Posts Tagged 'Natural-Physical Science'

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’

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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

 

Darwinian and Darwinism: Science and Ideology

Philosophy of science writer Thomas Burnett asked a question at BioLogos (http://biologos.org/blog/david-lack-and-darwins-finches): “Is it also problematic that people refer to modern evolutionary theory as ‘Darwinism’?”

I responded saying that I think referring to modern evolutionary theory as ‘Darwinism’ is problematic. My contribution to the ensuing discussion is gathered into one message below.

Dr. Jon Garvey, M.D. gave three definitions of ‘Darwinism’:

“Darwinism (1): Scientific theory developed by Charles Darwin. (2): Meta-scientific theory embracing all the developments of and corrections to Darwin’s original theory. (3): Metaphysical position that evolution is undirected and unguided, often (even by Darwin) associated with (1) or (2) by their advocates. Often pejoratively used by opponents of (1), (2) or (3).”

Continue reading ‘Darwinian and Darwinism: Science and Ideology’

Human Extension and Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?

Much of what I wrote in the previous post can be likewise directed toward the two positions called ‘theistic evolution’ (TE) and ‘evolutionary creation’ (EC). These two similar views are particularly popular among monotheists of the Abrahamic faiths who have little problem with the natural-physical science of evolutionary biology and at the same time who reject ‘young earth’ (YE) arguments based on a literal reading of the first two chapters in the Book of Genesis. As Robert J. Russell says, “evolution is God’s way of creating life.” (2003: 336) This ‘camp’ of thinkers called TE or EC is more openly religious than ‘intelligent design’ (ID) proponents due to the fact that they include ‘theism’ or ‘creation’ in their respective labels.

TE and EC as positions or labels basically constitute those people who believe that the Creator guides or directs the processes of change-over-time that we observe ‘in nature,’ even if we cannot scientifically prove the guidance or direction (cf. Teleology). They represent the vast majority of religious persons today who see no conflict between evolutionary biology and religious belief or spirituality, between accepting an ‘old Earth,’ studying theology and/or being a person of faith. Where the discussion becomes most complicated and full of tension is when evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, ethology and cognitive studies (e.g. origins of consciousness) are involved and when (neo-)Darwinian evolution is turned into an atheistic and oftentimes anti-theistic ideology called ‘(neo-)Darwinism.’  Continue reading ‘Human Extension and Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?’

Overcoming Evolutionism and Naturalistic Intelligent Design

On the Arrival of Human Extension

Biologists these days, especially evolutionary and socio-biologists, often try to dictate to people about ethics, morality and religion. Do they not know any limits to their specialist natural science? It is no wonder that a movement of scientists, philosophers, theologians and PR figures have gathered around the idea of ‘intelligent design,’ as a possible escape route from biological exaggeration and scientism in the contemporary Academy. In terms of humility and reflexivity, evolutionary and socio-biologists seem to be running on an almost empty tank.

I’ve watched and sometimes publically participated in the ‘controversy over evolution’ that has been going on mainly in the United States over the past decade. This includes meeting and/or corresponding with most leaders of the Intelligent Design Movement, visiting the Discovery Institute as a curiosity, as well as reading, researching and debating views proposed by ‘new atheists’ on-line. I’ve published academic papers, attended and presented speeches at scholar conferences on evolution, creation and intelligent design. During that time I’ve been struck by a few basic observations.

Continue reading ‘Overcoming Evolutionism and Naturalistic Intelligent Design’

‘the Nature of’ – One of the Emptiest Phrases in the English Language

The purpose of this thread is to offer a communicative massage. The main questions are first, whether or not people think they need such a massage and second, whether they will allow them-self to be massaged communicatively by unknown ‘hands’ on the internet, i.e. by someone they don’t know and thus likely will find hard to immediately trust. Can I influence the way people speak and think simply by highlighting a feature of English language expression that often goes unnoticed or is taken for granted?

My opponent is the ideology of ‘naturalism.’ Why do I choose it as an opponent? Because I am a human-social scientist and don’t wish to accept the argument put forward by many naturalists that ‘social’ things are actually ‘natural’ simply by virtue of society being constructed out of our ‘human nature.’ I reject the ideology of naturalism for its encroachment on the sovereign territory of human-social sciences and their objects/subjects of study and argue that there is an alternative and more accurate way to discuss what naturalists actually mean in one particular phrase they commonly use.

The argument I would like to make here is so simple and straightforward that it will be easily accepted by some, while it will be immensely tough and thought as challenging to others, primarily those employed in natural-physical sciences. The main point is this: the phrase ‘the nature of’ is one of the emptiest in the English language.

Continue reading ‘‘the Nature of’ – One of the Emptiest Phrases in the English Language’


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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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