Steve Fuller’s work on transhumanism is interesting because it forces us to think about the long-term trajectory of the human species and the knowledge and technology it is likely to build in the future. He is surely right that the challenges posed by twentieth-century problems have overwhelmed the optimistic projections of the future that led the way mid-century, as a simple extrapolation based on what now look like exceptional and temporary rates of economic growth and technological innovation encouraged fevered dreams (Mühlbauer 2006). As the gloom of dealing with an emerging awareness of a troubled Anthropocene, likely to be a thin stratum for future archaeologists rather than a long-lived geological epoch if we are not careful, our imaginations have contracted, and possibly deadened. We have become zombies just seeking out bare survival without conscious thought and planning. … [please read below the rest of the article].
Lynch, William T. 2021. “Zombie Epistemology: Or, I Ain’t Gonna Work on Zoltan’s Farm, Either.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (6): 1-19. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-5Ur.
🔹 The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers.
A Spotify playlist for songs cited in the paper can be accessed at https://spoti.fi/3i9ovKR. I am grateful for suggestions by Stacy Lynch.
Listeners are invited to contribute their own songs on a companion list entitled “More Fun Songs of Death and Entropy” at https://spoti.fi/2SWtXpR. Need instructions? See: https://www.getcloudapp.com/how-to-use-the-internet/add-songs-spotify-playlist.
❦ Hewitt, Des. 2020. “Meditations on a Theme: A Review of Steve Fuller’s Nietzschean Meditations.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (3): 50-53. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-4UY.
The SERRC presents “Zombie Epistemology” in two parts—the following serves as Part II. Please refer to Part I. The PDF of the article (see above) provides the entire piece.
At the same time, we should recognize that the kinds of dreams we had about technologically-mediated transcendence were part of the problem. The idea that the earth, or our bodies or brains, are disposable such that we can move on to the next one was part of the problem. By considering transhumanism’s zombie problem, Fuller is trying to get beyond self-imposed obstacles to putting together a collective plan for where we are headed rather than where we have been. But where we have been shapes what can be possible, even though these possibilities can be reworked. The idea of an evolutionary preadaptation, or exaptation as Gould and Vrba (1982) put it, is relevant here. It is because we have minds and bodies adapted to Pleistocene problems that we can be the kind of species that, with the right kind of cultural work-arounds, can construct kinds of knowledge, signs, technologies, and social systems that have made remarkable progress in developing new kinds of environments that will shape our future in turn (Wolf 2007; Wynn and Coolidge 2012, ch. 3; Borzacchini 2021). Can we direct this kind of change in some ways that will be better than others?
I would argue that the dream of technological transcendence, a kind of Gnostic theology for disembodied beings emerging from embodied creatures, is not the right model (Shiffman 2015). Ironically, it reflects our species’ tendency to think about minds and spirits as distinct from our bodies, which just mystifies the kinds of social constraints that may be limiting us (Flannery and Marcus 2012; Lynch 2019). By contrast, lineage thinking allows us to think about how past constraints at many points in evolutionary history not only set limits on what we can do and think, but also shape the possibility for certain kinds of changes to those limits. It does not do so in ways that simply eliminate those constraints, however.
A good example is the role of biological and cultural neoteny in making science possible (Gould 1977; Elia 2013). Homo sapiens may have outcompeted other hominins by an extended adolescence, or neoteny, allowing greater transmission of cultural knowledge. Neoteny can emerge in situations of rapid environmental change as a mechanism to allow rapid adaptation in ways that the ordinary rate of mutation-driven change cannot do. Suppressed genetic variation in traits can be brought to the surface for selection because juvenile development typically displays a wider range of traits than adult behavior, a key process behind the domestication of animals (Francis 2015, 16).
Our own evolution of behavioral modernity in the Upper Paleolithic may reflect a kind of self-domestication, allowing a longer period of cultural learning that was exploited as we developed more knowledge that could be transmitted accurately to future generations (Greenspan and Shanker 2004; Dugatkin and Trut 2017). Only with this extended time for play, as it were, could we develop new kinds of knowledge that made possible higher rates of innovation than previous tool-using primates in our lineage. Arguably, this biological neoteny is furthered through cultural neoteny, facilitated by the demographic revolution’s extension of lifespan, and economic growth making possible extended schooling and “flexible specialization.” This has allowed deferral for some of a transition to the burdens of employment for economic necessity that had characterized life for the vast majority (Charlton 2006; Crawford 2009; Brennan and Waits 1995).
