Quotes to Think About

Written by Robert Bruce Baird


“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation. – Herbert Spencer”

Albert Einstein - "We are seeking forrepparttar simplest possible scheme of thought that will bind togetherrepparttar 127638 observed facts."

"If we do not expectrepparttar 127639 unexpected, we will never find it." – Heraclitus

"Human beings, by changingrepparttar 127640 inner attitudes of their minds, can changerepparttar 127641 outer aspects of their lives." - William James

"I feel that if we could be serious for an hour and really fathom, delve into ourselves as much as we can, we should be able to release, not through any action of will, a certain sense of energy that is awake allrepparttar 127642 time, which is beyond thought." – Jiddhu Krishnamurti, Madras, 1961

Heraclitus: "… concededrepparttar 127643 existence of an over-riding, all-encompassing unity, in whichrepparttar 127644 apparently contradictory opposites are all linked to one another, in a single, regular, cohesive system of balanced, harmonious measure and just order."

“Consciousness is a singular of whichrepparttar 127645 plural is unknown. There is only one thing, and that which seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception,repparttar 127646 Indian maya, as in a gallery of mirrors.” – Erwin Schrödinger

Evolution and Exorcisms

Written by Robert Bruce Baird

EVOLUTION: More surprising to me as I consider where my intellectual head-space has been on this issue, which is central to theological ideal; isrepparttar fact that I have become more of a creationist. Skeptics may say that God doesn't exist and I am inclined to agree he/she isn't within our purview to limit and say we know; HIM, or even what it is that really goes on, inrepparttar 127637 world about us. It would be difficult to say there is any one humanistic discipline or theology that fits with my perception. Teilhard de Chardin's 'templates' and 'quantum many worlds' join Lamarckian science, that requires uncertainty and values mystery and uncertainty principles with purpose. Inrepparttar 127638 final analysis you can put me in whatever 'cubby-hole' you want and there’ll be agreement and respect forrepparttar 127639 truth therein expressed. I see a lot of people sounding like they disagree and yet I see little difference except when they seek personal gain by it. Surely science has given a great deal of support torepparttar 127640 concept of consciousness existing inrepparttar 127641 very smallest parts of energy, and inrepparttar 127642 ways it performs what was once considered miraculous, or magical. Here arerepparttar 127643 thoughts of two very scientifically oriented people from MIT in a book called 'Darwinism Evolving':

"They also made it harder forrepparttar 127644 scientific worldview to be received with equanimity by other sectors of culture. Indeed, sincerepparttar 127645 reducing impulse undermines fairly huge tracts of experience, people like Wallace, who feel deeply about protecting phenomena they regard as existentially important, frequently conclude that they have no alternative except to embrace spiritualism, and sometimes even to attackrepparttar 127646 scientific worldview itself, if that isrepparttar 127647 only way to protect important spheres of experience that have been ejected from science's confining Eden. In response, scientists and philosophers who feel strongly aboutrepparttar 127648 liberating potential of a spare, materialistic worldview began to patrolrepparttar 127649 borderlands betweenrepparttar 127650 high-grade knowledge scientists have of natural systems andrepparttar 127651 low-grade opinions that inrepparttar 127652 view of science's most ardent defenders, dominate other spheres of culture and lead back towardrepparttar 127653 superstitious and authoritarian world of yesteryear. 'Demarcating' science from other, less cognitively worthwhile forms of understanding was already a major feature of Darwin's world. A line beyond whichrepparttar 127654 Newtonian paradigm could not apply was drawn atrepparttar 127655 boundary between physics and biology. We have seen how hesitant Darwin was to cross that line and what happened when he did. Twentieth-century people are sometimes prone to congratulate themselves for being above these quaint Victorian battles. They may have less reason to do so, however, than they think, forrepparttar 127656 fact is that throughout our own century,repparttar 127657 same sort of battles, with emotional overtones no less charged, have been waged atrepparttar 127658 contested line where biology meets psychology, and more generally whererepparttar 127659 natural sciences confrontrepparttar 127660 human sciences. Dualisms between spirit and matter, and even between mind and body, may have been pushed torepparttar 127661 margins of respectable intellectual discourse. But methodological dualisms between what is covered by laws and what is to be 'hermeneutically appropriated' are still very much atrepparttar 127662 center of our cultural, or rather 'two cultural', life. Cognitive psychologists and neurophysiologists are even now busy reducing mind-states to brain-states, while interpretive or humanistic psychologists are proclaiming how meaninglessrepparttar 127663 world would be if mind is nothing but brain. Interpretive anthropologists are filled with horror at what would disappear fromrepparttar 127664 world ifrepparttar 127665 rich cultural practices that seem to give meaning to our lives were to be shown to be little more than extremely sophisticated calculations onrepparttar 127666 part of self-interested genes. Conflicts of this sort would have given Darwin stomachaches almost as bad asrepparttar 127667 ones he endured over earlier demarcation controversies.

The rhetorical pattern of these battles is still depressingly similar, in fact, to Huxley's confrontation with Wilberforce. Hermeneuts ridicule scientists like Hamilton, Dawkins, and Wilson when they suggest that nothing was ever known about social cooperation until biologists discovered kin selection. Reductionists in turn criticize hermeneuts, now transformed largely into 'culturists,' for bringing back ghosts and gods, just as their nineteenth-century predecessors were taxed with being 'vitalists' every time they said something aboutrepparttar 127668 complexity of development. Humanists identify scientists with an outdated materialist reductionism. Scientists insist that hermeneutical intentionality is little more than disguised religion.

Perhaps, a way out of this fruitless dialectic betweenrepparttar 127669 'two cultures', can be found if each party could give up at least one of its cherished preconceptions {Or just give uprepparttar 127670 science that rejects certain facts in favour of convention orrepparttar 127671 'Toilet Philosophy'.}. It would be a good thing, for example, if heirs ofrepparttar 127672 Enlightenment would stop thinking that if cultural phenomena are not reduced to some sort of mechanism; religious authoritarianism will immediately flood intorepparttar 127673 breach. They should also stop assuming that nothing is really known about human beings untilrepparttar 127674 spirit of scientific reductionism gets to work. Students ofrepparttar 127675 human sciences have, after all, been learning things alongside scientists ever since modernity began. Amongrepparttar 127676 things they have learned are that humans are individuated persons withinrepparttar 127677 bonds of culture and cultural roles, and that as recipients and transmitters of cultural meanings, they are bound together with others in ways no less meaningful and valuable thanrepparttar 127678 ways promoted by strongly dualistic religions. Byrepparttar 127679 same token, it would be helpful if advocates ofrepparttar 127680 interpretive disciplines would abandon a tacit assumption sometimes found among them that nature is so constituted that it can never accomodaterepparttar 127681 rich and meaningful cultural phenomena humanists are dedicated to protecting, and that therefore cultural phenomena 'ought never' to be allowed to slip comfortably into naturalism. Humanists seem to have internalized this belief from their reductionist enemies, whose commitment to materialism is generally inseparable from their resolve to show up large parts of culture, especially religion, as illusions. These opponents, we may safely say, take in each other's laundry." (7)

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