Project Area A
Does morality have supernatural foundation? Many citizens think so, but Brights do not credit that view. So, what are the facts? Are there natural underpinnings? While fellow citizens coung as "fact" that morality is something presented to humanity by a deity through scripture (or similar assertions), we would wish any declarations about the source of human morality to be well-grounded in current scientific knowledge.
Goal: Draft assertions and substantiating research that can be submitted for authentication by experts.
Process: Beginning this project, The Brights' Net provided means for constituents who indicated interest in its goals to communicate with one another to plan a strategy. That mechanism proved unwieldy and unproductive, and so we abandoned the process and established a committee of Brights with a designated project director to lead the effort.
Under his leadership, the members - also drawn from the constituency at large - evaluated the scientific literature and collaborated with Brights Central to formulate a set of clear-cut statements thought to be scientifically defensible given current research.
Several assertions and a listing of "nominated studies" resulted from the preliminary phase of the endeavor, and this set of materials was subsequently evaluated by a smaller cadres of persons having some additional grounding in the subject domain. This activity produced four declarative statements, along with empirical support for them in the form of associated "substantiating studies."
Project Area A concluded in the summer of 2009, with a set of revised "draft assertions" judged to be sufficiently supported by available studies that a panel of researchers from the international scientific community could be contacted for authentication.