddhist and Mormon Perspective”
10:45am-10:55am Leonard Reil on “The Gods of Eternity”
11:00am-11:10am Don Bradley on “‘The Grand Fundamental Principle’: Friendship as Partaking of the Divine Nature”
11:15am-11:25am Karl Hale on “Worshiping an Extra-Terrestrial Humanoid Deity”
11:30am-11:40am Marcus Flinders on “Taxation in a Millennial World”

11:45am-11:55am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Bodies Without End: Embodiment in a Substrate-Independent World”

LUNCH 12:05pm-12:55pm

AFTERNOON SESSION 1:00pm-5:00pm
Conducting: Chris Bradford

1:00pm-1:05pm BUSINESS Chris Bradford

1:10pm-1:40pm KEYNOTE Giulio Prisco on “The Turing Church of Transcendent Engineering”

1:45pm-1:55pm James Driessen on “Foundations of Skeptical Operation Systems, Using Non-Classical Suspension of a Logic Gate”
2:00pm-2:10pm James Carroll on “Epiphenomenalism, the Problem with Property Dualism”
2:15pm-2:25pm Eric Swedin on “Why Transhumanist Immortality is a Bad Idea”
2:30pm-2:40pm Carl Youngblood on “Compassionate Obsolescence: Coping with Technological Change”
2:45pm-2:55pm Adam Davis on “Scientific Realism and the Simulation Argument”
3:00pm-3:10pm Brent Allsop on “Ushering in the Millennium”
3:15pm-3:25pm Michael Ferguson on “Toward a Science of Spirituality”
3:30pm-3:40pm Mike Perry on “Christian Atheist Universal Immortalism”
3:45pm-3:55pm Dorothy Deasy on “Post-biological Transfiguration”
4:00pm-4:10pm Micah Redding on “Transhumanism and the Christian Story”

4:15pm-5:00pm KEYNOTE Lincoln Cannon on “The Consolation: An Interpretive Variation on the King Follett Sermon of Joseph Smith”

Register for the conference today!

Revised Schedule for the Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference 2012


The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 6 April 2012 from 9am to 5pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. The schedule has been revised as follows: Roger Hansen will be unable to attend, and Lincoln Cannon will speak on "The Consolation: An Interpretive Variation on the King Follett Sermon of Joseph Smith". The conference is open to the public. Register today!


MORNING SESSION 9:00am-11:55pm
Conducting: Lincoln Cannon

9:00am-9:10am BUSINESS Lincoln Cannon

9:15am-9:25am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Subverting Dogma in an LDS Context”

9:30am-9:40am Varden Hadfield on “How Amazing is Grace? The Role of Jesus Christ in Mormonism and Transhumanism”
9:45am-9:55am Dan Wotherspoon on “Things Mormon Transhumanist Nerds Should Keep in Mind When Interacting with Potential Non-Transhumanist Allies — Especially Ones within Their Own Tradition”
10:00am-10:10am Kathy Wilson on “From Mormon to Mystic”
10:15am-10:25am Brad Carmack on “Mormonism Beyond the Gender Binary”
10:30am-10:40am Evan Hadfield on “God as Universal Experience: A Buddhist and Mormon Perspective”
10:45am-10:55am Leonard Reil on “The Gods of Eternity”
11:00am-11:10am Don Bradley on “‘The Grand Fundamental Principle’: Friendship as Partaking of the Divine Nature”
11:15am-11:25am Karl Hale on “Worshiping an Extra-Terrestrial Humanoid Deity”
11:30am-11:40am Marcus Flinders on “Taxation in a Millennial World”

11:45am-11:55am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Bodies Without End: Embodiment in a Substrate-Independent World”

LUNCH 12:00pm-12:55pm

AFTERNOON SESSION 1:00pm-5:00pm
Conducting: Chris Bradford

1:00pm-1:05pm BUSINESS Chris Bradford

1:10pm-1:40pm KEYNOTE Giulio Prisco on “The Turing Church of Transcendent Engineering”

