Posts Tagged 'Evolution'

Evolution, Extinction or Extension: What is the Risk of Adopting the Wrong Anthropic Principle?

The most recent paper continuing the work on human extension was published by EHU’s journal Topos.

Abstract:

The paper explores two main themes in science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse: anthropic principles and transhumanism. After providing a brief history of the first theme, it cautions about potential dehumanisation from adopting the wrong anthropic principle as a kind of ‘disanthropic’ reasoning. Part of the solution is to reclaim a proper meaning of ‘anthropic’ for the social sciences and humanities beyond the natural sciences of physics and cosmology or statistical probabilities. The second theme is investigated both in theistic and nontheistic variants as they influence what is meant by ‘human’ in the context of evolution and development. Transhumanism is portrayed in terms of both risk and reward with the rise of neoeugenics and biotechnological human enhancements. The paper closes by briefly acknowledging Human Extension (Sandstrom 2011, 2014) as a reflexive anthropic principle that can be applied in social sciences and humanities to help overcome the ideologies of naturalism and scientism. The Human Extension approach focuses on choices and actions that bring into relief the eschatological claims of some transhumanists and posthumanists who speak disanthropically about human extinction due to technocratic artificial intelligence or who deny human exceptionalism and instead promote species egalitarism among earthly creatures.

Keywords:

anthropic principle, anthropic reasoning, evolution, naturalism, transhumanism, dehumanisation, human extension

http://topos.ehu.lt/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Topos-2-3_2014-Sandstrom.pdf

Human Extension – Book Publication

It’s a great pleasure to announce the publication of my first book – Human Extension: An Alternative to Evolutionism, Creationism and Intelligent Design. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

9781137464880.indd

This introductory book critiques the Intelligent Design Movement and its ideology, in addition to documenting the exaggeration of ‘evolution’ as a biological theory into the ideology of ‘evolutionism’. The ideology of ‘creationism’ is given rather short thrift as unfortunately linked with fundamentalism and biblical literalism in the USA. This does not, however, discount theistic views of Creation across a range of beliefs. Of main interest is the idea of Human Extension and how it impacts the current landscape of views involving origins and processes of change-over-time.

Thanks are expressed to the editors at NewGen and to the management at Palgrave Macmillan for their patient and consistent work on bringing this text to print in the Pivot Series.

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/human-extension-an-alternative-to-evolutionism-creationism-and-intelligent-design-gregory-sandstrom/?K=9781137464880

http://books.google.lt/books?id=2eRABAAAQBAJ&dq=sandstrom+%22Human+Extension%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Extending Knowledge and the Extended Mind – SERRC

This post duplicates a précis and audio interview published at the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.

Audio available here: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/01/20/extending-knowledge-and-the-extended-mind-gregory-sandstrom/

This Echo Chamber [1] interview with Professors Georg Theiner and Orestis Palermos was conducted by SERRC member Gregory Sandstrom in Torún, Poland at the Avant – Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies conference on 9 November 2013.

The interview focuses on the Extended Mind Thesis (EMT [2]), that was featured in no less than six presentations at the conference. It starts by hearing about the historical contact by Theiner and Palermos with the EMT of Andy Clark and David Chalmers. The main topics of the interview are cognitive science, psychology, philosophy of mind, science and technology studies, epistemology and the relevance of the EMT in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Theiner mentions that he had some hesitations at first to the EMT, which he learned about in a presentation by Andy Clark. At the end of the talk, Clark brought up René Descartes’ view of trying to empower the human mind by ‘shrinking’ it into something immaterial; “to save it from materiality” instead of allowing it to be ‘extended.’ Yet Theiner believes that instead of shrinking our minds down to just the material level, it is rather the extension of our minds and cognition into the world, into the physical, social and cultural environment that makes human beings special.

Peace for Evolution’s Puzzle: The Arrival of Human Extension

Abstract:

A response to the review “Evolution is Still Puzzling” (2008) of “Pieces of Evolution’s Puzzle” (2008) that makes an attempt to answer the challenge of a lack of alternative to evolutionary theories in human-social sciences. By putting forward a candidate for a legitimate alternative to evolution, the evolutionary puzzle and its exaggeration from biology into improper humanities fields is potentially solved. This paper offers a paradigm shift primarily for sociology, the author’s home field, but also for four other fields that have been neutralized from providing peaceful alternatives in the study of change and development for human societies, instead of succumbing to the totalising logic of evolutionistic ideology. Human extension marks a moment of reversal from evolutionism with its arrival as a post-evolutionary general methodology.

