Audience reflects on what it means to be human at One Foundation event

Dr. Jason Hiles (left), dean of the College of Theology, moderated a panel discussion about transhumanism after a recent One Foundation talk by the Acton Institute's Dan Churchwell (second from left).

Grand Canyon University recently hosted the presentation "Transhumanism: Brave New World or Ancient Heresy?" by Dan Churchwell, director of programs and education at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dan Churchwell

During the talk, which was part of the University’s One Foundation Speaker Series, Churchwell focused on the history, theology and practical implications of transhumanism, or using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence or genetic engineering, to enrich human capabilities.

He spoke about the topic from a Christian perspective, challenging some 400-plus attendees to reflect on what it means to be human.

Said one student in feedback submitted after the event, “As I pursue a career as a registered nurse, I have to wonder what technological advances I will see in my lifetime and will have to utilize in my profession. I think it is important to check our dependence on technology and limit it when we can, perhaps filling it with more fruitful things.

“… Instead of watching four hours of TV, maybe reading a book for an hour, spending time with friends for two hours and going for a walk for an hour would be more fulfilling and (allow us to be) more present in the life we life.”

The event was jointly organized by the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Theology. It drew a diverse audience of faculty and students, with students making up a majority of the attendees, at 75%.

Following the speaker’s lecture, Dean of the College of Theology Dr. Jason Hiles moderated a Q&A panel forum.

The questions “sparked a great conversation, setting the stage for further exploration of this important topic of transhumanism,” said Dr. Daisy Savarirajan, professor in the College of Natural Sciences and a recently elected fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation.

This momentum, she said, is poised to carry forward into the American Scientific Affiliation Club speaker series in Fall 2024, for which transhumanism emerged as a popular choice for discussion among the student members.

Said one ASA officer, “The Transhumanism event was enlightening and thought-provoking. … I believe technology can be very useful. However, just as a tool, such as a hammer, can be used to repair or be used as a harmful weapon, so can modern technology be used beneficially or dangerously.

“… I believe anything that tries to bring about God’s plan through methods different than He has decided only leads to detrimental consequences.”

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/