MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP page initiated: 03 11 10
Note: My maya-gaia website, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Exploring the prospect for a synthesis of Science/Spirituality - Evolution/Creation
This page presents resources that examine these dualities- commonly approached as dialectics- with rational optimism that a holistic metaparadigm will eventually model our consensus reality.
(For perspective, some negative opinion is included.)
A Brief History of Time In this most popular book by cosmologist Stephen Hawking, he seems to be reaching for a synthesis of science and spirituality. In subsequent work he somewhat retreats saying he believes that creation plays no role in evolution. Just a recent example of many great intellects who at one time or another concluded that a God-like force exists that has created us and the universe via an evolutionary process. Since it cannot be determined whether mutations and their survival are random or directed - it would seem the improbability of our biological and cosmological universe arising from chance would nudge a reasonable intellect to a deist position. However because of their imperative for evidence, the consensus scientism community will not admit to the possibility that the deist position is plausible. The atheistic lay community is constantly indoctrinated by priest-scientists some of whom wage a relentless campaign via books, blogs and twitter (see Richard Dawkins) against all manner of theism. Much of their criticism is gratuitous that exploits the superstitious excesses of religious fundamentalists by creating a "straw man God" as a pawn to denigrate even the most subtle metaphysical possibilities. On the other hand proponents of creationism and intelligent design are guilty of exploiting the faintest expression by any scientists that shows favor to a deist reality as evidence that their arguments should be inserted into the science curriculum of public schools. It is obvious that Hawking's every pronouncements become stretched by the tension that exits between the ideological-atheist and meta-theistic communities to confirm their opposite views as to the existence and/or role and nature of God. The fact is that Hawking makes no claim that advances the dialectic in either direction - keeping the issue squarely in the provenance of an always ambiguous philosophical ontology.
Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God by Henry F. Schaefer III - Dr. "Fritz" Schaefer is the Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and the director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia. "The thing that has made Hawking's book so popular is that he is talking about God from beginning to end."
Stephen Hawing Throughout his early work, Hawking used the word "God" in metaphorical meanings but also suggested the existence of God was unnecessary to explain the origin of the universe, as discussed in A Brief History of Time. However, his newest book The Grand Design, as well as interviews with the Telegraph and the Channel 4 documentary Genius of Britain, clarify that he does "not believe in a personal God." Hawking writes, "The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second." Hawking adds, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing."
Stephen Hawking Quotes
#6. "The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started -- it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?" [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 140-41.] "
#8. "What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary." [Stephen W. Hawking, Der Spiegel, 1989]
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking - A review by Wesley L. Janssen (see index to Janssen's review of major books on physical science and metaphysics) As to whether Hawking is right or wrong in his theoretical proposals, either in terms of science or in terms of metaphysical interpretation or impetus, there is, of course, some disagreement. As to the metaphysical (i.e., "okay, but what does it mean?") aspects: Hawking states that, in physics, only the ideas of those already "at the top" are taken seriously. This doesn't mean that ideas don't change over time but it does mean that they continue to pay great deference to error. This [celebrity gaga] has often not served science well, and underscores again the quasi-religious and fallacious qualities of scientism.
Hawking is something of a philosophical reductionist, by which I mean he tends to view reductionism not only as sound methodology -- which it is -- but also as a more fundamental metaphysic; or, more accurately, as a replacement for metaphysics...Its seems to Hawking that we have but two potential explanations for the fine-tuning of the universe: a) God's omniscience and will; or b) the anthropic principles. The anthropic principles are dubious, logically and scientifically, but the author looks for a means of making the weak principle seem less, well, goofy. Like most good philosophical reductionists, Hawking is on a mission (with his "no boundaries" proposal) to find alternatives to an omnipotent Law-giver/designer, if in fact, such alternatives can be found (the operative a priori aesthetic generally being that they must be found). The "no boundaries" proposal is bound to the weak anthropic principle (that's the WAP, not the SAP -- logically, both are CR__). The anthropic principles are an awkward assemblage of a posteriori musings, each tautologically stating that things are as we observe them because this is the way things are. As the "no boundaries" model lies entirely within imaginary time, it is external to scientific scrutiny. In Hawking's words, [the proposal] is "put forward for aesthetic or metaphysical reasons." Its truth or falsity "cannot be deduced" and "exists only in our minds." All of which begins to sound less concrete than metaphysics. Hawking's exploratory alternative to a creator is less tangible, and is a far less complete explanation, than is God. I'd say the principle of economy (Okkam's Razor) favors God. Hawking's "no boundaries" inflationary theory has not won many converts among physicists. It's difficult to find much room for science in it. The idea that the universe is 'self-contained' is hardly a radical idea, and the "why" questions persist in all models, including inflationary ones. Something more like Guth's theory is generally favored. To the consternation of popularizers like Raymo and Sagan, Hawking's proposal doesn't get rid of God.
