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Essay

  • Climates Change—Get Over It!

    We live on a restless planet. We wouldn’t be here otherwise. Our lineage, Homo sapien, began its social conquest...

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  • Applied Big History: Why It Matters to Value Investors

    Based on a talk given at the Research Retreat of Canyon Partners September 10, 2014, Beverly Hills, CA “If...

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  • The Competent Outsider

    What does it mean to be a “competent outsider”? This has been a major challenge in my life. I grew...

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  • Mathematics and Game of Thrones

    Let us pick up where we left off in the last episode. The queen is dead, long live the queen! We’ll...

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  • The Queen of the Sciences

    Our medieval ancestors understood theology to be the queen of the sciences. Her twin sister Sophia—the Greek word for...

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  • The Great Matrix of Big History

    Understanding Natural Hierarchies through Big History Our European ancestors once understood the universe to be a Great Chain of...

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  • Religion und Naturwissenschaft

    Die Grundlage eines sinnvollen Engagements zwischen Religion und Naturwissenschaft Vortrag für den RSNG-Jahreskongress der Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart. 28.-30. September...

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  • Recovery Planning for Climate Catastrophes

    Join with me in a thought experiment. Imagine a major planetary cataclysm. It could be a global nuclear war,...

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  • Big History gets Bigger

    It was the first meeting of the International Big History Association, and it brought together 200 academics—university, secondary, and primary...

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  • Greece, the Global Economy, and Big History

    Watching the sunset from the cliffs of the Santorini caldera attracts tourists from all over the world, I recently...

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  • Energy Solutions from the Perspective of Big History

    Humans now consume some 18 trillion watts of energy in a variety of forms—fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas); hydropower;...

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  • Easter: A Moveable Feast

    Easter, you may have noticed, is not a fixed day in the calendar. While Christmas, in contrast, occurs reliably...

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  • Between Atheism and Fundamentalism

    In jest I call myself “a recovering Unitarian.” I was raised believing that all religions are the same, so...

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  • Engaging the New Metanarrative

    Science is progressive, and it tends toward consensus of necessity. Science discovers, illuminates, and crafts facts, and we rely...

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  • Telling Time: A Correlated Big History

    The challenge of measuring time reaches back to the origins of human consciousness. From a 28-day periodicity of the...

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  • History as Science

    History is generally considered part of the humanities, a discipline alongside literature and languages, philosophy and the arts. The...

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  • The Neurosciences of Bar Mitzvah

    Attending a recent Bar Mitzvah ceremony, I was impressed, once again, by the wisdom of this ancient tribal initiation...

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  • The New Silent Majority

    When Thanksgiving dinner conversation drifts into religious dogma, here is the way I’ll respond, with a wink and a...

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  • Christmas: A Meditation

    The Christmas story is subversive, so we try to render it safe and saccharine. Contrast the idea of God...

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  • Ha! Philosophy of Science at the Comedy Club

    Back in 1989, I fell into a doctoral program when I discovered a passion and talent for teaching. Since...

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  • Climates Change

    We need a back up plan! In the face of the cold sciences and heated debates about climate change,...

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  • Peak Humanity

    I was born in 1957. Eisenhower was president. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik. The Cold War was heating up,...

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  • Millennialism at the Singularity

    Reflections on the Metaphors, Meanings, and Limits of Exponential Logic Imagine billions of nanobots, tiny computerized machines smaller than...

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  • Reducing your Tech Overhead

    How a Small Nonprofit Made Simple Tech Tweaks and Saved $176,000 The Chronicle of Philanthropy February 20, 2011 Like...

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  • Oh Say Can You See! Fireworks as Performance Art

    For twenty-two years Peter Schjeldahl and his wife Brooke Alderson have hosted a Fourth of July picnic at their...

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  • Reinventing Science Education

    Government and business leaders are worried about STEM education. There is a growing shortage in the United States of...

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  • Avatar and the Collective Unconscious

    Channeling 21st Century Ambivalences James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) takes us to a world beyond our imagination through the use...

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  • Post-Darwinism: The New, New Synthesis

    A review of Ecological Developmental Biology: Integrating Epigenetics, Medicine, and Evolution, by Scott F. Gilbert and David Epel (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer...

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  • A.N. Whitehead’s Metaphysics

    Resources and Problems In 1927, British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead was asked to give the prestigious Gifford...

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  • Judaism in an Age of Science

    Universalism and Particularism A Review of Norbert M. Samuelson, Jewish Faith and Modern Science: On the Death and Rebirth...

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  • Astrobiology and the Human Prospect

    In the Heavens as It is on Earth: Astrobiology and the Human Prospect The collision occurred on February 10,...

