Larry Dossey | Consilience: The Problem

In 1998, Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson published “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge”, suggesting that different avenues of evidence could link together to create a common groundwork of explanation in the search for human wisdom. He proposed that science could join hands with the humanities and religion in this task. In subsequent years, Wilson has walked back this claim by asserting that religions are “dragging us down” and should be “eliminated.” This discussion will examine precursors to the idea of consilience, how the idea has penetrated contemporary culture, and how eminent scientists have supported the interpenetration of science, religion, and spirituality. We will see how the profession of medicine has been periodically reshaped in profound ways through the consilience of several factors, including the evidence for the fundamental, causal nature of consciousness. We will examine consilience interruptus— the obstruction to a deeper process of consilience in medical science: the materialistic dogma that the brain produces, confines, and limits the manifestations of consciousness. Actual clinical cases will illustrate these issues.

Bio: Dr. Larry Dossey is an internal medicine physician, former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital, and former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is executive editor of the peer-previewed journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. He is the author of thirteen books on the role of consciousness and spirituality in health, which have been translated into languages around the world. His most recent book is ONE MIND: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. He lectures around the world.

Recorded at the Society for Scientific Exploration Conference in Broomfield, Colorado 2019.

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Published on November 22, 2019