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LeRon Shults
Kristiansand, Norway
Professor Theology and Philosophy
Recent Activity
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On Monday 18 November I'll be presenting at the UC Santa Barbara campus library on the theme of "Human Simulation: AI, Ethics, and the Future of the Humanities." Thanks to Ann Taves for the invitation! :) Here is a summary of the announcement for the presentation: "The capacities of Artificial... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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This article from Aeon helps to clarify why we need computer forecasting models that include the effects of climate change on cultural conflict (and cooperation). "We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal" Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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The latest issue of New Scientist magazine has an article by Graham Lawton that discusses some our research team's work on social simulation using multi-agent artificial intelligence models. The title of the article is "Predicting the future is now possible with powerful new AI simulations." For those interested in examples... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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This past weekend representatives from 10 major research centers dedicated to studying climate change and/or cultural conflict came together in Kristiansand, Norway, for a conference on "Climate and Conflict: Seeking Solutions through Social Simulation." The conference served as the first official meeting of a new global Consortium dedicated to providing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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From the back cover: This uniquely inspirational and practical book explores human simulation, which is the application of computational modeling and simulation to research subjects in the humanities disciplines. It delves into the fascinating process of collaboration among experts who usually don’t have much to do with one another –... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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I just had a new article published today on "Computer Modeling in Philosophy of Religion," available free (open source) here. Here is the abstract: How might philosophy of religion be impacted by developments in computational modeling and social simulation? After briefly describing some of the content and context biases that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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Some of the computational models developed by our research team forecast a global shift toward non-religion (in the sense of non-belief in supernatural agents). Sometimes people respond by saying they cannot see this happening in the Arab world. This BBC report shows that it is indeed happening. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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While at the "Understanding Unbelief" conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome earlier this month, I was interviewed by Rosie Dawson from BBC. Part of the interview has just been uploaded in a podcast here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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The "Modeling Religion in Norway" MODRN project has just published a paper in the influential journal PLoS ONE. Led by Dr. Carlos Lemos, a post-doctoral fellow with MODRN, the article is titled: "Dimensionality and factorial invariance of religiosity among Christians and the religiously unaffiliated: A cross-cultural analysis based on the... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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New book coming out soon: Human Simulation: Perspectives, Insights and Applications, co-edited with Saikou Diallo, Wesley J. Wildman, and Andreas Tolk. Most of the chapters are related to computer models developed by teams who were part of the Modeling Religion Project, or the Modeling Religion in Norway (MODRN) project. Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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One of our research teams, led by Dr. Carlos Lemos, just published an article titled "A network agent-based model of ethnocentrism and intergroup cooperation" in the journal Quality & Quantity. The modeling and simulation results presented here move beyond previous agent-based models that study acculturation and ethnocentrism by combining (1)... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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Here is a link to a new online article about our research using computer modeling and simulation to study the conditions under which mutually escalating anxiety between religious groups is most likely to emerge. Here is a link to the original journal article to which it refers. Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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A new article was just published online related to the MODRN project at the University of Agder. The current version is only in Norwegian, but an English version should be coming soon. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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Here is a link to an article on "Modeling Metaphysics: The Rise of Simulation and the Reversal of Platonism." It will be published in the Proceedings of the Spring Simulation Conference. It has already been peer-reviewed so its too late to change anything, but I'd love any feedback! Abstract: Philosophical... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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In May I'll be presenting with several colleagues at a conference in Rome on atheism hosted by the Vatican and Kent University. Our topic is "Modeling Pathways of Unbelief Across Cultural Contexts" ( Download Rome proposal). Here is a link to the press release. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at LeRon Shults
Here is a link to an article and interview (in Norwegian) of me by Bår Stenvik, which appeared in the magazine Forskerforum (Researcher Forum). Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2019 at LeRon Shults
The most recent issue of Der Spiegel has an article by Hilmar Schmundt on some of the models we are developing as part of the Modeling Religion Project and the MODRN project. German readers can follow this link or read the article here. English readers can listen to this video... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2019 at LeRon Shults
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Here is a link to an article in the Smithsonian, written by our own Wesley Wildman, about our computer modeling of religion. Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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I'm soon off to the Society of Modeling and Simulation International "WinterSim" conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our research teams will be presenting on a computational model of "InCREDulous Scandinavians" (Credibility Enhancing Displays) and participating in a panel on The Ethics of Computer Modeling and Simulation Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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For anyone interested in my recent book on Practicing Safe Sects, published with Brill Academic, here is a link to a free version of Chapter 1. A summary of the key hypotheses and arguments of the book can also be found here. Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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Our article presenting "A Generative Model of the Escalation of Mutual Anxiety Between Religious Groups" published here in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation has gotten some more attention in the news. Here are links to reports in Oxford News Vice Motherboard Quartz BBC - News: Technology Science... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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Science Daily has just published a piece here on the multi-agent artificial intelligence model our team recently published here in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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The BBC has just published a piece here on our article "A Generative Model of the Mutual Escalation of Anxiety Between Religious Groups." The article itself was published here today in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. Here is the abstract: "We propose a generative agent-based model of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at LeRon Shults
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The local paper here in Kristiansand, Fædrelandsvennen, has published an article on the MODRN projects and Prospectus Research, a new company created to help develop products and services related to multi-agent artificial intelligence and social simulation technologies. Here is a link to the article online. Here is a link to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2018 at LeRon Shults