1:45pm-1:55pm Jamie Driessen on “Machine Skepticism Using a Non-Classical Suspension of a Logic Gate”
2:00pm-2:10pm James Carroll on “Epiphenomenalism, the Problem with Property Dualism”
2:15pm-2:25pm Eric Swedin on “Why Transhumanist Immortality is a Bad Idea”
2:30pm-2:40pm Carl Youngblood on “Compassionate Obsolescence: Coping with Technological Change”
2:45pm-2:55pm Adam Davis on “Scientific Realism and the Simulation Argument”
3:00pm-3:10pm Brent Allsop on “Ushering in the Millennium”
3:15pm-3:25pm Michael Ferguson on “Toward a Science of Spirituality”
3:30pm-3:40pm Mike Perry on “Christian Atheist Universal Immortalism”
3:45pm-3:55pm Dorothy Deasy on “Post-biological Transfiguration”
4:00pm-4:10pm Micah Redding on “Transhumanism and the Christian Story”

4:15pm-5:00pm KEYNOTE Lincoln Cannon on “The Consolation: An Interpretive Variation on the King Follett Sermon of Joseph Smith”

Register for the conference today!

Results from Mormon Transhumanist Association Member Survey 2011

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has released results of its 2011 member survey. The survey results provide aggregate statistics of members' views on religion and politics, satisfaction with the association, and demographics.

In 2011, the association grew from 120 members to 143 members, and 71 members participated in the survey. Notable statistical changes since 2010 include:


  • Membership in Utah decreased from 40% to 31% (membership outside the United States increased from 13% to 17%)
  • Membership identifying as "no opinion" in cultural politics decreased from 14% to 5% (membership identifying as conservative in cultural politics increased from 7% to 13%)
  • Membership identifying as progressive in economic politics increased from 21% to 41% (membership identifying as moderate in economic politics decreased from 33% to 23%)
  • Membership reporting a divorced marital status decreased from 14% to 4% (membership reporting a married marital status increased from 58% to 64%, and membership reporting a remarried marital status increased from 7% to 10%)
  • Membership reporting incomplete college education decreased from 26% to 13% (membership reporting postgraduate education increased from 42% to 47%, and membership reporting incomplete postgraduate education increased from 7% to 11%)

Schedule for the Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference 2012


The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 6 April 2012 from 9am to 5pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. The conference is open to the public. Register today!

Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. Previous conferences sponsored by the Mormon Transhumanist Association include the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality conference and the 2009 Mormonism and Engineering conference.


MORNING SESSION 9:00am-11:55pm
Conducting: Lincoln Cannon

9:00am-9:10am BUSINESS Lincoln Cannon

9:15am-9:25am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Subverting Dogma in an LDS Context”

9:30am-9:40am Varden Hadfield on “How Amazing is Grace? The Role of Jesus Christ in Mormonism and Transhumanism”
9:45am-9:55am Dan Wotherspoon on “Things Mormon Transhumanist Nerds Should Keep in Mind When Interacting with Potential Non-Transhumanist Allies — Especially Ones within Their Own Tradition”
10:00am-10:10am Kathy Wilson on “From Mormon to Mystic”
10:15am-10:25am Brad Carmack on “Mormonism Beyond the Gender Binary”
10:30am-10:40am Evan Hadfield on “God as Universal Experience: A Buddhist and Mormon Perspective”
10:45am-10:55am Leonard Reil on “The Gods of Eternity”
11:00am-11:10am Don Bradley on “‘The Grand Fundamental Principle’: Friendship as Partaking of the Divine Nature”
11:15am-11:25am Karl Hale on “Worshiping an Extra-Terrestrial Humanoid Deity”
11:30am-11:40am Marcus Flinders on “Taxation in a Millennial World”

11:45am-11:55am KEYNOTE Chris Bradford on “Bodies Without End: Embodiment in a Substrate-Independent World”

LUNCH 12:00pm-12:55pm

AFTERNOON SESSION 1:00pm-5:00pm
Conducting: Chris Bradford

1:00pm-1:05pm BUSINESS Chris Bradford

1:10pm-1:40pm KEYNOTE Giulio Prisco on “The Turing Church of Transcendent Engineering”

1:45pm-1:55pm Jamie Driessen on “Machine Skepticism Using a Non-Classical Suspension of a Logic Gate”
2:00pm-2:10pm James Carroll on “Epiphenomenalism, the Problem with Property Dualism”
2:15pm-2:25pm Eric Swedin on “Why Transhumanist Immortality is a Bad Idea”
2:30pm-2:40pm Carl Youngblood on “Compassionate Obsolescence: Coping with Technological Change”
2:45pm-2:55pm Adam Davis on “Scientific Realism and the Simulation Argument”
3:00pm-3:10pm Brent Allsop on “Ushering in the Millennium”
3:15pm-3:25pm Michael Ferguson on “Toward a Science of Spirituality”
3:30pm-3:40pm Roger Hansen on “Putting a Ghost in the Machine”
3:45pm-3:55pm Mike Perry on “Christian Atheist Universal Immortalism”
4:00pm-4:10pm Dorothy Deasy on “Post-biological Transfiguration”
4:15pm-4:25pm Micah Redding on “Transhumanism and the Christian Story”

4:30pm-5:00pm KEYNOTE Lincoln Cannon on “History, Status and Plans of the Mormon Transhumanist Association”

Register for the conference today!

Transhumanism on Mormon Matters Podcast

Lincoln Cannon and Chris Bradford were guests on the Mormon Matters podcast, with host Dan Wotherspoon and panelist Tyson Jacobsen. They discuss the future, especially as it is and promises to be even more impacted by technological advancements, along with several other major themes in Transhumanist debates. They also discuss the relevance of religion in a world increasingly dominated by science and secularism, and they pay particular attention to how Mormon and other religious concepts and terms can be given new life when informed by Transhumanist themes. They also examine the type of actors the world needs as it hurdles toward completely unprecedented forms of life and sociality.

AAR Call for Papers on Transhumanism and Religion


The call for papers for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) is now open with a deadline of 11:59 pm, March 13.  You are invited to submit a proposal for the Transhumanism and Religion Group. The AAR annual meeting is November 17-20, 2012 in Chicago. Below are the call and the mission statement of the Transhumanism and Religion Group. If you do not hold AAR membership and would like to submit a proposal as a guest, please go to the following link and follow instructions:

http://www.rsnonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=975&Itemid=1071

Call for Proposals

This Group welcomes papers on any aspect of transhumanism and religion and seeks perspectives from a variety of religious traditions. Papers may identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs that might underlie key transhumanist claims and assumptions. For example, are there operative notions of anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology at play in transhumanist quests? Papers might consider how transhumanism challenges religious traditions to develop their own ideas of the human future; in particular, the prospect of human transformation, whether by technological or other means. Papers may provide critical and constructive assessments of an envisioned future that place greater confidence in nanotechnology, robotics, and information technology to achieve virtual immortality and create a superior posthuman species. We welcome feminist analyses and more overtly philosophical critiques of posthuman discourse and encourage original research.

Mission

“Transhumanism” or “human enhancement” refers to an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of a variety of emerging technologies. The convergence of these technologies may make it possible to take control of human evolution, providing for the enhancement of human mental and physical abilities deemed desirable and the amelioration of aspects of the human condition regarded as undesirable. These enhancements include the radical extension of healthy human life. If these enhancements become widely available, it would arguably have a more radical impact than any other development in human history — one need only reflect briefly on the economic, political, and social implications of some of the extreme enhancement possibilities. The implications for religion and the religious dimensions of human enhancement technologies are enormous and are addressed in our Group. We are interested in encouraging and providing a forum for a broad array of input from scholars, including Asian and feminist. For more information, or to be placed on a very occasional mailing list, contact Calvin Mercer at mercerc@ecu.edu.

Future Day: A Holiday Devoted to the Future


Future Day is a future-oriented holiday. Events will take place in several locations around the world on March 1st, including Hong Kong and Australia. A virtual event will be taking place in Second Life.  Thanks to Ben Goertzel for creating the concept and Adam Ford for his work in coordinating it!

See article on Future Day at H+ Magazine.
See information about the Second Life Future Day event.

Future Day - A Holiday Specifically Devoted to the Future

What excites you about the future? What frightens you? How might the future change the way we live? And how might we change the way we live in the future?

The future is unknown. With the benefit of hindsight, we often wish we had more foresight. Have you ever wanted to go back in time and fix something? So why do we need a Future Day?

The human species is at a unique stage in history - scientific and technological progress is moving fast and is accelerating dramatically. Ray Kurzweil predicts that technological paradigm shifts will become increasingly common, leading to "technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history".