Update 08 09 2011: Hawking's Credibility on God A detailed examination of Hawking's latest pronouncements in regards to God from his 2010 book The Grand Design and the August 08 Discover Channel/BBC airing of the first show in their Curiosity series entitled Did God Create the Universe? that features Hawking's science/philosophy speculations. Details include reviews by Roger Penrose, Leonard Susskind and other esteemed physicists, a panel discussion with Sean Carroll as the hard-boiled atheist; Paul Davies, the physicist who was willing to entertain the possibility of "God" if defined with sufficient abstraction, while John Haught is the theologian who is sympathetic to science - and credible perspectives from other sources. End Update
Cosmic Consciousness is science closing in? An examination of the scientific evidence for the notion that our consciousness is a continuum of a conscious cosmic matrix and some of the controversy it has generated.
Meta New Physics Links to Vedanta & New Physics Metaparadigm, Some online articles and papers exploring the pros and cons for the effort to compose a synthesis between metaphysical (primarily Vedantic) and new physics concepts for modeling a consciousness metaparadigm.
Anthropic Synchronicity as a phylogeny of a living universal matrix - a Meta-Gaia - its myriad features - each an essential element in the cosmogenic function of an evolutionary continuum that gave birth to a lifeform with the level of intelligence we humans are imbued with - an anthropic retrodiction of the Selfish Biocosm Hypothesis.
I suppose the cosmic reality paradigm that is described in the following definition for Panendeism is as close to my belief system as any ontology- except that I believe some metaphors in the Upanishads describe real dynamics of how our soul becomes transformed into Brahman nonduality during temporary samadhi or our physical death.
Panendeism Defined: Panendeism is a sub-category of Deism. It is based on the speculation that the universe is a part of god, but not all of god and literally means "all in god". Some panendeists have established numerous additional beliefs, some of which are quite detailed, and use more specialized terminology to describe their beliefs. However, any deist who believes that the universe is a part (but not the whole) of god, can be considered a panendeist. It is true that both panendeists and pantheists share the view that the universe and every natural thing in it is pervaded by divinity. However, since Panendeism postulates that the universe is contained within god and not god in the universe, Panendeists believe in a god who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe. In other words, god is the universe but is also greater than the universe.
Theistic Evolution and Evolutionary Creationism are similar concepts that assert that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. In short, theistic evolutionists believe that there is a God, that God is the creator of the material universe and (by consequence) all life within, and that biological evolution is simply a natural process within that creation. Evolution, according to this view, is simply a tool that God employed to develop human life.
The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences Theology and Science is the scholarly journal of The Center and is published by Routledge. The primary editorial goal is to publish critically reviewed articles that promote the creative mutual interaction between theology and the natural sciences of physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, and genetics, with additional topics in the neurosciences, the environmental sciences, and mathematics. The secondary editorial goal is to monitor and critically assess debates and controversies arising in the broader field of science and religion.
The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis
The modern evolutionary synthesis is a union of ideas from several biological specialties which provides a widely accepted account of evolution. It is also referred to as the new synthesis, the modern synthesis, the evolutionary synthesis and the neo-darwinian synthesis. The synthesis reflects the current overwhelming consensus. The synthesis was produced over a decade (1936-1947). The previous development of population genetics (1918-1932) was a stimulus, as it showed that Mendelian genetics was consistent with natural selection and gradual evolution. The synthesis is still, to a large extent, the current paradigm in evolutionary biology and catagorically excludes all notion of creation.
Involution- An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God by P. A. Rees. Involution is written as an epic poem charting the history of scientific thought. It is, the book maintains, the recovery of memory that has inspired the model science has built of evolution, the collective intellect or what Teilhard de Chardin called the Noosphere. In the process, science has ignored the severing of man?s mind, epitomized by the two hemispheres of his brain and permitted the dominance of the left, when it was the right that truly guided it. Mind and matter are perceived as distinct through this artificial separation of intellect from consciousness. All is consciousness, the field where DNA shapes and is shaped by electromagnetism in its varying forms.
Life and Mind in the Universe The Origin of Death by George Wald, 2001 I have come to the end of my scientific life facing two great problems. Both are rooted in science; and I approach them as only a scientist would. Yet both I believe to be in essence unassimilable as science. That is scarcely to be wondered at, since one involves cosmology, the other consciousness.
How is it that we have a universe of matter at all? So we can take this to be a universe that breeds life; and yet, were any one of a considerable number of physical properties of our universe other than it is -- some of those properties basic, others seeming trivial, almost accidental -- that life, that now appears to be so prevalent, would become impossible, here or anywhere. I can only sample that story here and, to give this account a little structure, I shall climb the scale of states of organization of matter, from small to great.
What we recognize as the material universe, the universe of space and time and elementary particles and energies, is then an avatar, the materialization of primal mind. In that sense there is no waiting for consciousness to arise. It is there always. What we wait for in the evolution of life is only the culminating event, the emergence of creatures that in their self-awareness can articulate consciousness, can give it a voice and, being also social creatures, can embody it in culture: in technology, art and science.
...the anthropic principle states essentially what I have just said: that the universe possesses the properties it does in order eventually to produce physicists.
...a universe - that to be - needs to be known and to that end has taken on a design that breeds and fosters life; so that life might eventually, here and there, evolve scientists who could cast back upon the history that produced them, and could begin to understand it. That, through their knowing, the universe could achieve increasingly the reality of becoming known, of coming to know itself.
Waking, Dreaming, Being by Evan Thompson (NY Times book review by Evan Frank, 2014) The true relationship between our material brains and our decidedly nonmaterial minds. More than evolution, more than inexhaustible arguments over God’s existence, the real fault line between science and religion runs through the nature of consciousness. Carefully unpacking that contentious question, and exploring what Buddhism offers its investigation, is the subject of Evan Thompson’s new book, “Waking, Dreaming, Being.”
In the endless public wars between science and religion, Buddhism has mostly been given a pass. The genesis of this cultural tolerance began with the idea, popular in the 1970s, that Buddhism was somehow in harmony with the frontiers of quantum physics. While the silliness of “quantum spirituality” is apparent enough these days, the possibility that Eastern traditions might have something to say to science did not disappear. Both Buddhist and Vedic traditions are deeply committed to the idea that consciousness persists independently of the brain. Thompson looks carefully at evidence for out-of-body experiences, reincarnation and, in particular, near-death experiences of the kind heralded in “Heaven Is for Real.” In all cases, he argues, evidence points to these experiences originating in brains that are either shutting down (dying) or starting back up (resuscitation). Thompson’s dogged balance in these presentations makes his doubts that “consciousness — even in its most profound meditative forms — transcends the living body and the brain” all the more resonant.
A New Integral Paradigm - Cosmology, Involution, and Evolution - the whole picture by M. Alan Kazlev. An intensively schematized and detailed doumentation of various scientifc, metaphysical and occult models of reality - including the evolutionary cosmology of Teilhard, the systems theory synthesis of Jantsch, and the integralist position of Gebser and Wilber - that Kazlev brings together to create a greater holistic scientific/esoteric synthesis.
Consilience The Unity of Knowledge by E O Wilson, 1998. A synthesis of scientific and spiritual knowledge to propose a reality meta-paradigm...Review by Michael Ruse Metanexus,1999...indeed [Wilson] has found [the spiritual] elsewhere, namely in evolution ? a fact which Wilson proclaims here as before in many places (notably in On Human Nature). Wilson finds evolution to be the "myth" that he needs to build his new religion. He sees evolution as a progressive move upwards: from the monad to the man, from the blob to the human, ever developing greater and greater intelligence and complexity and sociality and moral awareness. He sees a history from early beginnings ? just as one has in Christianity ? up to the present, with humans focused right at the centre ? again paralleling Christianity ? and then on to the future ? a further echo of Christianity, and other great religions. (mg comment: This over-emphasis on the analogy of Wilson's spirituality to Chistianity ignores its much closer relationship to perennial and non-dual traditions. (end comment)
The Metanexus Institute - founded in 1997, promotes the transdisciplinary approach to research and education about the most profound questions of nature, culture, and the human person. Metanexus serves an ever-growing network of locally-acting, globally connected scholars, researchers, teachers, students, and ordinary citizens committed to exploring our world from a rich diversity of intellectual, cultural, and spiritual perspectives and publishes an award winning e-magazine, the Global Spiral. Our key interests include the development of rigorous transdisciplinary methodologies, the question of the possibility of the unity of knowledge, the constructive engagement of science and religion in the quest for wholeness.
Darwiniana and Evolution - a compendium of all the classical pros and cons involved in the dialectic between bioscientific evolution and biblical creationism and/or intelligent design.
General Evolutionary Spirituality Enlightenment Next Magazine articles and media files on theme that evolution has always been a fundamentally spiritual concept.
War of the Worldviews - Science Vs. Spirituality (2011) by Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow. The authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on ?the future of God,? one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist. This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious?but respectful?clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship. these two great thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and life, the human brain, and God, probing the fundamental questions that define the human experience- How did the universe emerge? - What is the nature of time? - What is life? - Did Darwin go wrong? - What makes us human? - What is the connection between mind and brain? - Is God an illusion?
Conscious Cosmology The Higgs boson 'God Particle' discovery explained in the context of conscious cosmology
by Mike Adams, July 04, 2012 The quest for particles (while ignoring consciousness) It goes without saying that until modern-day physicists can embrace and attempt to understand consciousness and the role of the Observer in shaping the physical universe, even their most determined efforts to find a unified theory of everything will come up short. This is frustrating for physicists, even as they celebrate the discovery of evidence for the Higgs Field, because, to date, there are no equations that describe the behavior or properties of consciousness.
International Society for Science and Religion ISSR was founded 2002, in Cambridge, UK. Our central aim is the facilitation of dialogue between the two academic disciplines of science and religion, one of the most important current areas of debate in terms of understanding the nature of humanity. This includes both the enhancement of the profile of the science-religion interface in the public eye, as well as the safeguarding of the quality and rigour of the debate in the more formal, academic arena. Other
significant links in the field.
Talk.origins - A Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology. The TalkOrigins Archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in talk.origins at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive's existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) that appear in the talk.origins newsgroup and the frequently rebutted assertions of those advocating intelligent design or other creationist pseudosciences.
Panda's Thumb The Panda's Thumb is dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world. See also: New Paradigm Needed Post in Panda's Thumb by Richard Colling: More intelligent ?intelligent design? By PvM on (2005) Richard D. Colling is chairman of the biology department at Olivet Nazarene University and author of Random Designer - Created from Chaos to Connect with the Creator.
Incompatible Magisteria By Mark Perakh, 2002 Just one essay (a philosophical examination of the concept that religion and science are non-overlapping magesteria) in a compendium of critiques on pseudo science, intelligent design. the anthropic principle, misapplied probability, etc. from a veteran scientist genuinely concerned about the integrity of the scientific enterprise who wastes no diplomacy on those who would see its purpose twisted to ideological ends.
Bracing for Islamic Creationism by Salman Hameed - Science 12 December 2008: 1637-1638. The next major battle over evolution is likely to take place in the Muslim world (i.e.,predominantly Islamic countries, as well as in countries with large Muslim populations). Relatively poor education standards, in combination with frequent misinformation about evolutionary ideas, make the Muslim world a fertile ground for rejection of the theory.
Caption: Acceptance of evolution in six Muslim countries. (data 1996-2003) Number of participants is given in parentheses.
Theosophical University Press Online Edition By W. T. S. Thackara (2008) Behind and underlying any discussion of evolution and creation is a question that takes us to philosophy's very heart: Why is there a universe at all? Creation and evolution have come to represent two antagonistic, mutually exclusive worldviews, largely because of restrictive definitions, either/or reasoning, and tacitly-held assumptions. Evolution is generally equated with Darwinism, creation with biblical creationism; one is physics, the other metaphysics, and never the twain should meet.
Evolution & Creation: A Theosophic Synthesis by W. T. S. Thackara (A Sunrise Library Publication) A comprehensive examination of the perennial philosophy. Many traditions tell a story that begins and ends with nameless mystery, within which all creation and evolution take place. "The Tao that can be described is not the eternal Way. . . . Nameless is the source of heaven and earth" (Tao Te Ching). To help us conceptualize That in which "we live, and move, and have our being," theology has named it God or Supreme Being. To help us reach beyond the stereotype, theosophy calls it an abstract Be-ness: an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, immutable Principle which, like Plato's Idea of the Good, is "beyond being," adding that it is the "source and origin of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic evolution" (The Secret Doctrine 1:15). Yet It or That does not create or evolve anything, something which may be predicated only of a finite being. Rather, from its abstract essential consciousness-substance emanate the hosts of intelligent powers, a near infinitude of architects and builders, whose task is the formation and development of the manifested universe.
Unified Deism Network The Unified Deism Network brings together, in one finely crafted site, information from Deists across the internet. Because life is about more than religious philosophy, this site also includes the latest from numerous other great sites and free thinkers as well!
Towards the Third Evolutionary Synthesis Gert Korthof (2010)
An anthology of books with perspectives from all sides of the creation/evolution dialectic.
Science and Nonduality Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality. Links to collaborating orgs.
Nonduality A compendium of descriptions and links to nondual literature.
Nonduality Conference Papers Abstracts of 2009 Nonduality Conference papers.
Nonduality Science Synthesis Google search for 'nonduality science synthesis'.
Update: 04 30 2013 Sutapas Bhattacharya writes: "Having spent 7 years writing my new book The Brainstem Brainwaves of Atman-Brahman: The Synthesis of Science and Spirituality, I just published my website preview that includes the essay The Tacit Racism of Western Academia.. For obvious reasons I am searching for an Indian publisher." End Update
The Brainstem Brainwaves of Atman-Brahman - The Synthesis of Science and Spirituality
- A PDF of chapter One from the new book by Sutapas Bhattacharya
In a previous book The Oneness/Otherness Mystery - The Synthesis of Science and Mysticism- (1999) SB also presents positions regarding the prospect of finding a synthesis between physicalist science and mysticisms by various proponents of a non-dual ontology- Gopi Krishna, Fritjof Capra, M-L.von Franz, Richard Jones, Aurobindo, Krishnamurti, David Bohm and Ken Wilber- among others. He also comments on the more challenging effort by some in the theistic community such as the Templeton Foundation to bridge the larger gap caused by imperatives in Christian, Judaism and Islamic contexts.
In the 1982 collection of articles on Pribram and Bohm?s holographic metaphor ideas entitled The Holographic Paradigm, editor Wilber quoted approvingly the views of physicist Jeremy Bernstein that it is a "wild over-generalization" to say that the world views of physics and mysticism are similar based "on the use of accidental similarities of language as if these were somehow evidence of deeply rooted connections". Wilber added himself:
Further, physics and mysticism are not two different approaches to the same reality. They are different approaches to two quite different levels of reality, the latter of which transcends but includes the former. ...Bohr?s complementarity principle ....means two mutually exclusive aspects of ....one interaction. ...Physics and mysticism are no more two mutually exclusive approaches to one reality than are, say, botany and mathematics.
Capra agreed but added that ultimately these two levels (of physics and mysticism) are the same, only different aspects of the same worlds.
In my crucial 1990s rereading of this book, I found that Capra and Bohm favoured integration of Science and Mysticism , but Wilber concluded against them.
In Quantum Questions (1985), Wilber asserted that any linkage, let alone a future synthesis of Science and Mysticism was impossible. The ?higher levels? (i.e. spiritual planes), said Wilber were emergent, creative, novel and transcendent.
...if we emphasize solely the transcendental nature of spirit, then religion (and spirit) are obviously "out of this world" and have absolutely nothing in common with earth-bound science. Any attempt to identify spirit with the manifest world of nature is, in this truncated view, charged with the ugly epithet of "featureless pantheism".
However it is the ?lower levels? (i.e. the material planes) which in fact emerge out of the transcendent planes and not vice versa...the 'transcendental' is not simply the ?hidden? or ?beyond? outside conventional experiences but is a factor in the experiencing processes themselves.
This denial of the possibility of synthesis and his constantly changing ?epicyclic? models suggests a lack of true insight in regard to the science of Consciousness. Thus, Wilber is better likened to Claudius Ptolemy than Albert Einstein in analogy to scientific cosmologists. Even one of his New Age admirers Christian de Quincey compared Wilber?s constantly changing models as ?epicycles?.
Timothy Ferris Ferris has made three documentary films, all of which premiered in prime time on PBS- The Creation of the Universe (1985), Life Beyond Earth, and Seeing in the Dark. Review of Creation of the Universe: by Yonassan Gershom. I liked this video precisely because it attempts to heal the breach between science and religion, concerning the origin of the universe. Reviewers who disliked the presentation because it is "permeated with religion" have missed the point. The producers were not pandering to any particular denomination or creed, nor were they pushing religion as such - nor is it Creationism. The universe, to these top scientists, is billions of years old. The vast majority of the material deals with secular science: atomic particles, distant galaxies, forms of energy, high-power telescopes, particle accelerators, astronomical timelines, etc. but, at the same time, the producers are not hiding the fact that some basic concepts expressed in many ancient philosophies turn out to be correct when viewed through the equations of modern physics.
The following two professors are chief antagonists in the debate between Darwinian evolution and creationism, Dawkins is famously known as Atheism's rottweiler and his primary antagonist, Behe, argues design as a trained scientist rather than from a strictly religious perspective.
Richard Dawkins - Official website. Dawkins is a retired professor at Oxford and author of several popular books defending evolutionary science and disparaging all notions of creation largely by referencing examples of unfounded beliefs in the prophetic religions. (Reporting on
a debate between Dawkins and John Lennox at the Oxford Natural History Museum- columnist Melanie Phillips says Dawkins made a most startling admission- claiming a serious case could be made for a deistic God.
Michael J. Behe Behe is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Behe is best known for his argument for irreducible complexity, which asserts that some biochemical structures are too complex to be adequately explained by known evolutionary mechanisms and are therefore more probably the result of intelligent design.
William A. Dembski Official website of the writings of William A. Dembski - proponent of Scientific Intellegent Design. his blog
A Gaian Paradigm by Bill Ellis - Excerpt from Chapter 4 of book exploring prospects for a synthesis between science and spirituality in the future holistic paradigm. "The three themes of this book are 1. Our world view or paradigms are shaped by our cultural nurturing; 2. There are no evil paradigms but just cultures we do not understand; 3. The technology that connects us to each other reveals the cosmos as one and makes possible a new direct democracy in which all people can make decisions to improve their lives."
National Conference of Scientific Evolution NCSE is pleased to announce that the complete run of Creation/Evolution is now available (2009) in PDF form on the NCSE website. Published from 1980 to 1996, Creation/Evolution was the leading source of information about and criticism of the creationist movement through that momentous period, which saw the rise and fall of attempts to require the teaching of "creation science" in the public schools as well as the beginnings of the "intelligent design" movement.
Dyadic Model of Consciousness Re: Quantrek - founded by Dr. Edgar Mitchell. For the purposes of this paper, and if one accepts the evolutionary evidence available in modern times, reality in our universe may be said to consist of two things: existence and knowing. These two aspects of reality are interacting evolutionary processes. They stem from two fundamental attributes of nature: energy and information. It is why in this model they are called dyadic. By using this model to examine traditional thinking, beliefs and dogma in both science and mystical experience, inconsistencies, paradox and flaws are uncovered. These inconsistencies and paradox invariably result from giving meaning to experience based upon limited information, from considering reality from a narrow perspective, from science denying the value of the subjective experience and religion ignoring the mounting information from science. The primary error always has been to consider the current understanding absolute and to confuse the map with the territory.
Metaphysical Naturalism Metaphysical naturalism, or ontological naturalism, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural things, forces, and causes of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those required to understand our physical environment and having mechanical properties amenable to mathematical modeling. Metaphysical naturalism holds that all concepts related to consciousness or to the mind refer to entities which are reducible to or supervene on natural things, forces and causes. More specifically, it rejects the objective existence of any supernatural thing, force or cause, such as occur in humanity?s various religions, as well as any form of teleology. [part of a series on Irreligion]
Science and Nonduality Oct. 25, 2010 Conference - final report by Jeff Carreira. A.H. Almaas delivered a powerful and fitting final talk for the event. He felt the notion that science and spirituality are somehow converging on the same view of reality is premature- that they are still miles apart. That nonlocality - exemplified by two particles on opposite ends of the universe that respond to each other instantaneously is not proof of nonduality since it can be imagined as a field that is always aware everywhere of itself and ultimately collapses into a singularity of identity. The notion that nonduality means remaining aware in some slice of time called the here and now
(see Ram Das) is wrong because nonduality is no-time and includes all-of-time simultaneously.
The Great Story (also known as the Universe Story, Epic of Evolution, or Evolutionary Epic) is humanity's common creation story. It is the 14 billion year
science-based sacred story of cosmic genesis, from the formation of the galaxies and the origin of Earth life, to the development of self-reflective consciousness and human technology, to the emergence of comprehensive compassion and tools to assist humanity in being a blessing to the larger body of life. Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd - emissaries for the evolution/creation paradigm - have created a resource of groups and individuals promoting a synthesis of evolution science and diverse faiths and spirituality.
One Universe, Under God - Creationism battles for the hearts and minds of America?s teachers. by Liza Lentini (Oct 2007) A look inside the curriculum of creation science as taught in a fundamentalist Christian high school.
Intelligent Design A powerpoint slideshow: How ID claims of scientific evidence can be rebutted within the consensus scientific paradigm but that ontologically - in popular culture philosophy -
theistic evolution has credibility parity.
From Paraphysics to Cosmic Consciousness: The End Game by James E. Beichler, Ph.D. (2001 Annual conference Proceedings of the ARPR) Richard Maurice Bucke's concept of a Cosmic Consciousness was a forerunner of science's modern emphasis on studies in consciousness, but it was also an heir to an earlier clash between science, especially physics, and modern spiritualism. His thesis that the human race is evolving a new and higher state of consciousness is far more relevant within the context of modern thought than it was during his own day and the science of paraphysics, especially with the development of the Single Field Theory, is close to confirming his prediction regarding consciousness.
From Spiritualism to Spirituality The scientific quest to explain the psychical aspects of human nature by James E. Beichler, Ph.D. (Annual Conference Proceedings of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research, 2003) Over the last century and a half, the successes of science in explaining our normally sensed world have led to further attempts to expand science into the realm of the para-normal and explain the para-normally sensed world of psychic phenomena. These attempts have helped to establish a greater and growing variety of psychical experiences as well as offer a real challenge to our traditional concepts of religious experience. Within this context, science first came into contact with the paranormal with modern spiritualism, then to parapsychology and finally to paraphysics and a new interest in consciousness and spirituality.
Science at The John Ankerberg Show - A blog dedicated to investigating the latest research on the interaction between science and Christianity. C. John Collins in Science and Faith - Friends or Foes? "...natural events are God?s action by ?ordinary providence? - that is, that God designed a universe so well that he could simply keep it in being and it would go on to generate life, and eventually us."
Socio-Political Ideologies Complicate Efforts for Science/Religious Synthesis
The effort for synthesis between science and religion in modeling evolutionary theory in particular and reality in general must proceed at a level where each approach is open - welcomes critical inquiry, is not dogmatic, believes in inclusion, and most importantly doesn?t proclaim any monopoly over truth. This necessarily excludes both militant atheistic science (see Richard Dawkins Official Website) and evangelical orthodox fundamentalism - with the limited goal of evolving a metaparadigm for a consensus reality that responds to future evidence- thus founding a living document providing the best practice for ascertaining ultimate truth and enlightenment- rather than trying for some utopian resolution of all dialectic between intolerant parties. This suggests that the first hope is a substantial new-science/mysticism synthesis rather than one between scientism and theism.
