Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Appearing in California

I am so near to completing my dissertation I haven't looked at any brewing debates on my last few posts, though I'll get to any of those once I get my last chapter in next week. But before the month closes out I should let everyone know about my three upcoming speaking engagements, all in my home state of California.

Next month I will be speaking in San Francisco for the new branch of CFI (using a lecture room at the World Affairs Council on 312 Sutter), at 6pm on Friday, September 28 (for info see the CFI|SF Website). This will be the same talk I gave in Tuscon (a while back), "Early Christian Hostility to Scientific Values." Admission is $10 or free to Friends of the Center. I will have some books to sell and sign, though I don't expect many new sales since the San Francisco community already knows me rather well, and my new book won't be out until next year (at the earliest).

Then the following month I will be speaking in Hollywood for Atheists United at CFI West
(4773 Hollywood Blvd.), at 11am on Sunday, October 28. This will be the same talk I gave in Berkeley a long time ago (before my blog), "Ancient Scientists and their Principal Achievements," though trimmed a bit. I will survey some of the most impressive accomplishments of Greek and Roman scientists in the areas of physiology, astronomy, cartography, and mechanics, with some discussion of how these achievements were possible, though in Q&A I can discuss any aspect of ancient science beyond the subjects I cover in the talk. I believe attendance will be free (though they might ask for donations), and I will have books to sign and sell.

The very next day I will give the companion talk,
"Early Christian Hostility To Scientific Values," the very same I delivered in San Francisco the month before, but now in Ventura, for the Ventura Atheists, affiliated with Atheists United (details of the event are available on their Meetup Calendar and they are requesting RSVP--though I believe attendance is free, they would like to know how many to plan for). This will be at 7pm on Monday, October 29, in the E.P. Foster Library (Topping Room), at 651 E. Main St.

All these talks draw material from my dissertation, which I will be publishing as a book next year, possibly under the title The Scientist in the Early Roman Empire.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Lynn White on Horse Stuff

Previously on my blog (Experimental History) I joked a bit about Lynn White's historical revisionism, which I noted in later comments appears "in several publications beginning as early as 1945 but most famously in Medieval Technology and Social Change (1962)." My old friend Bede got annoyed and wrote a reply (Stirrups, Horse Harnesses and Richard Carrier). As I often find among my critics, (almost) half of what he says is wrong, and the other half is irrelevant to what I actually said. But all this does afford a cool opportunity to talk about ancient history. So here goes.