Posted by: gcarkner | January 14, 2018

Leading Stanford Neuroscientist Bill Newsome at UBC/TWU    Bill Newsome January 31 @ UBC

This is where the fulcrum of our fears lie: that humans as a species and we as thinking people, will be shown to be no more than a machinery of atoms. The crisis of our confidence springs from each person’s wish to be a mind and a person in the face of the nagging fear that one is only a mechanism. ~Jacob Bronowski, Mathematician, Biologist and Historian of Science

“In my lifetime, there has never been a moment like this one… in terms of the speed and acceleration of discovery.” William Newsome, director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, says new technologies are allowing researchers to make significant progress in understanding the brain.


Co-sponsored with the Canadian Science & Christian Affiliation and UBC Graduate & Faculty Christian Forum. Other lectures in the series at 

Supported financially by the UBC Murrin Fund and Oikodome Foundation

What about our brains allows us be one person at the office and a very different person at home? Professor William Newsome explains how a constant rewiring of neural connectivity enables the “socially sensitive” production of behavior.

See also the January 6-12 Issue of the Economist.

Read: Explaining the Brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience by Carl F. Craver

Compare post on Ghost in the Machine.

Further Reading on neuroscience and faith, the body-soul question:

Nagel, T.,  What is it like to be a bat?; (2012) Mind and Cosmos.

Brown, W.S. & Strawn, B.D. (2012). The physical nature of Christian life: Neuroscience, psychology and the church. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Jeeves, M. & Brown, W.S. (2009). Neuroscience, psychology, and religion: illusions, delusions, and realities about human nature. West Conshohocken: Templeton Foundation Press.

Brown, W.S. and Murphy, N. (2007). Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: philosophical, and neurobiological perspectives on moral responsibility and free will. Oxford Clarendon.

Markham, Paul N. (2007). Rewired: Exploring Religious Conversion. Eugene, OR: Pickwick

Murphey, Nancey. (2006). Bodies and souls, or spirited bodies? New York, NY: Cambridge

Green, Joel & Palmer, Stuart. (2005). In search of the soul: four views of the mind-body problem. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Jeeves, Malcolm, ed. (2004). From cells to souls–and beyond: changing portraits of human nature. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Jeeves, Malcolm. (2006). Human nature: reflections on the integration of psychology and Christianity. Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

Swinburne, R. (2007). The Evolution of the Soul. Oxford. Bill Newsome on State of Neuroscience Bill Newsome on Free Will Test of Faith Series with Bill Newsome

Awards and Prizes

  • Rank Prize in Opto-electronics
  • Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (American Psychological Association)
  • Karl Spencer Lashley Award (American Philosophical Society)
  • Champalimaud Vision Award
  • Pepose Award for the Study of Vision at Brandeis University
  • 100 Published scientific articles
Next, GFCF Panel on Addiction

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Woodward IRC Room 5, GATE One UBC


Distinguished Panel Members

John Koehn, Addiction Medical Practitioner, New Westminster, Royal Columbia Hospital, completed a Fellowship under Dr. Evan Wood, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Jay Wong, Psychiatry UBC, Providence Health, front line addiction worker, under Dr. Evan Wood

Jadine Cairns, Nutritionist, Children’s Hospital, Specialist in Eating Disorders

Gabriel Loh, Doctor of Pharmacology, Vancouver Coastal Health, Clinical Assistant Professor, works at Richmond Hospital. 


Various types of addiction, especially drug, food and alcohol, are showing up as a major social and health problem in Canadian society. It has been recognized by the Royal College of Physicians as a training priority. In recent years, substance abuse and the concurrent disorders have been highlighted in the media through the fentanyl crisis. This interdisciplinary panel of healthcare professionals will address various aspects of the problem and propose some ways forward from within their fields of expertise. Faith-based and medical solutions will be explored as a long-term solution to this vexing problem that deeply challenges so many lives.




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