Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: How to Find the Genius Within

May 22, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

In ancient Rome, the genius was the guiding spirit of a person. In some people, this spirit shown more brightly and they came to be known as “geniuses.” Today, we recognize special people with highly developed skills in music, art, science and other fields as “geniuses.” Most people have heard of geniuses: Mozart, Rembrandt, and Einstein, to name a few. One field of thought suggests that geniuses are born, not made, as if genius is written in the genetic code. But perhaps the Romans were right and each of us has a guiding spirit that we only need to tap to find our own genius. In this show, Manjir Samanta-Laughton, author of Punk Science and The Genius Groove, joins host Philip Mereton in a discussion of what the new developing scientific paradigm is saying about the hidden genius buried in all of us, and what we can do to find it.

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Tags: genius, manjir samanta-laughton, punk science

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: Punk Science

May 17, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

Punk is a term more often associated with fierce rock music and harsh lyrics than as a form of science. The legacy of punk rock is one of rebellion, attacking conventional society and mainstream culture. “Punk Science” is also the name of a book by this week’s guest, Manjir Samanta-Laughton, of the UK, who has gained international fame for interpreting the findings of physics and cosmology in a new and creative way, and one that challenges mainstream science’s fundamental paradigm. She joins host Philip Mereton in a conversation about what a new scientific paradigm might look like and her own Black Hole Principle.

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Tags: black hole principle, cosmology, manjir samanta-laughton, new scientific paradigm, physics, punk science

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: The Power of an Open Mind

May 9, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

It’s hard to argue with the value of an open mind. It’s also hard to argue that many people have one. The problem seems to be that modern life feeds us with so many stereotypes, beliefs, labels, prejudices, and biases with which to categorize our world that we stop thinking “like a child” and more like someone “set in their ways.” Pigeonholing saves time in a hectic world. On this show, Tim Boyd, President of the Theosophical Society, joins host Philip Mereton in a discussion of how open-mindedness is something that not only advances our appreciation for the variety of life, but may also lead us to understand better our true inner nature. Also, in a Something More episode, Philip talks with co-director, Robin Beck of Kima Publishers out of South Africa, about dramatic changes occurring in the publishing world and how his 20-year business continues to prosper.

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Tags: Kima Publishers, Philip Mereton, Power of an Open Mind, Robin Beck, Theosophical Society

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: The Meaning of Life

May 1, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

What is the meaning of life? Of all Big Questions, this one may be at once the biggest, and the most befuddling. But can we proceed through life without at some point confronting the question? And, more importantly, does the question have an answer? On this show, Professor Jay Garfield of Smith College and the University of Melbourne (among other institutions), and lecturer for the Teaching Company’s course, The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions, joins host Philip Mereton in an invigorating discussion of different ways to approach this perennial question, and how we might learn from some of history’s great thinkers to find the meaning in our own lives.

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Tags: Jay Garfield, meaning of life

Response to Lawrence Krauss and His Materialistic Vision

April 28, 2012 | 4 Comments

Categories: Failure of Scientific Materialism, Multiverse, New Consciousness, Scientific Revolution

In a recent article on Scientific American’s website, entitled Consolation of Philosophy, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-consolation-of-philos&page=2, Professor Lawrence Krauss expounds on some of the themes in his book, A Universe from Nothing, and concludes that philosophy has nothing of importance to tell us about the real world, and that only physics can lead us to truth.

Professor Krauss, in rejecting philosophy, fails to acknowledge that he is promoting his own brand of philosophy known as scientific materialism.  So what he really seems to be saying is that scientific materialism is the final truth, and we should not bother considering any other alternative.

But scientific materialism – the view that a real world of matter exists independently of consciousness – has a number of fatal flaws.  Two of them are (1) several great thinkers, such as Bishop George Berkeley, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant, showed that we can never prove that such a real world of matter actually exists outside of the mind; rather, as Hume said, this is a belief humankind takes on faith; and (2) in the scientific realm, quantum theory shows that consciousness plays an unmistakable role in forming the world of experience.  (F. Kuttner & B. Rosenblum, The Quantum Enigma (http://quantumenigma.com/).   Quantum theory teaches that an objective world of particles does not exist.  (D. Lindley, The End of Physics .http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Of-Physics-Unified/dp/0465019765)  The fact that quantum theory gives a role to consciousness in experience may be taken as a sign of a developing convergence between science and other fields of thought, and as evidence that the philosophical idealists were on the right track after all.

