Fri, 27 August 2010
Ursula Goodenough is Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her technical publications, she is the author of the acclaimed book in the genre of religious naturalism: The Sacred Depths of Nature. In this conversation, Ursula shares how a purely naturalistic worldview offers emotional and spiritual benefits generally associated with the religious. She also expounds on several key concepts she uses to meaningfully interpret mainstream sciences in soul-satisfying, yet technically rigorous ways: awareness, emergence, assent, and her personal "credo of continuation." At Washington University she was a founder of the interdisciplinary course, "Epic of Evolution." The podcast hosts focus a portion of the discussion on the paper she coauthored with neuroscientist Terrence Deacon, "The Sacred Depths of Emergence." We also highly recommend her 2005 talk at the Skeptics Society: Video: "Brain, Mind, and Consciousness".