What’s remarkable about modern science and technology is the way that we have managed to take creatures with certain kinds of inborn errors that systematically mislead us on all kinds of scientific topics, including local motion, population thinking, intentionality, agency, and complex systems, and find ways to rework our inborn hypersocial division of labor, to make progress on understanding these phenomena. To say that we can discover knowledge that goes against our default biases is not to say that we do so in ways that are unconstrained by the kind of creatures we are. In this respect, exobiology should be supplemented by an exosocial epistemology. How would different kinds of creatures, biological or otherwise, construct knowledge and how might it be different from what we do? Is nature written in differential equations or is that yet another hammer that blinds us into thinking that everything is a nail?
On this issue, compare Penrose (2004, ch. 1; 1999), who accepts the Platonic view of reality written in the language of mathematics, but rejects an algorithmic account of consciousness underlying contemporary AI orthodoxy, with Wolfram (n.d.), who essentially escalates computationalism from a theory of consciousness into a highly formal theory of everything. Awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on black holes and general relativity, Penrose’s views on consciousness are speculative and depend upon a postulated, future theory of quantum gravity. Wolfram opts out of engagement with the scientific community entirely by self-financing and self-publishing his results, a new, problematic funding model for science we might call the Buckaroo Banzai regime (Mandelbaum 2020; Becker 2020).
His end-run around review by any core set of cosmologists and appeal to social media for support make it a post-truth science in Fuller’s (2020) terms. Wolfram even sounds like Trump when describing the unprecedented significance of his findings. Wolfram may be trying to do for science what Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are doing in wresting space exploration away from representative democracy. One underexplored aspect of transhumanism is its reliance upon the deep pockets and idiosyncratic projects of highly exploitative tycoons. There have been enough science fiction stories to warn us of the dangers here as well.
Once we have considered these issues, we can think about what it would mean to maximize our potential as a species and whether that is a desirable goal. My first exposure to this issue came in a distinctively neotenic social milieu, science club in high school. Immersed in the very same science fiction infused imaginary that transhumanism trades in, I argued that humans had better get their act together by maximizing human labor directed towards science. Aware that other professions were necessary, I conceded that maybe 1% of humans could be farmers and other professions necessary to sustain ourselves from a material point of view. With more scientists, more progress would follow, and space exploration and our destiny among the stars would be possible. The trick was to get everyone on board with this program (apparently I was following the argument laid down by Condorcet—see Fuller 2019, 189).
The logistical challenges of such a program would be extraordinary, as it would involve decomposing problems and directing labor in conscious ways that extended the lucky accident of what Collins (1998, ch. 10) calls rapid-discovery science that emerged with modern science. The small number of recognized core set experts in a given field repurpose our evolved ability to work in small groups, while communicating with other groups. So in this sense modern science in no way escapes the inherent limitations of our evolved capacity for social cooperation (Dunbar 2010). While I still believe genuinely democratic planning could direct resources in ways that improved our capacity to meet the challenges we face (Lynch 2020), the adult me fully admits the limitations of this proposal.
More to the point, however, there remains the issue of democratically decided goals in the first place, and the recognition of individual autonomy. My friend, Ben, argued that this goal of maximizing science was misguided because, in the context of comparison with potential extraterrestrial civilizations, our science would be neither unique nor terribly advanced. Instead, it may be our artistic creations that have the most lasting significance, which should not follow the demands of the collective in any event (Prine 2018; Simpson 2019b). Now, one might expect that the price of admission to a hypothetical galactic civilization would be first mastering the very basics of natural science, no matter how elementary, just as we require our neotenized progeny to first learn to play nice together or color between the lines (Fulghum 1988; Bowie 1972).
Moreover, as our science teacher, Mrs. Henley, pointed out, advanced extraterrestrials may look upon our artistic endeavors as just as primitive as our science. In this sense, Star Trek’s constant reference to our own human cultural history as something that other species would admire, along with their own, probably reflects the equivalent of posting a child’s drawings on the refrigerator. Nonetheless, Ben had a point. The issue of what our species has to offer the universe, if we may be so bold as to even ask the question, is at the very least an open question. I won’t choose between science and art, as both may be equal combinations of natural constraint and free creation (Feyerabend 1994; see Fuller 2019, ch. 1, for a comparison of the role of Russian Cosmist scientists and Italian futurist artists in early transhumanism). But I don’t think we can adopt a species-wide program for maximizing value, to add to the one from which we are already suffering.