An example of how socio/political/religious tensions can arise to complicate a coherent approach to ontological synthesis are exampled in the impassioned polemics that have erupted in the Hindu community when Meera Nanda published her essay -
Postmodernism, Science and Religious Fundamentalism Oct 28th, 2003 in the butterfliesandwheels.org website.
In this essay, Nanda examines at length the arguments Hindu nationalists mobilize to justify the Hindu high-holy books as scientific treatises and how these arguments mirror, and often directly borrow from, the postmodernist attacks on the universality and rationality of modern science. She admits to being a party to the science wars, from the side of Sokal and other scientists and philosophers of science who find both Science Studies and postmodernism in general to be deeply misguided and politically dangerous.
Her concerns relate in particular to the tension over efforts to synthesize scientific and mystical views on evolution. But the tension is minimized if one posits a paradigm that fully accepts the What of biological evolution and leaves open the questions about consciousness itself; whether mutations are random or directed; what caused the big bang and the anthropic synchronicity in the cosmological composition and events of the universe and Earth - questions that will always be beyond the ability of natural sciences to provide anything but theoretical answers. At this ontological crux, modern science and deistic views have parity in their credibility so the only rational alternative is to agree to disagree- philosophically. But as mentioned above - with religious orthodoxies that cannot accept the fundamental What of modern evolutionary theory and militantly atheistic science - no degree of synthesis is possible.
More Perspectives on Meera Nanada's Work
Meera Nanda Wikipedia
Rebuttal to Meera Nanda by sandeepweb. An example of highly passionate, defensive posts in Hindu forums that include ad hominum commentary.
Prophets Facing Backward -Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India Online E-Book by Meera Nanda (2003)
Prophets Facing Backward: by Meera Nanda (2004) The leading voices in Science Studies have argued that modern science reflects dominant social interests and cultural values of Western society. Following this logic, postmodern scholars have urged non-Western societies to develop their own "alternative sciences" as a step toward "mental decolonization." In this passionate and highly original study, Meera Nanda reveals how these radical critiques of modern science are enabling Hindu ideologues to propagate religious myths in the guise of science and secularism. Nanda contends that at the heart of Hindu supremacist ideology lies a postmodernist assumption: that each society has its own norms of reasonableness, logic, rules of evidence, and conception of truth, and that there is no non-arbitrary, culture-independent way to choose among these alternatives. This logic is enabling Hindu nationalists to celebrate the most mystical and obscurantist elements of Hinduism as "Vedic science." By eroding all distinctions between modern science and other local sciences, the postmodernist left has unwittingly aided the growth of reactionary modernism in India.
Rejoinder to Meera Nanda's article: Postmodernism, Hindu Nationalism and Vedic Science By Srikant (2005) in which he refers to perspectives of scientist Roger Penrose that focus on the virtual lack of insight by the natural sciences to explain consciousness. He does not say future natural science will not be able to evolve such insight but that presently Vedic science has parity and perhaps an edge on natural science in regards to theories for a consciousness paradigm. However this does not mitigate the overall damaging effects of "Vedic sciences" currently endorsed in Indian schools, colleges, and the mass media promoting the same elements of orthodox Hinduism that have for centuries deprived the vast majority of Indian people of their full humanity.
Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey: A preliminary reply by Dr. Koenraad Elst to Ms. Meera Nanda (2004) The definitive Hindu critique of Meera Nanda's perspectives.
BioLogos Foundation - founded by prominent geneticist Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project.explores. The foundation promotes and celebrates the integration of science and Christian faith.
Theistic Evolution.org The point of this web site is to provide an explanation of the middle ground known as Theistic Evolution, as well as why it is a rational theory. An examination of both the theological and scientific perspectives are provided, as well as resources for further research on the topic.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science - Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) facilitates communication between scientific and religious communities. The program builds on AAAS's long-standing commitment to relate scientific knowledge and technological development to the purposes and concerns of society at large.
Creation/Evolution Controversy Talk.origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology.
Horizon Video- To infinity and Beyond part 1 of 6 - Mathematicians have discovered there are infinitely many infinities, each one infinitely bigger than the last. And if the universe goes on forever, the consequences are even more bizarre. In an infinite universe, there are infinitely many copies of the Earth and infinitely many copies of you. Older than time, bigger than the universe and stranger than fiction.
Horizon science & Religion The End of God? The BBC's archive to explore the troubled relationship between religion and science. From the creationists of America to the physicists of the Large Hadron Collider, he traces the expansion of scientific knowledge and asks whether there is still room for God in the modern world.
