Category Archives: Beyond the norm

Riverside Immortality Project

In July the John Templeton Foundation awarded a  three-year, $5 million grant  to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to study a wide range of issues related to immortality. The project plan, grants and essay prizes, are now online on The Immortality Project website. Continue reading Riverside Immortality Project

Is consciousness a quantum mystery?

“According to Hameroff, our souls are built of something much more fundamental than neurons,” says Morgan Freeman introducing Hameroff’s quantum consciousness theory in a recent episode of Through the Wormhole. “They are constructed from the very fabric of the universe.” Dr. Hameroff claims, “I believe that consciousness, or its immediate precursor proto-consciousness, has been in the universe all along, perhaps from the Big Bang.”

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Martin Gardner | The Church of the Fourth Dimension

The Church of the Fourth Dimension is a chapter of Martin Gardner‘s book The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. It gives a nice and (relatively) simple introduction to the mathematical concept of a transcendent, trans-dimensional elsewhere, where perhaps Gods and souls can be found. Continue reading Martin Gardner | The Church of the Fourth Dimension

Afterlife? – my very first post to the Extropians list, 1999

Today I found by chance an important bit of personal history: my very first post to the Extropians list, on December 6, 1999. It is interesting to see many of the ideas which I have been thinking and writing about in these 13 years already covered in that first post.

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Human+, a novel about transhumanism and spirituality by Martin Higgins

The Singularity meets Eastern mysticism in Human+, by U.K.-based writer and journalist Martin Higgins, a just-published science-fiction page-turner inspired by of futures studies, psychic spy research, and the transhumanist movement. Required reading for Turing Church discussions. See also this review on KurzweilAI. Continue reading Human+, a novel about transhumanism and spirituality by Martin Higgins

Could reincarnation be real?

Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions and a common belief of pagan religions found in many tribal societies around the world. I don’t think there is a “spirit” or “soul” separate from the information encoded in our brain. But if there is, what can it be?

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The physics of miracles and the problem of evil

We may be bots in a reality-wide simulation, and perhaps the player(s) from above can violate our simulated physics when they want. In a more popular formulation of the same concept, called Religion, the player(s), called God(s), created our reality and can perform miracles. The two formulations are equivalent for all practical purposes. Many religions assume that Gods are omnipotent and benevolent, but then we have the problem of evil: how can omnipotent and benevolent Gods permit evil and suffering?

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Treasure seeker

The thought of searching for and then finding a treasure probably has intrigue and excitement for almost everyone. Even as a child I was fascinated by hearing about a buried treasure of gold doubloons, a lost gold mine or seeing a movie with piles of sparkling jewels and pearls. My grandmother’s curio cabinet with its hidden key was of special interest because it was locked and off limits to the grandchildren other than having glass doors to see through. Continue reading Treasure seeker