Quest Learning Community

A communal learning experience for adults
designed to expand one's intellectual and social world.

Science & Philosophy

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.


Coordinators: Michael Hamburg, Steve Allen

This course is perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what the universe actually is, where it came from and where it is headed. Prior knowledge or expertise in math or science is not required. Bring your questions and sense of wonder. We’ll explore our solar system and beyond, the great scientific discoveries of the laws that govern all of the universe, the history of life on earth, and the possibility of life beyond earth. We’ll be asking how we know what we know as well as looking at the instruments and methods that scientists use to unlock the answers.


Coordinators: Paul Golomb, Bob Reiss

Is the Bible history, literary anthology, the word of God; all or none of the above, or something else? This course will explore the variety of approaches to understanding the biblical text: how it was produced, what is its intent, what it means today.


Coordinators: Sanford Kessler, Bob Gottfried

In this course, we will consider how some of the great Western political philosophers viewed the relationship between human nature and politics. Topics to be covered include the purpose of government, political leadership, the scope of freedom, and the relationship between ethics and politics. Students will read and discuss short selections from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche.


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Larry Shapiro

Our focus will be on how philosophy approaches particular issues, as opposed to an in-depth analysis of specific philosophers. A short reading will be assigned as preparation for each week’s discussion, but each class will start with a brief summary of the reading to allow some participation by “drop-ins.”


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Gil Santiago, Brenda Wilder

Advances in science uncover wonders that transform our lives and deepen our understanding of humanity, life, and the world around us. Science literacy is the key that opens doors to the extraordinary beauty of our natural world. This course will explore various pathways of scientific inquiry, their impacts and limits, and highlight some of the men and women responsible for groundbreaking research. Presenters will strive to communicate in a way that all can understand.

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