General Introduction

Extension – “a fundamental notion concerning the nature of reality[i].” – A.N. Whitehead

The only way to achieve peace in the warring controversy over evolution is to put evolutionary theory in its proper scholarly place, refusing to allow it to be over-estimated in the Academy. The same was true with relativity theory in physics; it has only a limited conceptual transferability into human-social thought, philosophy and ethics. In making a principled categorical clarification about ‘evolutionism,’ those who choose to uphold evolution as a world-view, as the primary basis for their special sciences, philosophies, or (a)theologies, can be identified for their attempt to ‘universalise evolution,’ rather than limiting it within appropriate and responsible, meaningful boundaries.

Continue reading ‘Peace for Evolution’s Puzzle: The Arrival of Human Extension’

The Intelligent Design Movement: Revolution or Repatriation?

This post consists of Chapter 2 from my masters thesis at the Free University of Amsterdam, “Evolution, Extension and Intelligent Design: A 21st Century Tri-Fecta,” completed and defended in 2004. It is therefore outdated, given that we are already 9 years removed and the IDM has morphed since then. Nevertheless, it is posted here to provide some background to my work on human extension as an alternative to evolutionism, creationism and Intelligent Design Theory. Notably, since then I’ve accepted the distinction that Owen Gingerich and others make between Uppercase Intelligent Design Theory and lowercase ‘intelligent design’ or ‘design arguments.’

 ~~

The Intelligent Design Movement: Revolution or Repatriation?

 

Introduction

“Molecular machines appear to look designed because they really are designed.”

– Michael Behe

This chapter analyzes the (post-)modern social movement that has begun[1] with the concept-duo of intelligent design (ID). In the most ambitious words of one of the intelligent design movement’s (IDM’s) leaders, William Dembski, ID is named as ‘The Bridge’ between Science and Theology: “If you’re going to reject a reigning paradigm,” he explains, “you have to have a new improved paradigm with which to replace it. Naturalistic evolution is the reigning paradigm.” (Intelligent Design: The Bridge, 1999, 119) Needless to say, Dembski believes the concepts of intelligent design represent an academic replacement for naturalistic evolution compatible with both science and theology. Given these outspoken relative sentiments about ID theory, can and should we believe that the IDM’s scientific revolutionary[2] declaration is practically possible? In this section we will make a brief inquiry on this topic.

Continue reading ‘The Intelligent Design Movement: Revolution or Repatriation?’

Science Studies and Sociology of Science – On Human Extension

This audio presentation was delivered at the Historiae Scientiarum Baltica – International Baltic Conference on the History of Science October 5, 2012, in the session on Philosophy, Sociology and Humanities. Originally the presentation was titled: “On Natural and Social Scientific Knowledge in Post-Soviet Space,” and it relates to this Blog on the topic of Human Extension. The quality of the recording is not so high, but should be understandable as the first audio upload here at Human Extension Blog.

On Human Extension, Science Studies and Sociology of Science

 

Human Extension in Economics – an alternative to Evolutionary Economic Sociology

Recently during a visit to Krakow, Poland, I received copies of the Journal – “Theory and Practice of Institutional Reforms in Russia,” which included my article: “Evolutionary and Institutional Economics: A View from the Post-Neo-Classical Perspective.” This is the original English article, which was later translated by P.I. Litvinova and M.V. Sinyutin and published as «Рост, развитие и изменения: выход за пределы эволюционной парадигмы» (“Growth, Development and Change: A Post-Neo-Classical Approach to Evolutionary and Institutional Economics.”) and published in the book Evolutionary and Institutional Economics: Discussions, Methods and Applications. St. Petersburg: Aletheia Press, 2012: pp. 101-117.

This article elaborates on the notion of Human Extension (and Intension) in the realm of economics. It promotes the notion of economic tension sociology (ETS) as an alternative to evolutionary social-economics.

A slightly updated version of the article can be found here: 

http://www.academia.edu/2067111/Evolutionary_and_Institutional_Economics_A_View_from_the_Post-Neo-Classical_Perspective


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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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