Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Society for the Promotion of Cosmological Literacy (Temporary Title)

I'm looking for like-minded folks interested in forming a society for the promotion of (materialist but non-reductionist) cosmological literacy. 

I'm inspired by some of the thoughts of Loren Eiseley, Stuart Kauffman, Manuel DeLanda but I'm sure there are others you may know that I haven't yet encountered. 

We'd arrange high level talks across the Canada or even internationally on history/anthropology/economics/ecology/religion/various sciences and related themes to promote that. The aim would be to get us past the idea of human beings as nature-transcending while realizing that, strangely, so many people today still live under the "firmament".  We could also work to situate religious belief historically against a backdrop of paleontological and geological history (for lack of a better word). A better lived understanding of our relationship to nature and our impact on ecology is needed. 

I'm very uninterested in new age or creationist metaphysical theories based in the supposition of forces or entities based on a misunderstanding of complexity or quantum physics.  Equally uninterested in being part of anything that dismisses the existence of anything at all that can't be explained within the current understanding of laws-of-nature or assumes that there is only one fundamental layer of existence and that everything else is epi____. (e.g., Wilson and Weinberg). 

If interested, please reply.


  1. Amanda I'm interested.

    john verdon

  2. Hi John,
    Thanks for your interest. Some other folks have expressed interest so we're off to a good start. I'll be in touch.

  3. This is quite the initiative Amanda. Funny because just yesterday I wished I could put together a conference that would bring together different disciplines and their intersections - philosophy, psychology, sociology, political science ... Not quite the same thing as your idea but something similar. I definitely cannot commit at this time. Would love to chat about it though. Let's link up this spring when you are in To. My schedule may change come summer.

  4. Maybe a philosophical offshoot of the Centre for Scientific Inquiry? I'd suggest anyway that you approach the executive there and see if there's an interest in coordinating logistics etc.
    I'm happy to help on a limited, as-needed basis but have too many pans in the fire at the moment to commit to a more dedicated role. Will definitely attend the first event! I could be an usher! :)

    1. CFI or CIFAR? Not so into CFI as it already has an agenda that chokes me up a bit. I really don't like the debunking crusade as much as I don't like religious empiricism (for lack of a better term). CIFAR is too detailed and paradigmatically constricted to get us anywhere interesting, IMO. This would be cutting new ground.

  5. Amanda - Let me think on it...