Sunday, April 15, 2012, 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Sunday, April 15: Genealogy and Seasonal Time: An Anthropologist Looks at the Creation Stories of Genesis
A conversation with Peter C. Reynolds, Ph.D.
Thomas House, 745 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
4:00 p.m. Peter’s talk
4:45 p.m.: Q&A, with wine and cheese available.
Peter Reynolds suggests that the creationist view of the book of Genesis is not just bad science but bad religion. The seven days of creation in Genesis are not a sequence but a tree—the tree of kinship. Because kinship has largely atrophied in modern society, as has the ability to think metaphorically, modern readers are at a disadvantage in understanding the thought process of a pre-modern society. Yet, Peter posits, if we reinstate these premises, we can read the creation stories with new eyes.
Peter Reynolds is an anthropologist specializing in the evolution of human social behavior. His Ph.D. degree was earned at Yale University; he did a postdoc in neuropsychology at Stanford University Medical Center, and was a research fellow at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. His field research took him to the rainforests of Malaysia, where he did video studies of one of the few remaining nomadic hunting societies on earth. His first book, On the Evolution of Human Behavior, was published by the University of California Press.
From the mid-1980s through the 1990s, he did participant observation in the computing industry in Silicon Valley, studying the symbolic organization of corporations. His book, Stealing Fire: The Atomic Bomb as Symbolic Body, presents the imagery and mythology of technocratic society. At present, he is developing a new framework for understanding evolution, one that explores the relationship between cultural systems of classification and behavioral biology.
Sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center's Spiritual Education Committee, this presentation is open to all. Donations welcome. Information: Kay Williams, 650-328-2781, email@example.com.