Who Was John Elof Boodin and Why Does He Matter?

first_imgJane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Recommended Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from an article by Michael Flannery, “Toward a New Evolutionary Synthesis,” in the journal Theoretical Biology Forum. Professor Flannery’s new book is Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology.Like Ludwig von Bertalannffy whom I wrote about here yesterday, John Elof Boodin (1869-1950) never got the recognition he deserved. Although Boodin’s view that science and metaphysics could mutually inform one another was full of promise, his was an unfortunate era marked by increasing reductionism in science and philosophy, a story rather poignantly told in Charles H. Nelson’s John Elof Boodin: Philosopher Poet (1987). But he does have something important to offer in developing a more meaningful and useful approach to the life sciences. Although the late Stephen Hawking tells us that “philosophy is dead,” the error of attempting to exclude all metaphysics from science exposed itself decades ago in the failed assertions of positivism (see “The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis: A Fable Told by Ernst Mayr”). As Bernard Phillips noted in 1948, “one of the lessons to be derived from the study of the history of philosophy is that metaphysics always buries its undertakers.” Here the rich thought of John Elof Boodin rises from its premature burial.“Resoluteness and Beauty”Boodin was a philosopher of uncommon abilities. A former student of famed pragmatist William James and idealist Josiah Royce (both at Harvard), he was a scholar whose “resoluteness and beauty” shines through all of his work. Boodin’s great skill was as a synthesizer who combined various portions of pragmatism, realism, idealism, and Christian panentheism with a close reading of the science of his day. What emerges is an intellectual framework that is in many ways consilient with Bertalanffy’s — giving special importance to organization, embracing science but not scientism, recognizing the significance of matter without succumbing to materialism, all presented in a holistic context unafraid of the teleological implications, whether immediate or transcendent. In reading Boodin one always gets a tutorial (usually in equal measures) on history, philosophy, and science, all presented in richly textured, often poetic, prose.It should be pointed out that because Boodin sees biological life as part of a universal whole, what he has to say about biology largely applies to the cosmos as well and visa-versa. Thus his Cosmic Evolution (1925) is precisely that, a view of life that is inextricably intertwined with the micro- and macro-cosmic orders in which it was born and continues to develop. Boodin opposed what he regarded as the magic of special creation, preferring a more nuanced version. But he didn’t support what he considered other forms of magic either, particularly the “magic” of chance as the fundamental cause of biological life and its diversity.Still Awaiting a Satisfactory ExplanationThe problem of newly created forms in biology has yet to receive a satisfactory explanation, especially since most effects of natural selection are negative, involving not the addition of features but their subtraction. This has been confirmed in Michael Behe’s loss-of-function mutations as the “first rule” of adaptive evolution.  Furthermore, Boodin argued that the progressive order witnessed in paleontology shows a much more orderly process than chance could explain. This steady direction toward useful adaptation (what Bertalanffy called anamorphosis, the tendency in evolution from lower to higher forms not identical but similar to orthogenesis) cannot be seen or explained stochastically. That is because the process has fewer blind alleys than chance would normally produce.Boodin is clear: under any Darwinian scenario “mechanical causes” are emphasized: “Chance rules supreme. It despises final causes.” Darwinism simply “runs on like some old man’s tale without beginning, middle, or end, without any guiding plot.” But the avenue of vitalism is a cul-de-sac of speculative mysticism, no better. Bergson’s élan vital, for example, contains mysteriously within it all of evolution’s potencies, the environment furnishing “merely the resistance which makes the vital impulse split up, like a sky rocket shot in the air, into its inherent tendencies,” and, therefore, “is scarcely less mechanical” than the Darwinian theory it seeks to criticize.  Although there is no evidence that Bertalanffy knew Boodin or vise versa, the many connections between their teleological, holistic, synergistic, and systematic views of nature remains one of those fascinating synchronicities of science (not unlike Alfred Russel Wallace’s independent discovery, along with Charles Darwin, of the theory of natural selection). They clearly point the way to an evolutionary theory freed from Darwinian positivistic and methodological constraints. For the full story, see “Toward a New Evolutionary Synthesis.”Image: The Waltz (sculpture), by Camille Claudel [GFDL, CC BY-SA 4.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Michael FlanneryFellow, Center for Science and CultureMichael A. Flannery is professor emeritus of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds degrees in library science from the University of Kentucky and history from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has written and taught extensively on the history of medicine and science. His most recent research interest has been on the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). He has edited Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism (Erasmus Press, 2008) and authored Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011). His research and work on Wallace continues. Share TagsAlfred Russel WallaceanamorphosisBernard PhillipsCharles DarwinCharles H. NelsonChristianityCosmic Evolutionélan vitalErnst MayrevolutionHarvard UniversityHenri BergsonidealismJohn Elof BoodinJosiah Royceloss-of-function mutationsLudwig von BertalannffymetaphysicsMichael BeheorthogenesispaleontologypantheismphilosophypositivismpragmatismrealismStephen HawkingWilliam James,Trending Evolution Who Was John Elof Boodin and Why Does He Matter?Michael FlanneryJuly 27, 2018, 1:14 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

