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A Virtual Seminar


Can Human Identity be reconciled with the Working Hypothesis?

On Sunday Nov 25 Sean Murphy have a talk titled "Can Human Identity be reconciled with the Working Hypothesis?". The talk dealt with the dilemma posed by the Working Hypothesis, in which on the one hand the notion "Everything is complete" makes sense as a contemplative principle, but on the other hand, human biology and psychology has evolved almost as an expression of precisely the opposite principle, e.g., human behavior following from drives and desires.

In practice, the issue is, must one drop human identity to "see reality"? The significance of this question was explored in the context of human genomics, the new scientific practice of understanding how variations in human biology and psychology are dependent on corresponding genomic differences. Specifically, the idea that reality is somewhat different for each individual, and therefore if we (as a species) could alter our genome to therefore alter this reality, how might experiences from the Working Hypothesis contribute to the evaluation of which changes might be beneficial?

The technical delivery of the talk was fine via Qwaq, but, as might be expected given that non-medical human genomics is the 'third rail' of scientific discussion, there was some hesitation in the group exploring this avenue with gusto.

Sean Murphy

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