Expert Panel to Explore Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Scientific Perspectives on the Human Soul, and Implications for Religious Belief

Friday, December 14, 2018

TORONTO – Next month, three international experts will come together at the University of Toronto to discuss the interrelationship between artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive sciences and religious belief, and other related questions from their distinct perspectives on the issue of what it means to be human.

Discussing the theme, “What Does It Mean To Be Human? Ghosts and Machines” will be: Julien Musolino, cognitive scientist, associate professor at Rutgers University, and author of The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs; Geordie Rose, inventor, theoretical physicist and founder and CEO of—a company that makes “synthetic humans”; and Michael Murray, senior vice-president of programs for the John Templeton Foundation, co-author of Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions, and former Humanities Professor of Philosophy at Franklin and Marshall College.

Their dialogue—moderated by journalist Karen Stiller—will take place Friday, January 25, 2019 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, and will be live streamed (via YouTube) to organizations, student groups, community groups, churches, and book clubs. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students). The event is co-sponsored by Wycliffe College, The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (CSCA), Faith Today magazine, the Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI Canada), RZIM (Ravi Zacharias Ministries), UofT Secular Alliance, Network of Christian Scholars, and P2C (Power 2 Change).

The event, organized by Wycliffe College, is part of the Religion and Society Series, which seeks to generate critical conversations on matters of faith, society, and public interest. The purpose of the series is to play a catalytic role in helping shape discourse around topics that matter deeply to individuals and society.

Machine learning and thinking, and the cognitive sciences are becoming increasingly relevant to our lives. The impact is sure to be profound. These three men are well poised to speak meaningfully into this timely topic and help us wrestle through our own perspectives on what it means to be human.

A limited number of tickets are also being sold for a pre-event dinner, which will include Musolino, Rose and Murray, to be held Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Wycliffe College’s, Leonard Hall. For $250, people can come meet the speakers, enjoy a wonderful meal, and gain admission to the Friday event.

For those wanting to host a live-stream for their group, Wycliffe College is offering a free, downloadable resource package that explains how to access the live streamed discussion, with tips and tools for hosting your own event—including everything from group discussion questions to suggestions for how to set up the room depending on the size of the venue.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit: