Silhouette of person pointing a flashlight up into a purple-tone night sky

The Art & Science of Searching for Meaning

DAVID BOHM ON SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY, AND CULTURE Late in his career, acclaimed physicist David Bohm (1917–1992), was a scholar in residence at the Fetzer Institute. A student of Robert Oppenheimer and a colleague of Albert Einstein, Bohm proposed that all parts of the universe are fundamentally interconnected, forming what he called “an unbroken flowing whole.” […]

Animation of a molecular structure

It’s a Small World: Visualizing How Biologists See the Molecular Universe

I think biologists feel [a] sense of awe when they think about things that are happening at the molecular scale. There’s this whole universe in here, this tiny universe, that we’re just beginning to understand … I imagine biologists walking around with these movies in their heads … Creating an animation is basically trying to […]

Pencil and pieces of eraser

To Err is Human: Science & the Art of Finding Our Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. Even scientists. It’s part of being human. That’s actually why science is so invaluable — it’s a collaborative practice that requires us to continually test, share, and reevaluate the evidence upon which we’ve based our interpretations of reality. The problem researchers have uncovered is simple: the computer programs designed to sift through […]

Thinking about emotion

What is cognition? What is emotion? How are they related? And why do we have so much trouble defining words which we, collectively as human beings and the creators of language, made up in the first place? The relationship between cognition and emotion has fascinated important thinkers within the Western intellectual tradition. Historically, emotion and […]

Theories, maps & territories: Navigating the worlds of science

To say something is a map is not to say it’s a hunch,” said Dr. Godfrey-Smith, a professor at the City University of New York and the University of Sydney. “It’s an attempt to represent some territory.” A theory, likewise, represents a territory of science. Instead of rivers, hills, and towns, the pieces of the […]

Body as Soul

Body and soul are not two different things, but only two different ways of perceiving the same thing. Similarly, physics and psychology are only different attempts to link our experiences together by way of systematic thought. — Albert Einstein REFERENCE Albert Einstein, The Human Side: New Glimpses From His Archives (1979) | Helen Dukas • […]

Definition of mindfulness | American Mindfulness Research Association

The American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA) provides a variety of resources related to the advancement of scientific research on mindfulness. AMRA’s Definition of Mindfulness The state, process, and practice of remembering to observe moment-to-moment experience with openness and without automatic patterns of previously conditioned thoughts, emotions, or behaviors. Reference American Mindfulness Research Association

Barbara J. King (NPR) | Culture, not biology, shapes language • Debating language: The role of culture And biology (Part 2)

Cognition + Culture + Communication = Language With this formula as shorthand, in his new book Language: The Cultural Tool, linguist Dan Everett argues that the variability in human cultural life explains the variability in human languages. Reference Barbara J. King (NPR) | Culture, not biology, shapes language Barbara J. King (NPR) | Debating language: […]

A tale of two apes: Elaine Morgan and the aquatic ape hypothesis

Elaine Morgan was a tenacious proponent of a theory that is not widely accepted. The aquatic ape hypothesis lays out the idea that humans evolved from primate ancestors who dwelt in watery habitats. Hear her spirited defense of the idea — and her theory on why science doesn’t take it seriously Well, this is 2009. […]

Jann Ingmire (Futurity) | Quiz scores go up when students feel physics

Students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests, according to a new study. Brain scans showed that students who took a hands-on approach to learning had activation in sensory and motor-related parts of the brain when they later thought about concepts such as angular momentum and torque. […]

Bruce Cameron | Informal Sociology: A casual introduction to sociological thinking

It would be nice if all of the data which sociologists require could be enumerated because then we could run them through IBM machines and draw charts as the economists do. However, not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.     Reference Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction […]

The philosopher believes that the value of his philosophy lies in the whole…

The philosopher believes that the value of his philosophy lies in the whole, in the building: posterity discovers it in the bricks with which he built and which are then often used again for better building: in the fact, that is to say, that that building can be destroyed and nonetheless possess value as material. […]