But what kind of change can we expect?  There are many transformative technologies that look like they will have huge impacts on the way we live. What sort of future do you want?  If you think through the possibilities of a particular technology, you can better appreciate the consequences of using it. Future Day is a celebration of imaginative and rational thinking about the future where you can participate. In the words of Howard Bloom, author of Global Brain: “Future Day is designed to center the impossible in the public mind once a year as a temptation too delicious to resist.”

Ben Goertzel, the AI researcher who launched the idea of Future Day, expresses his motivation for conceiving the holiday in terms of the concept of the attention economy. “In the more technologically advanced parts of the world, " he notes, "we are entering a regime in which material scarcity is less of a problem than attentional scarcity. We are in a situation where the focusing of attention, individually and collectively, is of prime importance. My hope is that Future Day can serve as a tool for helping humanity focus its attention on figuring out what kind of future it wants, and striving to bring these visions to reality."

"Let’s raise a toast to our power to work toward dramatic new solutions to the problems of today -- and let's have fun in the process. Let's celebrate the amazing opportunities we have right now to work towards a beneficial future!, says Adam Ford. “Future Day is important since it reminds us that a great future does not create itself. In order to realize our hopes and dreams, we have to actively work to make them happen. One of my dreams is to see a day when disease, and the suffering associated with it, is obliterated.” - Sonia Arrison, author of 100+.

Join the conversation on Future Day March 1st to explore the possibilities about how the future is transforming us. You can celebrate Future Day however you like, the ball is in your court — feel free to send a photo of your Future Day gatherings to info@futureday.org, and your jubilation may wind up being commemorated on the Future Day website, Humanity+ website, the Second Life Event, and at Facebook page!

“Future Day is a day for action!  If all matter in the universe is comprised of patterns, let’s redesign what doesn’t work and form new methods for approaching the future with fluidity. Let’s grow neuromolecular wings for deeper perceptions in our flight in fostering a world of diversity and compassion.” - Natasha Vita-More, Chair, Humanity+


About Humanity+:
Humanity+ is affiliated with the Mormon Transhumanist Association. To learn more about Humanity+, go to the website, and to join Humanity+, go here!

Christian Scholars Conference Call for Papers on Transhumanism

Transhumanism, a small but growing international movement advocating various technologies of human enhancement, has often been lampooned as a pseudo-religion, a "rapture of the geeks" or a "robot cult." Yet those within the movement characterize it as a secular, rational humanist philosophy. Further complicating the matter is the recent appearance of syncretistic, transhumanist versions of various faiths. How should we characterize the movement known as transhumanism? What difference does this make in shaping a Christian theological and ethical response to the movement? Papers may address specific intersections of Christian doctrine and transhumanism, the relationship of faith and science (especially as expressed within the transhumanist movement), or elucidate specific aspects of transhumanism relevant to Christian theology or ethics.

http://www.lipscomb.edu/csc/About-the-CSC

Submissions go to Chris Doran at cdoran@pepperdine.edu. Deadlines are fast approach, but some may be flexible. For questions, contact information is on the website.

Speakers and Topics for MTA Conference 2012


The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 6 April 2012 from 9am to 5pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. The conference is open to the public.


Previous conferences sponsored by the Mormon Transhumanist Association include the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality conference and the 2009 Mormonism and Engineering conference.


Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion.


Here is a preliminary list of speakers and topics:

