I used to enjoy reading Ken Wilber's take on reality, a.k.a. Integral Theory. But eventually it dawned on me that Wilber takes a lot of liberties with facts about nature (human and otherwise), so much of his integrating involves untruths.
Case in point: David Christopher Lane's short, easy-to-read pictorial essay, "Frisky Dirt: Why Ken Wilber's New Creationism is Pseudoscience."
Lane persuasively argues that supposedly super-brilliant Ken Wilber actually is clueless about how evolution works. Chance plays a role, but natural selection is anything but random (that's why it's called selection, Ken).
Wilber has come to sound like a creationist with his talk about how the universe is driven by love, Eros. Notions like that are fine so long as they remain in the realm of poetry and mythology, but are utterly ridiculous when contrasted with modern scientific understanding.
Anyway, have a read and make up your own mind about Wilber. There's more interesting spiritual-mystical-philosophical stuff on MSAC Magazine's web page.
I personally dont dig Wilbur, but I also dont dig these so-called Evolutionists who have no sense of Mystery---who think they got it all sussed.
They will look at waves on the ocean, and ....well their VISION is materialized so to speak. Its their OWN doing.
Posted by: Juliano | January 16, 2011 at 10:43 AM
The concept of evolution is the lead motif from the Big Bang to the "present" moment in time for "materialists" (misnomer), who contend (and assume) that matter, energy, space and time (note the latter two are not matter at all) are "all" that exist. Others (Wilber, e.g) contend (and assume) that information and/or consciousness or even love should also be considered to be cornerstones of the universe on par with matter, energy, space and time. Who knows? But surely it is too early to close the debate on these "matters" of existence (ontology is still alive and kicking!).
Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould (both "renowned" evolutionists) had widely varying takes on evolutionary theory which culminated in some nasty public debates (type, "I am right and you are wrong"..blah, blah, blah). So obviously Evolutionary Theory is not so "self-evident" as it's proponents would like "all" of us to worship as the "gospel truth". Accepting Darwin's "Evolutionary Theory" as THE blueprint as to how life arose and diversified on this planet requires a belief far beyond the limits of critical thinking (or isn't that obvious?). Although Darwin's great book "On The Origin of the Species by means of Natural Selection" is a wonderful read... it still leaves many many questions unaswered for querying minds...including Ken Wilber's.
Finally, I am not trying to defend Ken Wilber's take on Darwinism, but rather his right to ask questions, even if they can be conceived as being misguided from those who hold Darwinism to be the say all of life's many manifestations.
Posted by: William_Nelson | January 17, 2011 at 04:02 AM
WIlliam, Ken Wilber doesn't ask questions, because he believes he has all the answers. I've read lots of Wilber books. There is very little humility and open questioning in them. They're all about the unique brilliance of Ken Wilber, who considers that he has unraveled the mystery of how the Cosmos Really Is.
Which is Really Irritating.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | January 17, 2011 at 08:18 AM
Ken Wilber says of his own work:
"In other words, all of my books are lies. They are simply maps of a territory, shadows of a reality, gray symbols dragging their bellies across the dead page, suffocated signs full of muffled sound and faded glory, signifying absolutely nothing. And it is the nothing, the Mystery, the Emptiness alone that needs to be realized: not known but felt, not thought but breathed, not an object but an atmosphere, not a lesson but a life."
Despite this quote I can still kind of understand why Wilber gets on your nerves, especially after his "alignment" with Andrew Cohen. Nevertheless the fact that you have read many of his books seems to show that he has at least picked your curiousity before breeding your contempt.Just remember good opponents are what we all need in life in order to develop intellectually,physically and even spiritually...so be glad that Wilber drives you crazy! Or be irritated...as we say in Swedish.."skitsamman" (translation: it makes no difference).
Posted by: william nelson | January 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM
William, Wilber's action speak a lot louder than his sanctimonious words. Take a look at EnlightenNext magazine, and the web site. It is one big testimonial to Wilber's and Cohen's egos, a massive profit-making machine -- books, DVDs, seminars, etc. etc.
You don't see this from genuine philosophers, mystics, and scientists. Their focus is on truth, not on self-promotion. If Wilber's ideas stood on their own merits, he wouldn't need this never-ending sales job. Like religious messiahs, Wilber proclaims Integral Theory as being what will save the world, and individuals.
Which is, of course, a bunch of crap.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | January 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Wilber aint got a clue imo, it is quite likely that the theory of evolution by natural selection is not absolutely correct. Science has never made this claim, a scientific theory merely claims an approximation of the truth based on the available evidence. this is the scientific method.
While there may be other methods of insight into reality, the problem with ppl like wilber is that they marry, fudge or blur their particular personal metaphysical beliefs with some sort of pseudoscientific systematic framework, which results in utter rubbish.
But the very worst thing about Wilber, and many of these pseudoscientific charlatans, is their use of obfiscation or dressed-up jargon that aims to give their ridiculously claims an air of substance. Bullshit baffles brains, complete nonsense.
Posted by: George | January 17, 2011 at 02:26 PM
I see that website by 'kheper' who appears to have strong mystical tendencies is also not combined by wilber pointing to some bizarre statements by wilber on evolutionary theory. I don't quite know how ppl like wilber can actually claim to be experts in a field they know nothing about. I dunno where the he'll he got his PhD from but he is talking absolutely nonsense about evolutionary intermediates not existing. Dawkins may rub some ppl up the wrong way with his atheistic stance, but he def understand evolutionary theory, he is the expert in this field, not only ken with his bulldust 'intergral theory'. What a load of claptrap.
Posted by: George | January 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Actually that kheper website seems pretty good to me, it's obviously someone with strong mystical tendencies but still has half a brain on him and who reads widely.
I was quite interested to read off another website that the father of empiricism Francis bacon was, some say, a committed mystic. Be interesting to research that a little further, but there allsorts of conspiracy theories surrounding bacon. But actually I don't think the mystical charge is so far-fetched, seemed at the time mysticism, occultism and alchemy pretty widely practiced and intermixed with certain scientific techniques, which eventually seemed to seperate out, but the historical origins of science do often seem quite blurred.
Posted by: George | January 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM