Read the transcript of a public conversation with best-selling author George Dyson on the subject of technology, time, and apocalyptic visions and predictions. Moderated by Mark C. Taylor, co-director of the IRCPL and Chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University.
Mark Taylor: Good evening, and thank you all for coming. My name is Mark Taylor, I am the co-director at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, which is sponsoring tonight’s event. It’s part of a series we’re doing this semester called Apocalypse Now: End Times in the Contemporary Imaginary. We come at this from a variety of perspectives, from a cultural critique to our next event which will be on October 30th with Karen Thompson Walker, who is a novelist. Her book The Age of Miracles will be the subject of that discussion. Tonight we are delighted to have George Dyson with us, his work has long fascinated me, partly because of the broad range of fields and issues that he covers. As a lay person in this discussion, it is increasingly difficult for me to be sure where science fiction ends and science begins, and I’m not sure anyone can draw that line clearly in terms of apocalypse. George will talk about that tonight.