Do you know the way to San Jose? I will be there for the SAND US 2017 Conference October 18-21 presenting a new paper on “Thinking Beyond The Empirical Frontiers.” The presentation will build on themes I’ve explored in several of my essays, all available for download on the Publications page.
Our inquiries, specifically including empirical science, all begin with faith. In “The Empirical Standard of Knowing”, I explore the hard limits in physics, complexity theory and mathematics and the dogmas that are developing in response. The empirical tenets of faith at the heart of 20th century science contradict our shared personal experience and deny the obvious mystery and intentionality of the universe. A new symbiosis of spiritual and empirical inquiry as pathways to knowing is needed.
“The Hole at the Center of Creation,” probes the epistemological limits of mathematical and physical knowledge. Given the unavoidably self-referential features of the universe, paradox is inevitable and essential. The void in our knowledge can only be crossed by reaching for a transcendent metaphysical explanation, one that provides a key to the whole that encompasses creation.
“The Tip of the Spear,” explores the evolutionary trajectory of the universe and the sequential emergence of complex systems across the physical, biological and institutional scales. These emergent processes demonstrate the salience of cooperative behaviors leading to evolutionary advantage in their respective fitness landscapes. The essay concludes that science is the engine of human progress, but that the tip of the spear, our primary intention, must be the human empathic values of trust, humility, mutual respect and shared commitment: in a word, love.
“The How and The Why of Emergence and Intention,” tackles the questions of emergence, causation and intention. Do you believe that what exists is an expression of randomness within mathematical forms? Or do you believe in a cosmic intentionality that provides generative guidance for the emergence and evolution of our uniquely specified universe? From an empirical standpoint, these questions are undecidable. Yet how we choose to answer them is fundamental to how we think about the world. I argue for flowing cosmic intentionality as a rational, evidence-based and comprehensive hypothesis for explaining why the world is the way it is. The universe has given us life, beauty, complexity, and the capacity for knowledge, self-exploration and wisdom. The universe is meant to be lived in, to be explored, and to be loved. In return, the universe loves us back.
I am looking forward to the conference and will share my observations with you in October.