It is time for the scientific thought leaders to open their minds to the real possibility that there may very well be a fundamental synergy between mind and the physical world, and that this fact will not destroy science but perpetually energize it.  Science deals only with models, and the evidence, from quantum theory to the placebo effect to the unavoidable fine-tuning of the universe, shows we are due for a change-over  in model lines.

With science unable to bring themselves to accept mind or intelligence in the make-up of the physical world, it is forced to fall back to the multiverse and string theory to explain such things as the physical constants and the conflict between gravity and quantum theory.  But neither of these two theories can be proven or falsified, so their role as “scientific” theories is doubtful.  (See George Ellis,  Does the Multiverse Really Exist?, Scientific American (Aug. 2011)http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-the-multiverse-really-exist ; L. Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, http://www.thetroublewithphysics.com/.)  So why is all of this important?  Because if consciousness in fact plays a role in the formation of the world, then it is time we take more responsibility for the world we live in, rather than pass off the task to some external force, and fanciful notions of multiple universes and hidden dimensions.

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: Is Religion More Natural than Science?

April 25, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

Science deals with the natural world; religion rests upon the supernatural. Science is empirical, methodical, and self-critical; religion deals with a truth revealed by God, and hence beyond questioning. But some cognitive researchers are finding that religion is in fact more natural than science; it comes fast and easy, and does not have to be taught or experienced. Science, meanwhile, is slow, hard, and time-consuming; it deals with things and ideas far removed from everyday life. The naturalness of religion means that despite all the advances of science, it may never go away. On this show, Dr. Robert McCauley, the Director of Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University, and author of the New Scientist article, “Natural Religion, Unnatural Science,” and the new book, Why Religion is Natural and Science Unnatural, joins host, Philip Mereton, in an engaging conversation about what brain research is telling us about the sustained power of religion in our scientific world.

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Tags: Dr. Robert McCauley, New Scientist, science and religion

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: Creative Evolution

April 18, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

According to Darwinians, evolution is a random, directionless process without purpose or goal; if it looks creative, it is only by accident. On the other side of the spectrum, the intelligent design movement believes that the only explanation for the order in the living world is God. But are these two viewpoints — Darwinism and intelligent design — the only choices? Might there be a way to explain the evolution of life in a manner that transcends both Darwin and intelligent design? On this show, Dr. Amit Goswami, the author of Creative Evolution, The Self-Aware Universe, The Visionary Window, and many other cutting-edge books, joins host Philip Mereton in a discussion of the weaknesses of both Darwinism and intelligent design, and why we need to find a new way to account for creative evolution. Also on this show is the first installment of Something More, where Philip Mereton talks with Theodore Poulis, the publisher of Dream River Press, about why he entered the publishing world and the new titles his company is offering.

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Tags: amit goswami, creative evolution, darwin, darwinism, evolution, intelligent design, theodore poulis

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: Is a Worldview Revolution on the Horizon?

April 11, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion

Some people observe and critique; others act. Quantum theory, and the indisputable connection between consciousness and reality, continue to drive thinkers toward a new worldview. Among those leading this movement is former physics professor and author of The Self Aware Universe and the new book, How Quantum Activisim Can Save Civilization, Dr. Amit Goswami. Going where others fear to tread, Dr. Goswami has mounted a sustained attack against scientific materialism while advancing a new worldview based upon the consciousness-first paradigm suggested by quantum theory. Listen in as Dr. Goswami and host Philip Mereton engage in an unprecedented conversation as they consider the theory and actions that may form the basis for a new worldview.

