Dr. Erik Goodwyn

 Friday, March 22, 2013  7:30- 9:30 pm

Lecture:  The Neurobiology Of The Gods

Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:00am-4:00pm

Workshop:  The Neurobiology Of The Gods


Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church,

1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, NC

About The Neurobiology Of The Gods:

Psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn, M. D., weaves together Jungian depth psychology with scientific research in evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, mental imagery, dream research, and metaphor theory into a comprehensive model of how our brains contribute to the recurrent images of dreams, myth, religion and even hallucinations.

Dr. Goodwyn shows how common dream, myth and religious experiences can be meaningful and purposeful without discarding scientific rigor.  The Neurobiology of the Gods shows that numerous fields of scientific inquiry seem to be converging on a few central ideas:

  • The mind is not a “blank slate” but comes with a vast array of innate symbol-making abilities and skills
  • Recurrent symbols of myth, dream and legend are not simply arbitrary products of culture but are derived in part from our deep emotional brain regions
  • Why dream science supports the notion that dreams are not random noise but make sense symbolically, and how this relates to common themes in fiction, myth and religions all over the world
  • Our symbol making capacity is governed by principles we have inherited over the course of evolution that actively generate timeless images loaded with emotional significance for us as humans because of our biology
  • Rather than dispel religious beliefs, this data explains, honors and deepens them, freeing us from unnecessarily rigid dichotomies of science and faith


About the Speaker:


Dr. Goodwyn was born in Washington, D. C., graduated scholar of the college with a B.S. in physics and mathematics at Western Kentucky University, went on to get a M.S. in anatomy and neurobiology at the University of Louisville where he co-authored several journal articles in cancer cell research.  He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an M.D. and went on to psychiatric residency training at Wright State University. 

He is an officer in the air force and has been involved in teaching as well as contributing to research in psychiatric imaging and genomics studies in addition to caring for a variety of patients from both civilian and military backgrounds, including soldiers who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  He received the Abe Heller Essay award two years in a row for essays on psychodynamic theory and neuroscience, and is currently involved in writing for The Journal of Analytical Psychology. 


For more information, visit his web page here.


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