The Other I

April 29, 2010

Coming home

I have been reflecting in recent weeks on the path I have taken from my childhood belief in heaven and hell to where I am now.

By the time I was a teenager, I had outgrown the holy card version of heaven in which I knelt on a lower cloud surrounded by angels and saints in adoration of the King of kings.  I understood by then that heaven had to be a more sophisticated place than the one I was capable of understanding at the age of five.

By the time I was in my late twenties and early thirties, I’d given up most of the dogmas intrinsic to Roman Catholic doctrine.   I had consigned anthropomorphic concepts of god to the same category of childhood as my first heaven.  God, it seemed to me, was immanent in this world, and we were in part responsible for what the world became.  Our destiny, and the destiny of everything we touched was not inviolable, controlled exclusively by some divine plan that we were charged with somehow discovering and executing on pain of eternal damnation.  We were more responsible for what happened than that.

During those years, my view of life after death rested on the hope, which I sometimes thought of as an intuition, that in some way life did not end with death.   My reasons for taking this position, vague and undefined as it necessarily was, depended on two things.  One was the sheer flatness of accepting that there is nothing more than a recycling of molecules in a random process of birth, life and death and round again.

I rejected – and still reject – this expectation.  My sense – increased rather than decreased by my studies of science – is that there is a directed dynamic in the universe.  It is, at this point in time, beyond our complete understanding, and perhaps the process is and will be forever.  It seems to me to be a profound mystery, but not one which is therefore “above nature.”

But where do we fit into this process?  Are we no more than a packet of passive molecules put together for a short while to operate as humans and then return to dust?

I think not.  I have somehow never been able to accept the dust-to-dust hypothesis in its dreary completeness.   The reason I have long reasoned that life simply does not completely evaporate with death into molecular inertness is what in philosophy and psychology is often called “the mind-body problem.”

Put simply, the unanswered question posed by the mind-body problem is how something material – like the apparently electro-mechanical processes of the chemistry that control the brain – give rise to a completely immaterial experience like consciousness.  In recent times, neuroscientists have made great strides in identifying relationships between various psychological states and processes and corresponding brain activity.

While on the one hand this increasingly convinces me that the nature of our intelligence and our consciousness cannot be separated from the physical selves we and all living things are, on the other, we still haven’t the faintest scientific idea how the brain produces something as ephemeral, as non-physical, as thought.  Neuroscientific research simply ignores the existence of this question.

So for many years I have simply lived with the view that since consciousness does exist, there seemed to me two possibilities.  One is that consciousness – or mind – is a separate entity from body.  This possibility is vaguely related for me to believing in a soul or a spiritual world.  I have long suspected that it is a semi-secularized version of the Christian supernatural world elaborated from Plato’s world of perfect forms.  That does not necessarily make it invalid.  It is possible that these ideas which at such a young age influenced the very structures, the foundations of my world, were not wrong.  But I have not been convinced.

Increasingly I have favoured a second alternative.  That is that both mind and body are natural realities but that we do not yet understand how they are aspects of the same thing.  We did not understand until Einstein how matter and energy are aspects of the same thing, and simply lived with an unresolved dualism and the scientific and philosophical questions that dualism generated.  It seemed to me that someday scientists and philosophers would also come to understand how mind and body were two aspects of the same thing.  Not by reducing mind to a mere excitation of molecules, but by somehow preserving the nature of mind as I actually experienced it.  Not as something blindly mechanical over which my sense of control was an illusion, but as the dynamic drive which it seemed to me to be.

How this might possibly be conceived I had no idea, and thought it unlikely that I would have even a glimmer in my lifetime of how this might be possible.

But I have increasingly over the years begun to feel that this natural world is the only world.  I have increasingly edged toward making it my home.  This is not only where I am, but where I am always going to be.  When I die, I am not going to be – I do not want to be –  swept into a supernatural world where somehow I’m supposed to really belong.

No, I belong here.  In some form or other, my being will be here for eternity.

This universe no longer seems to me to be the flat reductionist place I used to think.  The mysteries suggested by science are more jaw-dropping, more incredible, more exhilarating, more challenging, than any religious vision I have ever imagined.  Whether it is imbued with a sense of what some call “the sacred,” I don’t know.  Any word that reminds me of the world “God” and its anthropomorphic distortions makes me very nervous.  But I do not see why, even as a hard-headed scientists, words describing the universe as potentially infinite, as eternal, as dynamic, even as profound, are not appropriate.

