History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Liberal arts and scientism

November 29th, 2014 · No Comments

The debate over college education is in many ways about eliminating liberal arts and making educational study purely functional/commercial tracks based completely on science. We should note that many sciences, like anthropology, are really in both spectra: science and liberal arts. The reality here is that the majority of scientists who overspecialize exhibit a loss of intelligence and I suspect this is one of the reasons scientists can’t examine science itself critically. It is one factor in the nullity of the new atheism/neuroscience debate at its most sophmoric: Curtis White in The Science Delusion gives a lot of examples.

I can suggest a different solution: much liberal arts training is very lopsided or confined to a set of ‘rituals’ that don’t fully engage the core of the humanities. One takes a series of courses on literature in a vacuum of a larger perspective, and the result is a strangely specialized form of narrow vision all over again.

A solution to this in the context of my own work is to create a unified field of study that crosses the boundaries of many fields, including science. Consider the material in WHEE: if this were made the foundation of a study course the result will be the immediate cross-disciplinary study of massively complex subjects in multiples: from the dawn of civilization to the present, all the events, histories, literatures, thereof, and in general a form of superhumanist perspective on the universality of knowledge in the context of human evolution and world history. The kind of narrow specialization of science would be a dead letter.
Consider an example: the section in WHEE that explores the modern transitions: Reformation to Revolution gives a short list of the topics relevant to the modern era, and this simplified list by itself would expand knowledge by an order of magnitude.Thus the key to a future liberal arts, given,first and foremost, a system of free higher education, is to study complex chords of knowledge, not just subject areas.
We should note in passing that this particular example would show almost at once where the contraction of scientism comes from.

Review of Curtis book

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