Science v. Religion (in the lead up to my dissertation) – Al Jazeera interviews Richard Dawkins, and Lawrence’s Krauss thinks he’s special

Now that I’ve completed preparatory research essays on Schelling (The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency) and Whitehead (Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of A. N. Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology), it’s finally time to start zeroing in on my dissertation thesis. The title I’m proposing for now is Imagination Between…

Old White Guys Ventriloquising Nature

“Scientists, animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless, constitute an interesting subject for study.” – A. N. Whitehead This is a round table discussion called “Moving Naturalism Forward.” So far it is somewhat infuriating. There is no one there to problematize who should speak for nature. All of these dudes have signed the…

Reflections on Physicist Lawrence Krauss and the Consolations of Philosophy

Below is Lawrence Krauss from a recent interview in the Atlantic (Thanks to Jason/Immanent Transcendence for bringing this controversy to my attention): Krauss: …Philosophy used to be a field that had content, but then “natural philosophy” became physics, and physics has only continued to make inroads. Every time there’s a leap in physics, it encroaches on these areas that philosophers have carefully sequestered…

Schelling, Darwin, and the Romantic Conception of Life

I’m not yet midway through a thick tome by Prof. Robert J. Richards at the University of Chicago entitled The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe (2002). It is soaked in personal details, the trysts and tears of the friends and lovers responsible for generating a literary and philosophical movement in…

Response to Knowledge-Ecology about Dawkins, Evolution, and Creationism

Knowledge-Ecology recently posted his lament about the scientific ignorance of GOP presidential candidate Gov. Perry, who denies both evolution and climate change. Adam also mentioned his support for Richard Dawkins’ rebuttal. I might also count Dawkins as a political ally, but not as a cosmological ally. And since I, like Adam, struggle to avoid separating…

God and Religious Experience in Whitehead: another response to Levi Bryant

Levi Bryant has problematized my attempt to clarify Whitehead’s position on the function of divinity in the universe. He writes: “You make the claim that without God there would be chaos and no order. This is a problematic claim for two reasons. First, you have repeatedly tried to claim that God isn’t supposed to explain…

Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature

I’ve been struggling through Isabelle Stengers‘ newly translated book Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts (2011). The first quarter of the book focuses primarily on Whitehead’s first explicitly philosophical text, The Concept of Nature (1920), in which he sets for himself the task of avoiding an account of nature based in…

Michael Persinger on non-local consciousness.

Most of you have probably already heard of Michael Persinger. He is a distinguished and extensively published cognitive neuroscientist at Laurentian University in Ontario. He is best known for his research with the “God Helmet,” which is supposed to give most people who wear it a non-ordinary state of consciousness often described as encountering a divine intelligence…

A Random Fragment on the Philosophy of Biology

Randomness is a concept that Dawkins usually attempts to qualify and differentiate. The process of adaptation within his neo-Darwinian paradigm of selfish genes and natural selection is not random at all–it is driven by the brute physical agency of the Natural Selector. What is random are the mutations, which he apparently conceives of as happening…

Belief in a Personal God

The following is my response to the theologian Jason Michael McCann’s blog post about the personal nature of God in the Christian tradition. Yesterday, he posted a critical response to one of my short essays on materialism and imagination that I will also respond to soon. JMM, The distinction between truth and fact (which I understand…

Consciousness: Problem, Paradox, or Practice?

A quick contextualizing note for those who are just joining the tangled thread of my recent blogalogue concerning the nature of consciousness and its relationship with the nervous system and surrounding cosmos: Last month, Steve Ramirez, a PhD candidate at MIT, posted an entry on his blog (http://okaysteve.wordpress.com/) concerning neuroscience’s supposed successes explaining the “problem” of consciousness purely…

Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

I have not read Dawkins’ latest book, The God Delusion, but I’m sure I agree with just about all of what he argued for in it. The idea that a personal God is responsible for the creation and maintenance of this universe, that He answers prayers and passes judgment upon the deeds of men, is…