❧ ❧ ❧
Now, could I be wrong about the implausibility of carrying out a transhumanist program? Am I not potentially adding myself to the list of those who made very bad predictions about technology, especially predictions about what cannot happen (Pestov 2017). Perhaps, although the failed predictions of bold new technologies that never happened is also a long list, and reflects its own peculiar hype and neglect of physical infrastructure and maintenance (Russel and Vinsel 2020). After all, we still do not have flying cars, no doubt for good reasons (Earle 2013).
A fallibilist approach to science and technology still requires that we make our best projections based on flawed knowledge. Popper tried to counter the purely negative character of his falsificationist approach with a (problematic) account of verisimilitude or approximate knowledge that brought back with it a “whiff of inductivism” (Lakatos 1978, ch. 3). The metaphysical claims about the world that science generates are particularly subject to change, even oscillation (Holton 1978), despite ever more accurate models underlying them (Liston 2017). Let’s just say that a program that requires inventions such as wormholes allowing interstellar travel (Penrose 2004, 834-35) or computers that can encode and preserve consciousness is as much of a leap of faith as belief in God (Dylan 1996; Ranken and Fearnley 1988). Let those who believe do the work. The rest of us gave at the office, the plant, or the Amazon warehouse (Simpson 2016).
William T. Lynch, William.Lynch@wayne.edu, is a professor in the history department at Wayne State University. He is the author of Minority Report: Dissent and Diversity in Science (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021.)
Achenbach, Joel. 2019. “What the Space Age Taught Us: Earth is the Best of All Possible Worlds.” Washington Post June 18.
Balin, Marty. 1967. “Plastic Fantastic Lover.” On Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane. RCA/BMG Heritage.
Barrow, John D. and Frank J. Tipler. 1996. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Becker, Adam. 2020. “Physicists Criticize Stephen Wolfram’s ‘Theory of Everything’.” Scientific American May 6. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/physicists-criticize-stephen-wolframs-theory-of-everything/#.
Becker, Lawrence C. 1998. A New Stoicism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Bernal, John David. 1969. The World, the Flesh and the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Bestion, Elvire, Aimeric Teyssier, Murielle Richard, Jean Clobert, and Julien Cote. 2015. “Live Fast, Die Young: Experimental Evidence of Population Extinction Risk Due to Climate Change.” PLoS Biology 13 (10): e1002281.
Borzacchini, Luigi. 2021. “Metaphysical Traces from a Radically Historicist Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic.” Academia Letters 668: 1-4.
Bostrom, Nick. 2002. “Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards.” Journal of Evolution and Technology 9 (March).
Bowie, David. 1972. “Starman.” The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment.
Brennan, Kathleen and Tom Waits. 2011. “Satisfied.” On Bad as Me by Tom Waits. Anti.
Brennan, Kathleen and Tom Waits. 1995. “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.” On ¡Adios Amigos! by Ramones. Radioactive Records.
Calcott, Brett and Kim Sterelny. 2011. The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited. Cambridge MIT Press.
Camus Albert. 1961. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New York: Vintage Books.
Carroll, Jim. 1980. “People Who Died.” On Catholic Boy by The Jim Carroll Band. Fat Possum Records.
Carroll, Sean M. 2017. “Why Boltzmann Brains are Bad.” February 2. http://arxiv.org/abs/
Cauthen, Paul. 2018. “Resignation.” Have Mercy. Lightning Rod Records.
Charlton, Bruce G. 2006. “The Rise of the Boy-Genius: Psychological Neoteny, Science and Modern Life.” Medical Hypotheses 67: 679-681.
Chemero, Anthony. 2009. Radical Embodied Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Clark, Andy. 2003. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clark, Stuart. 2018. “A Brief History of Stephen Hawking: A Legacy of Paradox.” New Scientist May 14. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2053929-a-brief-history-of-stephen-hawking-a-legacy-of-paradox/.
