Lecture: Talking with the dead on the verge of possible

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By PAULA CHRISTINE SCHULER

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Talking with the dead usually brings to mind images of people sitting around a table holding hands while a mediator facilitates the connection. Media images of immortality include angels, demons, zombies, Greek gods, vampires, holograms and the character Data in “Star Trek.”

Apparently, “Star Trek” got some scientists thinking because there are places in the research world where people are working on how to transplant brains into avatars and create software able to download the entire memory of a person at death.

Google the web and images for artificial intelligence and immortality. It’s there.

The Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, is sponsoring the Louis A. and Frances B. Wagner Lecture “Emails from the Dead and Burials in Space” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 7. An after-hours tour is available for the “Mummies of the World: The Exhibition” 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

The lecture series is funded by an $800,000 donation from the Wagner estate.

The lecturer is Trinity sociology Professor Michael C. Kearl. He will share a fun, insightful lecture on people’s efforts to be remembered and emerging research aimed toward memorials, life-extension and “scientific resurrection.”

On Trinity’s profile of Kearl, he said, “I believe that the processes of inquiry should be enjoyable interactive experiences, even if my subject matters are not always the most upbeat of topics.” Trinity’s website also reports the public relations department sends reporters to Kearl when journalists seek expertise on social trends or new ways of looking at popular culture.

Trinity reports the public seeks Kearl’s expertise on many diverse topics including Halloween costumes, dissolution of civility, midlife orphans and celebrity death pools.

The lecture is free, but the standard admission fee is required for the exhibit: Active duty military $9, Seniors $9 (65 and older), adults  $10, children $7 and children under 3 are free.

For more information, call 210-357-1900.

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