And now I even have a glimmer of idea of how the mind-problem might be resolved.  Not by positing a supernatural world, but with a different understanding about the nature of the very energy/matter out of which the universe is made.

But more on that in another post.  Even these thoughts, such as they are,  probably need further clarification and I will review and quite possibly re-write this post tomorrow.

For now, it’s not sufficient that I’ve come home.  I need more mundanely to go to bed.


  1. Thanks again.

    I think I understand the idea of mind and body both being natural realities and possibly aspects of the same thing. And am I right in thinking that by excluding the possibility that mind might be a ‘mere excitation of molecules’ you are saying that mind is not ‘reducible’ to matter, if matter is not similarly ‘reducible’ to mind?

    But this picture makes me speculate about the state of the universe before there was any sentient being. Does this mean there could never be a state of the universe before there was any sentient being? Or that ‘mind’ somehow existed before there were sentient beings?

    This is the sort of thing that I get stuck on.

    Thanks, Chris.


    Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 2, 2010 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

    • Well, Chris, as usual you are not going to let me get away with anything wishy-washy. Which is a challenge for someone whose philosophical skills consists of about 10% solid background, 50% intuition, and 40% listening to what others with better credentials than mine have said about the mind-body problem since I last seriously visited it in graduate school.

      First of all, I do not think that mind is “a mere excitation of molecules.” But part of the problem lies with the word “mere.” Now let me see if I can explain this without making it sound like some distorted form of spiritualism. First of all, we have already talked briefly in a discussion on your blog (I’ll link it here eventually, but probably won’t have time to find it today) about reductionism. There is a profound controversy in the philosophy of science about whether things can be fully explained simply as a sum of their parts. I am emphatically against this position. Of course analyzing the parts out of which something is made is hugely valuable, but it is not enough. How they are organized also makes a profound difference. Even a line of simple dots is not the same thing as a circle of those dots. When we get to something as complex as a human being, the difference between the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen lined up on a laboratory shelf and organized in a person are profoundly different. I think we agree about that, though I suspect I think it is far more central to understanding the universe than you might.

      The second point is a perspective that is relatively new to me, and that is in relation to our conception of matter. It was only with the scientific revolution that our concept of matter turned it into a wholly inert, passive thing and the universe became totally mechanized, as it were. I hadn’t really quite understood the philosophical changes that made this possible, nor the problems that Newton himself had with fitting his theory of gravity into this mechanization. But in discarding Plato’s supernatural world, science left itself with no intrinsic dynamic.

      Except we now have energy, which since Einstein, we now understand is a form of matter. So matter is not a totally passive, inert substance. It is dynamic. It is, I think, this intrinsic energy which is the source of life and of mind (which may be the same thing.) In fact, “life” in this sense might be a characteristic of all matter. “Life” might not have emerged in a single cell at some point. That may simply be the form of life in which matter had evolved by then, and which looks to us to be something completely different from what came before.

      I’ve taken a lot of my ideas from Tony Equale, his book An Unknown God, reading the draft of his next book coming out shortly and his blog, particularly his postings on Materialism 1 & 2. However, I’m not as comfortable as he is with the word “sacred,” or with panentheism even pantheism. However much one separates the definitions of god from the anthropomorphic abominations of so much of modern religious thought, I keep coming back to asking why I need to add anything more to the universe at all. But I do find a great deal of potential in the ontology he suggests in which “mind” does not either have to be reduced to something less than my experience of thought suggests it to be, or alternatively, seen as something alien to this natural world.

      It seems to me that it is the universe itself which is dynamic and gives rise to “mind,” and to our experiences of even the most profound realities. It seems sufficient to say that it is the universe (or universes, perhaps as suggested by string theory) which is infinite, even which supersedes time and space as we know it Quantum mechanics suggests just that already.

      I will stop here, partly because I inch forward only slowly in relation to some of these ideas. But on a more practical level, I need to get our source of energy organized for our evening meal.

      But I hope I have been coherent enough to at least suggest where I am coming from. I look forward, as always, to your next contribution. And as always, thank you.


      Comment by theotheri — May 2, 2010 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

      • Thanks for the comprehensive response!