Coleman, Joshua. 2005. The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Collins, Harry M. 1985. Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice. London: Sage.
Collins, Randall. 1998. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Craig, Roy. 1995. UFOs: An Insider’s View of the Official Quest for Evidence. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press.
Crawford, Kate. 2021. The Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Crawford, Kate. 2009. “Adult Responsibility in Insecure Times: The Post-Crash World Necessitates a Redefinition of Adulthood.” Soundings 41: 45-55.
Creaux, Dr. John. 1968. “I Walk on Guilded Splinters.” Gris Gris. Atco Records.
Davies, Paul. 2019. The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information are Solving the Mystery of Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dawkins, Richard. 1976. The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Deacon, Terrence W. 2012. Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerges from Matter. New York: W. W. Norton.
Dennett, Dan C. 1998. Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds. Cambridge, MA: A Bradford Book.
Dugatkin, Lee Alan and Lyudmila Trut. 2017. How to Tame a Fox (And Build A Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dunbar, Robin. 2010. How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Dylan, Bob. 1996. “Death is Not the End.” On Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Mute Records.
Earle, Steve. 2013. “21st Century Blues.” The Low Highway. New West Records.
Elia, I.E. 2013. “A Foxy View of Human Beauty: Implications of the Farm Fox Experiment for Understanding the Origins of Structural and Experiential Aspects of Facial Attractiveness.” The Quarterly Review of Biology 88: 163-183.
Erickson, Roky. 1975. “Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog).” On Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog) by Roky Ericson and Bleibalien. Mars Records.
Escobar, Arturo. 1995. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Estes, Nick and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. 2020. “Examining the Wreckage.” Monthly Review. July 1. https://monthlyreview.org/2020/07/01/examining-the-wreckage/.
Fernández-Aráoz, Claudio. 2020. “Jack Welch’s Approach to Leadership.” Harvard Business Review. March 3.
Feyerabend, Paul K. 1994. “Art as a Product of Nature as a Work of Art.” World Futures 40: 87-100.
Flannery, Kent and Joyce Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Francis, Richard C. 2015. Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World. New York: W. W. Norton.
Fulghum, Robert. 1988. Everything I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Evanston, IL: Press of Ward Schori.
Fuller, Steve. 2021. “The Mind-Technology Problem.” Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-021-00226-8.
Fuller, Steve. 2020. A Player’s Guide to the Post-Truth Condition: The Name of the Game. London: Anthem.
Fuller, Steve. 2019. Nietzschean Meditations: Untimely Thoughts at the Dawn of the Transhuman Era. Basel, Switzerland: Schwabe Verlag.
Fuller, Steve. 2014. “Evolution.” In Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction edited by Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Fuller, Steve. 2013. “Imperialism 2.0: Do We Really Want to Save the Poor?” A Global Village 11: 56-61.
Fuller, Steve. 1989. Philosophy of Science and Its Discontents. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Goodwin, Brian C. 1994. How the Leopard Changed its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Gould, Stephen Jay. 1977. Ontogeny and Phylogeny. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Gould Stephen Jay and Elisabeth S. Vrba. 1982. “Exaptation—A Missing Term in the Science of Form.” Paleobiology 8: 4-15.
Graeber, David. 2011. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. New York: Melville House.
Gray, John. 2014. “Weird Realism: John Gray on the Moral Universe of H. P. Lovecraft.” New Statesman. October 24. https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/10/
Greenspan, Stanley I. and Stuart G. Shanker. 2004 The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from Our Early Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Greenwood, Colin, Ed O’Brien, Jonny Greenwood, Philip Selway, and Thom Yorke. 1997. “Subterranean Homesick Alien.” On OK Computer by Radiohead. XL Recordings.
Griffiths, Paul E. and Russell D. Gray. 2004. “The Developmental Systems Perspective: Organism-Environment Systems as Units of Development and Evolution.” In Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Katherine Preston, 409–430. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harris, James C. 2014. “The Dying Seneca: Peter Paul Rubens.” JAMA Psychiatry 71: 742-743.
Hendriks-Jansen, Horst. 1996. Catching Ourselves in the Act: Situated Activity, Interactive Emergence, Evolution, and Human Thought. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Heininger, Kurt. 2002. “Aging is a Deprivation Syndrome Driven by a Germ–Soma Conflict. Ageing Research Reviews 1: 481-536.
