Prometheus Unbound: Mary Shelley’s Admonishment About Scientism

By |2019-12-12T13:45:08-06:00December 12th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Literature, Modernity, Science, Technology|

In the Promethean Allegory, Prometheus is both hero and villain. In one ilk, he molded humanity out of clay to aid the titans in their struggle against the gods. But Prometheus’ revolution against the divine order cost him dearly. In a similar vein, is science more and more the quest to advance human knowledge, [...]

HAL Unplugged: Fear, Terror, and Salvation in Science Fiction

By |2019-11-21T15:21:51-06:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Film, Modernity, Paul Krause, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology|

Deep in the wellspring of science fiction is the ongoing struggle between mechanical monsters and holistic heroes. From bleak and dour tales of extermination and human destruction, to optimistic but nevertheless struggling and pathological battles to save life, science fiction has been battling with our modern monsters from the id boiling up inside of [...]

Visions of a Botanist: Explorations & Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest

By |2019-09-30T15:15:09-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College, Western Civilization|

In Wade Davis’ “One River,” every issue that a sound-minded person most cares about is joined under a novel aspect: sanity and the way to illumination, visibility and the manifestations of the divine realm, physicality and the gateway to transcendence. One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis (New [...]

Understanding Imagination

By |2019-09-18T21:54:46-05:00September 18th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College|

There is in our world a strong strain of relentless reductionism and blind rationalism whose inevitable complements are mechanical creativity-mongering and thoughtless image-proliferation. One antidote would be a revivified attention to the reason of images. Understanding Imagination, by Dennis L. Sepper (546 pages, Springer, 2013) When Professor Rosemann invited me to this colloquium—small in [...]

Quantum Physics and Mind

By |2019-08-29T11:04:07-05:00August 28th, 2019|Categories: Culture, George Stanciu, Science, Senior Contributors|

In 1989, the double-slit experiment revolutionized understanding of matter: The universe is not deterministic as promulgated by the worldview of Newtonian physics. Surprisingly, the meaning of quantum physics, a most arcane subject, remote from human experience, in light of these discoveries, raises the most profound question a person can ask—“Who am I?” In January [...]

Charles Darwin’s Two Faulty Metaphors

By |2019-08-04T21:59:11-05:00August 4th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Darwin, George Stanciu, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors|

Charles Darwin’s notion of the survival of the fittest remains a sacred idea in science—no indeed, in modern Western culture. The imagined war of every organism against every other represents a profound enculturation of science, prejudicing theories and obscuring the facts. The evidence, however, clearly shows that nature is not competitive but cooperative. “Charles [...]

Mental Imagery

By |2019-07-29T10:53:04-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, Immanuel Kant, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Science, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

As Immanuel Kant says, the imagination is “a hidden art in the depth of the human soul.” It is a faculty which presupposes that somehow or other two worlds of objects are present to us, one of which seems to us to be outside, the other inside ourselves. The imagination is a puzzle not [...]

Does the “i” in iPhone Stand for “Idol”?

By |2019-07-11T19:00:40-05:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Apple, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology|

Instead of carved statues of Adonis or Venus, we have created for each person his own hand-held idol, designed with amazing ingenuity and carved with utmost skill from precious materials. Each one of us has a little god who offers us the world in the palm of our hand. While I was reading from [...]

Are We Apart From or A Part of Nature?

By |2019-08-19T08:16:37-05:00July 1st, 2019|Categories: George Stanciu, Intelligence, Language, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors|

Our capacity to grasp universals and natural laws sets us apart from the other animals, and, in that sense, we are apart from nature. Human beings in some mysterious way transcend space and time; through science, philosophy, and art, we rise above nature. We live in time, yet touch the timeless. Several years ago, [...]

Self-Denial in an Age of Distraction

By |2019-06-07T21:16:36-05:00June 7th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Modernity, Science, Technology|

We wonder whether smartphones have somehow fundamentally altered our human nature, but ask why we were so vulnerable to addiction when they arrived on the scene. Technology amplifies, but does not alter, who we are. We are creatures with a deep and abiding desire to avoid the real. We seek to escape awareness of [...]