Science For Seekers

Science for Seekers is a journey to understand true nature of the world and our place in it. Using the tools of science and critical thinking, we come to an understanding of the Universe that more miraculous and meaningful than we ever imagined. This understanding is compared with other approaches that claim to provide a picture of the true nature of the Universe, including atheism and the “standard model” of the reductionist, Newtonian, dualistic Universe; monotheism and religious approaches; new age thought; and Eastern spiritual traditions. These traditions have some valuable intuitions, but ultimately fall short of a complete and consistent view of truth. The implications of this worldview, and our place and role in it, are profound. It shows that we are all connected and compels us to embrace a spirituality based on compassion and reason in order to ensure the survival of humanity.

Science for Seekers is a work in progress; for more information or a complete book proposal please contact me.

 

Chapter Summary

 

CHAPTER 1: The Seeker’s Journey

What does it mean to be a seeker? No matter the path we take, we share some characteristics: we are sensitive, open, questioning. We are feelers and believers. As we begin our journey to understand the truth of Creation, we can learn from where others have gone before us and avoid their missteps. Successfully completing our journey will entail challenging our pre-existing assumptions and taking full advantage of the tools of critical thinking and science.

CHAPTER 2: The Power of Science and Reason

Throughout human history, the idea of applying science and reason to the big questions of existence has been controversial, if not downright heretical. The scientific revolution brought us a systematic way of understanding our world, and the scientific method that was codified in the intervening centuries has incredible power. Science is unique in that it is a process, not just a dogma, and it is uniquely able to disprove claims and make useful predictions about the future.

CHAPTER 3: The Great Puppeteer

The biblically-based religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share an image of monotheistic God who is all-powerful and all-knowing, and belief in Scripture as the literal word of God. While conceptions vary as God’s specific nature and attributes, the God of Abrahamic religions is a highly dualistic concept, separated from man. While monotheism has millennia of thoughtful philosophy to contribute, it ultimately fails as a road to truth because it’s factual claims do not stand up to reasoned inquiry, and because its view of God is too narrow and concrete.

CHAPTER 4: Atheism and the Paradox of Existence

Atheism comes in a number of flavors. Some atheists merely consider themselves non-monotheists, but some have more nihilistic views about the world and their place in it. Unfortunately, most contemporary thought by atheists merely seeks to disprove monotheistic religions approaches to God, but does not seriously consider a God that fits within the Universe as understood by science. Science shows us a world which shares a lot in common with God, and is fundamentally meaningful.

CHAPTER 5: Killing the Buddha

While there are many types of Eastern spiritual traditions, many share an emphasis on the role of personal enlightenment, non-dualistic approaches to the mystery of existence, and the primacy of existing in the moment.. Many of these ideas comport well with scientific understanding about the true nature of reality. However, some of the attendant baggage – such as the hypocritical egotism of “crazy wisdom” gurus – must be discarded if we are to clearly see the truth

CHAPTER 6: A Course In Pseudo-Miracles

A cottage industry of new age spirituality has grown over the past forty years. This loosely associated assortment of ideas includes alternative medicine and nutrition, belief in parapsychological phenomena such as life after death, and other Western interpretations of Eastern beliefs. Unfortunately, they are rarely grounded in good critical thinking. We can arrive closer to the real truth about the miracle of the Universe by discarding pseudoscience.

CHAPTER 7: The Wise Universe

For generations Western philosophers have wrestled with the questions of free will and determinism. Unfortunately, such explorations have occurred solely within a dualistic worldview. By combining ideas of non-dualism from Eastern philosophy with scientific findings about the deterministic nature of the brain and the central role of the observer, we come to a radical conclusion: that humans are an essential part of the fabric of the deterministic Universe. We are the Laws of Nature made conscious./

CHAPTER 8: A New Evolution

Science and critical thinking show us a miraculous Universe in which all of us are connected. And yet it is constantly under assault from all sides, to the great detriment of our future as a species. Evolution provided us with brains that are prone to bias and superstition. But at the same time, our brains are also capable of overcoming these limitations. In the next century, a comprehensive spiritual worldview with reason at its center is essential to our survival.