Hinzen, Wolfram. 2005. “Review of Simon Conway Morris, Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe.” Mind 114: 403-407.
Holton, Gerald J. 1978. The Scientific Imagination: Case Studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hornborg Alf. 2012. Global Ecology and Unequal Exchange: Fetishism in a Zero-Sum World. Florence: Taylor and Francis.
Hume, David. 2007. Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and Other Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jablonka, Eva and Marion J. Lamb. 2006. “The Evolution of Information in the Major Transitions.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 239: 236-246.
Jablonka, Eva and Marion J. Lamb. 2005. Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Johnson, Brian. 2016. “Prehistories of Posthumanism: Cosmic Indifferentism, Alien Genesis, and Ecology from H. P. Lovecraft to Ridley Scott.” In The Age of Lovecraft edited by Carl H. Sederholm and Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, 97-116. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Johnson, Robert. 1937. “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day.” King of the Delta Blues Singers. Sony Music Entertainment.
Keller, Evelyn Fox. 2002. The Century of the Gene. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Kleier, Joe. 1928. “The Head.” Amazing Stories. 3 August: 418-421. https://archive.org/details/Amazing_Stories_v03n05_1928-08_ATLPM-Urf/page/n35/mode/2up?view=theater.
Kuti, Fela. 2009. “Zombie.” Zombie. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti Estate.
Lakatos, Imre. 1978. The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Laland, Kevin N. and Gillian R. Brown. 2006. “Niche Construction, Human Behavior, and the Adaptive-Lag Hypothesis.” Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 15: 95-104.
Lamba, Nayan, Daniel Holsgrove, and Marike L. Broekman. 2016. “The History of Head Transplantation: A Review.” Acta Neurochirurgica 158: 2239-2247.
Lewontin, Richard C. 1983. “The Organism as the Subject and Object of Evolution.” Scientia 77: 65-82.
Liston, Michael. 2017. “Duhem: Images of Science, Historical Continuity, and the First Crisis in Physics.” Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science 2: 73-84.
Lovecraft, H.P. 2017. At the Mountains of Madness. Newburyport, MA: Open Road Media.
Lovecraft, H.P. 1922. “Herbert West—Reanimator.” https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/hwr.aspx.
Lynch, William T. 2020. “Science and Socialism in the Time of Coronavirus.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (10): 16-25. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-5up.
Lynch, William T. 2019. “Between Kin Selection and Cultural Relativism: Cultural Evolution and the Origin of Inequality.” Perspectives on Science 27: 278-315.
Mandelbaum, Ryan F. 2020. “The Trouble with Stephen Wolfram’s New ‘Fundamental Theory of Physics’.” Gizmodo. April 22. https://gizmodo.com/the-trouble-with-stephen-wolfram-s-new-fundamental-theo-1842985419.
Maynard Smith, John and Eörs Szathmáry. 1995. The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McGuinn, Roger. 1966. “Mr. Spaceman.” On Fifth Dimension by The Byrds. Sony Music Entertainment.
Meyer, Stephen C. 2009. Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. New York: HarperOne.
Midgley, Mary. 1992. Science as Salvation: A Modern Myth and its Meaning. London: Routledge.
Mirowsky, John and Catherine E. Ross. 2000. “Socioeconomic Status and Subjective Life Expectancy.” Social Psychology Quarterly 63: 133-151.
Moore, Matthew L. 1970. “Space Captain.” On Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Joe Cocker. A&M.
Morris, Simon Conway. 2003. Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mühlbauer, Peter Josef. 2006. “Frontiers and Dystopias: Libertarian Ideology in Science Fiction. In Neoliberal Hegemony: A Global Critique edited by Dieter Plehwe, Bernhard J. A Walpen, and Gisela Neunhöffer, 156-70. London: Routledge.
Nelson, Mark. 2018. Pushing Our Limits: Insights from Biosphere 2. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich W. 1998. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nilsson, Harry. 1972. “Spaceman.” Son of Schmilsson. RCA Records.
O’Riordan, Dolores Mary Eileen. 1994. “Zombie.” On No Need to Argue by The Cranberries. UMG Recordings.
Oyama, Susan. 1985. The Ontogeny of Information: Developmental Systems and Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Parrondo, Juan M. R., Jordan M. Horowitz and Takahiro Sagawa 2015. “Thermodynamics of Information.” Nature Physics 11: 131-139.
