The conflict between science and religion is not irremediable: the world concept of science is changing, and the change brings about a rapprochement with religious beliefs in some fundamental areas. One such area is the question of original creation. Recent findings regarding the nature of the universe show the improbability of its having arisen in the course of a random process. The perennial religious intuition of a transcendental act of creation is a logical entailment of the randomly entirely improbable fine (...) tuning of the natural laws and processes that the observed universe manifests. (shrink)
The rift between science and religion needs to be assessed not merely on pragmatic grounds, on the basis of the effect of scientific versus religious beliefs on people's behavior, as John Caiazza's essay does, but also and above all in regard to the cogency of the respective beliefs in reference to what we can reasonably assume is the true face of reality. About such truth value, the conflict is not irremediable; there are elements of belief regarding the nature of reality (...) that are strikingly similar regardless of whether one arrived at them on the basis of faith in revealed knowledge or on the basis of knowledge acquired by reasoning from or in reference to experience. Two such items are selected here by way of example: belief that in certain states of mind and consciousness individuals can experience union with something larger or deeper than themselves, and belief that the universe we inhabit is the result of an original creative act. (shrink)
There is a branch of modern medicine that relies on information rather than on biochemical substances to maintain health and cure disease. Known as information medicine, it offers an important complement to the dominant biochemical approach of mainstream medicine. This note offers a few reflections on the potentials of information medicine in reference to what is currently known regarding the role of information in the universe, and in the living organism.
Evolution in the sense of the new paradigm embraces not only the emergence of biological species but also development in the cosmos and in history. It means ?grand synthesis,? or general theory of evolution. Its roots lie in the search for meaning that inspired systematic thought since its inception: its historical antecedents go back to the Ionian natural philosophers. Today the evolutionary paradigm frames invariant scientific concepts that appear in specific transformations in the physical, the biological, and the human and (...) social disciplines. The new general laws of evolution exhibit overarching orders that encompass nature as well as humanity and respond to a perennial search for unity and meaning in experience. (shrink)
As we enter the 21st century and the new millennium, our collective evolution reaches a critical threshold. We cannot go on as we did before: our world has become unsustainable. Sooner or later many local ecosystems would collapse, the climate would change adversely for agriculture and habitation, species incompatible with a large and dense human population would profilerate, and resources critical for human health and survival would become scarce, or at least beyond the reach of a critical segment of humanity. (...) We need to shift gears, moving from the kind of evolution that characterized our scientific-technological civilization, to the kind that is compatible with the human condition as it evolves on this planet. This shift requires a corresponding shift in our concept of the world. The dominant mechanistic and atomistic paradigm no longer serves us: it is not only factually incorrect in view of the latest discoveries of the sciences, it also inspires dangerously misguided behaviors. We need to find a deeper and better view of the human condition. We must no longer just see the trees: we must also see the forest. That is, we must learn to see the planetary socio-ecosystem with all its subsystems, diversities, and also its actual and potential unities. What we need is a holistic view, a view of the human being as part of her or his community, which is part of its local environment, which is part of its society and culture, which is part of the system of cultures and societies in the human family-which is part of the global environment: of the biosphere. (shrink)
The relative importance and functional weight of local self-reliance and sustainability versus global connection and coordination is one of the most immediate and urgent problems of our time. In recent years globalization has been all the rage. It was synonymous with success and achievement. If you went global, you did something good and you were sure also to do well. Now some unintended but increasingly vexing side-effects of the globalization-trend have come to light. The opposite of globalization crops up with (...) increasing frequency: the importance of local self-reliance. This raises the question regarding an optimal ?glocal? strategy. This strategy is addressed here in the context of the theory of complex systems. (shrink)
This article represents a concerted Laszlo effort. What you will find here is a collection of autobiographical reflections written by Ervin Laszlo that speaks to his involvement with the field of systems thinking and his impact on it, interspersed with comments and illustrative examples on points of special interest. As such, this essay should be read as a reflection piece?one in which a new generation of Laszlos muse on the power and inspiration of the vision that has served as a (...) platform not only for them but for many others in the systems community as well. To understand Ervin Laszlo and his contributions to the systems view of the world, one must place him in context?both ontologically and epistemologically. This narrative will do both, first presenting a chronological overview of his personal history up to the present and subsequently exploring the world of ideas and ideals that he traversed (and continues to traverse with unrelenting momentum). However, this narrative will inevitably be nonlinear, and bits and pieces of his adventure in thought are woven into his chronological development and vice-versa. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers tend to examine basic philosophical issues as though scientific evidence were irrelevant to these issues. they rely on everyday information and on the language in which such information is stated. the wisdom of such procedure is questionable, especially in the light that scientists are taking on themselves to consider substantive philosophical issues. since they are not trained to handle philosophical issues, and most philosophers disregard scientific findings, we now get either well-founded but naive, or poorly founded but expert, (...) philosophies. the rift between the sciences and the humanities is with us, and it behooves contemporary philosophers to overcome it in their field and analyze empirically founded information rather than merely each others' pronouncements or the language of everyday discourse. (shrink)
The need for a holistic alliance is outlined to link new and progressive currents in science and art to face the common challenges that confront mankind at the turn of the century. Effort must be made to motivate scientists and artists to cultivate their social consciousness and create flexible teaching?learning?researching institutions where specialists can integrate emerging insights into usable foresights and communicate them to people in all fields of activity.
The growth of the modern corporation from local and nationally centered origins to the multinational and then the global level is traced on the one hand to global flows of matter, energy, and information, and on the other to the geographic and political constraints exercised by nation-states. The emergence of the global corporation follows basic laws of evolution applicable to all complex systems, whether in nature or in society. Thus the global corporation is a new but not an anomalous phenomenon (...) on the stage of history. (shrink)