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

New Database Compares Discount Hospital Care in Calif.

first_imgBAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Californians have another tool to help them navigate hospital costs. “It’s a little confusing for the consumer,” he said. “It’s a good thing, but it needs some tweaking.” Some hospital officials criticized the site for user-unfriendliness. For number of total beds, the site lists zero. For “federal poverty level for free care” it lists zero percent, which makes it seem like the hospital doesn’t give free care, but further down the page it says patients with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty limit have zero liability, spokesman Jarrod McNaughton said. And while each hospital has a different policy, in general, the uninsured and underinsured may be eligible for discounted or free services if their income is below 350 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2007, this was $35,735 for a single person, $47,915 for a couple and $72,275 for a family of four. San Joaquin Community Hospital’s page didn’t exist until Tuesday afternoon, and even then, it had incorrect information. It is a product of a bill sponsored by Health Access and passed in 2006, which requires hospitals to have policies about charity care and to limit costs for services to the poor to what it charges government-sponsored health programs. “We hope that this helps uninsured people not be deterred from getting the care they need because of the bill they expect to get,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, a statewide nonprofit working to get health care for all residents.center_img The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development launched a new searchable online database Tuesday that allows the public to compare the charity care and discount payment policies of hospitals across the state. Charity care info for Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, HealthSouth Bakersfield Rehabilitation Hospital and Kern Medical Center hasn’t been posted. None of the hospitals anticipate a flood of patients in their emergency rooms due to this tool.“No one is doing comparison shopping in the ambulance on the gurney,” Wright said. “This is more useful for people who already get the bill and who need guidance on how to negotiate it down.” The tool, which can be found at syfphr.oshpd.ca.gov, allows consumers to search by hospital name, address, city, county or zip code and download the hospital’s policy and discount application. Memorial and Mercy hospital officials said their information is correct. The Catholic Healthcare West hospitals offer charity care to people up to 200 percent of the poverty limit, after other means of payment such as Medi-Cal, Medicare and Healthy Families have been tried. About 80 percent of the hospital information is listed, said Patrick Sullivan, spokesman for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. “If you don’t see it, it will be on there soon.”last_img read more

Rain or not, parades will roll

first_imgBy Ken [email protected] She was among sparse and sporadically positioned parade patrons on Procter Street, an hour before parade time. Rain loomed; would crowds come?For Cathy Cooper, Krewe de Cameaux, it didn’t matter. Her dad was with the Sertoma Club, a parade founder, and she raised her daughter, Kendra, in the Carnival tradition.A little rain wouldn’t scare her. She’s weathered sleet and heat and downpours to ride floats over the years.Barbara Phillips of Valero, high above the lead float, said employees still love to participate as they have for 26 years. The company float rides all three days; perhaps 240 employees and guests ride in a typical year. This year, she said, managers and employees are “stepping up” to take part. Jeanette Wehmeier of Topeka, Kansas was simply “stoked” as she awaited the start of the Golf Cart and ATV and Valero Krewe of Krewes parades Friday evening.She’s in Port Arthur with the Lutheran church, doing disaster relief work, and she’d never experienced a Carnival season or Mardi Gras parade.“I even got my nails done,” she said, extending fingers that displayed multicolored, festive work. Better that than the sheetrock that usually marks her hands at the end of hard day.center_img As an inspector, Mike Aguiler used to check for safety on Mardi Gras floats. Retired three years, he and wife Heather formed the Krewe of Borrachos, which has grown from 28 members to more than 40 to this year’s 50. Their krewe touts service to community: They adopted two miles of road from Nederland to Beaumont to keep clean, volunteer at a food bank and Friday morning visited Oak Grove Nursing Home, taking beads and King cake to residents.About 25 students and staff from Lamar State College Port Arthur rode float No. 2, a collection of folks that included Student Government Association leaders and staff.Brian Esquivel, director of student activities, said riding on the float would satisfy a lifetime wish.“I’ve always wanted to be up there,” he said.last_img read more

Bacolod Tay Tung spikers shift focus to 2018 Batang Pinoy

first_imgOther members of the squad of head coach Ian Macariola are Alvea Claudette Alvero, Gwen Banas, Annikha Cabasac, Nicolei Galvan, Kathleen Kate Tan, and Charlene Tayapad.“We know it will be tough. We will be facing the best teams in the country. But the girls have extra motivation dahil dala namin ang pangalan ng Bacolod City,” said assistant coach Biboy Calamba.Aside from volleyball, other Bacolod City bets in the event are athletics players Klyde Montalbo, Ralph Joshua Bangoy, Antonette Jay Aguillon, Ara Rahbea Delotavo and Stephany Ray Malate, and Arnie Suravilla in chess.PRIMES CUP UPDATESanta Clarita International High School Primes split their two matches in the U-15 category of the Primes Cup 2018 Season 2 Basketball Tournament over the weekend at the Santa Clarita Gym in Iloilo City.Led by Prince Nayr Magarse, Chino Palis and Michael Tuala, Primes cruised to a 51-37 victory over the Jibao-An squad. The team, however, was unable to do it two in a row following a 36-60 loss to the University of San Agustin.In the other U-15 match, Jalandoni National High School scored a wire-to-wire 55-35 victory over the struggling Assumption-Passi Iloilo but lost the next day to Integros B, 54-56.CenterPhil Montessori Silver Knights tallied its fourth consecutive win in the U-18 division following a 92-45 domination over Iloilo City National High School. Lester Valn Paraico top-scored with 15 points.Iloilo National High School, meanwhile, scored an 86-45 domination over La Paz National High School, and Iloilo Doctors College romped past Sacred Heart squad, 57-50.In the U-12 category, Fritz Robles scored nine points as Santa Clarita International School scored a 33-32 win over Hijas. On the other hand, the University of San Agustin edged Pavia, 51-38./PN AFTER capturing back-to-back championships recently, Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts are now gearing up for the girls volleyball event of Batang Pinoy 2018 – National Championship which starts on Sept. 17 in Baguio City.Jose Montalbo, Tay Tung’s vice president for sports, said the Thunderbolts are determined to continue its winning ways after recently ruling the 2018 Milo Little Olympics Visayas leg and Rebisco U-18 girls volleyball Western Visayas Finals.“The girls are pumped up to take their third straight championship,” Montalbo told the Buzzer Beater. “These players have been together for a long time so the chemistry is already there.”Spearheading the squad are veterans Shane Carmona and Alyssa Bertolano, who were named MVPs in the Rebisco and Milo tournaments, respectively; Rhean Almendralejo, Kiesha Bedonia and Katherine Shane Cortez.last_img read more