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Tags: consciousness and reality, Dr. Amit Goswami, How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization, Philip Mereton, quantum theory, The Self Aware Universe

Materialism’s Straw Man — and a New Opponent Rising

April 5, 2012 | 1 Comment

Categories: Failure of Scientific Materialism, New Consciousness, Scientific Revolution

In books such as The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Lisa Randall), and The Grand Design (Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow), our modern science writers set up an easy straw man when promoting materialistic orthodoxy.  Modern scientists believe that their only opponent to control the debate over the origin and evolution of the cosmos is organized religion.  They are wrong.  Another opponent is rising, and they will soon have to deal with it.

Materialism is the view that the entire physical universe can be reduced to mindless particles in motion.  It holds to the belief that there is an objective world, independent of perception and independent of mind.

The great mystery of materialism is how this material world sprang from the void and evolved itself into a picture-perfect universe.

Material scientists have the mathematical laws of nature, the scientific method, and a lock on all of the professorships in the leading universities to argue their case.

But their argument is made much easier because they believe they have only one opponent in the debate to control the discourse on the origin and evolution of the cosmos: organized religion.  In the standard religious worldview, God replaces the laws of nature as the source for the universe.  But the physical universe of religion is the same as the universe of modern science: it is a world of dead matter independent of the human mind.  Therefore, materialists ask the obvious question: what is the source of God and through what mechanism does it influence and create the world?

By a wave of the hand?  His daily whims? His great mind?  So religion cites to “God” as the ultimate explanation for the universe, order, and life, but what is the explanation for God?

Most western religions are themselves materialistic in that they accept part of the scientific story – such as the Big Bang, dark matter, and dark energy – but fall back upon God as the original and final cause.

Orthodox religion uses faith to make the final step in the explanation, but this sort of faith has no currency in science.

So modern scientists, propping up organized religion as the “usual suspect,” proceed to treat the religious worldview as a rag doll, beating its head upon the anvil of almighty Science.  Religion, scientists argue, relies ultimately upon childish myths and superstition: creation in 7 days; a 6000-year universe; a bearded father in the sky; a savior walking on water and healing the sick; and great religious texts channeled from God to wandering peasants.

Almighty methodical science vs. a child’s storybook; an MIT PhD vs. a matchbook GED; a Formula One car vs. a horse and buggy; Richard Dawkins vs. Jerry Falwell.

But there is another opponent rising to take up the challenge of materialism and of organized religion.  This opponent is of a different kind and is not so easily dismissed.

This new approach is based upon a radical re-orientation of how we look out at the world.  It treats the external world not as a foreign object created by happenstance in the Big Bang, but as a dream powered by the united unconscious mind; the one mind of what Indian philosophy calls Brahman, what new age thinkers call the Source, and others call God.

We see the same sky not because there is one sky resting independently of ourselves but because we are one mind and are participating in the same dream.  With this viewpoint, we find an explanation for how nothing came from something; the order in the universe; the fine-tuning of the fundamental constants and laws.  We see how reports and studies of the paranormal – how minds talk to each other, foretell the future, and see vast distances without a telescope – become part of our worldview.  We see why, when scientists peer into the core of the physical world, they find not tiny things, but the quivering wave function of quantum theory.

And we also find why, despite the overwhelming intellectual power of science, the mind of man will not easily give up its hold on this great being called God; the reason, in the end, will be because man cannot give up on himself, and the unlimited power we know rests inside. Another opponent is rising to accept the challenge of materialism, and this one will be around until the debate is finally over.

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion: How to Reach Nirvana

April 4, 2012 | None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, Uncategorized

Buddhism is the religion for everyone, and is practiced by people as diverse as Jennifer Lopez and the Dalai Lama. Its principles, from karma and reincarnation to the eightfold path and nirvana, permeate modern culture, though perhaps not in the way the Buddha intended. On this show, former Buddhist monk and author of The Meditative Path, John Cianciosi, joins host Philip Mereton in an enlightening conversation about the way of the Buddha and how we all have the chance to reach our own nirvana.

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Tags: buddhism, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, john cianciosi, karma, nirvana, reincarnation, the meditative path