        And thanks for the link to Tony Equale’s two posts on Materialism, which I’ve just read.

        I agree with much of this, but perhaps not with the key assertion. It still seems to me that something is being assumed without sufficient justification. As if there’s a residual nostalgia for a spiritual component or perspective which used to take on a totally different shape & meaning.

        I’m aware that my understanding of relativity & theoretical physics is so limited as to be practically non-existent. So there could be some eg mathematical truth about fundamental particles which I haven’t taken on board & which changes everything.

        But even if there is some sense or perspective in which, ultimately, matter = energy = information, I do not see how one can extend this equation to include either life or mind or both. In some places Tony Equale seemed to be saying that information does not imply mind (which I would agree with), but if not I cannot see how mind can be sneaked in as something immanent in the universe, which he also seems to be saying.

        To talk of a ‘potential (potentia = power) that has found a way to extrude out of itself every last structure and organism in the universe, including the famous human mind’ can mean one of (at least) two very different things.

        It could mean the potential in the ultimate matter/energy building blocks is the potential to generate everything which happens to have arisen. So all the planets, all the colours of every rock, every distance between every pair of objects, every chemical process, every evolved organism are ‘potentially’ there in the primal building blocks – but only by definition, because they happened. At this level there is nothing special about life or mind as a result of whatever happened since the beginning of the universe. The 1000th volcano on Mars is just as ‘special’ as the consciousness of Mahatma Ghandi. The development of life and mind was no more inevitable or necessary than was the eruption of that 1000th volcano. Everything that happened was inevitable and necessary because it happened.

        Or we are saying that life and mind were both inevitable and necessary because they were somehow contained within that primal matter/energy as necessary perspectives of it.

        The first option seems to be saying that matter = energy = information = volcano 1 = volcano 2 = volcano 1000 = all the volcanoes from volcano 1 to volcano 5 = all the volcanoes from volcano 3 to volcano 1003 = the blackbird in my garden = Mahatma Ghandi = … ad infinitum. There might be a sense in which this is ‘true’, but if so it seems trivially true.

        The second option is more interesting, & it’s something like: matter = energy = information = life = mind. But I cannot see the justification for this, other than the fact that we are living and we have minds. What if we hadn’t evolved? What if no life had evolved? We cannot say life and mind had to have happened just because we are both.

        Thanks again!



        Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 3, 2010 @ 8:37 am | Reply

        • Chris – As I started to respond to your stimulating comment, I found myself tripping up between commenting on your thoughts, elaborating my own, and distinguishing between what I think Tony is saying, and what I think you think he is saying. My thoughts began to make quantum mechanics look simple.

          And so I have what is in part quite a self-serving suggestion: post the essence of your comment above on Tony’s blog as well. I myself would be most interested in his response, and as I think is evident, he is far more capable of elucidating his own thought than I am.

          And it will simplify my own response your comment because I can limit myself to my own questions, predispositions, prejudices, and alternative ravings. About which more in a day or two. But in terms of matter, energy, and information, you might be interested in the following book review in The Economist if you haven’t seen it already:

          Personally, making information instead of atoms or energy the basic building block of the universe is a challenging concept. I was rather proud of the fact that I could at least understand how matter and energy were different states of the same thing and more of less (probably with a greater emphasis on less) understood Einstein’s equation E=mc2. I may not tackle Vedral’s book as my next bedtime reading at this point. I need more of a handle on the basic concept which right now just about totally eludes me.

          But philosophically, if one begins with information rather than energy as a starting point, it seems to me the ramifications are enormous. Some people I suppose would see it as a plug for God, though that is not the conclusion I would draw myself.

          I hope this is not nearing the end of our exchanges. Your comments inevitably leave me with more to say, not less. But the more must wait until tomorrow.

          Thank you.


          Comment by theotheri — May 3, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

  2. Good thinking – Comment by theotheri — May 3, 2010 @ 9:42 pm).

    That’s what I’ll do!

    Thanks again, Chris.


    Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 4, 2010 @ 9:55 am | Reply

    • Okay, Christ, I’ll stop worrying about trying to address several issues you raised in relation to Tony’s posts specifically, and address those that reflect my own current hypotheses. I’m going at it a little backwards this time in an attempt to explain (possibly even to myself) what I’m getting at. First, I am allergic to any explanations utilizing forces emanating from a supernatural world. That has always seemed a pretty straight forward position to me, but it’s been suggested to me that defining the “natural world” isn’t all that easy. You say your understanding of theoretical physics is pretty limited, and so is mine, but it is informed enough to know that space and time and the ordinary dimensions which seem so self-evident have been completely turned upside down by modern theories. “Infinite” and “forever” are now acceptable scientific terms. Particles seem to be move in and out of existence, and able to influence each other over vast spaces in ways we cannot identify. I have been introduced to scientific ideas that are as profound, as incredible, as seemingly unbelievable and contradictory, as anything that any theology has ever suggested existed in some other world.

      As a result, I am far more able to live with incompatible ideas at the same time than I ever was in my “logical youth.” I simply say that at this point I don’t know how they can both be true, but they seem to be. Rather like both the Standard theory of the universe and quantum mechanics. Logically they both seem right, but they contradict each other.

      The second thing is that, however difficult (impossible even) it may be to explain, I am not willing to dismiss the reality of my consciousness as I experience it (and according to all reports, almost every other human being does too). If I take the position that consciousness isn’t substantive in itself, that it’s an epiphenomenon like a shadow that is fundamentally something else, then I have to dismiss the very means by which I reach this conclusion. It is obvious that my mind/thought/consciousness is dependent on the electro-chemical operations of my brain. But the brain seems to me to be a necessary but not sufficient explanation. Because although thought (etc) has physiological correlates, it is unclear how these correlates give rise to what appears to be non-physical experience. We have gotten much better, using brain scans, etc., at guessing what a person is thinking. But nobody has laid a finger on actually being able to directly create or experience another person’s thought.

      I am not resorting to a spiritual soul as an explanation. But I do look at energy, that dynamic and intrinsic characteristic of matter which seems in some ways to resemble the apparently ephemeral nature of mind.

      And so, yes, I do ask: is mind not the late evolutionary development I always thought it was? is it possible that the dynamic that manifests itself in sentient life, in thought, in intelligence, is intrinsic from the very beginning in matter itself?

      That suggests that evolution has a directionality, which does not seem to me to be wildly out of kilter with what we know has happened since the Big Bang. The universe has moved toward greater levels of organization. Evolution does not seem to slip backward as often as it moves forward, which one would expect with a completely random development.

      About 16 years ago, my sister died. It was a traumatic loss. But as I was on the plane to return to the States for her funeral, I suddenly was overwhelmed with the conviction that the universe is unfolding as it must. I make no attempt to present this conviction as something which I reached as a result of reasoned thought or examination of the evidence. In fact, it is an idea that before then I would have rejected with the same revulsion that I still reject what I experience of semi-spiritual gobble-de-gook, and it would surprise me if you do not evaluate it now in that light.

      But I think there is an intrinsic directionality in the universe. It is not imposed by some supernatural order, but arises out of the very nature of things. I am part of it, I have a role to play in it. How “free” I am, I don’t really know. I experience myself as having choices, and judge my actions as if I were able to chose to lie or tell the truth, to take or give, etc. Insofar as that is incompatible with my conviction that the universe is unfolding as it must, I live with these two ideas and accept them as unresolved with each other without giving up either.

      Okay, you may be relieved to see that I have reached the limits of my ingenuity for today. But I do have a question for you. What do you do with mind/thought/consciousness? I thought I knew, but now I’m not so sure.

      Again, mega- thank you. I look forward to your comments – wherever and on whose ever blog they appear.


      Comment by theotheri — May 4, 2010 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

      • You see I think that second word of yours gives you away. (Joke.)

        I think I understand the position you adopt, but I don’t think I share it.

        As I put at the end of my recent comment on Tony Equale’s blog (hasn’t come through yet):

        “But I cannot see any justification for the assertion that matter = energy = information = life = mind (particularly the ‘= life = mind’ bit), other than the fact that we are living and we have minds. What if we hadn’t evolved? What if no life had evolved? I do not think we are justified to say that life and mind had to have happened just because we are both of those things.”

        So in answer to your question ‘What do I do with mind/thought/consciousness?’: I honestly do not think we have any grounds for thinking it’s a necessary or directed manifestation of what the universe is. Of course it might be. I’m not saying I think it isn’t, because I don’t think we have any conclusive grounds for thinking it isn’t. But I have a nagging feeling it could turn out to be just another vestige of a few thousand years of religious metaphysics…

        Thanks again, Chris.


        Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 4, 2010 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

        • Oh my! Christ yet! I guess I rely too heavily on spell checker and not enough on old-fashioned proofreading.

          But seriously: I strongly suspect that we disagree, but I’m not sure we’ve identified the issues just yet. First of all, when I asked what you do with mind/thought/consciousness, what I meant was how do you deal with the mind-body problem?

          And I’m not sure whether you think I think “mind” is somehow sneaking in the back door as a First Cause. I know this is a central idea in both Judeo-Christian theology and in some Eastern teachings (“In the beginning was the Word,” etc.) That is not what I’m saying (I hadn’t thought that is what Tony is saying either but I’m quite capable of misunderstanding him). I’m saying that mind is a natural outcome of the evolutionary process. I’m also saying that I strongly suspect that neither mind nor life is a revolutionary step unconnected to all the processes which preceded its development. Yes, it’s another level, another manifestation than a rock or the ocean. But I think science is going to come to explain life in a different context than it does now.

          Where we might disagree fundamentally is on this question of reductionism, which is why I asked (or meant to ask) how you deal with the mind-body question. Are you satisfied with describing consciousness as no more than the excitation of molecules? If so, how do you explain the apparent difference in what we experience and the same excitation in a non-living condition?

          I’m not sure I would say matter = energy = information = life = mind. I would say the Big Bang seems to have contained the potential, the possibility of life/information/mind. Though as I pointed out in my last comment, theoretical physics seems to be playing with this idea that the basic building block of the universe is information. At this point, this idea is as opaque to me as quantum mechanics was twenty years ago. I might just have to buy Vedral’s book and struggle mightily with an attempt to find out.

          We might also disagree on the idea I mentioned in the last comment and which admittedly is on much shakier ground. That is the question of random chance as the propelling force for change in the universe. I think there is an equal possibility that it is not random chance so much as our inability yet to see meaningful patterns. As I see it, there is just enough evidence to make either position tenable but not absolutely convincing. I have thought about the possibility that it is my religious background that tilts me in favour of some intrinsic directionality. That neither makes it right or wrong, but could be why it’s the side toward which I lean.

          Thank you, Chris. I find your comments wonderfully challenging.


          Comment by theotheri — May 4, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

      • I think I was effectively responding to the mind-body question. And it may be a measure of the (real? apparent?) difference between our positions that I saw it as one question not two.

        Your question: Are you satisfied with describing consciousness as no more than the excitation of molecules? If so, how do you explain the apparent difference in what we experience and the same excitation in a non-living condition?

        I do not know how we get from the excitation of molecules (or any other physical phenomenon) to consciousness as we experience it. So no, I’m not satisfied with that description because it is as yet a fairly empty description. But I see no reason for assuming that consciousness has to have a completely different kind of explanation.

        Your own words: I’m saying that mind is a natural outcome of the evolutionary process. I’m also saying that I strongly suspect that neither mind nor life is a revolutionary step unconnected to all the processes which preceded its development.

        I would agree with that. I would also agree that life and mind represent new and different ‘levels’ – insofar as we can specify criteria for why something qualifies as one level rather than another – which I think we can. But that doesn’t mean those ‘levels’ are anything more than convenient categories which we apply to make sense of our world.

        You mention that it could be your ‘religious background that tilts you in favour of some intrinsic directionality’. By a similar token it could my early exposure to biology that tilts me away from any suggestion that humans have any ‘special’ relationship to the cosmos – I mean more ‘special’ than any other living thing. Yes we have features which other organisms do not share. But the same could also be said of other organisms.

        This doesn’t mean there’s nothing mind-blowing about mind. Of course there is. But I don’t think we are justified in thinking that the cosmos had or has a direction to it which was to do with the manifestation of mind, just because we are (among) the ones possessing mind and consciousness. If it did, then the same could be said of the profusion of algae and plankton in the sea, the intricacy of a termite’s nest, or the snapping of a Venus fly-trap.

        If ‘reductionism’ is inappropriate in the case of (our) mind, then we should probably declare it as inappropriate in all these other cases – even if we think we’re close to a physico-chemical explanation of (say) how the Venus fly-trap earns its living.

