The threads that weave the cloth of our mentality are soulless. Our experience of the most beautiful sunset, our most fervent desires, our loftiest thoughts, and our most expansive feelings of love are storms of neural activity, nothing more. Science – and neuroscience in particular – has stripped our mental lives of a soul. But […]Read more "Love In A World Of Atoms"
I am sitting on a balcony in Haifa, Israel. Looking westward, I can see a sleepy haze obscuring the horizon where the Mediterranean meets the sky. The atmosphere here is calm – it is Saturday, a holy day. Occasionally I hear the blaring of a car horn, or the happy squeal of a child, or […]Read more "Peace and the Scientific Worldview"
We tend to think about the history of science as something that started in Ancient Greece, did fairly well in Ancient Rome, was forgotten in the world during the Middle Ages, and was then revived during the European Renaissance. What’s often neglected in this story is the vital role that medieval Muslims played in preserving and […]Read more "On the Golden Age of Islamic Science"
“‘But what will become of men, then?’ I asked him, ‘without God and immortal life? All things are lawful, then, they can do what they like?’” – Dmitri in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky There is a fear amongst the religious that the denial of divine authority makes senseless the notion of morality. But the belief that morality […]Read more "Being Moral Without God"
Humans, chimpanzees, and wolves are the only mammals that form coalitions with other members of their species to inflict deadly violence on yet other members of their species. Why do we do it? We may have evolved an instinct for war. Support for this idea comes from what anthropologist Richard Wrangham calls the Chimpanzee Violence Hypothesis. The […]Read more "Why Humans Go To War"
What will spirituality look like in 100 years? What will it look like when technology is fully woven into the fabric of our world and our biology, when our scientific understanding of the world and of ourselves will have progressed far beyond what we can imagine? What will the temples of such a world look like? Or its […]Read more "The Future of Spirituality"
Scientists don’t yet know how life emerged on Earth. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection explains how life evolved once it emerged, but it does not explain how life emerged in the first place. But science presses on. One of the main challenges in figuring out how life emerged from chemistry is defining what life is. […]Read more "Information and the Emergence of Life"