we don't need to change how we do conservation, we need to change why we do it

Ken Christenson

Author's posts

Old Buddha Meets Young Buddha, Part One: A Contract Broken?

A short selection from Essay Ten in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice.  Look again at that dot … every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there—on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam … In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come …

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Old Buddha, Part-1: the Tree of Life

A short selection from Essay Nine in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice.  This I of which you speak, no matter whether it be the great I or small I, is only a pure concept which does not correspond to any reality. That is what Buddha meant. —Thich Nhat Hanh [1] (Italic and regular fonts …

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Two Buddhas, Part 6: What is it “Like” to know?

A short selection from Essay Eight in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice.  Primordial Awareness [the Way] is perfect and all-pervading. How could it be dependent upon practice and realization? The movement of Reality does not need us to give it a push. Do I need to say that it is free from delusion? The …

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The Great God Pan, Intelligent Designer? Part-2: But, how can Evolving Ecosystems be Conscious?

A short selection from Essay Seven in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice.  Personally, I (as a thinking mind) prefer the reflecting pool simile given in Two Buddhas, Part-5 over the other more discrete conceptions of consciousness listed there; for if similes, metaphors, and analogies are also incomplete, they are honestly so. Certainly this one …

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Two Buddhas, Part-5: Your mind is not other than a fallen leaf, or a footprint

A short selection from Essay Six in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. (So let’s step beyond our inner nerd now, and follow our Buddhas.) “What is the Way?” Ordinary mind is the Way. “Should I turn toward it or not?” If you turn toward it you turn away from it. “How can I know the …

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Two Buddhas, Part-4: “The Big Picture”

Now let us suppose that … a being, who can see the individual molecules, opens and closes the hole, so as to allow only the swifter molecules to pass from A to B, and only the slower molecules to pass from B to A. He will thus, without expenditure of work, raise the temperature of …

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Two Buddhas, Part-3: The Narrow Way

OK, here (again) is Essay Four from Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice, the physical prequel for what might appear to non-practitioners as my metaphysical ramblings on Humans and Nature (the Two Buddhas). Our Platonic heritage prompts us to view means and medians as the hard ‘realities,’ and the variation that permits their calculation as …

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Two Buddhas, Part-2: Evo-eco, and Human, “Hosts”

A short selection from Essay Three in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. However a phenotype develops, however genetic algorithms conspire with environment to produce, maintain, and alter an organism over its lifetime, or perhaps even pass on some of these epigenetic alterations in the womb, such short term adjustments, like learning itself, are incommensurable …

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The Great God Pan, Intelligent Designer? Part-1

A short selection from Essay Two in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. Organisms consist of germ cells that transmit heritable information and somatic cells that carry out ordinary functions. Germ cells are not altered by environment, learning, or the morphological changes of a lifetime. This information is lost after each generation. —Weismann’s germ plasm …

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Two Buddhas, Part-1

A short selection from Essay One in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. Philosophy is the unusually persistent effort to think things through. —William James [1] I have no reason to believe that the human intellect is able to weave a system of physics out of its own resources without experimental labour. Whenever the attempt …

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