  • Adam Davis on “Scientific Realism and the Simulation Argument”
  • Brad Carmack on “Mormonism Beyond the Gender Binary”
  • Brent Allsop on “Ushering in the Millennium”
  • Carl Youngblood on “Compassionate Obsolescence: Coping with Technological Change”
  • Chris Bradford on “Bodies Without End: Embodiment in a Substrate-Independent World”
  • Chris Bradford on “Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Subverting Dogma in an LDS Context”
  • Cory Funk on “The Utility of Belief and Agnosticism”
  • Dan Wotherspoon on “Things Mormon Transhumanist Nerds Should Keep in Mind When Interacting with Potential Non-Transhumanist Allies — Especially Ones within Their Own Tradition”
  • Don Bradley on “‘The Grand Fundamental Principle’: Friendship as Partaking of the Divine Nature”
  • Dorothy Deasy on “Post-biological Transfiguration”
  • Eric Swedin on “Why Transhumanist Immortality is a Bad Idea”
  • Evan Hadfield on “God as Universal Experience: A Buddhist and Mormon Perspective”
  • Giulio Prisco on “The Turing Church of Transcendent Engineering”
  • James Carroll on “Epiphenomenalism, the Problem with Property Dualism”
  • Jamie Driessen on “Machine Skepticism Using a Non-Classical Suspension of a Logic Gate”
  • Karl Hale on “Worshiping an Extra-Terrestrial Humanoid Deity”
  • Kathy Wilson on “From Mormon to Mystic”
  • Leonard Reil on “The Plurality of Gods: An Uncomfortable Doctrine”
  • Lincoln Cannon on "The History, Status and Plans of the Mormon Transhumanist Association"
  • Marcus Flinders on “Taxation in a Millennial World”
  • Micah Redding on “Transhumanism and the Christian Story”
  • Michael Ferguson on “Toward a Science of Spirituality”
  • Mike Perry on “Christian Atheist Universal Immortalism”
  • Roger Hansen on “Putting a Ghost in the Machine”
  • Varden Hadfield on “How Amazing is Grace? The Role of Jesus Christ in Mormonism and Transhumanism”
Early registrants are eligible for discounts. Register today!

Transfigurist Quarterly Issue 3 is out!

You can now access the third issue of Transfigurist Quarterly, a publication covering the activities of the Association, here

Also, please remember the 31 January 2012 submission deadline of the Call for Papers for the upcoming Association Conference (6 April 2012, SLC Public Library, Utah).

Thank you,

Bradley Carmack
MTA Secretary

2012 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

The 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 6 April 2012 at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. The conference will be open to the public. Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion.


Travel Assistance Available

The association may cover up to 50% of your travel costs to attend the conference if you meet the following criteria:

1) You must be a voting member of the association. If you are not currently a voting member, you may become one on the "Join" page of the association web site.

2) You must present a paper at the conference. More information about this is available in the call for papers, which appears below.

3) You must live at least 300 miles from Salt Lake City, and indicate a need for travel cost assistance. You may contact association leadership about this by email at admin@transfigurism.org.


Call for Papers

When: April 6, 2012
Where: Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2012

The Mormon Transhumanist Association invites papers for its 2012 conference focused on one of three themes: Mormonism, Transhumanism, and Transfigurism.

Papers should be suitable for a reading time of 10–12 minutes (1200 words maximum). Longer papers may be submitted, with the understanding that they will be revised for presentation. Papers will be published in book form in the proceedings of the conference.

Among the suggested topics are:

Mormonism:
Religion, Anti-Religion and Fundamentalism; Authentic Mormonism; God, Gods and Godhood; Trusting and Being Christ; From the Fullness of Times to the Millennium; Immortality and Eternal Life in Worlds without End

Transhumanism:
Transhuman-ism and Trans-humanism; Evolution and the Great Filter Argument; Moore’s Law, Kurzweil’s Law and the Technological Singularity; Simulation Argument; Solar Energy; Genome Sequencing; Synthetic Biology; 3D Printing; Genetics and Biotech; Nanotech and Molecular Machines; Robotics and Artificial Intelligence; Substrate Independent Minds; Helping humans adapt to the pace of technological change

Transfigurism:
Rejecting Fundamentalism; Rejecting Anti-Religiosity; Transfigurist Science; Transfigurist Politics; Transfigurist Art; Promoting Benevolence; Promoting Creativity; Engineering Transfiguration; Engineering Resurrection; Engineering Renewal of this World; Engineering Worlds without End; The Faith Assumption; The Angel Argument; The Benevolence Argument; The Creation Argument; The New God Argument

Please send submissions in RTF, PDF, or MS Word format to admin@transfigurism.org, by email attachment. Include author's full name, contact information, title and word count for the paper.

Some funding is available to reimburse portions of travel for presenters. Please indicate interest in being considered for travel support in the submission email.

Authors will be notified of acceptance by February 15th, 2011.

For more information, visit our web site at http://www.transfigurism.org, or contact MTA Vice President Christopher Bradford at christopher.bradford@transfigurism.org.

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