Psychedelics for Mind, Body, and…Spirit?

Gary Laderman But it is in this more ambiguous, liminal conceptual space, between medicine and recreation, body and spirit, religion and science, that altered states of consciousness and mind altering substances do their best work.

An Interview with Frans de Waal Part 3: Science & Religion

This is part 3 of our series of interviews with Frans de Waal. Check out part 1 and part 2 of our interview series. Frans de Waal is an eminent primatologist renowned not only for his many publications in scientific journals, but also for several widely read books, including Chimpanzee Politics and, more recently, The Bonobo and the Atheist. In the latter work, Professor de Waal explores how non-human primates, even in the absence of anything we might call “religion,” have a profound capacity for empathy and social cohesion in a way that may serve as a basis for morality in the case of humans. Speaking […]

Debatable Origins

By Gary Laderman The presence and awareness of religion in the United States is overwhelming. We see so many different forms and variations; it plays a role in so many areas of social life. Religion is, indeed, an inescapable fact of our lives even though we can’t agree on what the hell it is; but it is not likely to disappear in the near or long-term future, and will certainly remain a constant force to be reckoned with as a critical factor in shaping future events. For obvious reasons, many in the media, universities, political think tanks, corporate worlds, polling […]

The Limits of Science and the Dangers of Scientism: An Interview with Curtis White

“Revolutionary tools will reveal how thought and emotion arise,” proclaims a recent cover of Scientific American, trumpeting the current Century of the Brain. Wrong, says Curtis White in his recent book The Science Delusion—a clear and sharp response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. What is true? In my interview here with White, we explore this question, the limits of science and the dangers of scientism. Researchers in the biotechnology company Amgen recently revealed that they were unable to replicate the results of 90 percent of the most-cited studies in cancer research.  What are the implications of such revelations (which are not that rare)?  What do they mean for science, society, […]