Penrose, Roger. 2004. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Penrose, Roger. 1999. The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pestov, Ilya. 2017. The Absolute Worst Technology Predictions of the Past 150 Years. https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/worst-tech-predictions-of-the-past-100-years-c18654211375/.
Pimentel, David and Marcia H. Pimentel. 2007. Food, Energy, and Society. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Prigogine, Ilya. 1961. Introduction to Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes. New York: Interscience Publishers.
Prine, John. 2018. “Lonesome Friends of Science.” The Tree of Forgiveness. Oh Boy Records.
Ranken, Andrew and James Fearnley. 1988. “Worms.” On If I Should Fall from Grace with God by The Pogues. Island Records.
Rendell, Luke, Laurel Fogarty, and Kevin N. Laland. 2011. “Runaway Cultural Niche Construction.” Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 366: 823-835.
Richerson, Peter J. and Robert Boyd. 2000. “Evolution: The Darwinian Theory of Social Change.” In Paradigms of Social Change: Modernization, Development, Transformation, Evolution edited by Wolf-Hagan Krauth, Waltraud Schelkle, Martin Kohli, and Georg Elwert, 257-282. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
Roy, Arundhati and Avni Sejpal. 2019. “How to Think about Empire.” Boston Review. January 3. https://bostonreview.net/global-justice/arundhati-roy-thinking-about-empire.
Russell, Robert John. 2001. “Did God Create Our Universe?” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 950: 108-127.
Sagan, Carl. 2006. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God. New York: Penguin Press.
Schrödinger, Erwin. 1944. What Is Life? With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Scott-Heron, Gil. 1970. “Whitey on the Moon.” Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. Ace Records.
Shapiro, Beth. 2015. How to Clone a Mammoth. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Shiffman, Mark. 2015. “Humanity 4.5: Mark Shiffman Exposes the Gnosticism behind Technological Modernity.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life 257: 23-30.
Sierferle, Rolf Peter. 2001. The Subterranean Forest: Energy Systems and the Industrial Revolution. White Horse Press.
Simpson, Sturgill. 2019a. “The Dead Don’t Die.” The Dead Don’t Die. Atlantic Recording Corporation.
Simpson, Sturgill. 2019b. “Make Art Not Friends.” Sound & Fury. Elektra Records.
Simpson, Sturgill. 2016. “Brace for Impact (Live a Little).” A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Atlantic Recording.
Simpson, Sturgill. 2014. “Living the Dream.” Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. High Top Mountain Records.
Smil, Vaclav. 2001. Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Taupin, Bernie and Elton John. 1971. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time).” On Honky Château by Elton John, Mercury Records.
Taylor, Timothy. 2010. The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tipler, Frank J., Jessica Graber, Matthew J Mcginley, and Joshua Nichols-Barrer. 2007. “Closed Universes with Black Holes But No Event Horizons as a Solution to the Back Hole Information Problem.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 379: 629-640.
Todd, Emmanuel. 2003. After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order. New York: Columbia University Press.
van Solinge, Hanna and Kène Henkens. 2017. “Subjective Life Expectancy and Actual Mortality: Results of a 10-Year Panel Study among Older Workers.” European Journal of Ageing 15: 155-164.
Veit, Walter. 2018. “Existential Nihilism: The Only Really Serious Philosophical Problem.” Journal of Camus Studies: 211-232.
Wall, Michael. 2019. “Is Interstellar Travel Really Possible?” Space.com. https://www.space.com/is-interstellar-travel-possible.html.
Wall, Michael. 2018. Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (for the Cosmically Curious). New York: Grand Central Publishing.
Wendt, Alexander and Raymond Duvall. 2008. “Sovereignty and the UFO.” Political Theory 36: 607-633.
Wohlforth, Charles and Amanda R. Hendrix. 2016. “Let’s Colonize Titan.” Scientific American. November 25.
Wolf, Maryanne. 2007. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. New York: HarperCollins.
Wolfram, Stephen. The Wolfram Physics Project: A Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics. Available at: https://www.wolframphysics.org/.
Wynn. Thomas and Frederick L. Coolidge. 2012. How to Think Like a Neandertal. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zarkadakēs, George. 2016. In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Pegasus Books.