For over a decade, a small group of scientists and
philosophers-members of the Mind and Life Institute-have met
regularly to explore the intersection between science and the
spirit. At one of these meetings, the themes discussed were both
fundamental and profound: can physics, chemistry, and biology
explain the mystery of life? How do our philosophical assumptions
influence science and the ethics we bring to biotechnology? And how
does an ancient spiritual tradition throw new light on these
Pier Luigi Luisi not only reproduces this dramatic,
cross-cultural dialogue, in which world-class scientists,
philosophers, and Buddhist scholars develop a holistic approach to
the scientific exploration of reality, but also adds scientific
background to their presentations, as well as supplementary
discussions with prominent participants and attendees. Interviews
with His Holiness the Karmapa, the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard,
and the actor and longtime human rights advocate Richard Gere take
the proceedings into new directions, enriching the material with
personal viewpoints and lively conversation about such topics as
the origin of matter, the properties of cells, the nature of
evolution, the ethics of genetic manipulation, and the question of
consciousness and ethics.
A keen study of character, Luisi incorporates his own amusing
observations into this fascinating dialogue, painting a very human
portrait of some of our greatest-and most intimidating-thinkers.
Deeply textured and cleverly crafted, Mind and Life is an
excellent opportunity for any reader to join in the debate
surrounding this cutting-edge field of inquiry.
Subjects: Religion, General Science
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