News / Shippers get the news: Hanjin finally reveals where its ships are

first_img Unloading operations have begun on some Hanjin vessels after the line finally began to update shippers and forwarders on where its vessels actually are.A fleet update issued by the carrier this morning shows the vast majority of its vessels still “waiting in open sea” for instructions from headquarters.So far six vessels are confirmed to have been arrested – the Hanjin Baltimore at Panama, with the Panama Canal “impassable” to the line; Hanjin Vienna in Vancouver; Hanjin California in Sydney; Hanjin Rome, as widely reported, in Singapore; and Hanjin Rotterdam in Yantian; and Hanjin Sooho in Shanghai; while the Hanjin Montevideo has been arrested by its bunker supplier in Long Beach, California.Another seven vessels are at port under embargo and three more – Sky Pride, Sky Love and Pacita – have been returned to their owners. By Gavin van Marle 12/09/2016 Ten vessels are waiting off the coast of China and two off Japan; a further 12 are waiting off South Korea, two of which – Hanjin Chongqing and Asian Trader – have now run out of fuel and are waiting for bunker supplies. Another nine vessels are underway to Pusan, where they won’t run the risk of arrest.The Hanjin Europe is under embargo in Hamburg, with Hanjin Harmony waiting in the North Sea, while five vessels wait in the Mediterranean. Two of the latter were refused entry to the Suez Canal and now face circumventing the Cape of Good Hope on their journey to Asia.There are nine vessels waiting in the waters of South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean and around Australia, and a further three in the Arabian Gulf.In the US, Hanjin Greece began unloading at a Long Beach terminal, while five vessels wait off the coast, with reports that one, the Hanjin Gdynia, will dock this week.The berthing of the Hanjin Greece followed a US court order on Friday extending Hanjin’s provisional protection from creditors, and some $10m has reportedly been raised by Hanjin to pay terminal handling charges for the two vessels, as well as Hanjin Jungil and Hanjin Boston, also waiting to berth at Long Beach and Los Angeles respectively.Korean Air, Hanjin’s biggest shareholder, has said it will provide Won60bn ($54m) in funding to the embattled carrier so it can unload cargo. The airline, however, said it would only do so if Hanjin puts up its stake in a terminal at Port of Long Beach as collateral, reported Bloomberg.Meanwhile, container lessors were this week also beginning to count the cost of the bankruptcy. CAI International told investors it currently has 15,000 units leased to Hanjin, which amounts to around $40m in terms of the assets’ book value.It said: “Based on our experience, we believe that most of our containers will be recovered. Our units on lease to Hanjin were manufactured in our colour, with our logo and markings, which should assist with recovery and re-leasing efforts.“At this point, while we are unable to definitively estimate the total impact of Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing on our financial results, we believe our exposure will be limited to $2.6m of accounts receivable related to income recognised prior to the third quarter of 2016, which is not insured and may not be recovered, and up to the $2m deductible on our insolvency insurance policy.”last_img read more

Weather halts on-track action at New Hampshire

first_imgRELATED: Live radar for Loudon, New HampshireInclement weather in the area surrounding New Hampshire Motor Speedway cut short final XFINITY Series practice on Friday 20 minutes into the session.The series’ first practice, from 1-1:55 p.m. ET was completed, as was opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice.Monster Energy Series Coors Light Pole qualifying, which was scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. ET, was moved back to 5:05 p.m. ET.NASCAR officials said there are seven Air Titans, six jet dryers and one Elgin sweeper on hand to combat the rain.last_img read more

Browns Workout Wide Out Son of Hall of Famer

first_img Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loede By Matt LoedeThe Browns are always looking for talent – and Arron Wilson reports the team took a look at the son of legend Jerry Rice.Jerry Rice Jr. played his college ball at UNLV and was originally inked as an undrafted free agent in 2014 by Washington.Wilson also said the team worked out some other free agents, but no deals were done.center_img Related TopicsBrownsJerry Rice Jr.NFLlast_img read more

Don’t Forget the 3 PM National Moment of Silence

first_imgU.S. Capt. Hall: “Each of us that walks here has a different reason to be here. Mine is a 19 year-old named Joe Kelley, he died in Vietnam. I never got to know him very well but he’s always been one of those people that I want to make sure to honor. Joe Kelley died as a Navy corpsman and was saving lives at the time. These guys you see here have friends and stories just like mine and I just want to come here and honor those people.” Senator Peter Micciche(R – District O) was one of a number of local elected officials to attend the memorial service in Leif Hansen Memorial Park. Sen. Micciche: “Memorial Day is specifically about remembering those who have fallen in defense of our freedom and I think that the most important thing is the one thing that we owe those that have fallen is to not forget what they did for us. So bringing our community together, and I love seeing all the families at these things because it’s so important to pass it on to the next generation but specifically the reason we’re here is to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.”According to the National Moment of Remembrance Act, passed in 2000, Americans are asked to pause whatever they are doing at 3 pm local time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms of the United States of America. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The sun revealed itself long enough to grace the 2015 Memorial Day Events in Kenai and Soldotna Monday. U.S. Army Captain Martin K. Hall spoke about the importance of remembering. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts and American Legion gathered in the morning for the Avenue of Flags at the Kenai Cemetery.  For a video of part of the memorial service at Leif Hansen Memorial Park, click here.last_img read more