        Does this make sense?

        Thanks again, Chris.


        Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 5, 2010 @ 8:32 am | Reply

        • Chris – This may surprise you, but I’m not so sure that we are quite as far apart on fundamentals as I thought. We might be saying the same thing more often than we’ve realized.

          First of all, neither of us is satisfied with defining mind as no more than an excitation of molecules. I also see no reason for assuming that consciousness has a completely different kind of explanation for its emergence than algae or the Venus fly-trap. That has been what I have been trying to say (well, one of the things I’ve been trying to say anyway).

          But yes, I do think “reductionism” is as inappropriate in the case of algae and elephants and fly-traps as it is for the human mind. As I said earlier, describing any of these merely in terms of their components is incomplete. And that is what I think is meant by reductionism. At least it is what it has always meant to the philosophers whom I read on the subject a good number of years ago. It does not mean explaining things as physical/electro-chemical/biological systems. But once you’ve add that word “system” you are no longer in reductionist territory. It’s not strictly-speaking “reductionism” is you have to explain why molecules arranged in one way is an algae and in another way is a clam.

          My sense is that when you disagree with my rejection of reductionism, you think I am trying to add some higher, (maybe semi-spiritual?) dynamic. I am not. I am trying to build some kind of framework in which mind has evolved as part of the same natural processes in which everything else has evolved. So I wonder what I have communicated to which you have responded by saying “But I see no reason for assuming that consciousness has to have a completely different kind of explanation.” Neither do I.

          But perhaps there is a looser usage of the term, in which reductionism simply means not having recourse to any explanations which are beyond the natural order. Perhaps in that sense, reductionism would permit a distinction between chemistry and biology, for instance, in a way that strict reductionism historically has not. If that is the sense in which you use reductionism, then I can see no differences in our position on this at all.

          The question of directionality in evolution will have to wait its turn. Unlike my view on reductionism, directionality for me it is a hunch, not a conviction.

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. As usual, I eagerly look forward to your further views.

          Now I must proof read this as carefully as I can before sending it, lest I elevate you, once again, out of the natural order.


          Comment by theotheri — May 5, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

      • By the way, in my Comment [May 5, 2010 @ 8:32 am], I think this is why I said: But I see no reason for assuming that consciousness has to have a completely different kind of explanation.

        It was because of your question: Are you satisfied with describing consciousness as no more than the excitation of molecules? If so, how do you explain the apparent difference in what we experience and the same excitation in a non-living condition?

        I wasn’t implying you yourself were assuming that consciousness has to have a completely different kind of explanation.

        I was trying to explain that no I wasn’t satisfied that we already had a sound explanation in physico-chemical terms. But on balance I prefer to think that eventually we might have an explanation, than to think we have to look elsewhere for a different type of explanation.

        Hope this makes sense.

        Thanks again, Chris.


        Comment by Chris Lawrence — May 8, 2010 @ 9:17 am | Reply

        • Ah yes, I see. It was less that you misunderstood what I meant than I who misunderstood what you meant.

          Thank you for the clarification. I only looked at the difficulty in terms of your misunderstanding my meaning and I could not for the life of me find a solution.



          Comment by theotheri — May 8, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

  3. Yikes … … I just found this interchange between you and it will take me a while to go over it all and sort it out. I responded to you Chris, on my blog, but I see the discussion has expanded and I need to update myself on what y’all are saying. I’m under pressure because “materialism” (3) is slated for publication this weekend.


    Comment by tonyequale — May 5, 2010 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

    • Oh yikes is right. We now have a three-way conversation going on two separate blogs, not counting Chris’s blog which is also alive, and well, and even worse, relevant. I personally am learning a lot — or at least thinking a lot — as a result of these exchanges and I’m enjoying the process hugely and do not want them to be brought to a halt.

      Having said that, do understand that if I take time to make my contribution (if my mix of questions, hunches, and spattterings of theology/psychology/philosophy/science can qualify as exactly a contribution). If I go too fast I shall drop out al together as I try to sort out what I think, what I think each of you are saying, and why I might agree or disagree.

      In the meantime, I will keep on reading all of our blogs, and when it seems relevant, perhaps, the way Chris did, post my comments on more than one blog.

      Over-sized thank you.


      Comment by theotheri — May 5, 2010 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

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