What is it

Introduction: A synthesis of good philosophy & good science

Recent centuries have seen incredible advances in our understanding of the world through science and its technological applications. The scientific processes are robust enough to continually develop our body of human knowledge through theorising, experimentation, empiric evidence and peer review. Yet, along the way there are niggling anomalies that continue to frustrate our efforts to resolve within the currently accepted framework. This has led to the selective acceptance of particular preferred evidence in favour of more troublesome findings.

It has also allowed the inclusion of certain concepts within theories that cannot be considered “scientific” explanations. For example, the suggestion that we can invoke “chance” or “random events” as the mechanism by which certain systems become more organised. That doesn’t mean that it is impossible for things to happen by chance – but invoking chance as the means by which something might have happened is not a scientific proposition. It can neither be proved nor falsified. And, because the concept of randomness denies specific causality, it should be anathema to science which is built upon cause and effect relationships.

Similar applications of non-scientific concepts include the misuse of “infinity” or “eternity” to consider that something otherwise highly improbable may become a certainty given unlimited time and trials. And, there are the vague mystic terms which seek to end discussion on a topic – words like instinct, epiphenomenon, emergent properties. In most cases, these terms are used to gloss over a lack of explanation and are impervious to empiric scrutiny.

We mention these points because they undermine the scientific process. These are areas in which science has strayed beyond its empiric jurisdiction and tried to offer explanations that are more bad philosophical speculation than good scientific theory. Nothing wrong with science and philosophy combining to develop our common understanding. But, it needs to be a synthesis of good philosophy with good science.

And, that is our hope with the model offered herein as The Atma Paradigm

We need a combined approach to unravel the mysteries of consciousness, life and the universe. Good philosophy can take a broader view of the body of scientific evidence and provide new insights for explanation and research and study by good science. Currently, much of our scientific thinking is hampered by the physicalist models that it attempts to squeeze evidence into. The resultant interpretations of evidence is often skewed towards these models and fail to recognise their inherent inconsistencies and deficiencies. Good philosophy can enable us to look beyond the limitations of existing models and explore a wider expanse of possibilities.

The Atma Paradigm is such a philosophical model – but, we claim it to be science-consistent. That means that it is does not contradict generally accepted empirical evidence. However, it does start with a premise and produce propositions that are challenging to physicalist models and interpretations. But, stick with it and it demonstrates powerful utility by resolving many of the major issues and conundrums within neuroscience, physics and biology.