The Center for the Study of Science and Religion Offices at Columbia University, Miranda Halkins The experience of transcendence, whether personal or communal, is universal, suggesting that at a very minimum, ubiquitous religious expectations--altruism, ethical norms, spirit, and the hope of immortality--are data of sort, if only as peculiarly recurrent events in human brains.
A Mysphyt Revolution The logical nature of spiritual enlightenment Review by James E. Beichler, Ph.D. Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, 2009. A large gap between science and religion has existed since Natural Philosophy was wrenched from the hands of religion during the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Since then, a clear line of demarcation has separated spirituality and scientific inquiry, to the detriment of both. Spirituality and mysticism, the most fundamental aspects of religion, deal directly with intuitive and emotional interpretations of reality supported by faith, while physics, the most fundamental of the sciences, deals with the logical and reasonable interpretations of physical reality based on verification. Yet both areas of inquiry are examining the same reality, so it should be suspected that both intuition and logic would come to the same conclusions about physical reality at some point in time. Within the past few decades these two roads to understanding the nature of reality have been progressing toward a common revolutionary understanding of reality, which is embodied in the person of the mystic-physicist or mysphyt.
Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller (1999) Book review by Michael Ruse. Ken Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, provides a perspective- defending against attacks which have been launched against evolutionary thought in the past three or four decades. What makes Miller's perspective particularly startling is that he is not only a deeply committed evolutionist, he is also a deeply committed Christian, a practicing Roman Catholic no less.
Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd (2009) - Few issues have revealed deeper divisions in our society than the debate between creationism and evolution, between religion and science. Yet from the fray, Reverend Michael Dowd has emerged as a reconciler, finding faith strengthened by the power of reason. With evidence from contemporary astrophysics, geology, biology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, the Reverend lays out a compelling argument for how religion and science can be mutually enriching forces in our lives.
The Tree of Life - index to knowledge about Evolution and Earth History.
Evidence for God - contrasts the pro and con arguments for design.
Intelligent Design - a scientific and religious critique - powerpoint slideshow (see more related)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Teilhard states that "evolution is an ascent toward consciousness", giving encephalization (intelligence evolution) as an example of early stages, and therefore, signifies a continuous upsurge toward the Omega Point, which for all intents and purposes, is God.
Contemplative Dimensions of Human Experience by Thomas Keating - MIT Video 2009, Running Time: 1:40:07 The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values - Series: The Human Impact. This mind-stretching talk covering the history of the planet, begins with Earth?s emergence from the cosmos, and the origins of life. Blending scientific biological evolution theory for development of higher-order consciousness, and East-West religious practices, Trappist monk Thomas Keating claims that humanity is poised to take its next evolutionary step, to the ?furthest levels of human understanding.?
The Scientific Spirit #3: Russell on Unity and Plurality by Maya Bohnhoff The short article about Bertrand Russell's views about religious/mystical unity triggers an 8-month-long dialog mainly between the Bahai-st author and Stephen Kent Gray and Tom Martin who discuss interpretations of concepts in Baha'i Faith; Bhagavad Gita, Rig Veda; Mayavada Buddhism; Jainism; Sikhism; Advaita Vedanta; Vipassana; Zen; Tantra; Christianity; Dzogchen; Universal Sufism; Theosophy; Thelema; Kabbalah; Upanishads; Persian Seven Valleys and Four Valleys; including maya, moksha, nirvana, reincarnation, univeralism, Brahman, Atman, Bodhisattvas, Tathagata, Arhats, bhakti yoga, jnana-yoga, raja yoga, karma yoga, law of karma, Purusha, Dharma, Tablets of Baha?u?llah (Revealed after the Kitb-i-Azdas), Jesus.
Adaptive Sunni Islam by Harun Yahya. A confluence of an extremely dichotomous religious philosophy that has resulted in his persecution in his Turkish homeland - landing him in both a prison and a insane asylum. Yahya is the highly controversal author of over 200 books - each work features evangelical preaching of a version of Sunni Islam and at least a summary of a special section devoted to why Darwinism theory constitutes the foundation of all forms of anti-religious philosophy.
Some Dichotomous Excerpts:
A main premis is that true miracles are beheld in the created micro and macro biologigical and cosmological reality of the universe.
In the End Times, it is Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) who will guide Muslims to the moral values of the Qur?an and to guidance, and who will gather them all together under a single roof.
Our lady colleagues dress as they please, in line with their beliefs. They can cover their heads or not, as they wish, and can dress as they please. They can cover up or wear make-up, it makes no difference.
Why music and dance are included in our respect to Allah. A Muslim surrenders his life and assets to Allah. Martyrdom on the path of Allah is therefore an instrument of great rejoicing, a great honor. It is not reason for grieving.
Jews and Christians are our brothers in the world, and we love, respect, and watch over and protect them.
The author has also produced various works on Zionist racism and Freemasonry and their negative effects on world history and politics.
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