The 2013 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 5 April 2013 from 9:00am to 5:45pm in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the level four conference room of the Salt Lake City Public Library. 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.
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.
MORNING SESSION 9:00am-12:36pm (Conducting: Lincoln Cannon, President)
9:15am WELCOME Lincoln Cannon, President
9:36am Brent Allsop, “MTA Member Survey 2012 Summary”
9:53am Jason Xu, “Eternal Life Fan Club, A Self-fulfilling Prophecy Community”
10:10am Gabriel Rothblatt, “Terasem Movement Transreligion, A Secular Approach to Religious Transhumanism”
10:27am Leonard Reil, “The Reluctant Transhumanist; or, There is no Magic Wand”
10:44am Don Bradley, “Joseph Smith and the Technologies of Seership”
11:01am Donnie Bradley, “As Exact as Mathematicks: The Formal Potential of Religious Thought”
11:18am Carl Youngblood, “Demythologizing Mormonism”
11:35am Joseph West, “Authentic Mormonism and Resource Mobilization”
11:52am KEYNOTE Aubrey de Grey, “Why it is a sin NOT to strive to develop medicine that eliminates aging”
12:34pm BUSINESS Lincoln Cannon, President
AFTERNOON SESSION 1:06pm-5:45pm (Conducting: Chris Bradford, Vice President)
1:16pm Chris Bradford, Vice President
1:33pm SPECIAL Carl Teichrib, “A Christian Critique of Christian Transhumanism”
1:50pm Noah Heninger, “What is Wrong with Technology?”
2:07pm Jessica Finnigan, “Technology in the Developing World”
2:24pm Brad Carmack, “LDS Transsexual Policy: a Critique”
2:41pm John Niman, “The Free Exercise Clause and Genetic Engineering Regulation”
2:58pm Marcus Flinders, “The Legal Rights of Sentient Machines”
3:15pm SPECIAL Peter Wicks, “An Atheist Transhumanist Critique of Religious Transhumanism”
3:32pm James Carroll, “The Evolution of God, an Analysis of what the Theory of Evolution has to Say about the Potential Existence and Nature of God”
3:49pm Giulio Prisco, “The Computational Problem of Evil”
4:06pm Mike Perry, “Parallel Recreation as an Alternative to Quantum Archaeology in Resurrecting the Dead”
4:23pm Jared Anderson, “(De)Construction down the Rabbit Hole”
4:40pm Micah Redding, “A Better Apocalypse: Ancient Eschatology for a Transhuman World”
4:57pm KEYNOTE Richard Bushman, “From Humanity to Fulness the Mormon Way”
5:43pm FAREWELL Chris Bradford, Vice President
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 email@example.com 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.
Call for Papers
You are invited to submit a paper for presentation at the conference. Papers should address the intersection of technology and religion, their impacts on each other, and on society in general. Papers need not focus only on specifically Mormon religious issues. To find out more, view the full call for papers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
When & Where
Mormon Transhumanist Association
The Mormon Transhumanist Association is the world's largest advocacy network for ethical use of technology and religion, as outlined in the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation. Although we are neither a religious organization nor affiliated with any religious organization, we support our members in their personal religious affiliations, Mormon or otherwise, and encourage them to adapt Transhumanism to their unique situations. Learn more about the association at Transfigurism.org.