Posts Tagged 'Scientism'

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

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’

Big-ID vs. small-id – Flip-Flopping IDM-Style

One doesn’t need to read far into ‘Intelligent Design’ (Big-ID) theory literature to discover the Intelligent Design Movement’s (IDM’s) refusal to study the supposed ‘Designer(s)’ of that which is said by IDists to be ‘Designed.’ This fact lowers the explanatory power of their theory immensely, almost entirely, even if Big-IDists don’t wish to acknowledge it for ideological purposes.

An easy way to highlight this challenge is to speak of Big-ID and small-id, as I’ve done on this blog already. Discussion about this has also taken place in commentary at Uncommon Descent (UD), one of the IDM’s most popular blogs. Unfortunately, no consensus has yet been reached and thus no clarity to stop the waffling back and forth between the two terms. Likewise, no attempt to sort out when or even if capitalisation of ‘Intelligent Design’ is justified or if non-capitalisation of ‘intelligent design’ is always preferred or if the two linguistic expressions carry the same meaning has been made at UD. This could be done simply by dedicating a single thread to the issue. But for ideological purposes, this is likely not going to happen.

Continue reading ‘Big-ID vs. small-id – Flip-Flopping IDM-Style’

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 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?’

Human Extension and Intelligent Design – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?

Intelligent Design theory (IDT) begins with effects and makes inference to causes (Stephen C. Meyer). The effects in question are specific patterns of information that can supposedly be detected ‘in nature.’ The assumption is that ‘minds’ are the only known sources that cause information. Therefore, even on the topics of the origins of life and the origins of biological information (and even sometimes on origins of mankind), one must ‘infer design’ that is intelligent and which comes from a non-human mind or divine Mind.

When it comes to the origins of biological information, the idea that an intelligent agent was the cause is contestable because IDT depends on analogy with human minds. When it comes to human-made artefacts, i.e. things that are produced by what William Dembski calls ‘mundane designers’ (in contrast to ‘transcendental designers,’ 1999), we can indeed infer that the minds, bodies and/or spirits of human beings are/were involved. However, it is a leap of faith (from theology to science) to suggest that what causes human artefacts is necessarily the same ‘kind of mind’ as what caused (past tense – i.e. big history) biological information millions of years ago in the sense of life origins.

Continue reading ‘Human Extension and Intelligent Design – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?’


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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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