A newly formed humanist group has scheduled a program on the purpose of the universe on Monday evening, July 22, at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

Sponsored by the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, the program is planned at 7 p.m. and will feature a video of the keynote address at last month's annual conference of the American Humanist Association in San Diego, followed by a discussion.

The speech, "Purpose and Universe," was delivered by Sean Carroll, a humanist and theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He is an expert on the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe and on the theory of time, according to the American Humanist Association website.

The program is free and open to the public. It will begin with refreshments and a reception at 7 p.m., sponsors said, followed by the video at 7:30, and then discussion.

The post-film discussion will be moderated by John Hooper, founder of the local group.

The sponsors recommended those planning to attend make reservations.

The idea of a "purpose" or "reason why" has a strong hold on the human imagination, the local humanist group said, but modern science had eroded the question of purpose in explaining nature.

The Unitarian Church in Westport is at 10 Lyons Plains Road.

For reservations, email fresser25@optonline.net and put "HFFC" in the subject line.