October Monthly Gathering — The Occult Origins of Science

This program will be presented live and simulcast on Zoom at 7:00 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, October 21, 2023

Just in time for Halloween! Guided by Wayne State University professor Dr. Eric H. Ash, let’s take a look at how alchemy, astrology, and magic helped shape the modern scientific method.

Join us at 7pm, on Saturday, October 21, to gain a deep understanding of how the development of modern science represented less of a clean break from the irrational-seeming world of the occult, than an evolutionary emergence from it. Among the questions that you’ll hear tackled: Why did virtually all learned scholars in early modern Europe believe in the occult sciences? How did those sciences work? And what impact did they have on the development of modern science?

We’ll learn how throughout the Renaissance, magic, alchemy, and astrology seemed like perfectly reasonable and profitable pursuits to the scientists (or “natural philosophers”) of the time. During the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, many leading scientific thinkers continued to regard the “occult sciences” as a means to understand and control the world around us. Such beliefs and practices did not really decline until the middle of the 18th century, and astrology arguably remains alive and well today

Dr. Eric H. Ash is a Professor of History at Wayne State University, where he is the recipient of their President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He received his doctorate in the History of Science from Princeton University and is a specialist in the science and technology of the Renaissance and early modern eras. Professor Ash is the author of two books, including his most recent, entitled The Draining of the Fens: Projectors, Popular Politics, and State Building in Early Modern England.

You’ll thank your lucky stars for having attended this fascinating talk! 

Please note that this program will be presented live and on Zoom. You can attend the live presentation, for a chance to also mingle with your fellow Mensans and guests, at our usual location:

Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield
23925 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48075

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). The program begins at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). Please note that starting with this month’s gathering, admission prices for the live presentation will increase to $5 for Mensa Members, $6 for non-Mensans. Checks will no longer be accepted at SEMM events.

Following the presentation, please join us for dinner at Buddy’s Pizza, located at 31646 Northwestern Highway, in Farmington Hills, just northeast of Middlebelt Road.If you’d prefer to participate on Zoom, you’ll need to pre-register by clicking on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-1023-Gathering , The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will only be sent to those who are pre-registered. There is no charge for the Zoom presentation, but, due to rising costs, your donation via PayPal is greatly appreciated. Please donate! The amount is up to you. To donate go to http://www.paypal.com and click on the “Send Money” tab. Enter the e-mail address treasurer@nullmensadetroit.comand your payment amount. The Zoom room opens at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). for mingling.