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  • Our Common Story: A Big History Syllabus

    This is a teachable moment — the best of times and the worst of times. How should we understand the...

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  • Nationalism, Terrorism, and Religion

    It has been my distinct privilege and pleasure to live in Sri Lanka these last eight months serving as...

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  • Teaching the History of Nature

    Towards an Integrated Science Curriculum (1) The 20th century has seen enormous advances in science and technology. General science...

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  • Leeches on the Road to Enlightenment

    No one warned me about the leeches. I arrived at Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre early on a Saturday morning...

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  • Evolution as Revelation

    A review of Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World...

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  • Eating Well Together

    Donna Haraway’s Companion Species Manifesto It was a rainy fall day in Pennsylvania farm country. I was assisting the...

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  • Entangled Narratives

    Competing Visions of the Good Life   Our first business will be to supervise the making of fables and...

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  • Metanexus: The Challenge

    My charge tonight is to give a keynote in which I lay out what I think the major challenges...

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  • Useless Arithmetic and Inconvenient Truths

    A Review of Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future by Orrin H. Pilkey and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis,...

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  • Evolution as Revelation

    A review of Thank God for Evolution:How the marriage of science and religion will transform your life, by Michael Dowd (2007)...

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  • Review of Beinhocker The Origin of Wealth

    In Search of New Economic Metaphors for Biology  A review of Eric D. Beinhocker, The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity,...

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  • Metanexus: The Very Idea

    The juxtaposition of the concepts “science” and “religion” in our civilization is a kind of Rorschach Test for all...

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  • Science, Religion, and the Bomb

    Presented at the First International Congress on Religion and Science, Tehran, Iran, May 2006 I want to thank the...

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  • Sleepless in Tehran

    2:00 AM. I woke up suddenly from a nightmare.1 It takes a few days to get over the jetlag. It...

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  • Science, Semiotics, and the Sacred

    Seeking Spiritual Information in the Deep Structure of Reality Our principal benefactor at Metanexus Institute is John Templeton, the...

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  • Ecology, Religion, and Science

    in The Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, edited by Lindsay Jones, New York, Macmillian Reference, V. 1, 2005. The contemporary...

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  • Universal Reason

    Science, Religion, and the Foundations of Civil Societies Presented at the Institute for Wisdom and Philosophy, Tehran, Iran, May...

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  • Beyond Intelligent Design

    The English theologian William Paley wrote an influential book in 1802 entitled Natural Theology: Evidences of the Existence and Attributes...

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  • Engaged Contemplations for a Troubled World

    presented at the international symposium on Modern Science, Mysticism & East-West Dialogue Held in Lonavla, India January 2-6, 2005...

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  • Ten Reasons

    Ten Reasons for the Constructive Engagement of Science and Religion Published on Metanexus, December 2003 1) Cultural Ambivalence When we...

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  • Which Universe Do You Live In?

    The success of modern cosmology in understanding the history and structure of the universe has led to a profound...

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  • Hermeneutics in Science and Religion

    Contribution to Encyclopedia of Religion and Science, Volume 1, Edited by J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Macmillan References, 2003 Hermeneutics is the...

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  • Toward a Constructive Theology of Evolution

    Toward a Constructive Theology of Evolution This paper was originally presented at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on...

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  • And yet there is no peace

    Reflections from Jerusalem Back in 1977-1978 I spent a very formative Junior Year Abroad at the Hebrew University in...

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  • Why Science and Religion?

    Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I take a deep breath.  It takes more than...

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  • The Many Promised Land

    Panel on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict University of Pennsylvania, October 18, 2000 I am not an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian...

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  • Time Enough for Love: The Meaning of Life Extension

    How much time is enough?  One is tempted to apply John D. Rockefeller’s famous quip.  A reporter is reputed...

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  • Science as Epic of Evolution?

    Can the epic of evolution serve as a mythic story for our time? To do so requires insights of the...

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  • Powerful Pedagogy

     in the Science and Religion Classroom for the Teacher’s File: Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science,  September 1997. Abstract. This essay...

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  • Postmodernism: What One Can’t Know

    For The Teacher’s File, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, March, 1997. Abstract. This essay is an introduction to postmodernism and...

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  • The Nine Laws of God

    Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control Techno-  Utopic Program for a WIRED World This essay is based on a paper presented to the Theology...

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  • Cyborgs, Trickster, and Hermes

    Donna Haraway’s Metatheory of Science and Religion This paper was published in the June 1996 issue of Zygon: Journal...

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  • The Simplified Keyboard: QWERTY vs Dvorak

    The computer in front of you is a marvel of technological ingenuity. The keyboard at your finger tips, however,...

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  • Conflicting Ideologies and Common Security

    N.B. – I wrote this essay in October 1987, two years before the fall of Berlin Wall and the...

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